First Drive Reviews

  • 2012 Tesla Model S Signature

    Let's make one thing clear right up front: I think the 2012 Tesla Model S is the coolest freaking car in the history of Western Civilization. I put down my $5,000 deposit more than two years ago. I've chugged the Tesla Kool-Aid, extra-large size. But after a 7-minute spin in a dark green Model S last week at the Tesla "Get Amped" test-drive tour stop in Mahwah, New Jersey, I have to conclude--sadly--that the car is not (yet) perfect. Yes, the acceleration was mind-boggling, the ride and handling were sublime, the in-dash technology is whiz-bang. But, in my humble (perhaps idiosyncratic)...

  • 2012 Tesla Model S, brief test drive, New York City, July 2012
    2012 Tesla Model S: First Drive Video

    With Tesla Motors opening new Tesla Stores at a rapid pace, the 2012 Tesla Model S all-electric sport sedan has now been seen by hundreds of thousands of people. Thus far, however, very few of them, however, have gotten behind the wheel. Tesla's working to change that, with a traveling nationwide...

  • 2012 Tesla Model S, brief test drive, New York City, July 2012
    2012 Tesla Model S: First Drive Of All-Electric Sport Sedan

    After an hour in a 2012 Tesla Model S all-electric sport sedan, one thing became clear: It's a viable car. The Model S gives Tesla Motors a shot at turning into a real car company. That's a provisional judgment; as many journalists have noted, 10-minute drives or an hour driving and riding in...

  • 2013 Honda Fit EV drive event, Pasadena, CA, June 2012
    2013 Honda Fit EV: First Drive Of Honda's All-Electric Car

    The 2013 Honda Fit EV is a fun and well-executed little all-electric hatchback. It's quick, handles decently, gets the highest EPA efficiency rating of any vehicle on the market (118 MPGe), and its rated range of 82 miles is longer than that of the somewhat larger Nissan Leaf. Too bad you have very...

  • GigaOm's Katie Fehrenbacher behind the wheel of a 2012 Tesla Model S (video screen capture)
    2012 Tesla Model S All-Electric Sedan: Drive Reviews Roundup

    On Friday, Tesla Motors delivered its first production Model S electric sedans to retail customers, an event the company webcast live. Watch the 26-0minute video above if you want to relive the glorious event. While Green Car Reports wasn't there, we've watched the deluge of coverage and read the...

  • 2012 Volkswagen Beetle, Bear Mountain, NY, May 2012
    2012 Volkswagen Beetle: Quick Drive

    It's not all that fuel efficient, but it's more fun to drive than we expected. That's our reaction to a quick drive last month in a blue 2012 Volkswagen Beetle. It's the entirely redesigned follow-on to the former New Beetle model that was perhaps best known for its dash-mounted flower vase--which...

  • 2012 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport SE

    On paper, the 2012 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport sounds like the ideal compact crossover solution for those on a limited budget. It’s small in size, coming in at over a foot shorter than the standard Mitsubishi Outlander, which shaves some 700 pounds off the crossover’s curb weight. Power comes from the same 2.0-liter, 148-horsepower four cylinder that’s found in the Mitsubishi Lancer. According to the EPA, front-wheel-drive Outlander Sport models will deliver 25 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway, thanks in part to its continuously variable transmission (CVT). Even well...

  • Audi A3 e-tron prototype: first drive, June 2012
    Audi A3 e-tron Prototype: First Drive Video (Exclusive)

    Unlike other carmakers--including BMW with its ActiveE program--Audi has chosen to use only in-house drivers to test the fleet of electric A3 e-tron prototypes it has brought to the U.S. So we're pleased to be among the few media outlets to drive an Audi A3 e-tron, one of just 17 such cars in North...

  • 2012 Ford Focus 1.0 EcoBoost
    2012 Ford Focus 3-Cylinder: Quick Drive Report

    Downsizing: The car industry's buzzword for both consumers shopping for smaller cars than their previous model, and carmakers equipping their models with smaller, more efficient engines. Both are linked to lowering the cost of driving, but the latter is most interesting from an efficiency...

  • 2013 Lexus GS 450h First Drive. [Photos: Antony Ingram]
    2013 Lexus GS 450h: First Drive

    Ever since Lexus launched the RX 400h hybrid SUV in 2005, gasoline-electric hybrids have been an integral part of the Lexus lineup. Cleverly combining performance, luxury and economy, they allow luxury buyers to avoid the compromises that might otherwise be associated with making a luxury vehicle...

  • 2013 Nissan Altima
    2013 Nissan Altima 2.5: First Drive

    The all-new 2013 Nissan Altima 2.5 does a surprisingly good job of blending fuel economy, performance, comfort and value in a midsize sedan.

  • 2013 Lexus ES 300h
    2013 Lexus ES 300h: First Drive

    When Lexus rolled out its HS 250h hybrid sedan a few years ago, there was a lot of head-scratching. The HS 250h was rather cramped inside, had a powertrain that was way too noisy for a Lexus, and was rated at just 35 mpg city, 34 highway—barely better than the Camry Hybrid of the time, which...

  • 2012 BMW ActiveHybrid 5

    Earlier on this year, we asked you if the 2012 BMW ActiveHybrid 5 was really green, or not? Now we've had a chance to drive it. Combining a 3.0-liter TwinPower Turbo straight-six engine and full-hybrid drivetrain into a 5-series body, the ActiveHybrid 5 looks just like any other premium 5-series on the market. Sit behind the wheel, press your foot on the brake and hit the start button however, and the engine remains quiet as you place the car into drive and silently move away. Capable of moving at speeds up to 37 mph in all-electric mode, the ActiveHybrid 5 operates much like the 2012 Toyota...

  • Chinese battery electric crossover: BYD e6 test drive, Los Angeles, May 2012
    Updated BYD e6: First Drive Of Chinese Electric Crossover

    Most Chinese carmakers have backed away from plans to attack the U.S. market, and their hopes of dominating electric cars have slowed. But Chinese maker BYD continues to develop and test the e6 all-electric crossover utility it hopes to sell in the U.S. within a couple of years. Now, we've had the...

  • 2013 Acura ILX
    2013 Acura ILX Hybrid: Driven

    Though it has wandered through a handful of brand identities and images over the past decade, Acura continues to reinvent itself. This time, the next new thing is a hybrid using Acura's first ever implementation of Honda's familiar hybrid system (on a modified Civic platform) in the 2013 ILX. Entry...

  • 2012 Ford Focus Electric, New York City, April 2012
    2012 Ford Focus Electric: First Drive

    The 2012 Ford Focus Electric is the company's first-ever production battery-electric vehicle, and that alone makes it noteworthy. But the fact that it's also pleasant to drive--somewhat on the fun side of unremarkable--means that it's the first compact all-electric competitor to the Nissan Leaf...

  • Renault Twizy first drive, Ibiza
    Renault Twizy Electric Minicar First Drive Report: Video

    GreenCarReports was invited to the island of Ibiza to test Renault's latest electric effort. The Twizy isn't your average electric vehicle, so this won't be your average review. Instead, we'll aim to answer some of the multitude of questions we were asked via the site and via Twitter. What is it?...

  • Volkswagen up! first drive photos
    Volkswagen up!: Forbidden Fruit First Drive

    We've been following the progress of Volkswagen's up! for quite some time. First, we saw the up! Lite concept. Then the up!, a rear-engined minicar. VW then teased some electric up! taxis, before we finally saw the production version - and several more concepts - at the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show...

  • 2012 Toyota Prius C, drive event, La Jolla, CA, Feb 2012

    The 2012 Toyota Prius C may be the most surprising entry in the expanding Prius range. It's smaller, less unusually styled, and about $5,000 less expensive than the standard Prius liftback. And it's more fun to drive (relatively) than its larger siblings. It also gets real-world gas mileage of 50 mpg or more; we saw 51.4 miles per gallon over a 50-mile test drive combining San Diego freeways, two-lane roads through rolling hills, and urban stop-and-go. The EPA rates the 2012 Prius C at 53 mpg city and 46 mpg highway, for the same combined 50-mpg rating as the larger Prius. Unlike the Prius...

  • Range_e Plug-in Hybrid Prototype
    Range_e Plug-in Hybrid Prototype: First Drive Report

    At the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, Land Rover unveiled its first ever plug-in hybrid concept vehicle, the Land Rover Range_e Diesel Plug-in Hybrid. Then in October last year -- purely by chance -- we bumped into one of Land Rover’s five engineering test Range_e prototypes in a shopping mall...

  • 2012 Fisker Karma EcoChic, New York City, Jan 2012
    2012 Fisker Karma: Brief Drive Report

    Well, after three years of asking, we've finally had a chance to drive the 2012 Fisker Karma. And we can confirm that the extended-range electric luxury sport sedan is, in fact, a real car. It's got drop-dead styling, unique interior furnishings, and a good ride that's aided by the fact that it's...

  • BMW ActiveE electric car, January 2012, New Jersey
    BMW ActiveE Electric Car First Drive: What's It Really Like?

    The first BMW ActiveE electric car in North America was just delivered last Friday. Now, with only 600 miles on that car, we've driven it. Our first impressions of BMW's final electric test car, converted from a standard BMW 1-Series two-door sedan, are favorable. It's solid, comfortable, performs...

  • 2012 Fisker Karma EcoSport
    2012 Fisker Karma Electric Car: Quick Drive Review [Video]

    Price increases be damned, the 2012 Fisker Karma is finally here, and first examples are about to arrive in customers' driveways. Earlier in the week we posted our video driving impressions of the new four-door extended-range electric car from startup Fisker Automotive. Now it's time to expand on...

  • 2012 Fisker Karma EcoSport
    2012 Fisker Karma Electric Car First Drive Impressions: Video

    After what feels like forever, the 2012 Fisker Karma electric car is finally about to go on sale. Last month, we showed you how to order a Fisker Karma. Now, we've been able to slide behind the wheel of a new 2012 Fisker Karma EcoSport to bring you some quick first-drive impressions of the car's...

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