Yoke Steering Wheel Blamed for Tesla's Rankings Tumble

Electric vehicle maker dropped 7 places in the 'Consumer Reports' list of 32
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 18, 2022 7:00 AM CST
Tesla Plummets 7 Places in Influential Automakers List
"The Mustang Mach-E is ... very sporty, plus it's more practical and easier to live with. The Ford is also quieter and rides better," the magazine said.   (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

(Newser) – Tesla has tumbled down the rankings in the latest Consumer Reports list of car brands—and its Model 3 is no longer the top electric vehicle in the magazine's list of top picks. Tesla dropped seven places in the brand rankings to No. 23 out of 32 because of what Erik Shilling at Jalopnik calls the "dumb yoke." The controversial steering wheel in the automaker's Model S sedans and Model X SUVs makes "driving these vehicles frustrating all the time," says Jake Fisher, senior director of automotive testing at CR, per Reuters. Yokes are "most often seen in dragsters, which are cars that are designed to go in a straight line, unlike the Tesla Model S, which I believe is expected to make turns," Shilling writes.

Fisher tells Bloomberg that one of the reasons the Ford Mustang Mach-E was the top electric vehicle in the magazine's top picks of 2022 is because it is "a little bit easier to live with." He says the Tesla Model 3 is still a vehicle that CR recommends, unlike other Tesla vehicles, including the Model Y, which struggles with "everything from the rear hatch not closing, to trim pieces falling off, to electrical problems." The Model 3 is now the magazine's third-ranked electric vehicle, behind the No. 2-ranked Kia Niro, CNN notes.

"Mustang Mach-E’s continued success with customers and recognition like this from Consumer Reports are signs of the momentum we're building," Ford exec Darren Palmer said in a statement. Ford was the only Big Three automaker with a vehicle on the magazine's list of top picks, and Detroit automakers did not fare well in the brand rankings, the Detroit News reports. The top 10 was studded with Japanese brands, with General Motors' Buick brand at No. 11. Subaru was No. 1 on the list, and Jeep was last at No. 32. Tesla's share price dropped 5.1% Thursday. (Read more Tesla stories.)

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