First Drive Reviews

  • 2018 Toyota Camry Hybrid LE, Willamette Valley, Oregon, June 2017

    The 2018 Toyota Camry Hybrid is the most fuel-efficient version of all-new range of Toyota's popular mid-size sedan, its best-selling vehicle in the U.S. until very recently. The new Camry Hybrid is based on some of the same underpinnings as the 2016 Prius, and uses that car's updated hybrid system and choice of two batteries. In a car we judged to be more stylish than any previous hybrid Camry, the results are impressive. DON'T MISS: 2018 Toyota Camry and Camry Hybrid first drive (full range) It's the first mid-size sedan ever rated by the EPA at more than 50 mpg combined: the 2018 Camry LE...

  • 2017 Cadillac CT6 plug-in hybrid, New York City and Westchester County, NY, May 2017
    2017 Cadillac CT6 Plug-In: first drive of hybrid luxury sedan

    The 2017 Cadillac CT6 Plug-In will be a rare beast in the U.S.; fewer than 1,000 are likely to be sold each year. In many ways, that's a shame. This version of the CT6 large sedan is a worthy competitor among plug-in hybrid luxury cars, the rest of which will come from BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and...

  • 2017 Volkswagen e-Golf, first drive, New York City, April 2017
    2017 Volkswagen e-Golf: first drive of updated 125-mile electric car

    The 2017 Volkswagen e-Golf, the only battery-electric car sold by VW in the U.S., got a large range boost for its third year on the market. While the current model year is winding to a close, 2017 e-Golfs are just now reaching dealers in the handful of states where the compact electric car is...

  • 2017 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell, Santa Barbara, CA, March 2017
    2017 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell: first drive of hydrogen-powered sedan

    There are now three different vehicles powered by hydrogen fuel cells on sale in California, and we've driven them all. The 2017 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell is the first one in which we were able to forget about the powertrain and simply drive. It's the best of the three, although that won't matter...

  • 2018 Toyota C-HR
    2018 Toyota C-HR first drive

    Sport-utility vehicles started out as truck offshoots, essentially tall wagon bodies on truck underpinnings. Think of the first Chevy Suburban in 1935, which remained a specialty vehicle (mostly for Texans) for its first 40 years. Fast-forward another 40 years, and my, how things have changed...

  • 2017 Hyundai Ioniq video road test with Green Car Reports editor John Voelcker
    2017 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid video drive review

    It's been said that the only global carmaker Toyota is really worried about is Hyundai. This year, the legendary Prius hybrid—which celebrates its 20th anniversary—has some new competition. This is the 2017 Hyundai Ioniq. It's a hybrid, but there are actually three models of the Ioniq...

  • 2017 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid

    The 2017 Hyundai Ioniq isn't one car but three, with a unique choice of powertrains. The volume seller will be the Ioniq Hybrid, a dedicated hybrid (as is the Toyota Prius) with a 58-mpg combined EPA fuel-economy rating for its base model. But you can also get it as a battery-electric car (starting in April, in California) and late this year, as a plug-in hybrid as well. DON'T MISS: 2017 Hyundai Ioniq: full review We've now driven each of the three Ioniq variants, but we'll be reviewing each of the cars separately over the next couple of weeks. The challenge for the high-volume Hybrid is that...

  • 2017 Subaru Impreza, La Jolla, California, Dec 2016
    2017 Subaru Impreza: first drive of AWD compact sedan, hatch

    The 2017 Subaru Impreza is one of the most fuel-efficient all-wheel-drive vehicles in the U.S. market, and has been for many years. The entirely redesigned 2017 Impreza rides on new underpinnings, but it's easily recognizable as an evolution of the company's popular compact sedan and hatchback. One...

  • 2017 Nissan Rogue Hybrid, Catskill Mountains, NY, Jan 2017
    2017 Nissan Rogue Hybrid: gas mileage review

    Last year, Nissan sold almost 330,000 Rogues in the U.S., making it by far the brand's most popular model. For 2017, the compact crossover utility vehicle has added a new model, a hybrid that competes with the very successful Toyota RAV4 Hybrid—of which 44,000 were delivered last year. We...

  • 2017 Kia Niro, San Antonio, Texas, Dec 2016
    2017 Kia Niro hybrid: first drive report

    According to its maker, the 2017 Kia Niro is the first "crossover hybrid vehicle" sold in the U.S.—but what does that really mean? We drove150 miles in two different versions of the top-of-the-line Niro Touring model two weeks ago, and concluded that the Niro represents an interesting package...

  • 2017 Smart Fortwo Electric Drive - first drive, Miami, Nov 2016   [photo: Jeff Jablansky]
    2017 Smart ForTwo Electric Drive: first drive of electric two-seat car

    On a hot, muggy day in south Florida, nothing is more comforting than knowing that your well-cooled car will make it to its destination. When that car is a reboot of the Smart Fortwo Electric Drive, the tiny battery-powered European city slicker—and you’re surrounded by a sea of drivers...

  • 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid
    2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid: first drive of plug-in hybrid minivan

    The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid wraps a number of firsts into one innovative package. The Pacifica minivan, launched this year, has received positive reviews for its combination of stylish design, comfortable interior, easy-to-use infotainment, and capacious carrying capacity for up to eight...

  • 2017 Toyota Prius Prime test drive, Ojai, California, Sep 2016

    The 2017 Toyota Prius Prime is a considerably better car than a few electric-car fans had feared. In fact, with an EPA-rated range of 25 miles (more than projected) and energy efficiency so high—at 133 MPGe—that it matches the BMW i3 with all its whizzy advanced technology, it’s a very viable plug-in hybrid choice. [EDITOR'S NOTE: At the time this piece was written, the efficiency figure projected by Toyota for the Prius Prime was 124 MPGe. Toyota subsequently released the official EPA ratings, in which the efficiency figure was 133 MPGe—making the Prius Prime the most...

  • 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV, road test, California coastline, Sep 2016
    2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV first drive: 240 miles in an electric car

    We drove a 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV electric car 240 miles on a single charge last week. And that was the lowest range achieved among four journalists driving four Bolt EVs along the California coast. One driver covered essentially the same trip with fully 32 miles remaining, according to the...

  • 2016 Chevrolet Spark, test drive outside Detroit, July 2016
    2017 Chevrolet Spark first drive

    The 2017 Chevrolet Spark is both the smallest and the least expensive car sold by Chevy in North America. The Korean-made hatchback minicar isn't among the brand's top sellers—those would be its full-size pickup trucks and the Equinox compact crossover—but the previous generation found...

  • 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid, Napa Valley, California, Jul 2016
    2017 Honda Accord Hybrid first drive

    The Honda Accord Hybrid was an impressive car when it launched as a 2014 model, but supply constraints frustrated buyers, and the hybrid mid-size sedan actually skipped the 2016 model year. For 2017, it's back in the lineup, with a slightly improved hybrid system and a host of updates made to the...

  • 2017 Toyota Prius Prime, 2016 New York Auto Show
    2017 Toyota Prius Prime: first drive of new plug-in hybrid

    Toyota is the king of electrified powertrains. With more than nine million hybrid vehicles sold worldwide at this point, and well over 5.5 million of those wearing a Prius badge, no other automaker comes close. Yet somehow that expertise and market domination hasn’t resulted in any...

  • 2016 Tesla Model X
    2016 Tesla Model X first drive review

    When you want to buy a Tesla electric car, and you've got four kids, there's only one choice on the market. That's the 2016 Tesla Model X six- or seven-seat SUV, and courtesy of an owner in just that situation, we've finally been able to spend a few hours driving the luxury crossover. Unlike other...

  • 2016 BMW X1 xDrive 28i, Bear Mountain, NY, May 2016

    It looks like a BMW, offers relatively sporty roadholding for an SUV, and delivers a quiet, solid ride. The 2016 BMW X1 is so cleverly proportioned, in fact, that many buyers will never noticed that it's actually a transverse-engined car with a front-wheel-drive base—the company's first. And the BMW styling, interior, and road feel entirely camouflage the fact that its underpinnings are actually (more or less) from a Mini Cooper. DON'T MISS: 2016 BMW X1 first drive review More precisely, the new BMW X1 and the latest, third-generation Mini share a common architecture, in this case with...

  • 2016 Tesla Model X owned by Ron Merkord, March 2016  [photo: David Noland]
    2016 Tesla Model X electric SUV first drive by Model S owner

    Its maker is doing a great job these days of quarantining the new 2016 Tesla Model X electric crossover SUV from unwanted prying eyes. The only folks lucky enough to get up close and personal with the slick, powerful electric SUV are those who’ve plunked down deposits of up to $40,000 to...

  • 2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, Catskill Mountains, NY, Feb 2016
    2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid: Gas Mileage Review

    The 2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is the first mass-market crossover utility with a hybrid powertrain since the demise of the Ford Escape Hybrid in 2012. Granted, there's the luxury Lexus NX hybrid (using some of the same underpinninngs), and the low-volume Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid, with a mild-hybrid...

  • 2016 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid, Catskill Mountains, NY, Dec 2015
    2016 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid: First Drive Of Sedan Using Volt Hybrid System

    The second generation of GM’s Voltec plug-in hybrid system is now powering a car that doesn’t actually have a plug at all. The new 2016 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid uses essentially the same powertrain as the 2016 Chevy Volt, but with a far smaller battery pack. That makes it a new entrant...

  • 2016 Nissan Leaf SL, Hudson Valley, NY, Dec 2015
    2016 Nissan Leaf: First Drive Of 107-Mile Electric Car

    Electric-car buyers have eagerly waited for the 2016 Nissan Leaf, whose SV and SL models now offer a higher range, rated by the EPA at 107 miles. That's up from the 84 miles of last year's Leaf, and so we eagerly accepted a short-term loan of a new 2016 Leaf SL to test the car ourselves. The bottom...

  • 2016 Toyota Prius - first drive, Laguna Niguel, CA, Nov 2015
    2016 Toyota Prius: First Drive Of 56-MPG Hybrid

    When a Toyota Prius drive event comes with a handling course, you know that things have changed. And in some ways, the all-new 2016 Toyota Prius hybrid is a very different car from the three generations of Prius that preceded it. Perhaps the main difference is simply that it drives, handles, and...

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