First Drive

First Drive articles

2018 Volvo V90



PHOENIX — The all-new 2018 Volvo V90 Cross Country is one of the best luxury wagons in the world. But is it good enough to persuade SUV-crazed new car shoppers to forego their high-end utes and opt for the Swedish built Volvo Wagon?
You do remember station wagons, don’t you? Although both demand and product availability in the wagon market has shrunk dramatically in recent years, thanks to the immense popularity of SUVs and crossover vehicles, few automakers have remained as dedicated to the station wagon as Volvo, having sold millions worldwide to date.

2018 Toyota Camry



NEWBURG, Ore. — To say that the midsized Toyota Camry sedan is a massively popular car would be a gross understatement. After all, it’s been America’s best-selling passenger vehicle for 18 of the past 20 years, and 18 million have been sold around the world since it was first introduced in 1982.
Toyota sold over 388,000 Camry’s last year, but that’s down from more than 430,000 in 2015. Through May of this year, sales are down some 20,000 units over last year. Still, Camry is a popular vehicle and a solid bet to sell more than 300,000 by year end.

2017 BMW 5 Series



PHOENIX — For BMW enthusiasts, there’s no car more epochal than the 5 Series. It was first introduced by the German automaker in 1972 and is now in its seventh generation.  Called the G30 in BMW parlance (the original 1972 model was known as the E12), the mid-sized sports sedan has grown and is slightly longer, wider and taller than the previous F10 generation (2010-2016), yet sheds 137 pounds thanks to the extensive use of aluminum, magnesium and high-strength steel.

2017 Mercedes AMG GLS63



PHOENIX — In case you haven’t been paying attention, the definition of upper social class, prestige, luxury motoring is now the SUV, having supplanted large luxury sedans from BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche as the choice vehicle for the global one percent. That certainly includes the seven-passenger Mercedes-Benz AMG GLS63 tested here.

2017 Kia Niro Hybrid



INDIANAPOLIS — Whoever said a compact fuel-sipping hybrid couldn’t also be cool? Perhaps it needs to be aerodynamic, but it doesn’t have to look like an out-of-control science project merged with some sci-fi future-set flick. An efficient little hybrid could just look like a crossover. And, it could still have all of the technology and utility expected in a cutting-edge ride. At least that’s what Kia designers and engineers apparently thought as they conjured the Niro.

2017 Nissan Rogue Sport



NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Nissan Rogue is the hottest-selling vehicle in the hottest-selling segment, one replete with excellent competitors — Honda CR-V, Ford Escape and Toyota RAV4. Other than the “big 3” pickup trucks, Rogue is the biggest-selling vehicle in the U.S. for two of the first four months of 2017.

2017 Chevrolet Trax



PHOENIX — It’s been just two years since Chevrolet introduced its diminutive four-door, five-passenger crossover to the booming utility vehicle segment. GM has sent the Trax back for a refreshing to its front and rear looks, interior, and has made a few other minor changes in response to increased competition in the segment. The refresh also addressed some of Trax’s initial flaws.

2017 Evoque convertible



INDIANAPOLIS — As summer approaches, we’re going to have many 80-degree days with clear blue skies and gentle breezes. And, you may be looking at your SUV thinking, “I sure wish I had a convertible instead of this hulking beast.” Apparently, the designers at Range Rover had the same thought because they took the compact Evoque crossover and ripped off its top for summer.

2017 Honda CR-V



PHOENIX — Sales of compact crossover utility vehicles are booming; consumers have a seemingly insatiable appetite for them and the segment continues to grow. In fact, utility vehicles now outsell cars. With players like Ford Escape, Toyota RAV4, Nissan Rogue and others continually updating and refreshing their products, competition is keen and the vehicles are only getting better.

2017 Volvo S90



PHOENIX — We were more than impressed with the completely redesigned XC90 when it was introduced for 2015. It was the first Volvo to be updated since Chinese automaker Geely bought the Swedish car company from Ford in 2010. For the record, the brand has kept its promise to completely refresh and revamp its entire product line by the end of 2017, recently introducing a redesigned XC60 crossover, V90 and V60 crossover wagons, and the all-new flagship S90 mid-sized luxury class sedan tested here.