First Drive

First Drive articles

2014 Chevrolet Malibu



INDIANAPOLIS — It’s a common complaint that cars are getting too expensive, but are they really?  As part of the Malibu’s 50th Anniversary coverage, we reached out to Chevrolet P.R. Manager Chad Lyons and the GM Heritage Center’s Jim Vehko for perspective.

2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray



INDIANAPOLIS — It’s a joy watching the looks on Corvette enthusiast faces as the next chapter in a revered history washes over them. Books will be written. Collections will be joined. Races will be won. Fantasies will be fulfilled. Any journalist, when asked what they thought of the seventh-generation (C7) 2014 Corvette during its Detroit auto show premiere last January; paused, took a deep breath, then slowly let it out before answering. It’s that hot.

2014 Nissan Rogue



NASHVILLE — Compact crossovers are hot. And the burgeoning segment is crowded with new products, many among the best-selling vehicles in North America, so it's with perfect timing that Nissan introduces an all-new Rogue for the 2014 model year. Based on our time with the stylish second-generation crossover in the music city, we think it will stand up quite nicely to such stalwarts as the Honda CR-V, Ford Escape and Toyota RAV4.

2014 Ford Fusion Energi



INDIANAPOLIS — Ford’s Euro-designed Fusion sedan is a pretty handsome ride and it’s loaded with all of the latest technology.  However, it is what you don’t see on first glance that will spark attention.  Check out the little round door on the front fender.  Strange place for gas, right?  It’s not a Porsche or old VW Beetle., so yep, this Fusion gets plugged.

2014 BMW X5



VANCOUVER, B.C. — We’re on winding roads leading up into the mountains north of Whistler and the car we’re driving handles just about as well as any BWW. Yet it’s not a car it’s the all-new, third generation 2014 X5 SAV. BMW insists on calling its SUVs Sports Activity Vehicles, which, we guess, is really a more appropriate designation than Sport Utility Vehicle.

2014 Honda Accord Hybrid



DETROIT — The Ford Fusion Hybrid’s reign as the top mid-size hybrid sedan didn’t last long. (Yes, I know, Toyota claims the Prius is a midsize sedan, but most buyers don’t equate the car’s two-box, fastback design and compact exterior with your average midsize sedan.) Along comes Honda with its Accord Hybrid, and — wait a minute — ties the Fusion with a 47 mpg combined rating?

2014 Kia Soul



MINNEAPOLIS — When Kia introduced the boxy Soul four years ago in Miami, little did the company realize what a hit it would become. Manufacturers love to predict how many cars they will sell and the Soul has far exceeded their initial expectations selling four times as many as planned. Its success has left its closest competitors — the Honda Element, Nissan Cube and Scion xB — all but dead in the water.

2014 Toyota Corolla



MINNEAPOLIS — Two years after launching in Japan as a 1966 model, the Corolla joined Toyota’s U.S. lineup where it has stayed for the past 45 years. In that time, Toyota has sold more than 40 million Corolla’s worldwide, including 10 million in the U.S. Last year, despite being an old design in a sea of new releases, the Corolla was the second best selling Toyota in the U.S, and number two in the compact segment overall. That should tell you something.

2014 Cadillac XTS VSport



GOLDSBORO, N.C. — It seems the headlines coming from Cadillac these days are all about the new all-new 2014 CTS and also its all-new VSport model. The CTS VSport features a twin-turbo version of Cadillac's 3.6-liter direct-injection V-6 making 420 horsepower and producing performance in the upper ranges of 4 seconds from 0-to-60.

2014 Volkswagen CC



INDIANAPOLIS — I’m a big fan of the Mercedes-Benz CLS63, BMW M6 Gran Coupe, and Audi RS7 — all super sexy four-door German super coupes.  Packing muscles of the gods, they romp from 0-60 mph in less than 3.5 seconds  and touch 190 mph with their 560 horsepower V8 engines.  Of course, these fabulous show ponies cost around $130,000.  Yeah right!