Quick Drive

  • 2016 Mitsubishi i-MiEV Quick Drive  -  Portland OR  -  July 2015   [photo: Doug Berger]

    It’s been nearly four years since the tiny Mitsubishi i-MiEV hit the market. And considering the rapid evolution and transformation of the electric-car market that’s occurred over the past several times the earth has gone around the sun, that’s really light years. So when we decided to go back and revisit the little i-MiEV, which returns for 2016, we couldn’t help but see it in a different light. It’s no longer so much the technological curiousity, or a forerunner of a new technology—or, to early adopters, a long-awaited, fully legal electric passenger car...

  • 2014 MINI Cooper automatic, Bear Mountain, NY, May 2014
    2014 MINI Cooper Automatic: Quick Drive

    The all-new, third-generation 2014 MINI Cooper three-door hatchback--now called "Hardtop" by MINI--sports a longer nose, a new 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine, and an interior that at last cleans up some of the disastrous ergonomics of the previous cars. Specifically, the round display in the...

  • Volvo S60 Drive-e diesel driven
    Volvo's Efficient 180-Horsepower Drive-E Diesels Driven

    Volvo may be best known for its emphasis on safety, but the marque is keen to cultivate an image of efficiency, too. As such, the Swedish automaker has overhauled its engine range with a new lineup of four-cylinder powerplants, in both gasoline and diesel formats. The idea is to offer four-cylinder...

  • 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...

  • Audi A3 g-tron first drive, Berlin
    Audi A3 g-tron: First Drive Of Natural Gas Compact Car

    We lost count of just how many times Audi engineers used the phrase "no compromises" during their 'tron' presentations in Berlin. And driving the Audi A3 Sportback g-tron, a near-standard A3 running on natural gas, it's hard not to agree with them--at least initially. For the average car buyer, the...

  • Mercedes-Benz A Class diesel: UK drive
    Mercedes-Benz A-Class 200 CDI Driven: Taster For Diesel CLA?

    There are many reasons why certain models aren't sold in certain markets, but that doesn't make it any less frustrating when you can't get hold of them. For fans of diesel vehicles, there are almost too many to count--few vehicles in Europe don't have a diesel option in the range, but only a...

  • 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 Honda CR-Z hybrid coupe [UK specification]
    2013 Honda CR-Z Hybrid Coupe: Quick Drive Report

    Honda launched the CR-Z hybrid coupe in 2010, aiming to defy the assertion that all hybrids are slow and boring. It has to be said that as defiant acts go, the CR-Z hasn't been entirely successful. Gearhead circles have criticized its so-so performance, while hybrid fans decry its average economy...

  • 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 Smart ForTwo Electric Drive
    2013 Smart Electric Drive: Better Than Earlier Electric Smarts?

    Smart's third-generation Electric Drive model might look similar to the car it replaces, but it's a very different vehicle under the skin. To discover just how different, our latest drive in the new electric Smart let us compare with our experiences from the previous model--and the differences are...

  • 2012 Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid
    2012 Toyota Prius Plug-In: Quick Drive Report

    In the spectrum of alternative fuel vehicles, there's something on sale to suit almost every taste. Whether you're buying an all-electric vehicle or simply want a mild hybrid to save a little on gas, there's a lot of choice in between. The 2012 Toyota Prius Plug-In sits virtually in the center of...

  • 2012 Fisker Karma EcoSport

    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 those. Before you even get into the Fisker Karma, it presents a commanding presence. With more curves than most pop stars, it's one car that earns the term sexy styling. Up front you have what some would call a mustache of a grille, below a hood with some deep sculpting. With 22-inch wheels filling...

  • 2011 Ford Fiesta sedan
    2011 Ford Fiesta SES: Quick Drive

    Photo: Anne Proffit If we Americans are going to start driving smaller cars, Ford has certainly made it easier to embrace the idea. The 2011 Ford Fiesta SES is a lively and fun front-wheel-drive hatchback that exudes the type of elegance one never expects from a small and relatively inexpensive...