First Drive

First Drive articles

2013 Ford Flex



PORTLAND, Ore. — We heaped the Ford Flex with praise upon its introduction four years ago because of its incredible utility, its outstanding versatility and its family friendly demeanor. The boxy Flex was in our estimation the embodiment of the 21st Century station wagon. But the fly in the ointment is its polarizing styling, and that's probably the chief reason sales have sagged. Ford hopes styling tweaks and upgrades in packaging will give the grand wagon a new lease on life for the 2013 model year.

2013 Ford Taurus



PORTLAND, Ore. — Ford’s latest major revision of its flagship Taurus occurred in 2010. However, even though the 2013 model is not referred to as “all-new” it has so many refinements and upgrades it might as well be. It has better fuel economy, more technology, enhanced design, improved craftsmanship and sharpened driving dynamics.

2013 Ford Mustang

PORTLAND, Ore. — Ford unveiled its 2013 Mustang to a group of journalists here in March and although it bears a strong resemblance to the current model there’s a lot more to the '13 than meets the eye. But first, the eye. The Mustang gets a new front and rear fascia, a more prominent grille and splitter, standard high-intensity headlamps (HID), painted body-side rockers, and LED tail lamps.

2012 Fiat 500 Abarth



LAS VEGAS — A well-worn adage is “good things come in small packages.” Perhaps with the 2012 Fiat 500 Abarth (pronounced ah-bart') that adage can be altered to "wicked things come in small packages." The odd moniker for the performance version of Fiat’s popular world car comes from legendary racer Karl Abarth who is responsible for more than 10,000 individual race victories, 10 world records and 1,334 international titles.

2012 Hyundai Azera



LAS VEGAS — There’s a hit song by the Eurythmics called "Sweet Dreams" that has a line, “Sweet dreams are made of these.” After test-driving the all-new 2012 Hyundai Azera it sounds like lead singer Annie Lennox must have just driven one, too.

2012 Toyota Prius c



DELRAY BEACH, Fla. — Let’s play a game of word association. Say “hybrid” and what’s the first word that comes to mind? That’s right, Toyota Prius. The Prius family just welcomed its fourth member and the gateway into the Prius world, the five-door subcompact Prius c. The “c” signifying “city.”

2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe



LAS VEGAS — Hyundai has unveiled its significantly redesigned 2013 Genesis Coupe. The sporty looking two-door has not only been refreshed with more aggressive exterior design, but has received a host of new technologies and a pair of new powerplants including a 348-horsepower V-6 that puts the it in the five-second 0-to-60 class and in competition with the segment's best vehicles.

2012 BMW 3-Series

MONTEREY, Calif. — Arguably the benchmark by which all sport sedans are measured, BMW has introduced the sixth generation of its iconic 3-Series sport sedan. If BMW had it right the first time, which seems to be the general consensus, then imagine what the 2012 version — five generations removed from the original — must be like.

2012 Honda Pilot

RALEIGH, N.C. — Traditionalist SUV buyers, those who prefer their vehicle to look like a box, have found comfort behind the wheel of the mid-size Honda Pilot since its remake in 2009. Not only does it meet their idea of design but like most Honda fans they are looking for traditional Honda reliability and resale value. This appeal was pointed up by 2011 sales figures. More than 116,000 copies of the Pilot were sold, a 14,000 unit gain over 2010.

2012 Subaru Impreza

GOLDSBORO, N.C. — When speaking of the excellent new crop of compact cars already in American showrooms or on the way later this year, seldom is the Subaru Impreza part of the discussion. That may be changing in the coming months with the introduction of an all-new, stylish and more fuel efficient Impreza. The redesigned 2012 Subaru is better looking, has more interior space and is more fuel efficient than its predecessor.