AAA just released its Car Guide, and the Ford Mustang Mach-E took the top honors not only in two individual categories, but also overall. If you're not familiar with AAA's Car Guide, it helps consumers with vehicle buying decisions. In a market that's much of a mess right now, guides like this can prove especially helpful.

AAA says it reviewed a total of 62 vehicles for this year's guide. The cars and SUVs were tested by the Automobile Club of Southern California’s Automotive Research Center. They were rated based on 12 total criteria, including "advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) safety features, fuel efficiency, emissions, braking, handling, ride quality and acceleration."

As you can see, with categories like fuel efficiency, emissions, and acceleration, EVs stand to have an advantage. Not to mention the fact that most electric cars have a host of the latest ADAS features, and ride and handling in many EVs is impressive.

That said, the Ford Mustang Mach-E Premium AWD took the top spot in both the SUV/Minivan category and the Best Vehicle Over $50,000 category. However, the most important fact here is that the electric crossover was ranked the best among all vehicles in all segments at all price points.

AAA also notes that every single winner this year is either an electric vehicle, a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), or a traditional hybrid. The organization says this makes sense since its findings indicate that 80 percent of consumers hope to see automakers focusing more on fuel efficiency.

The AAA Brand Guide's top-ranked vehicles by category are as follows:

Overall: 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E Premium AWD (electric)
Small: 2021 BMW 330e (plug-in hybrid)
Midsize: 2021 BMW 530e (plug-in hybrid)
Large: 2021 Mercedes-Benz S580 4MATIC Sedan (hybrid)
Pickup: 2021 Ford F-150 XLT SuperCrew Hybrid 4×4
SUV/Minivan: 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E Premium AWD (electric)
Best Under $35K: 2021 Hyundai Elantra Hybrid Limited
Best $35K – $50K: 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 1st Edition (electric)
Best Over $50K: 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E Premium AWD (electric)

AAA also points out that EV sales in the US saw an 82 percent rise from 2020 to 2021. Electric car sales reached nearly 500,000 in 2021, which represents 3.3 percent of the overall vehicle market sales on our shores.

Automotive Research Center Manager Megan McKernan shared in the press release:

“The signs are everywhere that the future is electric. And that future may arrive faster with consumer preferences changing because of high gas prices and the gradual phasing out of gas-powered vehicles.”

Do you agree with the choices in AAA's Car Guide? If not, let us know which vehicles you would have chosen for the various category winners. More importantly, what do you think is the best vehicle overall, at least based on AAA's criteria?

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