Car and Driver magnetic car mount3.0 / 5
The Car and Driver magnetic charging car mount works well for what it is, and what it costs — but plays it safe with its design, features, and price.
Some reviews are more complex than others, but this one's direction was apparent when using Car and Driver's branded magnetic charging car mount. This is a straight-down-the-middle product that doesn't take any risks.
You might have heard of Car and Driver before — it's a magazine dating back to 1955 that provides insight into the latest auto trends. The publication grew big enough that it produces its own branded products, like the CarPlay-enabled Intellidash Pro.
That's likely why its magnetic charging car mount feels so straightforward. It took the basic consumer needs for a magnetic charging mount and made something that just works.
There aren't any flashy features, colorful LEDs, heavy cooling fans, or convoluted mounting plates. This charging mount knows what it is.
Car and Driver magnetic car mount design
The box has four pieces: a dash/window mount, a vent mount, a magnetic charger, and a 12V car charger with a single USB-A port. A USB-C to USB-A cable is also included.
Users can place the iPhone on the charger in portrait or landscape, but we felt like portrait made more sense for use on the road. Also, note that the magnetic attraction is fine without a case, but a MagSafe case will improve the connection strength to the mount.
Car and Driver's magnetic charger can output up to 15W, but since it isn't certified MagSafe, an iPhone will only charge at 7.5W. We reached out to Car and Driver to verify if this is the case, and they said yes, that MagSafe certification would double the cost of this product.
Installing the Car and Driver magnetic car mount
The vent design in our 2016 Honda HR-V wasn't ideal for a vent mount, so we chose to attach it to the dash. The suction cup on the bottom could grip easily once we found a suitable flat surface, then it suctioned on with a lever press.
The power cable has enough length from our car charging port to the magnetic mount when attached to a vent or dash, but we had trouble finding a suitable spot for the windshield. This will depend mostly on your vehicle's charger placement, but you may need a longer cable for some setups. Or, for those who want to keep the cables tidy, some may want to opt for a shorter cable.
The vent clip is different from some we've tested before. It felt sturdy when pushed onto the vent, and the small rest at the bottom placed the device weight on the dash below, not on the vent.
The dash/window mount had adjustments for angle and neck length. The magnetic charger tilt could be set before tightening the attaching nut.
We extended the mount's neck fully to get some space from the vent and to bring it closer to our hands. There is some wobble, which is expected, but our iPhone 14 Pro Max was never in danger of falling off the charger.
A simple charging and mounting solution
Car and Driver didn't break the mold with its magnetic car mount. We've seen similar vent and dash mounts from brands on Amazon, though we can't vouch for construction quality for those.
Anyone looking for a simple yet sturdy vent or dash mount solution should consider Car and Driver's magnetic car mount. It'll display your iPhone without issue and keep it charged.
Car and Driver magnetic car mount — pros
- Easy installation
- No residue from the mount suction cup
- Non-flashy design that focuses on the phone, not the charger
Car and Driver magnetic car mount — cons
- Included cable might be too short for some windshield installs, but too long for vent installs
- Not MagSafe certified
Rating: 3 out of 5
As we said in the review, there's nothing particularly exceptional or bad about Car and Driver's magnetic car mount. It does what it is designed to do without problems, and that's enough.
If it were MagSafe certified and capable of more than 7.5W charging, we'd bump it up to 3.5 stars. However, fast speeds aren't entirely necessary when changing in the car.