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At Hearst Autos, we’re constantly trying out new gear for cars, trucks, and motorcycles—and the people who love them. The staffs of Car and Driver, Road & Track, and Autoweek are in the trenches week after week to bring you the best in automotive news and information. In the process, we use a lot of stuff. That includes tools for working on vehicles, aftermarket products for improving on them, and the gadgets, tech, cleaners, and accessories that make them more user-friendly.
There’s 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 whether it’s worth spending your money on? That’s why we’re sharing our personal recommendations for the car gear, products, and automotive accessories we use ourselves.
Here are our picks for the best car gear of the week.
Toolbox Wrench Organizers
I’m not an organized person. My clothes generally get tossed into drawers unfolded, and my office is full of papers I can’t throw away that one day might 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-tiered Craftsman box. While that’s certainly a way to store tools, it led to more shouting about missing half-inch wrenches than you’d want to know. After growing up and working in a repair shop, I learned there’s another way: organization.
Even though my tools don’t make me money anymore, I can’t shake the habit of keeping a well-organized toolbox. That’s why I spring for organizers like these Ernst Manufacturing wrench organizers. These silly chunks of made-in-America plastic help me quickly grab whatever wrench I need and let me know that I didn’t leave a straggler behind in an engine bay. Best of all, they reduce the stress of having to quickly find a wrench that’s buried under a sea of other tools. —Wesley Wren, associate editor, Autoweek
Stroller Glider Board
In a road-trip-loving family, car seats and strollers are an essential part of the process that parents must endure. When our second child was due, we looked at double strollers, but a single one barely fit in our trunk to begin with. We thought about getting two smaller strollers but were stumped by the transition from baby seat to toddler stage. So we decided to give a glider board a shot. We’re glad we did.
There are many universal glider boards on the market, but we already had a Citi Mini stroller, so I found the Baby Jogger version on Amazon and hooked it on. The glider board allows us to haul both kids around with only one stroller. Just a click of two small buttons and the wheels pop off, and the board folds almost all the way closed, adding barely any extra cargo volume. Sometimes, though, 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 which vehicle we drive to our destination, we have no problem fitting the glider board into the back of our SUV or the trunk of our car, and both kids are happy! —Becca Hackett, road test editor, 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 might cost many hundreds of dollars. Instead, in the back of the family Honda Odyssey, I use three foldable Instacrate bins. They’re great for keeping groceries or other small items from flying around the generous cargo area, and they can quickly fold 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 also in their portfolio, the guys at Codies know what they’re doing. In-game, GRID Legends features a wide range of true race cars to try on a mix of circuit and city tracks. A story mode, called Driven to Glory, makes its debut, and takes a page right out of Netflix’s Drive to Survive series as it follows you and your backmarker racing team, complete with cheesy couch interviews.
It’s a gorgeous game—the cars, graphics, audio, and videography in the Story mode are excellent. However, like most racing games the driving mechanics take a bit of getting used to. The vehicles drive like go-karts, able to stop and turn with no sense of weight. It’s very forgiving. What’s not forgiving are the AI—crazy, blockheaded obstacles that are wildly unpredictable. I, ashamedly, had a few moments of smashing the pause button on my Xbox controller to get up and clear the steam from my ears.
If your racing game forte is an arcade racer dressed in a sim racer’s outfit, GRID Legends is a perfect game to buy. For those who just want to casually race around the streets of Chicago or the Red Bull Ring, Codemasters and EA have crafted a fresh middle-ground between the sim and arcade-racing genres. —Collin Morgan, assistant commerce editor
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