General

Best vehicles 2022 | Popular Mechanics Automotive Excellence Awards

Best vehicles 2022 |  Popular Mechanics Automotive Excellence Awards

Cars can mean so many different things to people. They can be anything from a means of transportation, a conversation starter, an escape, or even a way of expressing yourself. The Popular mechanics automotive test team has been working hard to put car accessories for cars, trucks and electric vehicles to the test to point you to the very best.

We’ve driven hundreds of miles on some of the best roads and trails in the entire country. Whether that’s howling through the Malibu Canyons or gently crawling through the backcountry trails outside Breckenridge, Colorado, we’ve given every vehicle a good workout. And the ones you see here have proven themselves worthy of an Automotive Excellence Badge.



For everyone from the weekend warrior on the track to the daily commuter.

➥ READ FULL REVIEWS HERE

Best hot hatchback

Volkswagen Golf GTi

Volkswagen Golf GTi
Credit: James Lipman / Car and Driver

Best all round hatchback

Volkswagen Golf R

Volkswagen Golf R
Credit: MARC URBANO/CAR AND DRIVER

Most exciting hatchback

Hyundai Veloster No

Hyundai Veloster No
Credit: Michael Simari / Car and Driver

Best off-roader

Ford Bronco

Ford Bronco
Credit: Matt Crisara

Best Performance SUV

Jaguar F-Pace SVR

Jaguar F-Pace SVR
Credit: Courtesy of Jaguar

Most Versatile SUV

Toyota 4Runner TRD Sport

Toyota 4Runner TRD Sport
Credit: Trevor Raab

Best Affordable SUV

Kia Telluride

Kia Telluride
Credit: Courtesy of Kia

Best compact SUV

Volkswagen Taos

Volkswagen Taos
Credit: MARC URBANO/CAR AND DRIVER

Best affordable sports car

Toyota GR86

Best manual sedan

Honda Civic Si

Honda Civic Si
Credit: JESSICA LYNN WALKER / CAR AND DRIVER


category best trucks 2022

Do you want to drive your vehicle off-road or transport goods and equipment to your final destination? These trucks are built for work.

➥ Read the full reviews here

Best Medium Pickup

Honda Ridgeline

Honda Ridgeline
Credit: Honda

Best Electric Pickup

Rivian R1T

Rivian R1T
Credit: ROY RITCHIE / CAR AND DRIVER

Best Full Size Pickup

Ram 1500 TRX

Ram 1500 TRX
Credit: MARC URBANO/CAR AND DRIVER

Best Full Size Hybrid Pickup

Toyota Tundra Hybrid

Toyota Tundra Hybrid
Credit: JESSICA LYNN WALKER / CAR AND DRIVER

Best Small Hybrid Pickup

Ford Maverick

Ford Maverick
Credit: Marc Urbano / Car and Driver

best evs 2022 awards

Making a splash on electric avenue.

➥ Read full reviews here

Best affordable electric hatchback

Nissan Leaf

Nissan Leaf
Credit: Trevor Raab

Best electric sedan

pole star 2

pole star 2
Credit: Marc Urbano / Car and Driver

Best Electric Compact SUV

Volkswagen ID.4 AWD Pro

Volkswagen ID.4 AWD Pro
Credit: Michael Simari / Car and Driver

Best Electric Station Wagon

Porsche Taycan GTS Sport Turismo

Porsche Taycan GTS Sport Turismo
Credit: Courtesy of Porsche

best accessories 2022 category

Software, tools and other equipment that make driving safer, easier and more fun.

➥ Read full reviews here

Best Portable Air Compressor

ARB CKMTP12

Best tire gauge

ARB ARB601

Best portable power station

Jackery Explorer 500

Jackery Explorer 500

Now 17% discount

Best first aid kit

My Medic Popular Mechanics The Auto Medic

My Medic Popular Mechanics The Auto Medic

Best traction boards

Maxtrax MKII

Best winter tire

Goodyear Winter Command Ultra

Goodyear Winter Command Ultra

Best Terrain Tire

Toyo Open Country A/T III

Toyo Open Country A/T III

Best windshield wiper

Michelin Endurance XT

Best Cordless Pressure Washer

Worx WG644

Best Navigation App

OnX Offroad

Matt Crisara is an Austinite born with an unbridled passion for cars and motorsport, both overseas and domestic, and as Autos Editor for Popular mechanics, he writes most of the automotive reporting on digital and print. He was previously a contributing writer for Motor1 after internships with Circuit Of The Americas F1 Track and Speed ​​City, an Austin radio broadcaster focused on the world of auto racing. He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Arizona School of Journalism, where he raced mountain bikes with the University Club Team. When not at work, he enjoys sim racing, FPV drones and the outdoors.

Louis Mazzante is the Test Director at Hearst’s Enthusiast Group and oversees product testing and expert reviews at Popular Mechanics, Runner’s World and Bicycling; he has over 20 years of experience testing bikes, skis, cars, tools and cool gadgets – and he’s always looking for new gear that looks good, solves problems and has a fair price. Prior to his current position, he wrote or led several product-oriented consumer and trade magazines. He is a former ski instructor, cyclist, course designer and, thanks to the demands of a 2005 Nissan X-Terra with 208k+ miles, an amateur car mechanic.

Will is the deputy editor for gear, leading product reporting for Popular mechanics.