First Drives

2017 Kia Sportage first drive
2017 Kia Sportage first drive

Kia made some great choices for its completely redesigned 2017 Sportage—choices that make it a better-driving, more comfortable vehicle than some of its key rivals. One of those key rivals is the Sportage’s corporate cousin, the Hyundai Tucson. Although the Sportage remains closely...Read More»

2017 Cadillac XT5  -  First Drive
2017 Cadillac XT5 first drive

Why again is Cadillac walking away from its best-selling nameplate, the SRX? We’ll leave that one hanging; but much of what Cadillac’s doing at the moment is very big-picture—and the new XT5 nameplate fits into that picture, as part of a lineup of several “XT”...Read More»

2016 MINI Cooper S Convertible
2016 Mini Cooper S Convertible first drive

Gimmickry and retro design cues have always been part of the beguiling formula for Mini—especially ever since the brand was resurrected by BMW earlier last decade, and up to present day and the 2016 Mini Cooper S Convertible we drove around Los Angeles earlier this month. It’s just that...Read More»

2016 Honda Civic Coupe
2016 Honda Civic Coupe: First Drive

Once upon a time, the Honda Civic was a go-to recommendation for buyers shopping for a compact car. It was rarely the cheapest option, but a Civic offered good quality, economical operation, and a greater degree of sportiness than many rivals. In recent years, however—and particularly with a...Read More»

2018 Volkswagen Tiguan (Euro-spec)  -  Preview Drive, January 2016
2018 Volkswagen Tiguan: Preview Drive

The 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan is nearly 18 months away from its on-sale date in the U.S. Yet up north near the Arctic Circle, in Arvidsjaur, Sweden, this past week, we got just enough of a tease to know that this one’s going to be different. In addition to becoming, for the U.S. market, an...Read More»

2017 Hyundai Elantra
2017 Hyundai Elantra Limited First Drive Video

The Hyundai Elantra has been a big success story for the South Korean automaker. A decade ago, it wasn't even mentioned in the same breath as Civic and Corolla. Today, it's one of the highest-rated small sedans at The Car Connection, in league with the brilliant new Honda Civic, the Ford Focus, the...Read More»

2017 Smart Fortwo Cabriolet  -  First Drive, January 2016
2017 Smart Fortwo Cabriolet: First Drive

Great genre-bending cars are often the result of a leader with passion, to see it through—from conception to reality. Smart Automobile CEO Dr. Annette Winkler is the quintessence of that; the first ground-up redesign of the distinctive Fortwo lineup—including the new 2017 Smart Fortwo...Read More»

2016 Buick Cascada
2016 Buick Cascada First Drive Video

​ It’s been 25 years since Buick last had a convertible in its lineup. You’ve probably forgotten the Reatta, right? It's okay. The Reatta was a set-up, anyway. It was supposed to be Buick's halo car--in-dash CRTs and "Reatta Craft Centre" assembly line and all. Chalk all that up to...Read More»

2016 Toyota Prius Two Eco
2016 Toyota Prius First Drive: Video

It's now in its fourth generation, and the Toyota Prius continues to be the world's definitive hybrid-electric vehicle. This latest 2016 Prius gets slightly better gas mileage than before--52 miles per gallon for the base model--to keep its crown as the most fuel-efficient vehicle without a plug...Read More»

2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class (Euro-spec)
2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300: Quick Drive

The kids use the phrase “on fleek” to describe something that’s on trend, and almost nothing fits its definition as well as the 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC300. Any way you describe it—compact, luxury, crossover—this redesigned SUV is firing on all trendiness cylinders...Read More»

2016 Chevrolet Colorado Diesel  -  First Drive
2016 Chevrolet Colorado Diesel: First Drive

If you’re one of those guys who’s a little turned off by ever more cumbersome, oversized full-size trucks, the 2016 Chevrolet Colorado Diesel, at least at first glance, looks like the sensible truck that puts a stop to the insanity. It’s easy to see why for some people...Read More»

2016 Kia Optima
2016 Kia Optima First Drive

The 2016 Kia Optima has a tough act to follow. Forget the two generations of the Optima that preceded the outgoing model; it was the 2011 Optima that was Kia’s big break in the U.S.—the model with which the brand really blew past an era of forgettable, derivative mainstream attempts and...Read More»

2016 Honda Civic Sedan (Touring)
2016 Honda Civic First Drive

The tenth-generation Honda Civic drops almost all the economy-car pretense; in Touring trim, it could wear the same "premium" label that Acura's ILX does. Honda's first turbocharged engine appears in EX-T, EX-L, and Touring models Advanced safety technology is available on every trim level Prices...Read More»

2016 Toyota Tacoma  -  First Drive, August 2016
2016 Toyota Tacoma: First Drive

Let’s get this out of the way: With the Tacoma, Toyota has the best-selling truck in this segment, and one of the models that retains the best resale value in the entire U.S. market. Its owners are fiercely loyal, and cheerleaders for the brand’s trucks. They’re also the...Read More»

2016 Toyota Mirai  -  Quick Drive  -  Portland, July 2015  [photo: Doug Berger]
2016 Toyota Mirai Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Car: Quick Drive

While auto-industry insiders, analysts, and tech-savvy early adopters are split on whether a hydrogen infrastructure is viable in the near future, several automakers are pushing forward with product—and hoping that infrastructure (and more product) will follow. At present, those automakers...Read More»

2016 Mitsubishi Outlander  -  First Drive
2016 Mitsubishi Outlander: First Drive

Starting out in the passenger seat is one of the better ways to acquaint oneself with the 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander. Car critics tend to fixate on what's new and fast and thrilling from the driver's seat, and here, it pays to 'recalibrate' first—by taking stock of the ride, the ambiance, the...Read More»

2016 Nissan Maxima
2016 Nissan Maxima SR First Drive Video

The Nissan Maxima was cocky and cool when it was young—they even called it the four-door sports car. But for the past decade, the Maxima’s been in limbo. Is it a sport sedan with Infiniti influences, or an Altima with attitude? The picture gets a little clearer this year, as the 2016...Read More»

2016 Honda Pilot
2016 Honda Pilot First Drive Video

We’ve been fans of the Honda Pilot since it was brand-new, back in 2003. The first one was a big hit—but the next one had a rugged SUV look that was out of step with its on-road talents. There’s a new Pilot for 2016, and it’s making a big U-turn. But is it big enough to pass...Read More»

2016 Honda HR-V
2016 Honda HR-V First Drive Video

Call it a pint-sized invasion—a slew of small SUVs is hitting the streets. We’ve driven the Jeep Renegade and Chevy Trax, and soon we’ll see the Mazda CX-3 and Fiat 500X. But maybe the most anticipated small SUV is this one--the 2016 Honda HR-V. MORE: Read Our Full 2016 Honda HR-V...Read More»

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