First Drive

First Drive articles

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.

2014 Rolls-Royce Wraith

PHOENIX — No cars, no dealers, no factory, no nothing; it is a convoluted story but that’s what BMW started with when it acquired the full rights to Rolls-Royce in 1998. The first car on BMW’s watch didn’t roll off the newly built assembly line at Goodwood, England, until 2003. But since the introduction of the Roll-Royce Phantom, the company added five more models in eight years.

2014 Buick Regal AWD

INDIANAPOLIS — It’s been snowing and icing all over.  Like, a lot.  Some cities are handling it better than others, which will likely cause some mayors to have longer tenures than others.  A European-engineered sport sedan with all-wheel-drive would be perfect for the nasty precipitation, making dust of city streets while still a blast when pavement clears. 

2014 Porsche Boxster S

GREENVILLE, S.C. — At $50,400, you can hardly tout the Boxster as an every-man's Porsche, but it's about as close as you are going to come. Porsche took advantage of Boxster's total makeover last year to not only tweak the performance elements, but to sharpen the styling and upgrade the cabin. In other words, Boxster is still the entry-level Porsche; but you will be hard pressed to find anyone, who has driven the new Boxster, call it that.

2014 Cadillac CTS

INDIANAPOLIS — The fact that the 2014 Cadillac CTS won Motor Trend Magazine’s Car of the Year is not astonishing; the last-generation CTS did the same thing in 2008.  But this year, it won against redesigned Mercedes E-Class and BMW 5-Series sedans — a frontal attack on the German Bismarcks.  It also beat the Corvette Stingray, Mercedes S-Class, Infiniti Q50, Mazda3, Mazda6, and Kia Cadenza. Take a breath.

2014 Toyota Highlander

CARMEL, Calif. — Like the current Camry, the latest Highlander is a major re-do of the current platform. It’s also a vehicle where U.S. thinking is taking more of a lead as engineering and product development control for the model shifts away from Japan. That’s because Toyota is expecting U.S. sales to increase to 140,000 units.

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.