First Drive

2017 Lincoln Continental First Drive: How to reboot an icon

2017 Lincoln Continental First Drive: How to reboot an icon

Five minutes into driving the 2017 Lincoln Continental, a Mercedes-Benz C300 pulled up alongside me at the lights. “That’s a beautiful car!” the middle-aged driver called to me across the gap, to the barely-disguised pleasure of the Lincoln exec in the passenger seat. With less than 24 hours in Los Angeles to get to grips with the new Continental, I was attempting to multitask and squeeze in not only experiencing the car but figuring out what exactly had prompted the company to resurrect the such a storied nameplate now.

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2017 Audi S3 First Drive: The compact sports sedan gets fiercer

2017 Audi S3 First Drive: The compact sports sedan gets fiercer

You don't have to put the 2017 Audi S3 next to its A4 sibling to see that, in fitting Halloween style, the resemblance is spooky. Audi's feisty little sedan has been satisfying eager drivers wanting the punch of the company's excellent turbocharged engines with the reassurance of its quattro all-wheel drive since 2013. Now, sitting - for the moment, at least - atop a mid-cycle refresh of the whole A3 range, it's getting a little more expensive and a lot more personality.

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2017 Nissan Rogue Hybrid First Drive – Eco-credibility for brand’s best-selling SUV

2017 Nissan Rogue Hybrid First Drive – Eco-credibility for brand’s best-selling SUV

Sometimes auto sales are like a street fight, with each opponent shadowboxing the other's every move in a bid to stay competitive. So it is with the 2017 Nissan Rogue Hybrid compact SUV, a left hook aimed at connecting with Toyota's RAV4 Hybrid introduced the year before.

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2017 Porsche Panamera first drive: The 4-door Super Sedan to beat

2017 Porsche Panamera first drive: The 4-door Super Sedan to beat

Porsche is putting all luxury sedan automakers on notice: beware the one-two punch of the 2017 Panamera 4S and Panamera Turbo. Completely redesigned, in the four-door’s first major overhaul since its debut in 2009, which one you decide upon depends heavily on both your pocketbook and your appetite for raw performance.

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2017 Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback First Drive – Smart-driving SUV Alternative

2017 Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback First Drive – Smart-driving SUV Alternative

In nature, single celled organisms divide themselves in two as an integral part of their reproductive strategy. At the blackjack table, you double-down on a good hand. In the automotive industry, if you've got a successful platform in the stable it only makes sense to maximize your return in terms of appealing to as many different groups of buyers as possible. So it goes with the 2017 Chevrolet Cruze hatchback, the all-new five-door version of the Bowtie brand's recently-redesigned compact sedan.

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2017 Audi A4 allroad First Drive: Wunderwagon

2017 Audi A4 allroad First Drive: Wunderwagon

For a nation so addicted to crossovers and SUVs, it's perverse that Audi had to get sneaky to make America swallow its wagon medicine. The 2017 Audi A4 allroad keeps to the Avant-with-attitude ethos of previous generations, but introduces a brand new quattro all-wheel drive system that the German automaker expects to go down very well among what has traditionally been a fairly niche allroad audience.

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2017 Infiniti Q60 First Drive: Seeing Red

2017 Infiniti Q60 First Drive: Seeing Red

In an industry increasingly driven by bottom-line bolstering SUVs that cater to sales volume over anything resembling a passion for driving or design, the 2017 Infiniti Q60 is a ray of hope. Here is a car staged to take part in the vanishingly small sliver of the market given over to premium coupes - a segment devastated by the transition away from personal luxury to sport-utilities in the late 90s - and yet the investment made in the completely redesigned Q60's every detail firmly communicates Infiniti's commitment to taking on leaders from BMW (the 4 Series), Mercedes-Benz (the C-Class) and Audi (the A5).

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2017 Bentley Flying Spur V8 S First Drive

2017 Bentley Flying Spur V8 S First Drive

Nestling in-between the Flying Spur V8 - which is as "entry level" as a Bentley sedan gets - and the W12-engined original, the new 2017 Flying Spur V8 S is all about eager affordability. Feel free to put as many air-quotes around "affordability" as it takes to stomach the $205,000 starting price, drop your weary, wealthy body into the supple leather seats, and try to get with the old-school charm.

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2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack First Drive: Almost-SUV fills in VW’s gaps

2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack First Drive: Almost-SUV fills in VW’s gaps

Volkswagen is an automaker in transition, and the 2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack is a harbinger of things to come. With Americans tilting inexorably towards crossovers and SUVs as their conveyance of choice, and faced with a line-up heavily weighted with turbodiesel sedans and hatchbacks that the EPA has placed on indefinite hiatus, VW's market makeover is only just beginning. The Golf Alltrack's wagon-based, crossover-friendly image heralds an SUV onslaught that will continue through the next 12 months as an all-new three-row people mover and long-awaited replacement for the slow-selling Tiguan compact sport-utility also make their way to showrooms.

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2017 Kia Cadenza First Drive: Big car, small market

2017 Kia Cadenza First Drive: Big car, small market

Lurking just below the surface of flashy ad campaigns and country club one-upmanship at the valet station there exists a world of comfortable, handsomely-styled automobiles that deliver 90 percent of the features found in traditional luxury cars almost completely under the radar. The 2017 Kia Cadenza is one such premium sleeper, joining the ranks of the Buick LaCrosse, the Toyota Avalon, and the Nissan Maxima as de facto upscale vehicles that ply the full-size sedan waters with silent dignity.

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2017 Genesis G90 First Drive: Rattling the cage of established luxury players

2017 Genesis G90 First Drive: Rattling the cage of established luxury players

Automakers ignore the aspirations of global giant Hyundai at their own peril. Cresting a 10-year renaissance that has seen the Korean automaker carve up its Japanese and American rivals in everything from the entry-level compact segment to the hot-selling SUV market, the enormous and unblinking eye of Hyundai's product planning team has now turned its full attention to the world of luxury. Successful, and lengthy flirtation with the viability of the Genesis nameplate under the auspices of its current hierarchy has lead to the Genesis G90 full-size sedan exploding onto the scene for 2017 as the herald of an all-new, and entirely separate premium brand.

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2017 Infiniti QX30 First-Drive

2017 Infiniti QX30 First-Drive

The 2017 Infiniti QX30 is Japanese designed, built in post-Brexit Britain, with German parts and engineering, and packaged for crossover-loving America: if that doesn't earn it the title of a "global car", I'm not sure what would. Taking over the reins of guiding new-to-brand buyers into the Infiniti family from the now-deceased G-series sedan, the QX30 arrives with high ambitions indeed, proudly setting its sights on the small, luxury crossovers from BMW and Audi.

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