First Drive

First Drive articles

2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid

PHOENIX — For 2023 Honda introduces an all-new 6th generation CR-V crossover utility vehicle. After first being launched back in 1997 the CR-V is now more than a quarter century old and a perennial best-seller. Over the years, the small crossover segment continues to be one of the fastest growing and the CR-V maintains its reign as the best seller over those 25 years.

But as the segment grows so too does the CR-V that adds another 2.7-inches of length on the wheelbase that's 1.6-inches longer and another half inch wider.

2023 Nissan Ariya

INDIANAPOLIS — My favorite magazines as a kid were Car and Driver issues from the late ‘80s with all of the glossy concept cars.  The 1986 Buick Wildcat, 1986 Pontiac Trans Sport, and 1988 Pontiac Banshee had the sleekest next-century style.  The Wildcat even flashed a flatscreen instrument cluster while the Trans Sport ported a laptop in its dash.  They predicted today’s rides, but none fully match the 2023 Nissan Ariya electric crossover.

2023 Toyota GR Corolla

PHOENIX — Hammering out 300 horsepower with 273 lb.-ft of torque to the all-wheel drive system through a six-speed only manual shifter, the all-new for 2023 five-door Toyota Corolla GR hatchback is the newest performance offering from the detail-obsessed TOYOTA GAZOO Racing team, with master driver Akio Toyota, a.k.a. Morizo promising to infuse excitement into the Japanese automakers brand. Few cars for the 2023 model year has generated as much buzz and hype.

2023 Ford Maverick Tremor

PHOENIX — The Maverick has been nothing but a blockbuster smash hit since it was introduced by Ford in 2021. It’s won numerous “Best of” awards since including the prestigious 2022 North American Truck of the Year honors. Consumer demand now has Maverick the number two truck seller at Ford behind the F-150 and ahead of the Ranger. 

2023 Kia Niro EV

INDIANAPOLIS — I like traveling to California. I enjoy the warm weather, cool architectural vibe, surfing the waves, and of course, imbibing all of the latest electric cars. When I’m tired from a day in the sun, I grab dinner on a restaurant patio before cruising the Pacific Coast Highway with windows and sunroof open. If I lived there, I’d drive the 2023 Kia Niro EV. Even back home in Indiana, it would serve my active family well.

2023 BMW 760i

INDIANAPOLIS — It seems about every 20 years, BMW gets radical with the 7-Series.  Remember back a couple of decades to the 2003 model that debuted the iDrive infotainment system and “Bangle butt” raised trunklid, named for former BMW design chief, Chris Bangle.  Eventually, though, BMW’s competitors copied the car’s controls and rump.  As BMW configures the 7-Series for an electric future, it gives a radical makeover that nods to the past and future in the 2023 760i xDrive.

2023 BMW M2

MIAMI — BMW’s M2 sports coupe moves aggressively into its second generation with the 2023 BMW M2 Coupe offering the joy of a manual gearbox, rear-wheel drive, and lots of technological features to satisfy 21st Century customers. Oh, sure, an 8-speed double-clutch transmission is available, but to experience all that the 2023 BMW M2 Coupe has to offer in the way of driving fun you need to stick with the stick.

2023 Lexus RX 500h F Sport

PHOENIX — Back in 1998 Lexus introduced its first RX crossover utility vehicle in the United States just two years after Mercedes introduced their first-generation ML SUV. The RX met with immediate sales success climbing right to the top of the sales charts’ much to the surprise of the German auto maker who had a two-year head start. Lexus did a better job making the RX more luxury-like and less truck-like.

2023 Genesis GV70 Electrified

PHOENIX — If you’ve been paying attention, you probably already know that Genesis is building some of the most impressive luxury vehicles in the industry today. It should come as no surprise, then, that the Electrified GV70 driven here is nothing short of excellent. The award-winning and top-of-its-class GV70 — competing against luxury legacy brands like Audi, BMW and Mercedes — is made even better by going all-electric, as indicated by its moniker. 

2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R

PHOENIX — Desert racing began nearly 50 years ago in the Mexican Baja and in 1967 this crazy, addictive motorsport became known as the Baja 1000. Over the years this epic endurance race has attracted hundreds of racing legends, celebrities, thrill-seeking dare devils and rank amateurs to Northern Mexico just south of San Diego, California and Ensenada, Mexico.  It’s  the longest non-stop point-to-point race in the world.