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AAA’s Best Cars for 2022: Drivers prioritize fuel economy, safety.

DENVER (May 5, 2022) – Shoppers for new vehicles primarily want two things in their next ride: Better fuel efficiency, and more driver assistance safety features.

That’s the takeaway from AAA research out today that found nearly 80% of all drivers want automakers to focus on improving fuel economy, while 76% want advanced safety tech such as automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assistance, and adaptive cruise control.

In its review of 62 new vehicles for the 2022 AAA Car Guide, AAA found that drivers’ wants and needs are best met by the newest batch of EVs (electric vehicles), which are at once often the most technologically cutting-edge and the most fuel-efficient.

In 2021, domestic electric vehicle sales rose to nearly 477,000, representing just 3.3% of total vehicle sales – but a whopping 81.5% increase over 2020. Many of the world’s major automakers have announced plans to dramatically increase electric vehicle production or phase out gasoline-powered vehicles entirely by 2035. 

“EV sales, while small, are growing – and the signs are everywhere that the future is electric,” said Skyler McKinley, regional director of public affairs for AAA. “That future may arrive even faster, given consumer concerns about the environment, the political impacts of fossil fuel reliance, high gas prices, and the gradual phasing-out of gasoline-powered vehicles altogether.”

AAA’s Best Cars for 2022
Amid a dynamic car-buying environment, AAA today released its 2022 AAA Car Guide , an online resource for consumers looking to purchase a new vehicle. Of the 62 vehicles reviewed for this year’s edition, six are electric.

Notably, all category winners for 2022 are either electric, plug-in electric hybrid, or hybrid vehicles. In addition to being highly fuel-efficient, the winners are also loaded with the latest in advanced driver assistance systems. 

The AAA Car Guide includes comprehensive reviews of each vehicle based on 12 criteria, including:

• Number of ADAS safety features
• Fuel efficiency
• Emissions
• Braking and handling
• Ride quality
• Acceleration

The overall winner is the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E Premium AWD. AAA researchers gave special praise to the vehicle for its dramatic new profile, its power, and for being quiet, quick, roomy, and fun to drive. 

Best Overall: 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E Premium AWD (electric)
Best Small Car: 2021 BWM 330e (plug-in hybrid)
Best Midsize Car: 2021 BMW 530e (plug-in hybrid)
Best Large Car: 2021 Mercedes-Benz S580 4MATIC Sedan (hybrid)
Best Pickup: 2021 Ford F-150 XLT SuperCrew Hybrid 4×4
Best 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)

For those in the market for newer used vehicles, the online AAA Car Guidealso contains links to the two prior editions for 2021 and 2020. Winners, detailed evaluation criteria, vehicle reviews, and an in-depth analysis of ADAS technology can be found at AAA.com/CarGuide

Industry analysts forecast that the COVID-19 pandemic, the semi-conductor chip shortage, and the proliferation of EVs will affect the availability, types, and prices of new and used cars in 2022. 

Drivers can use the free AAA Mobile app to find EV charging stations or compare fuel prices in their area.  

About AAA – The Auto Club Group
The Auto Club Group (ACG) is the second largest AAA club in North America with more than 13 million members across 14 U.S. states, the province of Quebec and two U.S. territories. ACG and its affiliates provide members with roadside assistance, insurance products, banking and financial services, travel offerings and more. ACG belongs to the national AAA federation with more than 62 million members in the United States and Canada. AAA’s mission is to protect and advance freedom of mobility and improve traffic safety. For more information, get the AAA Mobile app, visit AAA.com, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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