If testing a car’s USB ports seems like a weird idea, there are a few things you don’t know. First, the power level of such ports varies widely between cars, and it often varies between different ports within the same vehicle, as well. Second, we tend to dive deeply into many aspects of our top Best Of award winner, and the all-new Hyundai Palisade, our Best of 2020 vehicle, has an impressive seven USB ports serving all three rows of seats. Finally, I’ve personally been obsessed with the subject of USB power for almost a decade since I navigated from Illinois to Wisconsin’s Road America racetrack in a Hyundai Elantra Touring using Google Maps on my phone, only to arrive with its battery charge lower than when I departed even though it was plugged into the USB port.
As you’ll see below, the difference in charging times between sources in a vehicle can be counted in hours.