This story is part of the GP100 , our list of the 100 best new products of the year. Read the introduction to the series here , and stay tuned for more lists like it throughout the month. We all thought 2021 would be an improvement. After all, 2020 was, shall we say, one of the crummier years in American history, so by January of this year, it seemed as though things had to swing back in a positive direction. But as bad as 2020 had been, its successor proved even more problematic \u2014 at least, for the world of vehicles. Important supplies were suddenly, well, in short supply, the trickle-down effect of companies idling plants and cancelling orders during the COVID nightmare. That caused a litany of production nightmares for automakers, leaving them lacking key parts \u2014 and unable to meet the demand of buyers. Many of these buyers, in turn, switched tracks and started buying used cars and trucks \u2014 just as rental car agencies, suddenly ravenous for vehicles after selling off their inventory during the pandemic to stay afloat but now faced with a tsunami of travelers looking to go anywhere , also began buying whatever they could lay their hands on. This, in turn, sent the price of used vehicles upwards faster than Elon Musk's spacebound Tesla Roadster \u2014 spiking so fast, in fact, that they've been playing a major role in the inflation we're now dealing with. In spite of these issues, however, 2021 still proved to be a momentous year for personal transportation. It saw a slew of highly competitive, groundbreaking new electric vehicles reach the streets, and automakers promise billions of dollars in investment to roll out hundreds more over the next few years. It saw icons resurrected, categories redefined and companies push into new verticals. And above all else...it gave us a hell of a lot of interesting new rides to drive. Game Changer: Rivian R1T Battery Size: 135 kWh EPA Range: 314 miles Gear Tunnel Clearance (in People): 5'6" Price: $67,500+ LEARN MORE We were all waiting for a truck like the Rivian R1T . We just didn't know we were. After all, how could you know you wanted a truck of the sort that had never existed before? A pickup truck that packs more power than a Ferrari 812 Superfast and runs from 0 to 60 in well under four seconds, in spite of weighing nearly four tons...and scrambles over rocks and up trails and down mountains with the ease of a Ford Bronco ...and offers not just a bed, but two trunks, one of which can be filled with a portable kitchen...and on top of all that, will never use a drop of gasoline in its life? In all honestly, Rivian could have delivered half as ambitious a debut product and still likely seen its valuation explode the way it has since it went public in November. Electric pickup trucks are poised to be the Next Big Thing in vehicles \u2014 hence why Ford, General Motors and Stellantis are investing massive sums into building their own. But Rivian got there first, before even Tesla's Cybertruck . And they did so with panache , creating a rig with four electric motors (versus the average AWD EV's two) making a combined 838 horsepower and 908 lb-ft of torque, as well as an active hydraulic damper system much like the one found in high-end McLaren supercars that helps it handle better than a pickup has a right to. Impressive as the R1T is on-road, it's even more astonishing beyond the pavement. With up to 15 inches of ground clearance and the ability to individually spoon-feed power to the wheels, it not only goes practically anywhere a truck could conceivably go, it makes it look easy. There's no messing with low range or disconnecting sway bars or anything like that; simply point the Rivian where you want to go and squeeze the accelerator, and it'll go. And thanks to its electric powertrain, there's no idle clatter or rev roar to shatter the illusion of being one with nature. It's a feeling unlike anything you've experienced before \u2014 because the R1T is the sort of vehicle you've never driven before. Mercedes-Benz EQS Horsepower: 329-518 Range: 340-350 miles Inches of Screen in the Dash: 56 Price: $103,360+ LEARN MORE Mercedes-Benz isn't in the business of doing things half-assed \u2014 there's a reason their tagline is " the best or nothing ." So it should come as no surprise that their first electric car meant for mass consumption in America, the EQS, is every bit equal in luxury and performance to the S-Class sedan that's long defined the brand \u2014 just powered by electrons instead of gasoline. Sure, the design may be a bit unconventional, but that Jelly-Belly shape means it delivers an industry-leading 0.20 coefficient of drag, helping it to deliver exception range. It also makes it quiet \u2014 and electric power doubles down on that, helping those aboard to better appreciate the sybaritic interior that's more than worthy of the price. Any Mercedes flagship worth its salt needs some pep in its step, too. While the entry-level EQS 450's single motor can fling it from 0 to 60 mph in under six seconds, power fiends will likely want the dual-motor EQS 580 4Matic, which packs an extra motor and double the driven wheels to shave nearly two seconds off that. (Or, of course, they could wait for the 751-hp AMG version coming next year.) As the tip of the spear for Mercedes-Benz's electric vehicle onslaught \u2014 the company is planning to drop half a dozen EVs on us in the next couple years \u2014 the EQS needed to land quite the blow on the luxury car marketplace. Luckily for them (and us, and the planet), it's done just that. Ford Bronco Ground Clearance: Up to 11.6 in G.O.A.T. Modes: 7 Max Tires: 35 in Price: $28,500 LEARN MORE Ford set a witheringly high bar for the Bronco. Years of protracted teasing and leaks built excitement into a frenzy. The SUV launched with a tsunami of Build Wild sub-branding. It directly challenged the Jeep Wrangler , one of the most beloved, iconic and capable vehicles that America builds. The new Bronco cleared that bar and then some. It\u2019s not just a legitimate competitor for the Wrangler. It may \u2014 dare we write it \u2014 be the better off-roader for most people. Even the hardiest off-road vehicle spends much of its time on-road. And the Bronco blows away the Wrangler on the pavement with its independent front suspension. It still delivers the truck-like feel buyers of those cars love, but it comes with none of the drawbacks (fuel economy excepted). The Bronco takes hard corners flatly and with none of the course corrections endemic to Wrangler driving. Off-Road, the Bronco matches the Wrangler \u2014 or comes so close only the gnarliest folks in Moab would be able to tell the differences. The Sasquatch package gets you massive 35-inch tires and Bilstein monotube shocks from the factory. The Bronco not only \u201cGoes Over Any Terrain,\u201d but it does so intuitively and with minimal effort or clenching for the novice off-roader. And if you do bash a bumper or a fender, Ford offers a suite of modular replacements that even a non-wrencher can install with standard tools. Should you run out and buy a Bronco right now? Well \u2014 to use a cringe-worthy Ford pun \u2014 hold your horses. Ford has confirmed it's dropping a desert-running Bronco Raptor next summer . And a Wrangler 4xe-fighting hybrid has also been hinted at . Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing Horsepower: 668 Torque: 659 lb-ft 0-60 mph: 3.4 sec Price: $83,995 LEARN MORE Cadillac is going electric in a few years . But the brand took one last stab at building the ultimate combustion performance sedan with the CT5-V Blackwing . It\u2019s rear-wheel-drive. It packs a gobsmacking 668 horsepower from its supercharged 6.2-liter V8. And it lets you wield that grunt with a six-speed manual transmission. That power sounds brutal and maniacal \u2014 and it is. But the horsepower number belies an incredibly sophisticated piece of machinery that's agile in the corners with sublime chassis and suspension tuning and offers five track modes . When you\u2019re not letting it rip, the CT5-V Blackwing retreats to being a tame, comfortable Cadillac sedan you can daily drive. Oh, and did we mention it starts for less than $85,000? Jeep Wagoneer / Grand Wagoneer Horsepower: 392 (Wagoneer); 471 (Grand Wagoneer) Torque: 404 lb-ft (Wagoneer); 455 (Grand Wagoneer) Number of McIntosh Stereo Systems Available: 2 Price: $71,440+ (Wagoneer); $90,440 (Grand Wagoneer) LEARN MORE The last time Jeep produced a full-size SUV, Nirvana's "Nevermind" was still months from completion, Bill Clinton had yet to announce a run for the presidency and the U.S.S.R was still technically a thing. In the 30 years since, the iconic off-road brand has kept busy \u2014 selling Grand Cherokees and Wranglers en masse and becoming more popular than ever. All the while, however, its crosstown competitors were churning out super-sized, super-profitable SUVs, from Expeditions and Tahoes to Escalades and Navigators. Well, just as the trends of the Nineties have come back around, so has Jeep's full-sized sport-ute. But the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer of 2021 are a far, far cry from some copy-cat version of their forebears; they're all-new, cleverly designed beasts of burden made for modern audiences. The Wagoneer packs up to 75 inches of combined screens, from instrument panel to rear-seat entertainment to a passenger's-side dashboard touchscreen. Its boxy proportions create outstanding room, with enough space for adults in all three rows. And the top-tier Grand Wagoneer's interior is as luxurious as any vehicle at its price \u2014 foreign or domestic. Sure, the fuel economy may be a bit of a throwback, and the idea of spending more than $100,000 on a Jeep may be off-putting to some. (Which may be why Jeep chose to leave its own name almost entirely off the vehicle, branding them just as "Wagoneer" and "Grand Wagoneer.") But there's no arguing that, with these behemoths, Jeep has thrown itself into contention with the best that Detroit has to offer in the giant SUV arena. Harley-Davidson Pan America Horsepower: 150 Torque: 94 lb-ft Gears: Six Price: $17,319+ LEARN MORE The name "Harley-Davidson" probably doesn't conjure up images of tearing up off-road trails and bombing down dirt roads, but that's exactly the sort of practice the new Pan America excels at. It's Harley's first adventure bike, but considering how good it is, you'd think they've been building them for a century. The new Revolution Max powertrain delivers smooth, seamless power; there are numerous ways to adjust the bike ( including pre-programmed ride modes to help you attack different types of terrain more effectively); and it packs safety features like enhanced traction control and hill holder to make it easier to handle. It's an ADV sure to win over plenty of buyers who never would have considered a Harley before...and probably make some Harley loyalists consider their first ADV, too. Honda Civic Horsepower: 180 Torque: 177 lb-ft EPA Fuel Economy: Up to 36 mpg combined Price: $21,900 LEARN MORE Reinventing an icon can be daunting, which is especially true for the Honda Civic. Honda has been building the compact Civic for 50 years \u2014 in fact, it's one of the best-selling cars of all time . And it has attained that status by persistently performing a feat other manufacturers find impossible: namely, building a car that\u2019s affordable, bullet-proof and, unlike the rival Toyota Corolla, seriously fun to drive. In fact, the all-new 2022 model may be the best iteration of the Civic yet. For one thing, it looks dramatically more upscale, whereas the last generation\u2019s exterior was a bit tortured and complicated. Honda stretched the car out with more space between the A-pillar and front wheel well, and they also simplified the exterior lines and leveled the front door handles. On the inside, the brand created one of the most high-design interiors on the market \u2014 at a price point where you\u2019d expect an assault of airline-grade plastic. A honeycomb mesh accent spans the length of the dashboard, masking vents and speakers for an exceptionally clean look. On the higher trims, the high-touch surfaces receive smudge and scratch-resistant coatings. It also offers a surprising amount of space, even with two kids and car seats. Honda kept the same engines, but they poured development into the handling and tuning to deliver pleasantly hefty steering and a sportier and more composed ride. They didn\u2019t boldly add a hybrid or an all-wheel drive option, and because they didn\u2019t, the car is still legitimately affordable \u2014 the top-tier Touring trim starts below $30,000 after destination. And if you\u2019re into driving manual, three versions of the 11th generation Civic will offer one . Toyota Tundra Horsepower: 439 Torque: 583 lb-ft New Touchscreen Display: 14 in Price: $37,645 LEARN MORE The second-generation Toyota Tundra had grown ancient and \u2014 compared to its Big Three competition \u2014 almost laughably outdated. But Toyota finally gave its full-size truck the complete overhaul it deserved for 2022 , and it\u2019s a revolutionary upgrade. Toyota ditched the hoary, inefficient 5.7-liter V8 for two twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6 versions. The base engine, used in the new Toyota Land Cruiser , delivers more power and torque than the V8 with better efficiency. The high-performance iForce-Max engine is a hybrid that puts out a mammoth 583 lb-ft of torque at just 2,400 RPM. Throw in ride quality improvements from a stiffer frame and a cushy new coil-sprung suspension and you get a bonafide challenger for the Ford F-150 and Ram 1500 . Black Series HQ19 Weight: 6,122 pounds Length: 26.24 feet Sleeps: 2\u20134 Price: $84,995+ LEARN MORE Down Under, off-road camping trailers are big business. Australian brand Black Series's flagship trailer, the HQ19, certainly looks badass enough to conquer the Outback on the outside, what with its terrain-conquering suspension, grippy off-road tires and diamond-plate armor. Inside, however, it's more luxury apartment than roaming base camp; amenities include leather and wood trim, a full bathroom with separate shower and toilet, a queen-sized bed and a full kitchen. Consider it a way to bring the comforts of home to the most remote places on Earth. Ford Maverick Bed Length: 54.4 in Towing: Up to 4,000 lbs EPA City Fuel Economy: Up to 42 mpg Price: $19,995 LEARN MORE Ford jettisoned its non-Mustang car lineup in America for more profitable trucks and SUVs. But kicking cars like the Fiesta, Focus and Fusion to the curb did not mean Ford abandoned the affordable car segment. Instead, Ford is redefining that segment with the new Maverick compact pickup , an idea that would have been an oxymoron a few years ago. Ford doesn\u2019t bestow its \u201cBuilt Ford Tough\u201d branding on just any vehicle. The Maverick is a truck. It has a bed. It has an Fx4 off-roading package. And it can haul and tow a fair amount. But the Maverick\u2019s underpinnings are all crossover, using the same platform as the Escape and Bronco Sport . So it\u2019s much lighter than other trucks on the road and delivers crossover-like driving dynamics. That sounds like the best of both worlds, but it gets even better. The Maverick\u2019s base engine is a 2.5-liter hybrid, which the EPA rates for up to 42 mpg city , which feels conservative based on our testing. Equipped with that base engine, the Maverick starts under $20,000 (a little above $21,000 with the destination fee), making it the cheapest hybrid on sale in America. And unlike notable past attempts at compact, car-based pickups, it\u2019s defiantly not weird. Add in some cool DIY storage solutions, and you get the fun, practical, affordable and handsome truck pretty much anyone can find a use for. If Ford let you fit the hybrid Maverick with all-wheel drive, we would already have reserved one.