First Drive

First Drive articles

2017 Audi R8 V10

GOLDSBORO, N.C. — Before I could shut the car off coming back from a routine errand the neighbor lady was tapping on the passenger window asking if I would take her 14-year-old son for a ride. "He''s been dying to ride in that car, he loves cars and this is one of his favorites," she implored. So off we went in the 2017 Audi R8, which also garnered a lot of attention from adults during our test week.

2017 Chevrolet Cruze Hatch

PALM BEACH, Fla. — All new for 2017, the Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback joins its sedan sibling in delivering a world-class cabin, tons of technical doodads and solid fuel economy for a competitive price. It may not send droves of owners scampering to trade in their Civics, but it can certainly go toe to toe with the Honda, or any of the other Asian compacts for that matter.

2017 Genesis G90

INDIANAPOLIS — I remember when Hyundai occupied a little erector set of a display in the basement of Cobo Hall during Detroit’s North American International Auto Show.  Clearly, the Korean automaker has traveled great distances in the past couple of decades; it’s now one of the most respected global players.  It’s also come a long way since it launched the Genesis sedan in 2008 with a sub-$35,000 sticker.  Now a separate brand, Genesis goes after an elite class of luxury buyers with the G90.

2017 Infiniti Q50

PHOENIX — The Q50 is a compact entry-level luxury sedan and Infiniti’s best-selling vehicle. Introduced for the 2013 model year, it replaced the popular Infiniti G37 sedan. We weren’t fond of the new Q50 when it was introduced, and felt Infiniti took a step backward from both the G37 it replaced and competitors in the segment like Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, Jaguar XE and Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedans.

2017 Ford Fusion Hybrid

PHOENIX — Ford has made some key changes to the Fusion for its 2017 mid-cycle refresh, upping its game in the mid-sized hybrid sedan segment. While Ford decided not to make major changes to the overall looks of the Fusion, there is an all-new front end including new LED headlamps with LED accent strips. The grille is essentially the same shape, albeit smaller, with new options and fog lamps on the lower valance. The look is definitely sleeker and more aggressive.

2017 Kia Soul Turbo

INDIANAPOLIS — Kia’s little Soul is much more than a uniquely styled little box, aimed at first-time buyers, club queens, or a teenage fashion diva.  Well into its second generation, it’s proven to exude competence and driving pleasure beyond what may be your first impressions.  Stoking it with a new turbocharged engine makes it a practical and comfy ride for driving enthusiasts.

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.