First Drive

First Drive articles

2017 Infiniti QX30 Sport

PHOENIX — The Infiniti QX30 is yet the latest all-new vehicle to enter the heavily populated and growing entry-level compact luxury crossover utility vehicle segment, joining Audi Q3, BMW X1 and Mercedes-Benz GLA, to name a few. Infiniti is Nissan’s luxury brand and, for the most part, builds quite excellent vehicles. Stylistically, Infinitis have always had more visual appeal than competitors from Acura and Lexus. But I’ve never found them particularly thrilling to drive. More about that in a bit.

2017 Chevrolet Bolt

HOUSTON — When Chevrolet introduced the 2017 Bolt EV…totally electric or battery electric vehicle…it fulfilled their promise to offer a long-range, affordable electric vehicle for the masses.  This plug-in electric car represents a big step forward in EV design offering
more than 200 miles of range on a full charge.

2016 BMW 328i Sports Wagon

PHOENIX — Cars are an emotional choice, an expression of our personal style, likes and aspirations. As a working automotive journalist I’m first and foremost, an automotive geek. An automotive enthusiast. I honestly don’t know anyone who loves cars more than I do and for whatever reason I have always been completely addicted to station wagons.

2017 Infiniti QX30

INDIANAPOLIS — The QX30 is a stylish little Infiniti crossover. Or, is it?  Beneath the flowing chiseled bodywork are the bones and powertrain of the Mercedes-Benz GLA. That’s a good start, because despite a few quirks and princely price tag, it’s a nice little Infinedes.

2017 Nissan Titan

PHOENIX — Last year, Nissan made big news with the full-sized Titan pickup, which was completely redesigned and restyled for the first time since it went on sale back in the 2004 model year. Truck owners are fervently brand loyal, and Nissan has had a rough time of it, trying to get Ford F-150, Chevy Silverado and Ram 1500 owners to switch brands. As a result, Titan sales have never quite lived up to expectations.

2017 Smart electric drive

MIAMI — I’m in Miami’s South Beach for the media launch of Smart’s latest and much improved third generation EV. My driving partner and I are drawing a fair amount of attention as we make our way to the comically tiny red and black car we’ll be evaluating. The stares, jokes and wisecracks are coming from my fellow auto journalists who want to watch my 6’-6” frame — along with my drive partner at 6’-4” — gyrate, pirouette as we attempt to enter the vehicle.

2017 Audi S3

PHOENIX — The Audi A3 sedan arrived on the U.S. automotive scene a couple of years ago as the entry-level vehicle for the brand. Since then, Audi has launched Audi 3 versions in convertible, plug-in hybrid Sportback e-tron, and the high-performance S3 sedan tested here. Think of it as a smaller version of the popular Audi A4. 

2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

LOS ANGELES — Nearly 35 years after Chrysler introduced the original minivan, it again plots revolution. It’s only after a full day of driving the Pacifica Hybrid down California’s Pacific Coast Highway, through the canyons around Malibu and Hollywood, and on open Interstate does the significance of this van develop. It will shake the segment to its core.

2017 Subaru Outback

PHOENIX — I’ve always thought the Subaru Outback to be the Centaur of vehicles. It didn’t start out that way when it was first introduced back in 1995 and marketed as a Legacy Grand Wagon in Japan. That was long before the crossover utility vehicle craze came on the automotive scene. Through the years Outback has morphed larger, away from a station wagon and in the direction of a crossover utility vehicle.

2017 Infiniti Q60 Red Sport

PHOENIX — With just five percent of the automotive market share, two-door coupe models are considered objects of desire rather than a vehicle that fills a mainstream transportation need. People buy them because they want one not because they are necessarily a practical choice. And visually, the new Infiniti Q60 is not only an object of desire it’s also absolutely gorgeous inside and out.