While the all-electric Ford Mustang Mach-E gets plenty of press these days, lest we forget, the original pony car – the Ford Mustang – is still going strong. The second most American vehicle in the world will also be available with proper V8 power for the foreseeable future, and has historically outsold its rivals handily. Now, the 2021 Ford Mustang has yet another feather to add to its proverbial hat, as it has been named Consumer Reports‘ highest-rated American sports car.
The criteria for this distinction is simple – CR ranked all of the American sports cars it has tested by its overall score, which is comprised of multiple categories including safety, road tests, owner satisfaction, and reliability. In that regard, the 2021 Ford Mustang tops its rivals with an overall score of 76 out of 100.
Consumer Reports calculated that overall score using the Mustang’s road test score of 84, predicted reliability of 3 out of 5, and a predicted owner satisfaction of 5 out of 5. The Mustang also has a bevy of safety features available, including optional Forward Collision Warning and Automatic Emergency Braking.
By comparison, Consumer Reports gave the Dodge Challenger a road test score of 70, a predicted reliability score of 5 out of 5, a predicted owner satisfaction score of 4 out of 5, and an overall score of 73. In terms of safety features, the Challenger offers Forward Collision Warning as an option, but not Automatic Emergency Braking.
Finally, the Chevrolet Camaro – perhaps the Mustang’s most bitter rival – fell far behind these two competitors with an overall score of just 63. It did well in the road test, scoring an 85, but only managed a 2 out of 5 in predicted reliability and a solid 4 out of 5 in predicted owner satisfaction. As far as safety features go, Forward Collision Warning is available as an option, but Automatic Emergency Braking is not.
The Mustang has faced some production cuts in recent months as a result of the semiconductor chip shortage, which undoubtedly played a role in its nearly 7 percent decrease in Q2 sales in the U.S. That caused it to fall behind the Challenger by just 376 units, though the Mustang outsold the Camaro by roughly 12,000 units. Challenger sales jumped 52 percent while Camaro sales dove 58 percent. Regardless, the Mustang is still in a good position to earn the title of best-selling sports car for 2021, so long as production woes don’t get in the way.