AAA’s List of the “Best New Cars” Is Filled With Shockingly Good Cars

If you’re currently in the market for a new car, then there’s a good chance that you’re looking for a car with good fuel efficiency. If you don’t know where to start, then AAA has you covered. The automotive resource recently released its 2022 Car Guide, which lists the best new cars in a handful of categories. Overall, the list is shockingly good.

Out of the 62 cars that AAA reviewed, six were electric

A woman wearing a white sweater and a red hat plugs a charging cord into her reliable used electric car
Charging an electric car | Jenny Ueberberg via Unsplash

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In order to find the winners for each category, AAA reviewed 62 different new cars on the market. Out of that total, six of them are electric, which shows the direction that the automotive market is going as we head into the future. But what’s even a bigger tell-tale sign is the list of cars that AAA came up with.

Here is the list of the best new cars for 2022:

  • Best Overall: 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E Premium AWD (electric)
  • Best Small Car: 2021 BMW 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)

As we can see, not all six electric vehicles made the list. However, the list is populated primarily by hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles, which is fitting considering the current rise in gas prices.

The Ford Mustang Mach-E took home a few honors

A blue 2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E electric SUV is driving on the road.
The 2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E | Ford

What’s really interesting is that AAA favored the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E Premium pretty heavily on this list. We don’t blame them, we liked it too and you can read our full review on it to find out more.

AAA’s researchers noted that the Mustang Mach-E has a “dramatic new profile, is powerful, electric, quiet, quick, and fun to drive.” Considering it has comfortable seating for up to five and is able to get from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.5 seconds, it’s no wonder that the electric Mustang ticked a lot of the boxes. AAA recommends it as not only the “Best Overall” car on the list, but it’s also the “Best SUV/minivan” and the “Best Over $50k.” Now that’s some high praise.

AAA found that 80% of drivers want automakers to focus on fuel economy

A fuel dispenser at a gas station pump concerning gas prices and fuel economy
A fuel dispenser at a gas station | Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images

While passenger room and horsepower ratings are important to some buyers, AAA’s research showed that 80% of buyers want more fuel efficiency out of their vehicles, reports 9 News. Aside from fuel efficiency, 76% of drivers want advanced safety features like adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, and lane-keeping assist.

“EV sales, while small, are growing, and the signs are everywhere that the future is electric,” said Megan McKernan, manager of the Automotive Research Center for AAA. “And that future may arrive faster with consumer preferences changing because of factors such as high gas prices and the gradual phasing-out of gasoline-powered vehicles in some areas.”

In that case, don’t be shocked if more hybrid and electric vehicles continue to dominate “10 Best” lists and maybe even your car shopping shortlist in the future. It looks like we’re definitely headed into an electrified automotive future on the horizon.

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