First Drive Reviews

  • 2016 Scion iM drive event, Philadelphia area, Sept 2015

    The 2016 Scion iM compact hatchback is the second two of new Scion models for 2016, joining the iA subcompact sedan. It's part of a much-needed new lineup that takes Toyota's youth brand away from funky "tall box" cars or 10-foot-long urban cars and gives it a product that competes in the heart of the small-car market. We were eager to drive the new iM, which can be considered effectively a Toyota Corolla five-door hatchback--but while it will likely make an adequate commuting car, we found it less enjoyable to drive than the smaller iA. DON'T MISS: 2016 Scion iA: First Drive Of 37-MPG...

  • 2016 Chevrolet Volt, first drive in California, July 2015
    2016 Chevrolet Volt First Drive: Plug-In Hybrid Home Run

    The all-new 2016 Chevrolet Volt is just about here, and it builds on all of its predecessor's virtues while resolving most of that car's vices. It's got a lot more electric range--53 miles--and at 42 miles per gallon, it's more fuel-efficient on those rare occasions when the range-extending engine...

  • 2016 Hyundai Tucson
    2016 Hyundai Tucson: First Drive Of New Compact Crossover SUV

    The redesigned 2016 Hyundai Tucson lets its maker mount a new attack on the compact crossover utility segment, where it's lost market share even as sales have soared due to low gas prices and new, more fuel-efficient entries. A tough competitive set includes popular rivals like the Honda CR-V...

  • 2015 Tesla Model S 70D, Apr 2015  [photo: David Noland]
    2015 Tesla Model S 70D: First Drive Of New Electric Car Base Model

    Last week, the new base version of the Tesla Model S, known as the 70D, hit the electric-car world like a thunderclap. No early-warning publicity, no teasing tweet from Elon. Just the sudden appearance on the Tesla website configurator of the new model--with dual motors, all-wheel drive, a 70-kWh...

  • 2016 Smart ForTwo (European version) - First Drive, Barcelona, Nov 2014
    2016 Smart ForTwo: First Drive Of European Version

    The 2016 Smart ForTwo minicar will arrive at U.S. dealers this fall. When it does, it will be playing the redemption card every chance it gets. Smart was created to counter the increasing global trend toward urbanization. One way to make cities more manageable is a microcar that fit the needs of...

  • 2016 Volvo XC90 T8 'Twin Engine' plug-in hybrid, Spain, Feb 2015
    2016 Volvo XC90 T8 Plug-In Hybrid 'Twin Engine': First Drive

    By the end of this year, there will be several luxury SUV models offered in the U.S. with plug-in hybrid powertrains that let them run 12 to 20 miles on electricity alone. We've now driven one of them, the 2016 Volvo XC90 T8 "Twin Engine" model, which will go on sale this fall. And based on our...

  • 2015 Jeep Renegade, Hollister, California, Jan 2015

    Jeep got its start with the U.S. Army more than 70 years ago, and the brand has huge global recognition. Now we've driven the first Jeep designed to sell in greater volume outside the U.S. than at home, the 2015 Jeep Renegade. DON'T MISS: 2015 Jeep Renegade - full review It's a subcompact Jeep, exported to North America from an Italian assembly plant, and its dimensions and personality seem perfectly suited to the growing appetite for utility vehicles in pretty much every market in the world. The second Jeep resulting from the merger of Fiat and Chrysler, after the larger compact Jeep...

  • 2016 Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel-cell car, Newport Beach, CA, Nov 2014
    2016 Toyota Mirai: First Drive Of Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Sedan

    The 2016 Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel-cell car will get a huge amount of promotion and attention from its maker, despite the very low numbers that will be built in its first years. In that respect, it's very similar to the first Toyota Prius hybrid back in 1997--a first sketch of what a future...

  • 2015 Kia Soul EV First Drive  -  Portland  -  November 2014
    2015 Kia Soul EV: First Drive Of Newest Electric Car

    The hamsters are back in Kia’s ads for its new Soul EV all-electric hatchback. And while their geeky, sexy, danceable 'science experiment' is definitely memorable, after driving the 2015 Kia Soul EV we have to wonder if perhaps the Energizer Bunny would have been a better cheer-creature. More...

  • 2016 Mercedes-Benz S550e Plug-In Hybrid
    2016 Mercedes-Benz S550 Plug-In Hybrid: First Drive

    The 2016 Mercedes-Benz S550 Plug-In Hybrid luxury sedan will arrive in the U.S. next spring. We've now driven a prototype of the U.S.-spec car, which is quiet, luxurious, and likely to carry a six-figure price tag. And it will be followed within a year by two more plug-in hybrids using the same...

  • 2016 Audi A3 e-tron  -  First Drive
    2016 Audi A3 e-tron: First Drive

    Plug-in hybrids like the 2016 Audi A3 e-tron—especially those with well-tuned responses and zippy performance—are the evangelists that have the best chance of converting the masses to the joys of all-electric motoring. Yes, electric-car fans, please set aside your all-the-way-or-nothing...

  • 2015 Lexus NX 300h, global launch, Whistler, BC, Canada, June 2014
    2015 Lexus NX 300h Hybrid: First Drive Of Luxury Compact Utility Vehicle

    The 2015 Lexus NX is the first compact crossover from Toyota's luxury brand, and it's been a long time coming. Unlike the mid-size Lexus RX, which helped to launch the luxury crossover category 15 years ago, the smaller NX faces established competitors from the German luxury brands. But Lexus will...

  • Toyota Aygo minicar European drive

    The Scion iQ has not been a success story for Toyota's youth-orientated brand. In 2013, just 4,406 iQs found homes in the U.S. That's half as many as were sold in 2012, hardly a stellar year itself. By contrast, Toyota's other small car had a bumper year in 2013. The Aygo minicar moved nearly 60,000 units worldwide, greater than that of the preceding few years, despite a new model on the way--the car you see here. And having driven the new Aygo, we think it's kind of a shame it's unlikely to hit U.S. shores, since it's a much more appealing product than the unusual iQ. The fall and fall of...

  • 2015 Volkswagen Golf TDI SE
    2015 Volkswagen Golf TDI: First Drive Of All-New Diesel Hatchback

    In today's American car market, 45 miles per gallon is a rare occasion, and 50 miles per gallon is pure fantasy. That's the case for nearly any vehicle that has a fuel tank and isn't a hybrid—and for many hybrids, actually. Enter the 2015 Volkswagen Golf TDI, a vehicle that seems to buck...

  • Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-In Hybrid quick drive (European model)
    Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-In Hybrid: Quick Drive

    Aside from the all-electric Toyota RAV4 EV, there's a distinct lack of plug-in crossovers and SUVs on the market right now. Mitsubishi was hoping to change that with its Outlander Plug-In Hybrid, but battery issues and legislative delays mean it could be early 2016 before the car hits American...

  • 2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive  -  First Drive, May 2014
    2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive: First Drive

    Can electric cars be sexy? Look at the exclusive Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Electric Drive gullwing sports car, and that question has been answered. But put your sensible cap on for the moment, have a look at the 2014 Mercedes B-Class Electric Drive, and you'll find little of such flirtation. That's...

  • 2015 BMW i8, test drive in greater Los Angeles area, Apr 2014
    2015 BMW i8: Sexy Plug-In Hybrid Sport Coupe, Our First Drive

    Could the 2015 BMW i8 sports coupe, coming this summer, do for plug-in hybrids what the Tesla Model S did for battery-electric vehicles? That is, could the sleek, sexy, attention-luring coupe with doors that open like insect wings make plug-in hybrids...sexy? ALSO READ: Chevy Volt: How It Really...

  • 2015 Honda Fit, test drive around Ann Arbor, Michigan, Apr 2014
    2015 Honda Fit: Quick Gas Mileage Drive Of All-New Hatchback

    If you're looking for a small hatchback that delivers high gas mileage and almost unparalleled flexibility, the all-new 2015 Honda Fit should probably be at the top of your list. The new Fit has become a more important car for Honda now that it's built in Mexico, and that's reflected in many of the...

  • Ford EcoSport subcompact crossover first drive review

    Last year, Nissan sold over 230,000 examples of its Juke compact crossover worldwide. MINI sold over 100,000 Countryman and Paceman models. Kia moved nearly 400,000 Sportage crossovers. The message here is that subcompact and compact crossovers are big business. Ford knows this, which is why its new EcoSport (pronounced "Echo-sport") is to be sold in Europe and the Far East, as well as its home markets in South America. U.S. sales are unconfirmed--and as yet, unlikely--but we got behind the wheel for a first drive in Barcelona, Spain. Europe is a key sales arena for subcompact crossovers like...

  • 2015 Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell at Hyundai headquarters, Fountain Valley, CA
    2015 Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell: Hydrogen Crossover First Drive

    Hyundai is an aggressive company, and that applies to its green cars as much as the bread-and-butter sedans and crossovers it sells in growing numbers. So when the company approached Green Car Reports to ask if we'd like to drive its new, hydrogen-powered 2015 Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell vehicle, that...

  • 2014 Mazda 3, test drive, Atlanta region, Oct 2013
    2014 Mazda 3: First Drive

    The 2014 Mazda 3 is the one of the more eagerly-awaited compact cars hereabouts, and now we've had a chance to spend 90 minutes behind the wheel. During a recent test drive that brought together Best Car To Buy 2014 finalists, every High Gear Media editor got a chance to drive a variety of vehicles...

  • Zelectric Motors' 1963 Volkswagen Beetle electric car
    Zelectric Motors' 1963 Volkswagen Beetle Electric Car Driven

    There is a line of thinking, naturally not shared by many of our readers, that engine noise is an integral part of the experience of driving a car. Lack of it in electric cars is one of myriad reasons the average gearhead is still skeptical of EVs. You may think then that swapping the familiar...

  • 2014 BMW i3
    What Do You Want To Know About The 2014 BMW i3 Electric Car?

    The 2014 BMW i3 electric car is one of the most radical new vehicles on the planet. And the innovation comes in many different facets of the car. There's its shape, which is tall and somewhat van-like--unusual for a BMW. Its styling introduces a new design language for BMW's 'i' series of plug-in...

  • 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid Touring
    2014 Honda Accord Hybrid: First Drive Report

    Does the all-new 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid really get 50 miles per gallon? And does it drive as well as a regular four-cylinder Honda Accord? To cut right to the spoiler: yes and yes. For some shoppers who already know and like the Accord, that might honestly be enough—once they run the...