First Drive

2017 Volvo V60 Polestar First Drive: Feeling Blue

2017 Volvo V60 Polestar First Drive: Feeling Blue

It's a Volvo renaissance right now but, though the XC90 and S90 may be flying off dealers' lots with their high-tech cabins and minimalistic style, true aficionados know it's Polestar where the Swedish spirit lies. Whether that spirit is akvavit or high-octane gasoline is questionable - the uncharitable might suggest they both taste the same - but the 2017 Volvo V60 Polestar and S60 Polestar are unmistakable. Peak crazy comes in the shape of a bright blue wagon.

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2018 Chevrolet Equinox First Drive: All turbo, all-new compact SUV improves across the board

2018 Chevrolet Equinox First Drive: All turbo, all-new compact SUV improves across the board

Legacy is a powerful thing, and at times it can threaten to smother the equally mighty maxim that moving ever forward is the only way to stay above water in the ultra-competitive automotive industry. Chevrolet, faced with the need to redesign its strong-selling compact SUV - the Equinox - refused to be dragged down by the temptation to simply keep riding a popular horse until it collapsed, foaming and spent, into its grave. Instead, the company realized that the future favors the bold, and elected to invest heavily in a completely new and dramatically different 2018 Chevrolet Equinox.

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2018 Audi Sport RS 3 first drive: a 4-door, 174 mph speed-demon

2018 Audi Sport RS 3 first drive: a 4-door, 174 mph speed-demon

For nearly twenty years, Audi Sport was known as quattro GmBH, but with cars like the 2018 RS 3 the performance division is embracing its more public persona. There’s brand equity in “Audi”, and Stephan Winkelmann, Audi Sport’s CEO is under no illusion about how much potential that has for his line-up of unusual, rip-roaring cars. Winkelmann’s next job, he tells me, is to bring the brand to a whole new level.

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2017 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell First Drive: Hydrogen Hero

2017 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell First Drive: Hydrogen Hero

Strange new hydrogen fuel; same reassuring Honda experience. That's the equation the 2017 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell is counting on for success, a four-door premium sedan straddling the cutting edge of propulsion and the familiarity behind the wheel that the automaker is known for. Not a science experiment, or an ecological hair-shirt, but simply guilt-free driving with nothing but pure water coming out of its hidden tailpipe.

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2017 Mazda CX-5 First Drive: Obsession pays off

2017 Mazda CX-5 First Drive: Obsession pays off

Mazda finds itself in a tricky spot. The CX-5 is due for a refresh; however, it's also the best-selling car in the company's US line-up. Sales in 2016, in fact, accounted for a quarter of all Mazda purchases in the US. Get it wrong, and the 2017 CX-5 could end up doing more harm than good.

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2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF First Drive: Hard top, easy decision

2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF First Drive: Hard top, easy decision

If the 2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF aims to introduce some hard-top practicality to the iconic little roadster, does it run the risk of losing what makes a Miata, well, a Miata? That should've been the question we asked when the Japanese company unveiled the RF at the New York Auto Show a year ago: instead, we were too busy being wowed by its innovative retractable roof and achingly pretty design. Fast forward to today, with the first of the MX-5 RF Launch Edition cars reaching the initial 1,000 buyers and the regular versions landing in Mazda dealerships, it's time to get behind the wheel and ask the tough questions.

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2017 Land Rover Discovery First Drive: Unstoppable 7-seat SUV redux

2017 Land Rover Discovery First Drive: Unstoppable 7-seat SUV redux

It was only a matter of time before Land Rover got around to dusting its most popular family SUV with the same magic that has dramatically overhauled the brand's Range Rover line-up of luxury people movers. The 2017 Land Rover Discovery breaks with the past by abandoning its truck-like platform for a more modern design, while simultaneously getting back in touch with its heritage by reviving the long-dormant - in North America, at least - Discovery name.

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2017 Jeep Compass First Drive: All-new compact SUV has off-road cred

2017 Jeep Compass First Drive: All-new compact SUV has off-road cred

In a world that's gone SUV-crazy, Jeep is one of the brands best poised to reap the rewards. The 2017 Jeep Compass, an all-new design that replaces not just one, but two strong-selling but outdated models - the previous-generation Compass and the soon-to-be-defunct Patriot - is the latest in a line of revamped people movers that have completely transformed the more affordable spectrum of the company's line-up.

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2018 Lexus LC 500 First Drive: Ground-breaking luxury coupe lets Lexus find its soul

2018 Lexus LC 500 First Drive: Ground-breaking luxury coupe lets Lexus find its soul

The 2018 Lexus LC is an act of bravery. Not only did Lexus take the unusual and difficult step of birthing a street car that hews almost perfectly to the gorgeous, yet production-challenging lines of the LF-LC concept that preceded it, but it also chose to ignore prevailing winds - or are those forced induction vortices? - that have come to define the drivetrains found in top-tier luxury coupes. That the Lexus LC is a stunning design achievement is obvious to anyone with a pair of eyes. That it also waves a big, five-liter middle finger in the direction of its would-be German rivals is in a way both a more and a less-subtle statement.

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2017 BMW M760i xDrive First Drive: One car, two souls

2017 BMW M760i xDrive First Drive: One car, two souls

It was as the 2017 BMW M760i xDrive surged at triple-digit speed into a hairpin and pirouetted neatly, rather than rolling into a spectacular fireball, that I had cause to question the laws of physics. "Sports sedan" is an overused phrase these days, applied liberally and shamelessly to any four-door with 200+ horsepower and a set of fancy wheels, but BMW has brought its feistiest 7 Series to school us on just what it really means. And, while the $154,795 starting price might seem astonishing - for the same amount you could put a new 750i xDrive and a BMW M2 in your garage - it turns out the M760i is more than just the sum of its parts.

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2017 Chevrolet BOLT EV first drive: The first electric car truly for the everyman

2017 Chevrolet BOLT EV first drive: The first electric car truly for the everyman

I’m not convinced with the new BOLT EV’s tail-lights, but in just about every other way this all-electric car is a knock-out. A no compromise, zero-emissions vehicle capable of delivering up to an EPA-rated 238 miles on a full charge, it's fun and dynamic to drive, with plenty of interior space.

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2017 Ram Power Wagon First Drive: Heavy-duty off-road apocalypse escape vehicle

2017 Ram Power Wagon First Drive: Heavy-duty off-road apocalypse escape vehicle

The 2017 Ram Power Wagon is a full-size pickup that dares to answer the question, 'what would you use to tow your house into the middle of the desert during a zombie apocalypse?' After spending a full day flogging the P-Wagon on the hot sands an hour outside of Las Vegas, I can comfortably report that it takes a special kind of product planning bravery to create a heavy-duty truck capable of bludgeoning any obstacle in its path - undead or otherwise - on its way to saving your delicious brain-bacon from flesh-eating creeps.

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