Wesley TroglodyteCar and driver
At Hearst Autos, we’re constantly trying out new gear for cars, trucks and motorcycles and the people who love them. The staff of Car and driver, Road & Trackand Automatic week are in the trenches week after week to bring you the best automotive news and information. In the process, we use many things. This includes tools for working on vehicles, aftermarket products to improve them, and gadgets, technologies, cleaners and accessories that make them more user-friendly.
There are a ton of automotive gear and products out there, and plenty of places to buy them. But if you haven’t tried something yourself, how can you know if it’s worth spending your money on? That’s why we share our personal recommendations for the equipment, products and automotive accessories we use ourselves.
Here are our picks for the best automotive gear of the week.
toolbox key organizers
I am not an organized person. My clothes are usually tossed in unfolded drawers, and my desk is full of papers I can’t throw away that could one day make me the star of a reality TV show. That said, my toolbox is organized. Growing up, my dad took the less efficient approach of throwing tools into his two-tier Craftsman box. While that’s certainly one way to store tools, it’s led to more screams about missing half-inch wrenches than you’d care to know. After growing up and working in a repair shop, I learned there was another way: organization.
Even though my tools aren’t making me any more money, I can’t get rid of the habit of keeping a well-organized toolbox. That’s why I fall for organizers like these Ernst Manufacturing Key Organizers. Those stupid bits of American-made plastic help me quickly grab the key I need and let me know I haven’t left a straggler in an engine bay. Best of all, they reduce the stress of having to quickly find a key buried under a sea of other tools. —Wesley Wren, Associate Editor, Automatic week
Stroller Glider Board
In a family that loves road trips, car seats and strollers are an essential part of the process parents have to endure. When our second child was born, we looked at double strollers, but only one barely fit in our trunk to begin with. We considered buying two smaller strollers, but were confused by the transition from infant seat to toddler stage. So we decided to try a gliding board. We’re glad we did.
There are many universal glide boards on the market, but we already had a Citi Mini stroller, so I found the Baby jogging version on Amazon and I snagged it. The skateboard allows us to transport both children with one stroller. A simple click of two small buttons and the wheels come off, and the board folds almost completely closed, adding barely any extra cargo volume. Sometimes, however, I just leave the wheels on; while the folded stroller is far from flat, I can still throw it in the back of our SUV. The biggest win is that no matter what vehicle we drive to our destination, we have no problem fitting the glide board in the back of our SUV or in the trunk of our car, and the two children are happy! —Becca Hackett, Road Test Writer, Car and driver
Cargo Storage Organizers
Trying to find a custom storage organizer for your vehicle can quickly send you down a rabbit hole of solutions that could cost several hundred dollars. Instead, on the back of the Honda Odyssey family, I use three collapsible Instacrate bins. They’re great for keeping groceries or other small items from flying around the generous cargo area, and they can quickly fold up to stack larger items on top. Plus, they cost less than $20 each. —Dave VanderWerp, Director of Vehicle Testing, Car and driver
GRID Legends is the next installment in the racing series by Codemasters and EA. With the F1 and Dirt franchises in their portfolio as well, the guys at Codies know what they’re doing. Stake, GRID Legends offers a wide range of real racing cars to try out on a mix of circuits and street circuits. A story mode, called Driven to Glory, debuts and takes a page straight from Netflix Drive to survive series as it follows you and your backmarker racing team, complete with cheesy couch interviews.
It’s a beautiful game – the story mode cars, graphics, audio and videography are excellent. However, like most racing games, the driving mechanics take some getting used to. The vehicles drive like go-karts, able to stop and turn without any feeling of weight. It’s very forgiving. What’s not forgiving are the AI’s crazy, unpredictable obstacles. I shamefully had to mash the pause button on my Xbox controller for a few moments to get up and blow the steam out of my ears.
If your strong racing game is an arcade racer in a sim racer outfit, GRID Legends is a perfect game to buy. For those who just want to race casually through the streets of Chicago or the Red Bull Ring, Codemasters and EA have created a new middle ground between the sim and arcade-racing genres. —Collin Morgan, Associate Trade Editor
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