The automotive industry has been undergoing some radical changes the past few years. That’s been incredibly apparent over the past year, with an explosion of new cars and technology. Long gone are the days when Tesla was the only real contender, and the prospect of buying an electric car is more enticing (and feasible) than ever before.
Not to mention the fact there’s never been a better time to pick up an electric bike or scooter. With so many incredible options to choose from, there’s no need to travel everywhere on four wheels. And, if you’re still rocking an older car, there’s plenty of fantastic new tech to spruce it all up. Frankly, there’s no shortage of Automotive and Mobility products for us to celebrate in this year’s Tom’s Guide Awards.
And check out all the winners of the Tom’s Guide Awards 2022.
Best electric car
Best electric car: Kia EV6
The Kia EV6 is the best electric car, hands-down. With a solid mix of stylish design, good performance, long range, hi-tech features and a starting price of just $41,400, the Kia EV6 has pretty much everything you could ask for. The Kia EV6 offers anything from 232 to 310 miles of range, but the real winner is the 350 kW ultra fast rapid charging — which can recharge from 10 to 80% in just 18 minutes. Top that off with a 114 miles per hour top speed, a 0-60 time of 5.2 seconds, and swanky features like an augmented reality heads-up display, there’s something for everyone to love about the car. Especially once you look past the sleek and sporty design, and see just how comfortable and roomy the interior really is.
Best electric SUV
Best electric SUV: Tesla Model Y
The electric SUV market is pretty intense, but as is often the case where EVs are concerned the Tesla Model Y comes out on top. The Tesla Model X may beat it in the size department, but the Model Y still offers a lot of space for a much lower price tag — not to mention all the trademark features that make Tesla cars so popular in the first place.
The Model Y offers 30 cubic feet of trunk space, or 66 if the seats are folded down, alongside a four cubic foot frunk. Needless to say there’s a lot of space to exploit, and just for your stuff. Throw in all the other features, like a 3.5 second 0-60 time, the Autopilot driver assistance system, up to 330 miles of range per charge, and access to the 250 kW Tesla Supercharger network and it’s easy to see why the Model Y is so popular.
Best in-car gadget
Best in-car gadget: Motorola MA1
Generally speaking wireless connections don’t hold a candle to hard wired connections. The trick is making wireless perform well enough that people don’t notice. Therein lies the true power of the Motorola MA1 — a wireless adapter that lets drivers add wireless Android Auto support in a car that doesn’t already offer it. The fact is, the MA1 offers a wireless connection so good it’s indistinguishable from being plugged in. It performs so well that I continue to use the adapter every time I drive my car, and have never had to deal with any performance issues.
The vast majority of new modern cars have wireless Android Auto (and wireless CarPlay) built in on the factory floor. But for those of us that don’t have tens of thousands of dollars to spend on a state of the art automobile, there’s devices like the MA1.
Best electric scooter
Best electric scooter: Apollo City
Even though they’re in their relative infancy, there’s a sameness to a lot of the best electric scooters, which is why we’re fans of the Apollo City. This is a fun and fast electric scooter — we flew along at a good 25 miles per hour, and did so in comfort thanks to its full suspension. But the Apollo City has a more interesting design than other scooters we’ve tested, and comes with a very rare feature: turn signals. We liked the fact that we could tell cars which way we were about to go. It’s something that should be added to a lot more scooters, especially if we’re going to be seeing more of them on the road in the future.
Best electric bike
Best electric bike: Power Rad City 5 Plus
There’s nothing hotter than the best electric bikes right now; you can get models for as little as $1,000, or spend upwards of $15,000 on high-end cargo and mountain e-bikes. But, our favorite model is one that strikes the best balance between price and features. The Rad Power Rad City 5 Plus costs $1,799 and comes in both a low-step and a high-step model, both of which look great. We also like that it has front and rear fenders, a built-in bike rack, and a removable battery that you can also use to charge other electronics. A powerful motor and 7-speed shifter, as well as a twist throttle means that this bike can take you anywhere.
Best dash cam
Best dash cam: Nextbase 622GW
No driver should be without a dash cam, and the $499 Nextbase 622GW is, without a doubt, one of the best dash cams on the market. The design is functional, if a bit uninspiring, but the 622GW’s real performance comes from the sheer amount of stuff that’s been stuffed inside. We’re talking 4K resolution at 120FPS, a 140-degree field of view, GPS, Alexa voice controls, and enhanced night vision.
What really sets the 622GW apart is that it’s designed to adapt to the conditions. Extreme weather mode ensures you get clear images, no matter the conditions, while the polarizing filter helps minimize reflections from the windshield — all to get you the best possible footage. Like all Nextbase dash cams, the 622GW can also wireless connect to a read window cam for maximum coverage. What more could you ask for?
Best car heads-up display
Best car heads-up display: Hudway Drive
A car heads-up display seems like a frivolous purchase at first glance, but they can be incredibly useful tools. The $279 Hudway Drive might be pricey, but it’s also the best car heads-up display you can actually go out and buy right now. HUDs that pull data from your car’s computer are not uncommon, but the Hudway Drive is one of the few that wirelessly connect to both your car’s OBD port and your smartphone. All done wirelessly, thanks to a Bluetooth connection and a wireless OBD module.
All that works together to project data onto a 10-inch screen on your dash. The Hudway Drive is able to pull over GPS directions, notifications, speed, fuel economy, engine temperature and more. It’s even possible to mirror your phone screen via Wi-Fi. The fact is, the Hudway Drive can show you all the information you need and more.
Best OBD-II scanner
Best OBD-II scanner: Innova 6100P
The point of an OBD-II scanner is to make car owners avoid unnecessary trips to the mechanic by diagnosing their own problems. The Innova 6100P takes that a step further, with the ability to make its own suggestions on what repairs are needed, and what parts you might need. But that’s not the only reason why it’s claimed our best OBD-II scanner award.
The Innova 6100P has all the markings of an expensive device, but wrapped up in a $190 shell. It’s small and light, with the option to use it as a standalone handheld or with a companion smartphone app. That way it can offer a lot more information and context than the scanner ever could on its own. It’s everything an amateur’s OBD-II scanner should have, and more.
Best car phone mount
Best car phone mount: Sandmarc Active Car Mount
While not officially supporting Apple’s MagSafe, the SandMarc Active Car Mount is as close as you’ll get without an official stamp of approval. This does mean the mount is best suited to anyone with an iPhone 12 or 13, there’s plenty to like about what SandMarc has on offer. Which is why it’s receiving our best car phone mount award.
The 7.5W wireless charging feature makes this the perfect companion to wireless CarPlay, and the sleek attractive design won’t look out of place on your dashboard. Better still those magnets are quite strong, and will ensure your phone is kept in place when you’re driving. What more could you ask for from a car phone mount?