First Drive

First Drive articles

2015 Hyundai Sonata

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — More than four years ago Hyundai answered the criticism that all mid-sized sedans look the same by stepping away from the stereotypical styling with the 2011 Sonata, a car so daringly different that it set a new tone for the design future of the popular segment. It was a smash hit not only for its good looks, but for its above-average performance, generous standard features, and improved build quality.

2015 Hyundai Genesis

GREENVILLE, S.C. — At the introduction of the 2015 Hyundai Genesis here we never got a chance to drive the V-8 version, spending 150 miles behind the wheel of the 3.8-liter V-6 in rear-wheel and all-wheel drive formats. And we were impressed with every aspect of the newest Hyundai, a noteworthy update of the first-generation Genesis.

2015 Honda Fit

SAN DIEGO — Honda hired a professional packer to demonstrate the interior size of its third-generation 2015 Fit at an event introducing the all-new subcompact hatchback. The packing theatrics provided auto writers with a few minutes of entertainment as she worked to shove and push and cajole five full-sized bean bag chairs into the cargo hold behind the rear seats.

2015 Audi A3 sedan

PALO ALTO, Calif. — It’s a natural tendency for each new generation of a car to be slightly larger than its predecessor. I was vividly reminded of that when I walked out of a store just a couple of weeks after the all-new 2015 Audi A3 sedan was introduced and saw one in the wild so to speak. Initially I thought it was an A4 before I recognized it as the new A3, the smallest car sold by Audi in the USA.

2015 Chrysler 200

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The big hole in Chrysler's lineup is the mid-sized sedan, which just happens to be one of the largest and most profitable segments in North America. Its only entry until now was an aging Chrysler 200 — formerly known as the Sebring — and the rather bland sedan has not been competitive in recent years.

2015 Kia K900

NEWPORT COAST, Calif. — Escaping the mass market and still offering an exceptional value sounds like daunting task. Mixing luxury and value in an arena that houses basics is a challenge that could take years to overcome. These are the things facing Kia as they want to entice new customers to their showrooms; new customers that never thought, heard or cared about Kia.

2015 Chevy Suburban, Tahoe

SQUAW VALLEY, Calif. — There's a reason the Chevrolet Suburban has the distinction of being the longest continuous automotive nameplate in the world. Since the first model rolled into showrooms in 1934 as a 1935 model it has met the needs of Americans who desired a large station-wagon-like vehicle capable not only of hauling large families and their cargo, but doing it in a go-anywhere sport utility vehicle truck.

2014 BMW i3

AMSTERDAM  — The electric-car industry hasn't just been characterized by revolutionary technology, but by entirely new ways of thinking about automobiles, their marketing, and their place in society. General Motors and Ford are approaching electrics with a fresh eye, and Tesla seems to be trying to change the game entirely.

2015 Volvo 60 Series

LAS VEGAS — In many ways, Las Vegas was the perfect setting for the first drive of Volvo’s “60 Series” (XC60, V60, S60) vehicles. The weather was nearly 70 degrees (Fahrenheit) warmer than Detroit, which — like much of the mid-section of the country — was in the grips of the “Polar Vortex” that kept temps in the single digits. Visitors wandered about looking for entertainment and big returns on their bets. And underneath all of the glitter, something was missing.

2014 Mitsubishi Mirage

INDIANAPOLIS — Having left the Galant, Montero, and Eclipse behind, Mitsubishi is re-focusing itself towards plug-ins and compacts.  It’s a dubious strategy given the insane competition from cars like the Toyota Yaris, Chevy Spark, Nissan Versa, and Ford Fiesta…not to mention the Toyota Prius and Chevy Volt.  At least Mitsubishi’s newest sub-compact comes with a popular name and outstanding fuel economy.