First Drives

First drive: 2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 proves just how fun nonsense can be
First drive: 2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 proves just how fun nonsense can be

When I was a kid on family road trips, and I wasn’t getting yelled at to stop playing with the damn door lock, I’d daydream of a vehicle that could handle all the terrain passing by my window. One that could trundle through dale and dell, shred the roadside cornfields, launch over hills...Read More»

2021 Volkswagen ID.4  -  First drive, Portland OR
First drive: 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 plays catchup to Ford Mustang Mach-E, Tesla Model Y

The 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 is a good car that needs a better interface and minor controls. It and the forthcoming dual-motor all-wheel-drive ID.4 need to work out the kinks before the arrival of other electric compact crossovers, such as the Nissan Ariya, Hyundai Ioniq 5, Kia EV6, and many more...Read More»

2022 Hyundai Tucson
First drive: 2022 Hyundai Tucson electrifies its looks and powertrain

Automakers, like humans, are creatures of habit. If we find something that works, we tend to stick with it until it doesn’t anymore. Hyundai has done exactly that with the redesigned 2022 Tucson. After the Elantra’s successful update in 2021 that garnered the compact sedan a TCC Best...Read More»

2022 Volkswagen Taos
First drive (again): The 2022 Volkswagen Taos shows off its handling, unwraps interior

Though the 2022 Volkswagen Taos is named after a town in New Mexico, I find myself in the middle of the desert outside of Phoenix at Volkswagen’s proving grounds. “Proving grounds” are the two words that excite me more than “free food,” but I’m not sure what it...Read More»

2021 Mazda CX-9
Review update: 2021 Mazda CX-9 outhustles the big boys

The 2021 Mazda CX-9 defies conventional judgement. Sure, it's a three-row, seven-seat crossover like a Honda Pilot or a Ford Explorer, but with its tailored outfit and its other luxury trappings, it doesn't have much time to worry about fitting kids in its skimpy third-row seat, and it doesn't...Read More»

2021 Lincoln Nautilus Black Label
Review update: 2021 Lincoln Nautilus crossover SUV comes around to luxury

The 2021 Lincoln Nautilus has finally come around. The refreshed interior finally shed the vestiges of its MKX skin with an interior befitting Lincoln’s upward class mobility. This poses a problem for me. My dad likes Lincolns. Even since the Town Cars of our youth, my brother and I have...Read More»

2020 Toyota Avalon TRD
Review update: 2021 Toyota Avalon TRD refills the fountain of youth

When we first drove it on the track, we wondered out loud whether a car like the 2021 Toyota Avalon really needed the TRD sport-sedan treatment. The Avalon's prime directive has always been to coddle its passengers in a cocoon of sound deadening and sensory deprivation, without costing them too...Read More»

2022 Mitsubishi Outlander
First drive: 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander SUV looks different, feels Roguish

The 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander arrives with a unique redesign that finds the compact crossover SUV sporting new styling on the surface, but a familiar platform underneath shared with the Nissan Rogue. This is the first Mitsubishi produced in conjunction with Nissan, and that closeness conveys a...Read More»

2021 Honda Ridgeline
First drive: 2021 Honda Ridgeline bridges crossover comfort with pickup truck capability

It feels like the Honda Ridgeline always has something to prove. The mid-size pickup truck rides on a unibody car platform that buffer trucks might shame as soft, even though that’s what makes it so good. I see you, Ridgeline, and I hear the imposter syndrome, but understand this: you are...Read More»

2021 Mazda 3 2.5 Turbo Hatchback
First drive: 2021 Mazda 3 2.5 Turbo Hatchback rekindles an old flame

A few days with the 2021 Mazda 3 2.5 Turbo hatchback reminded me of reuniting with an ex. The strong attachment I once felt for the hatch a few years ago was rekindled with a new shape, a more sophisticated interior, and a powerful new turbocharged engine. The thrills were there, and more exciting...Read More»

2021 Hyundai Elantra
First drive: 2021 Hyundai Elantra has a new wrapper, but old strengths still drive it forward

By Brian Wong The Hyundai Elantra compact sedan has traditionally stood out for its value and not much else. Previous generations of the car were among the most understated vehicles on the road, devoid of style or clear identifying details. I tried to picture an Elantra from before 2010 and I drew...Read More»

2022 Volkswagen Taos
First drive: 2022 Volkswagen Taos small SUV shows big promise

by Brian Wong Volkswagen has a big gap where a small SUV should go. Filling that gap will be two compact crossover SUVs in the 2022 Taos and the all-electric ID.4. The electric ID.4 goes on sale early next year and is nearly ready to go. The Taos (pronounced like “house”) has a much...Read More»

2021 Nissan Rogue
First drive: 2021 Nissan Rogue splits the difference

The 2021 Nissan Rogue headlines a major overhaul underway at Nissan. The compact crossover SUV is the first and arguably most important of six new or redesigned vehicles for 2021, ranging from the cutting edge Nissan Ariya electric SUV to the old-as-salt Nissan Frontier mid-size pickup truck. The...Read More»

2021 GMC Yukon and Hurricane Sally
First drive: The 2021 GMC Yukon weathers Hurricane Sally

When the test-car fleet crew drops the 2021 GMC Yukon to me on Tuesday, September 15, I’m still optimistic. “I think you made it just in time,” I joke. Sally is a tropical storm much further down the Gulf Coast at that point, but I’m aware of it. I track it on my phone all...Read More»

2021 Subaru Crosstrek Sport
First drive: 2021 Subaru Crosstrek Sport inspires rallycross dreams

On trips out to the country as a kid, I’d daydream about four-wheelers running over rutted muddy hills or spitting up chalk dust clouds on gravel roads. I was surprised to revisit that fantasy on Appalachian Ohio’s country roads in the 2021 Subaru Crosstrek Sport. Typically, the Subaru...Read More»

2020 Subaru Outback Onyx Edition XT
Review update: 2020 Subaru Outback Onyx Edition XT spares no expense

The redesigned 2020 Subaru Outback comes with a new Onyx Edition XT trim level to give shoppers even more confusion—I mean options. With seven trims now, and a host of standard safety equipment ranging from all-wheel drive to automatic emergency braking, the erstwhile wagon has grown into a...Read More»

2021 Chevrolet Tahoe
First drive: 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe High Country makes it big time

The 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe got big. Bigger. Swole. The Tahoe’s new for 2021, and it’s grown to gain some easy-to-see benefits: more third-row room, greater cargo volume, and enough space to handle all the generational family growing pains. But there are consequences to bigness, too, as...Read More»

2020 GMC Sierra 3500 Denali
First drive: 2020 GMC Sierra 3500 Denali eclipses its former self

Until the GMC Hummer EV makes its debut in the fall, the 2020 GMC Sierra Denali Heavy Duty pickup truck totes the truckmaker’s banner as a flagship. It’s suited to the task. Up to three tons of anything can be heaved into its boxy rear bed, or it can tow up to 15 tons—roughly...Read More»

2020 Lincoln Navigator
Review update: The 2020 Lincoln Navigator reserves its best for the highway

Since air travel ranks with drinking molten gold on my want-to-do list this year, I've piled on thousands more interstate miles than I'd planned in January. Some 1,200 of them happened this month in a 2020 Lincoln Navigator Reserve, which easily beat down the existential dread of I-85 with square...Read More»

The Car Connection Daily Headlines
I agree to receive emails from The Car Connection. I understand that I can unsubscribe at any time. Privacy Policy.
Thank you! Please check your email for confirmation.