First Drives

2019 Nissan Maxima first drive review: Sports sedan subtly reworked
2019 Nissan Maxima first drive review: Sports sedan subtly reworked

Depending on who you ask, 2019 is either the worst time to offer a four-door-sedan—or the best. In a stroke of good timing on Nissan’s part, both of its mid-size sedans are new for 2019. The 2019 Altima arrived earlier this year, and now its bigger brother, the 2019 Nissan Maxima, is...Read More»

2020 Hyundai Palisade first drive
2020 Hyundai Palisade first drive review: Enter Sandman

Sleep is underrated. Underrated like Vermont as a state, pepper as a spice, or veggie as a pizza. Many of us sleep on, well, sleep. Any parent, new or old, will tell you that bed time is a sacrosanct ritual, Holy Communion with Oreos and milk. If I’m saying the 2020 Hyundai Palisade makes me...Read More»

2019 Ford Ranger
2019 Ford Ranger first drive review: The global pickup truck goes American

The 2019 Ford Ranger looks all-American, but it waves more flags than just the stars and stripes. Its chunky looks blend Detroit swagger with southeast Asian swoopiness because it was initially designed for places like Thailand where workhorse trucks sized like the Ranger make sense. Underhood, the...Read More»

2019 Nissan Murano
2019 Nissan Murano first drive review: Steady as she goes

Way back in 2003, Nissan brought out the first Murano, a nimble car-based crossover that banked on style as much as it did substance. It was different from most SUVs because it was car-based and avoided the trucklike ride of its body-on-frame competitors while still retaining a commanding view from...Read More»

2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 2.7 first drive review: Daring to be different

Paradigm shifts tend to be either brilliant or disasters. Chevy's made just such a gamble with its full-size pickup line with a new turbo-4 engine for its Chevrolet Silverado truck. The new engine takes over in LT and RST trims where a 4.3-liter V-6 once lived, and it makes the 2019 Silverado the...Read More»

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class
2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE first drive review: Bellwether luxury crossover SUV

The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class that I rushed through a washed-out road on a steamy October afternoon didn’t seem to mind that when it rains in Central Texas, it pours. For Mercedes-Benz, the GLE has become a beacon of stability. It’s a middle child in a lineup of crossover SUVs...Read More»

2019 Toyota RAV4
2019 Toyota RAV4 first drive review: Reaching new heights

Traffic on California’s winding, tourist-riddled Highway 1 creeps along on a Tuesday morning in November. I’m in a 2019 Toyota RAV4 and I’m stuck behind a wandering Mustang with Nevada plates, almost certainly a rental, and I watch in vain as its occupants snap photos of the...Read More»

2019 Subaru Forester Sport
2019 Subaru Forester Sport review update: Crossover plays the name game

The 2019 Subaru Forester Sport is a new name but not a new concept. The last-generation Subaru Forester XT had more power than it needed from a raucous turbo-4 pulled from the WRX four-door sedan that made 250 horsepower and a wall of torque. In the Forester XT, it propelled the crossover to 60 mph...Read More»

2019 Volvo S60
2019 Volvo S60 first drive: Sublimely looking beyond SUVs

Volvo refuses to ignore sedans—and wagons. Even though about 80 percent of the vehicles that leave the automaker’s showrooms are high-riding crossover SUVs, it’s sedans—and wagons—that put Volvo on the map. The 2019 Volvo S60 and its V60 wagon sibling may not tip the...Read More»

2019 Nissan Altima
2019 Nissan Altima first drive review: The long game with a Hail Mary

The 2019 Nissan Altima is hardcore normcore. Judging by the way the automaker describes its new mid-size sedan, I’m not sure they mind the hashtag classification. If normcore sounds to you more like an arts and crafts mounting board, it’s fine—you haven’t missed much...Read More»

2019 BMW X5 (40i X line)
2019 BMW X5 first drive review: The generalist

The 2019 BMW X5 is no specialist. It can’t afford to laser-focus on doing one thing well, like BMW’s M2, which really only cares about getting your passengers to grip the oh-crap handle. Or the BMW i3, which really only cares about letting you know its coffee table reading consists...Read More»

2019 Subaru Forester
2019 Subaru Forester first drive review: Backwoods solitude

Deep in the Pisgah National Forest in North Carolina’s Appalachian Mountains, which covers more than half a million acres, American forestry was born over a century ago.
 Maintaining the dense old-growth forest takes patience and a close attention to detail. Disturbing its countless...Read More»

2019 Cadillac XT4
2019 Cadillac XT4 first drive review: Fashionably late, but a crossover to consider

Cadillac can’t turn back time to capitalize on shoppers who’ve left sedans for tall-riding crossover SUVs. It can’t take back the bad bet on a diesel powertrain in lieu of hybrid batteries. Perhaps it’ll rethink its plan to keep from the XT4 its SuperCruise driver-assist...Read More»

2019 Lexus UX (UX250h E-Four hybrid)
2019 Lexus UX first drive review: Small-minded, but not like that

When SUVs first bubbled up from the primordial ooze, size truly mattered. From Wagoneers to Land Cruisers to Suburbans, the most popular sport-utility vehicles dwarfed the passenger cars that shared the road. Eventually, they bullied many of them off the streets entirely. Now size is less a...Read More»

2019 Kia Forte
2019 Kia Forte first drive: Compact car blues wiped away

Even though they are divisions of the same company, the divide between Kia and Hyundai has never been wider than with the 2019 Kia Forte. Under its clean styling suite of standard active safety tech sits the automaker’s first continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). Don’t go...Read More»

2019 GMC Sierra
2019 GMC Sierra 1500 first drive review: A few steps forward, a few steps back

Big pickup trucks such as the 2019 GMC Sierra have been locked in an arms race for more than a decade. Payload, tow capacity, total output, even fuel economy, they’re all battles waged to win over millions of new pickup buyers each year. The undisputed champ of the class, the Ford F-150...Read More»

2019 Chevrolet Malibu
2019 Chevrolet Malibu first drive: Mid-size sedan let down by its details

With the 2019 Malibu, Chevy has dressed up its mid-size sedan to take on Accords, Camrys, Altimas, and every crossover SUV under the sun with an RS trim package. But what it now has in flash, it lacks in some substance. The new Malibu RS trim adds a gloss black grille up front surrounded by...Read More»

2019 Hyundai Santa Fe first drive
2019 Hyundai Santa Fe first drive: Name a better deal

That the 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe name now applies to a spacious, five-seat family crossover SUV is no surprise. For Hyundai, “Santa Fe” is kept for the people-pleasing tall wagon that’s less offensive than Thomas Kinkade. The automaker’s blitz of new SUVs to complement its...Read More»

2019 Ram 1500 Limited
2019 Ram 1500 eTorque first drive: The silent assassin of pickup trucks

The USS Seawolf attack submarine is said to be so quiet that the only way to discover it is to listen for the absence of sound. That’s a pretty tall order, and one we remembered while attempting to discern the activity of the mild hybrid electric assist motor in the 2019 Ram 1500 eTorque...Read More»

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