First Drive Reviews

  • 2012 Chevrolet Sonic hatchback, road test, Catskill Mountains, Oct 2011

    Normally, when an automaker brings a new car to the market, it invites automotive journalists to get behind the wheel to put the car through its paces and render their professional opinion on how the car drives, feels and performs. But as part of the launch of the 2012 Chevrolet Sonic, Chevrolet is choosing to supplement the opinions of professional journalists with an entire new breed of test-drivers. It's looking to influential bloggers, Twitterati and other online socialites. Using Klout, an online service that examines and rates how influential a person is amongst virtual friends and...

  • 2012 Honda Civic HF, Palo Alto, California, October 2011
    2012 Honda Civic HF: Quick Drive Of Higher-MPG Civic

    Five months ago, we drove the 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid--which gave us slightly more than 45 mpg using "Econ" mode. That's the best gas mileage of any Honda Civic in recent memory. So we were eager to test the new-for-2012 Civic HF model, which forgoes the electric motor and lithium-ion battery pack...

  • BMW ActiveE electric car, Munich, October 2011; photo by Tom Moloughney
    First Drive: BMW ActiveE Electric Car Prototype

    A couple of weeks ago, BMW invited me to come to Munich and take part in the first drive of production versions of the BMW ActiveE, their second battery electric test vehicle. A bit of background: I've been something of a high-profile MINI E pioneers, maintaining an active blog about my...

  • 2012 Chevrolet Sonic, road test, Catskills Mountains, October 2011
    2012 Chevrolet Sonic LTZ Sedan: Weekend Test Drive

    "Bracket creep" is the phenomenon where each successive generation of a car gets slightly bigger. It's what allowed the Honda Civic to evolve from the 1973 model, which today we'd call a minicar, to the compact it is today. The 2012 Chevrolet Sonic, deemed a subcompact by GM, is a prime example of...

  • 2012 Hyundai Accent
    2012 Hyundai Accent SE: Quick Drive Report--Commuter Car Test

    Over a short test that mimicked commuter duty, our 2012 Hyundai Accent SE hatchback returned 33.4 mpg.

  • 2012 Mitsubishi i  -  First Drive, U.S.-spec MiEV
    2012 Mitsubishi i: First Drive, U.S.-Spec MiEV

    The 2012 Mitsubishi i (what it’s called here) is the most efficient DOT-legal vehicle for sale in the U.S. market, with an official MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent) rating of 112.

  • 2012 Chevrolet Sonic  -  First Drive

    We found the 2012 Chevrolet Sonic to be fuel-efficient, comfortable, and in 1.4T form, the most refined model in this class, and one of the most engaging to drive.

  • 2012 Toyota Camry Hybrid
    2012 Toyota Camry Hybrid: First Drive

    The all-new 2012 Camry Hybrid gets excellent gas mileage, of up to 43 mpg city, 39 highway

  • 2014 Volkswagen Golf blue-e-motion prototype – Copyright High Gear Media
    2014 Volkswagen Golf blue-e-motion First Drive

    Volkswagen is intent on becoming the world's leading automaker by 2018 and that means being top dog in every segment, including hybrid and electric cars. Previously, the German auto giant announced plans to start building its own electric powertrains and even opened a battery research lab at...

  • 2011 Lexus CT 200h compact hybrid hatchback, road test, June 2011
    2011 Lexus CT 200h Compact Hybrid Hatch: First Drive Review

    The 2011 Lexus CT 200h pretty much occupies a class of one. At the moment, it’s the sole luxury compact hybrid hatchback sold in the U.S. And it’s a dedicated hybrid, meaning there’s no gasoline-only version. If you want the compact hatch, you get the hybrid. It’s also terra...

  • V60 PHEV First Drive
    Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid Wagon Prototype: First Test Drive (Video)

    A few weeks ago we were invited to the Challenge Bibendum - an auto-industry event devoted to fuel economy and green vehicles - in order to drive the Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid Station Wagon. We’ve already shared our own first drive report with you, but now it’s time to share our video...

  • 2011 Nissan LEAF in Boulder, Colo. for BolderBoulder
    DRIVEN: 2011 Nissan LEAF Comes To Colorado For BOLDERBoulder

    Memorial Day weekend is a time of year where we honor veterans, look forward to the three-day weekend and for some in Colorado run the BolderBoulder 10K. This year in a newly announced “Innovation for Endurance” partnership, Nissan and Rodale are connecting the Nissan LEAF with a series...

  • 2012 Toyota Prius V media drive event, May 2011 - screen grab from drive report video

    Sometimes we get nicely produced video, and sometimes we get our codriver to shoot it on the fly. For the 2012 Toyota Prius V station wagon we drove last week, it was very much a case of the latter--complete with a mutli-tone "bong" interruption from the Toyota Entune system. Our one-minute video, below, is a quick summary of the much lengthier review of the car we published earlier. READ MORE: 2012 Toyota Prius V Station Wagon: First Drive Review Overall, we found the 2012 Prius V remarkably similar to the Prius hatchback in driving behavior. It feels a little heavier (the difference is...

  • 2012 Toyota Prius V station wagon, Half Moon Bay, CA, May 2011
    2012 Toyota Prius V Station Wagon: First Drive Review

    Toyota executives will go to extraordinary, absurd lengths to avoid defining the body style of the new 2012 Toyota Prius V. Bob Carter, brand sales chief for Toyota Motors in the U.S., first responded with confusion over the question. Presented with a list of alternatives--sedan, hatchback...

  • Smart ForTwo Electric Drive at Urban Stage, London
    2011 Smart Electric Drive On The Streets Of London: Driven

    What makes the perfect city car? Compact dimensions are a good place to start, so you can sneak into small parking spaces on a crowded street and squeeze through gaps that would leave other traffic impatiently waiting. Nippy acceleration is useful too, so you aren't left lagging at the lights...

  • 2011 Chevrolet Cruze
    Driven: 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Gives Great Economy, Comfort and Speed

    The week that transitions Denver, Colo. from March to April marks a busy time, especially for those involved with the Denver International Auto Show. You might have noticed as covered all the exciting news and reviews coming out of the auto show. One of the highlights was the...

  • 2012 Toyota RAV4 EV Prototype
    2012 Toyota RAV4 EV Prototype: First Drive

    Just a year ago, seeing the 'RAV4, Powered by Tesla' startup greeting would have been almost unthinkable. Yet last May, Toyota and Tesla inked a deal that took the industry by surprise—and left a lot of observers scratching their heads. And nearly eleven months since that deal—and nine...

  • 2011 Chevrolet Volt
    2011 Chevrolet Volt: The View From the Inside Out

    If you haven’t seen our part one coverage of our 2011 Chevrolet test drive at the 2011 Denver Auto Show, then be sure to check that out (more here). After talking a little about how the car drives, we thought it would be good to give people who haven’t had a chance to get in one an idea...

  • 2011 Chevrolet Volt

    The 2011 Denver Auto Show, a show that saw an increase in size and participation this year, closed on Sunday. The results proved what most of us in the auto industry felt about the show—there were more people and more manufacturers out on the floor. Officially, the 2011 Denver Auto Show was up in attendance over 20 percent and exceeded its record attendance year by two percent. The record attendance was probably driven by the interest in cars that we haven’t seen in either the press fleet or the general consumer population. That list of firsts included the Fiat 500, Nissan LEAF...

  • 2012 Renault Fluence Z.E.
    2012 Renault Fluence ZE: 2011 Geneva Motor Show, Quick Drive

    The Geneva motor show has always been known for its green vehicles, but electric cars played a greater part than ever this year. French marque Renault was one of the main players with its range of four production electric vehicles. As part of the "Papillon Vert" (Green Butterfly) exhibition...

  • 2012 Ford Focus
    2012 Ford Focus First Drive: The Perspective of a Twentysomething

    If you haven’t seen the 2012 Ford Focus, then what I am about to say is going to come as a bit of a surprise. The 2012 Ford Focus is probably the best compact car that Ford has produced yet. Ford has taken style, performance and technology to new levels in the c-segment and has done so with a...

  • 2011 Nissan Leaf
    Does the 2011 Nissan Leaf Deliver Its 100 Miles Of All-Electric Range?

    Your Mileage May Vary. One of the terms banded about time and time again by automakers as a justification for why your car doesn’t get the fuel economy it says your car should. The reason? Fuel economy is affected by many different variables, from the mood of the driver to the weather, tire...

  • 2011 Tesla Roadster Sport 2.5
    2011 Tesla Roadster Sport 2.5: First Drive Review

    The Tesla Roadster is known among gearheads and electric car advocates as being the sports car that smashes all preconceptions about electric vehicles. So when Tesla announced its aptly-named revision to the iconic all-electric car we just had to see if the Californian-based automaker could beat...

  • 2010 Smart ForTwo Cdi
    Smart ForTwo Diesel Drive Report: Does U.S. Get The Wrong Smart?

    You'd be hard pressed to call us fans of the 2010 Smart ForTwo here at GreenCarReports. The tiny two-seater is a novel idea unfortunately let down in execution. Whilst the car is spacious despite its exterior appearance and we can't fault equipment levels and quality, some mechanical aspects let...

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