First Drive

2016 Camaro first-drive – Look out, Mustang

2016 Camaro first-drive – Look out, Mustang

Don’t underestimate the 2016 Camaro, or indeed how important it is. The chunky Transformers styling may border on the caricature from some angles, but the Camaro is deadly serious when it comes to winning new converts to GM: a full 63-percent of the outgoing model were General Motors virgins. So, when Chevrolet asked if I wanted to take the current engineering prototype out on the track, it seemed rude to say no.

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2016 Honda HR-V first-drive – The crossover that would be king

2016 Honda HR-V first-drive – The crossover that would be king

Small cars are big money to Honda, and none might demonstrate that so well as the new 2016 Honda HR-V. Launching the brand right into the midst of the flourishing subcompact crossover segment, Honda isn’t playing it safe with its ambitions, targeting 70,000 sales in the first year. With prices kicking off at under $20k, there’s a tricky balancing act involved to achieve the winning mix of styling, performance, equipment, and safety, however. More importantly, does the HR-V do enough to differentiate itself from its own more affordable Fit stablemate, or are you simply paying for a loftier seat?

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2016 Cadillac ATS-V First-Drive – BMW baiting

2016 Cadillac ATS-V First-Drive – BMW baiting

The 2016 Cadillac ATS-V is not your grandpa’s Caddy. Neither is it the BMW M3 or M4, despite the team responsible for the sedan and coupe duo admitting that the Bavarians were the primary target. V-Series has been Cadillac’s sledgehammer retort to German Autobahn-bruisers since 2004, and the ATS-V is the third generation of car to wear the badge. It’s straightforward in principle: take an existing Caddy, put it on a diet, slam a beefy engine under the hood, and market it as American power. Now, for the first time, the V-Series line is splitting, and it’s doing so in a mighty interesting way.

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2015 Alfa Romeo 4C Review

2015 Alfa Romeo 4C Review

The Alfa Romeo 4C is spectacular, an exotic “baby Ferrari” that has taken me from point A to point B with more than the normal diversions in-between, and with a permanent grin from ear to ear. First astonishing US drivers in rarefied (and, at nearly $70k, more expensive) Launch Edition form, but finally available with a base price starting at $53,900, it's Alfa’s triumphant - and niche - return stateside. Achingly pretty but as demanding as a thoroughbred, only 1,200 Alfa 4C's will be imported from Maserati’s Modena plant. Should one be on your driveway?

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2016 Fiat 500X first-drive – America’s grown-up Italian

2016 Fiat 500X first-drive – America’s grown-up Italian

If the Fiat 500 is an icon reborn, then why wouldn’t people want even more of an icon on their driveway? That’s the question the 2016 Fiat 500X arrives to address, slotting with Italian panache into the fashionable urban crossover segment. As the little-loved 500L demonstrated, however, there’s more to taking a popular city car and breaking it free of its urban runabout roots than simply enlarging it, but Fiat believes it has some secret weapons there, too.

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Aston Martin on ICE: James Bond for a Day with American Express by Invitation Only

Aston Martin on ICE: James Bond for a Day with American Express by Invitation Only

Traveling can be hard enough without having to worry about booking flights, hotels and planning out what or where to eat. If you’re the type that’s used to the high life or simply prefer to have someone else do the heavy lifting when it comes to making travel plans, then the American Express Platinum card is worth considering. More than just a credit card, I’ve been finding that the services and benefits included when you have it in your wallet are worth their weight in platinum.

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2016 Acura ILX first-drive – Luxury chasing loyalty

2016 Acura ILX first-drive – Luxury chasing loyalty

There’s an odd dance to be followed when, as Acura is with the 2016 ILX, you’re launching a revamped version of an existing car. On the one hand, you want to highlight just how improved it is over its predecessor; on the other, you can’t be too critical, because then drivers start asking why you were so enthusiastic - and are now so cruelly honest - about the older car. For the 2016 ILX, Acura is more blunt than many: the old model was designed before the host of “entry premium sedans” hit forecourts, with Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Lexus, and others changing the game in the process. For the MY2016, then, the focus is more rewarding driving, more luxury, and a generous injection of tech borrowed from Acura’s TLX.

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Driving Toyota i-ROAD: Crazy tilt meets genius strategy

Driving Toyota i-ROAD: Crazy tilt meets genius strategy

Who says electric cars have to be boring? Toyota's Prius may be poster child for the eco-pious, but its i-ROAD tilting trike shows there's still potential for madness in the EV. SlashGear is no stranger to the i-ROAD, and in fact we've driven earlier prototypes over in Japan before now. They're less commonly found in the US, however, but Makoto Morita, Grand Master of the Product Planning Division and lead of the i-ROAD project brought a handful with him to test the waters among potential American drivers.

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Volvo V60 Cross Country first-drive – Because wagons are sexy

Volvo V60 Cross Country first-drive – Because wagons are sexy

“Wagons are sexy,” I insisted when I told people I was going to drive the new Volvo V60 Cross Country. Not everyone was convinced. While in my native Europe there’s a long-standing affinity for the wagon - or, as I grew up saying, an “estate” - the wood panel hangover has been tougher to overcome in the US and, like diesel engines, its taken some clever branding to even get a foot in the door. The V60 Cross Country, then, picks up a nameplate that has served Volvo well for two decades, lifting the regular V60 and positioning itself as the de-facto “urban active” option for those not quite convinced with crossovers.

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2016 Audi S6 and A6 first-drive – Autobahn blitz

2016 Audi S6 and A6 first-drive – Autobahn blitz

There are some interesting options when you're in the market for a big sedan from the mid-$40s upwards, but the 2016 Audi A6 and S6 are hoping to make their case that they're all the car you need. Overshadowed in recent years by the stunning A7/S7, Audi's handsome sedan is making a renewed play for 2015 with updates across the styling, engines, transmissions, and the accommodations inside. I headed to the autobahns of Dresden, Germany, to see how the A6 and S6 hold up.

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