First Drive Reviews

  • 2015 Honda Fit, test drive around Ann Arbor, Michigan, Apr 2014

    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 changes Honda has made to the third generation of its subcompact hatchback. Not only does an all-new powertrain deliver much higher EPA-rated gas mileage, but trim levels have been aligned to those in other Honda models and the company proudly touts $1,000 to $1,800 worth of new standard equipment...

  • Ford EcoSport subcompact crossover first drive review
    Ford EcoSport Compact Crossover: Forbidden Fruit First Drive

    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...

  • 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

    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 numbers and see that this is a car for which hybrid ownership will make fiscal sense. Fortunately, we have many more meaningful impressions and numbers to share, as we just returned from spending most of a day with final, production-spec variants of the 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid, which will be Ohio-built...

  • 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV  -  First Drive, Portland, July 2013
    2014 Chevrolet Spark EV: First Drive Report

    Aspire, Sprint, Swift, and Esteem: They’re among the most ironically inappropriate car names. But in its new EV guise, the Chevy Spark has the perfect name, on many levels. This car certainly has more than a spark of personality; it's all-electric (forget about those spark plugs); and...

  • 2014 Volkswagen XL1 (Euro spec)  -  First Drive, Wolfsburg, June 2013
    2014 Volkswagen XL1: First Drive Of Wolfsburg's 261-MPG Car

    Look out, owners of 200-mph testosterone-supplement poster cars. If there ever was a real hypercar, it's the Volkswagen XL1. Although in recent years the term hypercar has been distorted—to include cars that are faster (and often even thirstier) than those supercars from Lamborghini, Ferrari...

  • Toyota Auris Touring Sports Hybrid first drive, Mallorca
    Toyota Auris Hybrid Wagon: Are You Missing Out On Europe's Prius V Alternative?

    It's easy enough to find a hybrid these days, with plenty of automakers offering cars that blend gasoline engines and electric propulsion to one degree or another. More difficult is finding a hybrid vehicle suitable for more active families, those with greater need for space and practicality. Where...

  • Audi R8 e-tron track drive, Berlin Tempelhof Airport
    Audi R8 e-tron: First Drive Of Audi's Electric Supercar

    We'll start with the bad news: No, Audi definitely won't be producing any more examples of its R8 e-tron electric supercar. And even if it did, it'd be well beyond the reach of mere mortals--rumor has it that each of the ten e-trons currently in existence have set Audi back around $1.3 million. All...

  • 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel, test drive in Hell, Michigan
    2014 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel: First Drive

    It’s not every day Chevrolet executives talk about launching at car that competes directly with … a Volkswagen. The new 2014 Chevy Cruze Diesel, however, aims directly at the only affordable compact four-door sedan with a diesel engine sold in the U.S. until now: the Volkswagen Jetta...

  • 2013 Renault Zoe electric car

    You might think that Europe, with its congested cities and relatively short distances between cities, would be the perfect environment for electric cars. Whether or not that's the case, the choice of electric cars there isn't nearly as wide as it is in the U.S. But with the Renault Zoe you see here, it's just got wider, and a lot more affordable. Renault's Zoe is the latest in a line of electric vehicles stemming from the Renault-Nissan partnership. It's a subcompact electric car, based loosely on the platform used under a huge range of Renault-Nissan products, from the Renault Clio found in...

  • 2013 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid drive event, NYC area, April 2013
    2013 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid: First Drive

    When we first drove the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid in the fall of 2010, it was a pre-production car and--frankly--it wasn't very smooth. The 2011 Sonata Hybrid production car was better, but far from the standards of the best hybrids. Now the Korean carmaker has taken another crack at the car, with...

  • 2013 Fiat 500e electric car, Los Angeles drive event, April 2013
    2013 Fiat 500e Electric Car: First Drive

    The 2013 Fiat 500e may be a compliance car, but its engineers created an electric car that's so much fun to drive that seemingly they want it to be more. And with remarkably aggressive pricing--the same $199 monthly lease payment as on a top-of-the-line gasoline 500--Fiat's marketers are trying...

  • Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG E-Cell
    Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Electric Drive Supercar: First Drive Video

    It was a Mercedes-Benz icon before it became a performance flagship. Now it's a messenger for the future: the gullwing's going electric. The SLS AMG Electric Drive electric car is closing in on series production, converting the octane-addicted supercar to fit a greener vision of the future. We've...

  • Mercedes-Benz A Class A180 quick drive
    Forbidden Fruit: Mercedes-Benz A Class Quick Drive

    Selling luxury vehicles is a delicate balancing act. Concentrate on your most wealthy clientele and the market is lucrative, but limited. But go too far the other way, catering for the mass market, and you risk damaging your reputation. This is the barrier Mercedes-Benz has had to cross in...

  • 2014 Ford Fiesta 1.0 EcoBoost (European version)
    2014 Ford Fiesta 1.0-Liter EcoBoost: Quick Drive Report

    Much fanfare has been made about Ford's 1.0-liter, 3-cylinder turbocharged EcoBoost engine. Offering the performance of a 1.6-liter with the economy of a much smaller unit, many would have you believe it represents the future of internal combustion. If not transported to the future, our first drive...

  • 2013 Volkswagen Beetle TDI Convertible first drive

    Despite the seemingly endless combinations of drivetrains, body styles, and features, there are still a few cars in the U.S. market that are unique in their makeup--and we're not talking about the Tesla Model S here. The 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible is the only convertible available in the U.S. with a diesel engine--and better yet, at least when viewed with the right kind of eyes, it's available with a manual transmission. The combination of these three features (convertible, diesel, manual) come together in a completely unexpected way. In fact, the new Beetle Convertible TDI may be the...

  • 2013 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid, Santa Fe, New Mexico, Oct 2012
    2013 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid: First Drive

    The 2013 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid gives VW something it hasn’t had before: a way to appeal to hybrid buyers who won’t consider its TDI diesels—no matter how fuel-efficient they may be. The result is a relatively sporty, conventional looking compact sedan that’s fun to drive...

  • 2012 Mercedes-Benz A-Class
    2013 Mercedes-Benz A Class: U.S-Bound Premium Compact Driven

    Big German automakers used to thrive on producing large, luxurious sedans. Built seemingly to last forever, they were vehicles of aspiration, a cut above volume vehicles from other carmakers. How things change. Aspiration may still be a part of owning a Mercedes-Benz, BMW or Audi, but now gas...

  • 2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid  -  First Drive, 10/2012
    2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid: First Drive Report

    Over the past several years, 40 miles per gallon has become a sort of high water mark for compact cars, with a long list of special efficiency-focused models aiming to meet or exceed that number. Yet for those vehicles, we're talking highway mileage. The 2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid, on the other...

  • 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid, New York City
    2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid: Very Short First Drive

    Memo to carmakers: Midtown Manhattan on a weekday can be a challenging, frustrating place to hold a test drive. Two days ago, we drove the new 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid at a Ford media event, one of a handful across the country to show off its redesigned mid-size sedan. The 2013 Fusion will be...

  • 2012 Coda Sedan
    2012 Coda Sedan: First Drive

    It's been a long time coming, but the 2012 Coda Sedan is now on sale at a handful of dealers in California. Six months after the very first Coda compact electric cars were delivered to buyers, the company is gearing up a major publicity push to sell the electric sedan--which we've now driven. Our...

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