First Drives

2018 Honda Accord first drive: equal and opposite reaction
2018 Honda Accord first drive: equal and opposite reaction

The way engineers talk, the 2018 Honda Accord evolved from inattention. A decade ago when money for research was expensive and hard to find, Honda skated on its reputation. Call it a byproduct of conservatism, not laziness. Cars like the Civic and Accord didn’t thrive—just survived...Read More»

2018 Lexus LS 500 AWD
2018 Lexus LS 500 first drive: an ambitious remake

Cars get heart transplants all the time, but whole brands? It doesn't happen very often. When Lexus launched with its LS sedan in the 1990 model year, its success hinged on the flawless replication of the Mercedes model. That first sedan was an homage to Benz titans like the W123, and it was a...Read More»

2018 Volvo XC60 T8
2018 Volvo XC60 T8 first drive review: The accidental performance crossover

With 400 horsepower on tap, you’d think that the 2018 Volvo XC60 T8 Plug-In Hybrid would be the right choice for carving your way through a winding canyon road. The ingredients are mostly there: a lot of power, a balanced chassis, grippy all-wheel drive, and nicely weighted steering...Read More»

2017 Fiat 500X Trekking
2017 Fiat 500X Trekking first drive: an underrated, if overpriced, crossover

You can be forgiven for not remembering the Fiat 500X. Underneath its cheeky body, the 500X is basically the same thing as the Jeep Renegade. Both share the same engines and transmissions, and their structure is largely identical. Through the first six months of this year, 53,000 Renegades have...Read More»

2018 Subaru Crosstrek first drive
2018 Subaru Crosstrek first drive: memories are made of these

You can remember your first car. I bet you don’t have to think hard. I’ll make another safe bet that the name of that car is clearer in your head than the name of your best friend from the same time. Like friends, memories, and first cars, we forget the flaws of things we love. Or, more...Read More»

2018 Hyundai Sonata Limited
2018 Hyundai Sonata first drive: Finally looking the part

Beauty is no longer merely skin deep when it comes to the 2018 Hyundai Sonata. Last year's dowdy model has given way to a more evocative, interesting design for 2018. It's a study in restraint—both fiscal and stylistic. The 2018 Sonata's basic design dates back only a few years, to 2015. That...Read More»

2018 Hyundai Elantra GT Sport
2018 Hyundai Elantra GT Sport first drive: chasing the VW GTI

As the more dapper and international of the automaker's two compact cars, the 2018 Hyundai Elantra GT speaks many languages. It wears a crisply tailored European suit not unlike the car that's in its sights: the Volkswagen GTI It mostly succeeds in imitating, but not besting, that German stalwart...Read More»

2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio
2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio first drive

Alfa Romeo may be on the comeback trail, but so far it’s been missing part of the map. Alfa relaunched here in 2015 with the fantastic 4C sports car. Next came the Giulia sports sedan. See what’s missing? If you said crossover SUV, give yourself a gold star and stop emailing them. The...Read More»

2018 Volkswagen Tiguan
2018 Volkswagen Tiguan first drive: close to closure

We’ve paid our respects to “sport” leaving “sport utility vehicle,” but we haven’t yet found closure. We held on to the last vestiges of SUVs to the bitter end. Probably too long. We started calling them “crossovers” so we wouldn’t be reminded...Read More»

2018 Toyota Camry LE Hybrid
2018 Toyota Camry and Camry Hybrid first drive

Over the course of a long day last month, we drove five separate versions of the all-new 2018 Toyota Camry mid-size sedan. Until recently, it had been Toyota's best-selling vehicle in the U.S. for 15 years—but now it's been overtaken by the RAV4 compact crossover utility vehicle. That points...Read More»

2018 Hyundai Kona
2018 Hyundai Kona: a four-minute first drive

The cars are running, the clock’s ticking when I slide sideways in the seat. Mirrors? Check. Youthful attitude? Check. Jet lag? On hold. Test drives in the 2018 Hyundai Kona leave every 30 seconds, and I’ll have four minutes to come up with something to tell you about the Kona...Read More»

2018 Chevrolet Equinox 2.0T, first drive
2018 Chevrolet Equinox 2.0T first drive: More power, more gears

Like playing blackjack at a casino, redesigning a mid-size crossover SUV is a huge gamble for an automaker. Mess it up, and you lose big time. Get it right and you may clean out the house and dominate the competition. It’s Chevrolet’s turn to take the gamble with its redesigned 2018...Read More»

2018 Honda Accord sedan prototype, Honda Tochigi R&D Center, Japan, June 2017
2018 Honda Accord prototype first drive: V-6 deep-sixed, and better

The 2018 Honda Accord will be an all-new version of the popular mid-size sedan last redesigned for the 2013 model year. The 10th-generation Accord will ride on new underpinnings, and use a pair of revised 4-cylinder engines, eliminating the previous V-6 that's been the top engine option for many...Read More»

2018 Volvo XC60 first drive, Barcelona
2018 Volvo XC60 T6 AWD first drive: a timely reboot

When are car companies most like computers? Forget about the future of self-driving cars, or Wall Street’s drive to turn Detroit into Silicon Valley, and vice versa. Car companies act like Apples when they need a reboot. That’s where Volvo found itself just a few years ago, with an...Read More»

2017 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring
2017 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring first drive

At last count, there are roughly 75 billion different compact crossovers on the market vying to become your next family car. Well, maybe that's an overstatement. But in this crowded corner of the automotive world, each crossover needs to do at least something better than its rivals. Enter the 2017...Read More»

2018 Volkswagen Tiguan
Front-line four: Driving the 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan's next 4-cylinder engine

A new Volkswagen Tiguan is coming, and with it, a new generation for the German brand's lauded line of 2.0-liter, turbocharged 4-cylinder engines. Still part of what VW calls the EA888 family, the new Gen 3B will eventually arrive in the Passat and Beetle, although that's only what VW is confirming...Read More»

2018 Audi Q7
2018 Audi Q7 Premium Plus First Drive Review

Admit it: the 2018 Audi Q7 is an ultra-luxurious minivan for those who cringe at the thought of sliding doors. That’s not damning Audi’s 7-passenger hauler in the least. Instead, it’s a huge compliment in that it does exactly what minivans do—only with more pampering...Read More»

2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 First Drive
2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 first drive video

The pickup arms race has given us a 450-horsepower full-size truck already this year. Now, the war is spreading to the small artillery division, and Chevy is bringing heavy metal to bring to the fight. Who wants to get some? The differences between the ZR2 and a standard Colorado are clear. Beyond...Read More»

2018 Honda Odyssey Elite
2018 Honda Odyssey first drive video

Minivans have two critical missions. Sure, they're supposed to keep passengers entertained on the road. But their most important jobs are carrying the whole family, and doing it safely. For 2018, Honda is aiming to not only improve the way its Odyssey minivan handles those mission-critical tasks...Read More»

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