Tesla Fell to Ford for 2021 EV of the Year, but Don’t Get Too Upset

Tesla may be the best-known EV maker, but it didn’t produce the best EV of the year. That honor went to Ford and its Mustang Mach-E, which blew the doors off its electric competitors. But Tesla fans shouldn’t be upset despite the loss. Elon Musk and company still make excellent EVs.

Why did the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E beat Tesla?

A red 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E is driving on a highway with a brown rocky scene in the background.
2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E | The Ford Motor Company

Car and Driver thought the Mustang Mach-E was the best after testing almost a dozen EVs for a few weeks. Three Tesla models were involved, along with other popular EVs like the Nissan Leaf and the Porsche Taycan 4S. 

But, of course, the Mustang came out on top. Its numbers aren’t necessarily the best, but numbers aren’t everything. What ultimately made the Mach-E great was how it strikes that fine balance between the familiar and the future. 

The Tesla Model Y Performance isn’t great in many ways

Though the Ford Mustang Mach-E is a great EV for reasons beyond numbers, the opposite is true for the Model Y. As Car and Driver summed it up, the Model Y had a “sloppy fit and finish.” Compared to other Teslas, the Model Y’s feel is just off. However, the Performance shines in its numbers.

It’s not a cheap EV, with a starting price tag of about $61,000, but it’s a high-performance vehicle. The Model Y Performance can go from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.6 seconds. Car and Driver said it still gets 230 miles of range even when the Model Y is cruising at 75 mph on the highway. At lower speeds, it gets just over 290 miles of range. These numbers are basically the main appeal of the Model Y, but even then, other Teslas have it beat.

The Model 3 Performance is way better than the Model Y

While the Model 3 and the Model Y have the same base price, the Model 3 Performance is just better than the Model Y. Car and Driver wrote, the Model 3 still has issues that all Teslas have, but it doesn’t have as many issues as the Model Y. 

The Model 3 Performance is better in almost every way as far as numbers go. Like Car and Driver wrote, “This is a car that flirts with 1.00 g both on the skidpad, with a 0.96-g effort, and in its acceleration, where it punches the gut like Tyson in the ’80s.”

That gut-punching acceleration clocked in at a 0 to 60 mph time of 3.1 seconds, which is a full half-second faster than the Model Y. They’re both about the same depending on how you measure range.

The Model S Long Range Plus lives up to its name

The last Tesla that Car and Driver tested was the Model S Long Range Plus. The Model S is one of the oldest Tesla models available, but it still holds up against newer EVs, Car and Driver reports.

At a price of about $71,000, it’s not cheap, but its numbers are great. It boasts a 0-to-60 mph time of 3.5 seconds. Most important, it gets great range. At best, owners of this Tesla can get just over 400 miles on a single charge, and few can brag about that. According to Car and Driver, “the Model S has remained at the front of the pack in terms of its ability to cover miles.”

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