First Drive

2015 Ford Mustang First Drive: Pony Car rebooted

2015 Ford Mustang First Drive: Pony Car rebooted

Being an uncontested icon in the automotive world is a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, there’s the cachet and instant attention that comes with legendary status. The flip-side, as Ford has discovered with the brand new 2015 Ford Mustang, is that it’s incredibly tough - if not impossible - to please every fan, every time. Hell hath no fury like a Mustang enthusiast scorned, so has Ford done enough to escape that wrath?

Continue Reading

2015 Kia Soul EV First-Drive: A new city-car star

2015 Kia Soul EV First-Drive: A new city-car star

Kia’s 2015 Soul EV may look cute, but the company isn’t playing around when it comes to its first all-electric car for the US market. Based on the hit Soul city car, but dumping the gas engines for a torquey electric powertrain, the Soul EV may be following the Leaf, 500e, and Focus EV to market, but its clearly used that extra time to learn from what they got right - and how to avoid their mistakes.

Continue Reading

2015 Audi S3 Sedan First-Drive

2015 Audi S3 Sedan First-Drive

You can’t accuse Audi of playing it low-key with the A3 series. From the core sedan, fundamentally designed to tickle American tastes, comes a car family that spans electric-gasoline hybrids through to this, the performance S3 Sedan. Hottest of the range, and certainly the most striking in appearance, the S3 pairs Audi’s legendary Quattro all-wheel-drive with a 292 HP 2.0-liter turbo engine. So, after our time with the A3 and the A3 Sportback e-tron, how does the S3 Sedan compare?

Continue Reading

Happy Hydrogen: Up close with Toyota’s 2015 FCV

Happy Hydrogen: Up close with Toyota’s 2015 FCV

Toyota isn't quite full of hot air with its latest car, but it's not far off. The Toyota FCV relies on hydrogen - a gas, but not gasoline - for its get-up-and-go, and though the commercial release isn't expected until next year, that hasn't stopped the new sedan from starting a quiet tour in eco-conscious California. It brought along some old friends, too, including one of the SUVs Toyota first used to prove the fuel-cell technology would work.

Continue Reading

2015 Audi A3 e-tron First Drive

2015 Audi A3 e-tron First Drive

Say hello to the newest member of Audi’s A3 lineup for 2015: the A3 Sportback e-tron. Sure, at first glance it may look just like a regular A3 Sportback, but don’t let that fool you: this one’s special. As with many things in life, two is better than one; so, aside from a regular 1.4 TSFI engine there’s also a 75 kW electric motor. In a nutshell, this is Audi’s first production implementation of a plug-in hybrid, and the future of driving that, according to the company, is without compromise.

Continue Reading

2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat first-drive

2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat first-drive

Before I tell you about my driving experience with the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat, I’m just going to get this off my chest: this is one powerful, fast and, yes, chest-poundingly badass car. Your knee-jerk reaction might be “holy cow, $60k+ is a lot for a Challenger!” While that might be true, for a car even Dodge’s own CEO describes as a “science project”, in many respects the 700 HP Lamborghini Aventador I drove months ago was equally badass, but how many of us have got half-a-mil to drop on a supercar? From that perspective, the Challenger gives you the performance, a great looking car, creature comfort driver-focused cockpit and a decent fuel economy. But that’s now what you care about. You want to hear how the Hellcat roars.

Continue Reading

2015 Acura TLX first-drive: The subtle sports sedan

2015 Acura TLX first-drive: The subtle sports sedan

Acura has something to prove with the new 2015 TLX. Honda’s top-drawer division credits itself with having co-created the midsize luxury sedan segment with the original TL, though it’s now one of the most competitive and the big German brands like Mercedes-Benz and BMW have weighed in with their own take on the category, Meanwhile rivals like Lexus have been joined by upstart budget alternatives from Hyundai and others, leaving Acura’s TL and TSX looking tired. Can the new TLX set Acura back on the right track?

Continue Reading

2015 Lexus NX first-drive: Crossover Crunchtime

2015 Lexus NX first-drive: Crossover Crunchtime

The 2015 Lexus NX isn’t your accountant’s Lexus. Aggressively designed, and breaking new ground for Lexus with its first turbocharged engine, the new NX attempts to distill what has worked for the RX into a package more appealing to hip urbanites, young families, and those who might more regularly find mountain bikes in their trunk than Whole Foods bags. True to recent form, there’s even a warmed-up F SPORT version to offset the hybrid worthiness just a little. The NX doesn’t hit the US officially until the end of this year, but I grabbed some early time behind the wheel to see how it’s shaping up.

Continue Reading

First Drive: 2015 Porsche Macan S and Macan Turbo

First Drive: 2015 Porsche Macan S and Macan Turbo

We’re a long way from the outrage of the first four-door Porsche, and a compact SUV/crossover was almost inevitable. The 2015 Porsche Macan is a direct result of the successes of the Panamera and Cayenne, with a name derived from the Indonesian word for tiger and a surprisingly broad price range depending on your heavy-handedness with both the options sheet and your right foot. As I found, picking the best match of those options isn’t as straightforward as you might think.

Continue Reading

2015 Hyundai Sonata first-drive: CarPlay & Android Auto onboard

2015 Hyundai Sonata first-drive: CarPlay & Android Auto onboard

Hyundai has something to prove in the midsized segment, and the 2015 Sonata is the car it's aiming to do that with. Dropping the droopy design for a tauter, more sturdy appearance, and stepping up its game with more usable performance, clever electronic toys like smart cruise control, and interior space that belongs with a class above, the new Sonata wants you to forget the Camry, Passat, and Fusion in favor of a US-made Korean alternative. Ambitious, but as I found behind the wheel there's plenty to recommend it.

Continue Reading

1 2 3