Automobiles can signify so many different things to people. They can be anything from a mode of transportation, a conversation starter, an escape, or even a way of expressing yourself. The Popular Mechanics automotive test team has been hard at work putting cars, trucks, electric vehicles automotive accessories through their paces to point you to the very best.
We’ve driven hundreds of miles around some of the best roads and trails around the country. Whether that’s howling through the Malibu Canyons or carefully crawling through the backcountry trails outside Breckenridge, Colorado, we’ve given each vehicle a proper workout. And the ones you see here have proven worthy of an Automotive Excellence Badge.
Matt Crisara is a native Austinite who has an unbridled passion for cars and motorsports, both foreign and domestic, and as the Autos Editor for Popular Mechanics, he writes the majority of automotive coverage across digital and print. He was previously a contributing writer for Motor1 following internships at Circuit Of The Americas F1 Track and Speed City, an Austin radio broadcaster focused on the world of motor racing. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Arizona School of Journalism, where he raced mountain bikes with the University Club Team. When he isn’t working, he enjoys sim-racing, FPV drones, and the great outdoors.
Louis Mazzante is the Test Director at Hearst’s Enthusiast Group, overseeing product testing and expert reviews at Popular Mechanics, Runner’s World, and Bicycling; he has more than 20 years of experience testing bikes, skis, cars, tools, and cool gadgets—and he is always searching for new gear that looks good, solves problems, and has a fair price. Prior to his current role, he wrote for or led several product-focused consumer and trade magazines. He’s a former ski instructor, bike racer, trail builder, and, thanks to the demands of a 2005 Nissan X-Terra with 208k+ miles, amateur car mechanic.
Will is the deputy editor for gear, leading product coverage for Popular Mechanics.