First Drive

First Drive articles

2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302

FORT WORTH, Texas — With the approaching high-mileage regulations we may eventually see the end of affordable muscle cars, those rumbling V-8 ground pounders that get the blood pumping and the adrenaline flowing. But that's in the future. For the time being we are very happy to say the true unadulterated muscle lives on at the Detroit Big Three.

2012 Audi A7

GOLDSBORO, N.C. — If we were forced to pick the best brand car-for-car — bottom to top — it would have to be Audi. The German company continually amazes with its quality vehicles from one end of its lineup to the other. Spending several days driving the stylish all-new 2012 Audi A7 fastback sedan only reinforced our opinion of the brand.

2012 Honda Civic

WASHINGTON, D.C. — My daughter peered over my shoulder looking at the large picture of a red 2012 Honda Civic coupe on my computer screen. "Hey, that's my car," she said. She owns a 2007 Civic coupe. Her mistake points up a good thing for Honda.

2012 Acura TL


AUSTIN, Texas — The beak is back. There had been speculation that the guillotine blade grille on the current-generation Acura TL would be eliminated with its 2012 mid-cycle refresh. The answer is in — and it's no.

2012 Ford Focus

LOS ANGELES — For some time Ford has been on a real roll. A group of us had the good fortune to be among the first to put the 2012 Focus through its paces and as we rolled through Southern California it didn’t disappoint us one bit. In fact it was sweet.

2012 Mazda5

SAN DIEGO — Arguably the first sport utility vehicles were actually minivans, a new segment ushered in by Chrysler in 1984. These vehicles were versatile and family-oriented and somewhat diminished the onus that began to surround the description “station wagon.”

2012 Fiat 500

SAN DIEGO — Italian design, be it chairs or toasters or cars is fraught with color and style. As a society they have an eye for cool, contemporary and chic. Even Fiat’s 500 extols the virtue of its artful masses not only as a mass market car but as a statement of simple artistry.

2011 Hyundai Equus

RALEIGH, N.C. — Perhaps Hyundai's biggest mistake with its all-new 2011 luxury sedan is the name. The car is indeed worthy of comparison to the Lexus LS 460 and the S-Class Mercedes. The Equus is nothing short of astounding considering it is Hyundai's first foray into the premium-luxury segment.

2012 Nissan NV

MIAMI — Although Nissan has been building commercial vans for 75 years in the global market, this is its first product for the U.S. "As the first non-domestic nameplate to design, manufacture and sell CVs in the United States, we bring a more than seven-decade tradition of durability, quality and reliability to our products,” said Joe Castelli.

2011 Chrysler 200 Convertible

SAN DIEGO — Several months ago Chrysler unveiled its new 2011 Chrysler 200 mid-size sedan. Now the company has added a convertible to the Chrysler 200 family that replaces its former Chrysler Sebring convertible. It’s unique in the standard specialty segment as a true mid-sized convertible.