First Drive

First Drive articles

2022 Mini Cooper Convertible

MIAMI — Just as the word “dated” began to appear in reviews of the iconic Mini in recent years, the 2022 Mini Cooper Convertible arrives refreshed and updated but still with the sassy attitude that has been an integral part of its DNA for just over six decades. While still retaining its distinctive overall outer appearance, the 2022 Mini gets new bumpers front and rear, a revised grille and new wheel designs, and three new colors — Island Blue, Rooftop Grey and Zesty Yellow.

2022 Infiniti QX60

PHOENIX — Sedona, Arizona, is tailor-made for a travel brochure — a picturesque small town surrounded with stunning red rock buttes, mesas, and canyons with bright colorful foliage in the fall. It’s a perfect destination for test driving the all-new-for-2022 Infiniti QX60. First introduced for the 2013, the second-generation of the QX60 is long overdue. The three-row mid-size SUV has been dramatically redesigned both inside and out.

2022 Ford Maverick Hybrid

INDIANAPOLIS — I’m trying to imagine the conversation in Ford’s boardroom several years ago when some enterprising executive lofted this nugget:  “Let’s take our Ford Escape crossover, replace its aft half with a bed, slap on the name of a sub-par compact from the ‘70s, and use it to replace our compact sedans.  We’ll make it a hybrid too.”  I’m sure eyebrows slanted askew, but 2022 Ford Maverick pickup is a pretty good idea.

2022 Infiniti QX55

PHOENIX — Infiniti, the luxury brand of Nissan products, has introduced a new crossover utility vehicle: the QX55. For those who think the QX55 is the sloped-roof offspring of the QX50 compact crossover, well, you would be partially correct. With a striking exterior design that features a bulging hood, swooping roofline and sharply styled rear end and LED piano key taillamps, the boldly sculpted QX55 borrows styling cues from the mid-sized Infiniti FX model that first appeared for the 2003 model year and continued until it bid farewell in 2013.

2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer

PHOENIX — Much like the Ford Bronco and GM’s Hummer, Jeep has resurrected an old nameplate, Grand Wagoneer. One might be surprised it’s a Jeep save since the raised aluminum two-piece copperchinio-accented “Wagoneer” is the only badging you’ll see on the humungous all-new SUV; the name “Jeep” appears nowhere on the vehicle.

2022 Ford Ranger Tremor

PHOENIX — When it comes to hard core off-road capability, the Ford Ranger sat in the parking lot watching competitors like Chevy Colorado ZR2, Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro and Jeep Gladiator (in Rubicon or Moab trim levels) hit the rough stuff: steep boulder-strewn trails, deep sand, and streams. Ranger’s FX4 off-road trim did add a rear differential locker and skid plates, but it was no match for and couldn’t go places the Jeep or Tacoma tackled.

2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L

PHOENIX — The Jeep brand, now in its 80th year, is introducing its fifth-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee that was first introduced in 1992. That first Cherokee was dramatically launched by literally driving the SUV up the steps of Detroit’s Cobo Hall and through a glass window, signifying the breakthrough premium SUV for the Jeep brand. The 2021 Grand Cherokee is its first redesign in a decade.

2022 Forester Wilderness

BEND, Ore. — I’ve been driving for hours, slogging supposed roads that are more like rock-strew moonscapes with moguls that sometimes leave only three wheels touching earth.  The scenery is heavenly though, with snow-capped peaks dotting the distance and vast prairies of pine trees between.  I’m in Bend, Oregon driving the 2022 Forester Wilderness — the latest of a growing family of Subarus for adventure-getters.

2021 McLaren GT

PHOENIX — The legendary McLaren supercars all started with Bruce McLaren, the famous Formula One race-car designer, driver, engineer and inventor from New Zealand. He was also one of the most successful, with wins in Monaco, the Indianapolis 500, and 12 World Drivers’ Championships.

2022 Genesis GV70

PHOENIX — For 2022 the Genesis GV70 compact crossover SUV is the latest all-new model and arguably one of the most important product offerings from perhaps the most interesting and fascinating brand in the automotive industry today. Genesis boldly and unabashedly bursts on the scene to compete with varsity brand crossovers like the Audi SQ5, BMW X3 M40i and Porsche Macan S.