First Drive

2017 Dodge Challenger GT AWD First Drive: Four-season Grand Touring in an affordable retro package

2017 Dodge Challenger GT AWD First Drive: Four-season Grand Touring in an affordable retro package

In the mid 1960's a talented group of engineers in West Bromwich, England, dared to ask the question 'why can't a muscle car spin all four wheels?' The end result was the Jensen FF, the first production vehicle to feature AWD, and a coupe that just happened to be hiding a 383 cubic inch Chrysler V8 under the hood. Flash forward 50 years and the Pentastar has picked up the torch once again in the form of the 2017 Dodge Challenger GT AWD, which throws down nearly the same gauntlet at the rear-wheel drive-only options from Ford (the Mustang) and Chevrolet (the Camaro).

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2017 Mercedes-AMG E43 First Drive: AMG for all

2017 Mercedes-AMG E43 First Drive: AMG for all

You could argue that the 2017 Mercedes-AMG E43 is a double-tweener. Just as the E-Class slots in-between its C and S siblings, so the Mercedes-AMG line sits in the gap between the mainstream Mercedes-Benz series and full AMG cars. The automaker is upfront about the fact that it saw unfilled "white space" between models like the C300 and the C63, and figured there'd be an audience of drivers wanting some of the performance and cachet of the latter but at a more affordable price.

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2018 Audi Q5 First Drive: Evolution in action

2018 Audi Q5 First Drive: Evolution in action

The Q5 is hands-down Audi’s numero uno: its top-seller and, in my humble opinion, one of the best premium crossovers on the market today. First introduced back in 2008, the Q5 sold over 1.5-million in its first generation worldwide. Undeniably a home-run hit, then, and with good reason, an Audi knows just the buyer it's selling to and what they want. Why mess with a winning formula?

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2017 Ford F-150 Raptor First Drive: The Epic Baja Monster

2017 Ford F-150 Raptor First Drive: The Epic Baja Monster

I’ve waited nearly a year to drive the all new 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor unveiled at last year’s North America International Auto Show (NAIAS). Twelve long months. As I found at high speed among the sand dunes of Anza Borrego in Southern California, the wait was well worth it and Ford did not disappoint. No mere publicity stunt to give the F-150 a sales halo, the new Raptor more than exceeded my expectations.

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Taking Hyundai’s Ioniq autonomous car for a Las Vegas test drive

Taking Hyundai’s Ioniq autonomous car for a Las Vegas test drive

The Las Vegas Strip does its best to grab your attention, but it's the displays inside Hyundai's Ioniq Autonomous Concept that are holding my gaze as the car drives itself. Nevada's loudest, shiniest city is trying to make a name for itself as more than just gambling and Celine Dion impersonators, aiming to wrest the title of "most tech-friendly" from San Francisco. That means self-driving cars plowing the streets, as automakers like Hyundai attempt to crack the code on the mobility of tomorrow.

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2018 Audi TT RS First Drive

2018 Audi TT RS First Drive

Get ready for trouble: the 2018 Audi TT RS is most definitely going to stir up some problems among the new Porsche Cayman S, Mustang GT350, Corvette Stingray, and BMW M2. Having driven all five of these road-legal racers, I have no doubts that the TT RS will hold against its best German and American rivals. It’s a fast car that happens to look great, excelling on the track while still delivering all the creature comforts you'd want in a daily driver.

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2017 Honda CR-V First Drive: Are you ready for “Beautility”?

2017 Honda CR-V First Drive: Are you ready for “Beautility”?

To describe the CR-V as a success for Honda is to damn it with faint praise. Since its arrival in 1997, nearly four million have sold in the US. In fact, the CR-V is the country's top-selling SUV, and it helped Honda's truck sales go from little more than a rounding error to almost half of the vehicles moving off dealer forecourts each year.

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2017 Kia Soul Turbo first drive and review – it’s invigoratingly hamstertastic

2017 Kia Soul Turbo first drive and review – it’s invigoratingly hamstertastic

In an age of homogenized design, the Soul is unmistakably a Kia and, internally, it’s known as the company’s most affordable “halo car”. It’s the heart and soul of the company - no pun intended - and in its eight years of production it has smoked the competition, leaving many in the dust and others out of production altogether. Yup, this car is that good – and per the company, the Soul has multi-generational reach across buying demographics.

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2017 Nissan Sentra NISMO First Drive: A modest performance proposal

2017 Nissan Sentra NISMO First Drive: A modest performance proposal

It seems like only a month or so ago that I was behind the wheel of the new 2017 Nissan Sentra SR Turbo, the first forced-induction version of the Japanese brand's volume-selling compact sedan. Flash-forward to the eve of the 2016 L.A. Auto Show, and here I am again, hand on the six-speed shifter of yet another turbocharged Sentra - this one bearing the NISMO badge.

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2017 Honda Civic Hatchback First Drive

2017 Honda Civic Hatchback First Drive

Launching a hatchback in a country traditionally skeptical about the 5-door might seem an unenviable challenge, but Honda sees the 2017 Civic Hatchback as an opportunity to reframe the body-style as more about sport than boring practicality. Third in the 10th generation Civic line-up to reach the US, the new Civic Hatchback targets a small but growing subsection of compact car buyers: Honda says they're image-oriented, usually male, and relying on their daily-drivers to keep up with an active, outdoor lifestyle. That makes it the perfect place to launch the new Sport and Sport Touring trims in the Civic range.

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2017 Buick Envision First Drive: Room for one more?

2017 Buick Envision First Drive: Room for one more?

'Room for one more?' seems to be the battle cry of automakers eager to cash in on the unrelenting popularity of SUVs, and the 2017 Buck Envision bellows this inquiry at the top of its gilded lungs. Poised to participate in the nebulous 'premium compact' segment that at any given time encapsulates offerings from Lexus, Acura, Volvo, and Lincoln, the Envision hits the ground running thanks to strong support from smaller (Encore) and larger (Enclave) sport-utility siblings in the Buick showroom.

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2017 Chevrolet Camaro 1LE First Drive: Best of both worlds

2017 Chevrolet Camaro 1LE First Drive: Best of both worlds

What do you do when you've got access to one of the deepest performance parts bins in the industry? If you're Chevrolet, you find yet another way to build a Camaro that can take it straight to the throat of rivals from Ford (the Mustang) and Dodge (the Challenger), and then present it to rabid buyers in the form of the surprisingly affordable 2017 Chevrolet Camaro 1LE.

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