First Drives

2014 Nissan Versa Note: First Drive
2014 Nissan Versa Note: First Drive

The Nissan Versa sedan was new for 2012, but for all kinds of global-product reasons, the company carried over the previous-generation Versa Hatchback for a couple of years. At last, a new Versa hatchback is here, only its name has morphed into Versa Note. Will it eventually just become the Nissan...Read More»

2014 Subaru Forester XT convoy on tour in South Africa
Subaru Forester Vs Subaru XV Crosstrek: Which Crossover To Buy?

As we've noted before, many automotive journalists seem to own Subarus as their personal cars. We recently spent three days with a new 2014 Subaru Forester XT--the more powerful turbocharged model--driving South Africa's Garden Route along the country's south coast, from Plettenburg Bay to Cape...Read More»

2013 Ford C-Max Energi  -  Driven, June 2013
2013 Ford C-Max Energi: Driven

The 2013 Ford C-Max Energi is a plug-in hybrid. But if you keep your trip lengths relatively short, and get in the habit of plugging in at home and perhaps at work, it does a really good job pretending it's an all-electric car. Selecting the Energi's 'EV Now' mode, we managed to do a 20-mile...Read More»

2014 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel, test drive in Hell, Michigan
2014 Chevy Cruze Diesel: First Drive

It may not look any different on the outside, but the 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel is a pioneering vehicle: It's the first passenger car with a diesel engine sold by General Motors for 28 years. Now reaching Chevy dealers in initial launch areas--those where the Volkswagen Jetta TDI diesel already...Read More»

2014 GMC Sierra First Drive, Santa Barbara
2014 GMC Sierra: First Drive

Drift north out of the lights of Santa Barbara, and California gets dark quickly, as if it's trying to extinguish the whole idea of Lompoc. Somewhere in those 3G-free hinterlands, we're surrounded by scrubby wilderness, wrapped in the sound of crashing surf, drifting into a rugged sleep. Until we...Read More»

2014 Acura MDX  -  First Drive, May 2013
2014 Acura MDX: First Drive

We suspect we're not the only ones who think that the very premise behind some high-performance luxury utility vehicles borders on perverse. Who are they kidding? Unless you're seeking revenge, you're not going to load your clients (or your mother-in-law) into the back seat and head out on a...Read More»

2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZ
2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500: First Drive

Everything's bigger in Texas, and Texans love their trucks. As we got our first drive time in the new 2014 Chevy Silverado this week, in Hill Country near San Antonio, we couldn't ignore how those two ideas continue to help put wind in the sails of the U.S. truck market. Going over well in the Lone...Read More»

2014 Kia Cadenza  -  First Drive, April 2013
2014 Kia Cadenza: First Drive

How much of a luxury car's price is in the badge? It's a question we kept revisiting, repeatedly, during a couple of days with the all-new 2014 Kia Cadenza Because if you don't mind driving a car that tops $40k and has the Kia badge, the new Cadenza is a model that feels like a luxury car in almost...Read More»

2014 Jaguar F-Type first drive
2014 Jaguar F-Type First Drive: Video

After nearly 40 years of building sedans and grand tourers, Jaguar is finally back in the sports car business with the 2014 F-Type. So what's it like? That's exactly the question our sister site, Motor Authority, set out to answer last week in the hills surrounding Pamplona, Spain. Can the F-Type...Read More»

2014 Mitsubishi Outlander  -  First Drive, March 2013
2014 Mitsubishi Outlander: First Drive

Can Mitsubishi still prove itself relevant in the U.S.? With the quirky Endeavor long gone, the flamboyant Eclipse coupes and convertibles now discontinued, the last Galant mid-size sedans carrying clearance stickers—and no replacement on the horizon for the Evolution sport sedan—you...Read More»

2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo  -  Driven
2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo: Driven

Ever since our first drive of the standard Hyundai Veloster, we'd been pining for the Veloster Turbo. In fact, after hatching plans to make the Veloster one of our inaugural long-term test cars (there are plenty of Six Month Road Test Veloster exploits to catch up on), we kept second-guessing...Read More»

2013 Honda Civic EX-L
2013 Honda Civic EX: Driven

The Honda Civic was extensively refreshed for 2012, yet amongst most of us who keep tabs on new cars and how they drive, it was met with a collective “meh.” There wasn't anything overtly wrong or half-baked with the new and seemingly stark and more conservative Civic; it just didn't...Read More»

2014 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring 2.5  -  First Drive, February 2013
2014 Mazda CX-5: First Drive

Nearly a year ago, we took a first drive of the Mazda CX-5 and pronounced it the best-handling crossover yet. In the year since, with several new entries in the compact class, the CX-5's halo holds—even if you expand upward to luxury makes and outward to bigger, brute-force performance utes...Read More»

2014 Mazda 6  -  First Drive, February 2013
2014 Mazda 6: First Drive

Among affordable, even frugal, mid-size sedans, the all-new 2014 Mazda 6 is about the closest we’ve ever come to love at first sight. We thought the new 2013 Ford Fusion, this model year’s The Car Connection Best Car To Buy, was hot; but the Mazda6 doesn’t have an even vaguely...Read More»

2013 BMW X3 xDrive28i  -  Driven, January 2013
2013 BMW X3 xDrive28i: Driven

Last year, in several of BMW's mainstream models like the 3-Series and 5-Series, the German automaker did what might have a few years earlier been the unthinkable for the U.S. market: replaced its much-loved naturally aspirated in-line six with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Now for 2013 BMW...Read More»

2014 Subaru Forester
2014 Subaru Forester: First Drive

If the somewhat larger Forester that emerged for 2009 was Subaru's first grab at a wider group of American family shoppers, the latest all-new 2014 Forester is an official coming-out to the mainstream—and at last, a direct rival again to the likes of the RAV4 and CR-V, as well as the Ford...Read More»

2013 Toyota RAV4
2013 Toyota RAV4: First Drive and Video Road Test

It's been a rough year for fans of white bread. The last oven timer's gone off at Hostess. Justin Bieber's sprouted chin hair number two. Mitt Romney is just Mitt Romney, no President prefix. The Mayans may as well be right--could any river of lava be worse? All hope is not lost. For proof, here we...Read More»

2014 Subaru Forester Preview Drive  -  pre-production mule, Japan Proving Grounds
2014 Subaru Forester: Preview Drive

The Subaru Forester, at last, fits into the mainstream. And before you pass judgment, we think that’s a good thing. The Forester has a well-established reputation for being a good all-weather vehicle that’s rugged, responsive, and surprisingly versatile—albeit a little quirky and...Read More»

2013 Toyota Avalon
2013 Toyota Avalon: First Drive

Youthful readers: This is your father's Avalon. There's nothing shameful or denigrating about this declaration. If you're old enough to be shopping for an Avalon, you might recall that Olds once advertised its products as “not your father's Oldsmobile.” After going after the grandpas...Read More»

The Car Connection Daily Headlines
I agree to receive emails from the site. I can withdraw my consent at any time by unsubscribing.
Thank you! Please check your email for confirmation.