First Drive Reviews

  • 2017 Mercedes-AMG C43 Coupe

    Its impossible not to notice that the 2017 Mercedes-AMG C43 has too much tire. The 225- and 245-millimeter, 19-inch Pirelli P Zero rubber sticks to the road like hot Doublemint, and the standard traction control setting has a short leash anyway. Back and forth in the C43 along coastal roads, we find investing too much into the throttle pays only small dividends. Every motion up and down the canyons of Southern California is quick and without drama, too. Nose in to a corner with too much gusto, and the front tires feel like they cut slip angle down to the Fed's fund rate. Too quick with...

  • 2017 BMW 740e xDrive
    2017 BMW 740e xDrive iPerformance first drive review

    The word hybrid is indelibly attached to the Toyota Prius, a vehicle renowned for its frugality. And when the suffix plug-in is added, perhaps the first car to come to mind is the Chevrolet Volt. Both cars are true green machines that save owners money over the course of ownership, as well as at...

  • Porsche Camp4 Canada 2017
    Fast camp: Take me to Porsches on ice

    Drivers dread the moment they effectively "run out of talent." That sinking feeling in the bottom of your stomach when a turn goes pear-shaped and the car goes sideways isn't exactly thrilling. For some, talent runs out on the day's last lap, when tires are hot and tensions are hotter. For others...

  • 2017 Ram 2500 Power Wagon
    2017 Ram Power Wagon first drive review: Irrational but appealing

    Las Vegas – If it were a teenager, it'd do things just “for the lulz.” Fiat Chrysler is starting to take that approach, and it's making this Italian-American brand one of the most absurd automakers on the market. CAFE standards? Start stuffing a supercharged, 6.2-liter V-8 into...

  • 2017 Lexus LX 570
    2017 Lexus LX 570: The luxobarge value?

    We live in an era in which flagship luxury SUVs start around $70,000, and they can easily top $100,000. Heck, the Mercedes-AMG G65 exceeds $220,000. And that's before we start talking about the Bentley Bentayga and its available dash clock priced at $170K (no, that's not a typo). To say things have...

  • 2017 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS
    2017 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS first drive review: the bargain 911

    Cape Town, South Africa - I'm at the wheel of the 2017 Porsche 911 GTS at Killarney Raceway behind 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Marc Lieb and I'm frustrated. Lieb, in the even more powerful 911 Turbo S, is setting a leisurely pace and I want to pass him. It's not because I'm some world-class...

  • 2017 Dodge Challenger GT, Media drive, Portland, Maine, January 2017

    How do you make an old car new again? If you’re Dodge and your Challenger's structure hasn’t significantly changed since it was released for the 2008 model year, you add an all-wheel-drive system from an existing product, slap a new model name on it, and call the all-season muscle car. The result is the 2017 Dodge Challenger GT. Now, Dodge did a little more than that, but we'd have a lot more to say if we were reviewing the next generation Challenger today, the one built on the Alfa Romeo Giulia's platform, instead of a “new” version of a nine-year old car. But Fiat...

  • 2017 Subaru BRZ
    2017 Subaru BRZ: playing in Spain

    If you're still complaining about the Subaru BRZ's lack of turbo, you probably don't quite understand how Subaru--with help from Toyota--developed this sports car. From the beginning, the point was to save as much weight as possible, and that doesn't change with a 2017 update. Subaru has given the...

  • 2018 Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid
    2018 Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid first drive review: Split personality

    Cape Town, South Africa - The 2018 Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid is an enigma wrapped in the sheet metal of a four-door 911. It’s a car with incredible power, a lightning quick 4.4-second 0-60 mph time, and a ridiculous top speed of 172 mph. Yet, it’s a plug-in hybrid that can run on...

  • 2017 BMW 5-Series
    2017 BMW 5-Series first drive review: playing the middle

    BMW’s middle child has always had identity issues. Iterations of the 5er have had their moments, but it’s always worn hand-me-downs from the 7-Series and, quite frankly, we would’ve rather played with the 3-Series on a Saturday afternoon. You can imagine how hard this 2017 BMW...

  • Lamborghini Huracán Rear-Wheel Drive Spyder
    2017 Lamborghini Huracán RWD Spyder first drive review: a supercar throwback

    Have modern supercars become too soft? Pick pretty much any high-dollar exotic today and it's easy enough to use for an evening trip to a fancy dinner spot. Your date will be comfortable, and neither of you will be sweating due to the heat from the transmission tunnel. You won't have white knuckles...

  • 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor
    2017 Ford F-150 Raptor first drive review: One of a kind on road and off

    Sports cars are great at going fast around corners, but you know what they can't do? They can't rip across the desert, they can't crawl over rocks, and they can't perform glorious jumps over sand dunes. You know what can? This beast can. It's the Ford F-150 Raptor, and for 2017 it's here for a...

  • 2018 Lexus LC500

    SEVILLE, Spain--If you remember the very first days of Lexus, you remember the clever ads: the champagne glasses on the hood of the car, the ball bearing rolling down its hood, the "relentless pursuit of perfection." Forget it all. Now Lexus is chasing after world-class luxury and performance with big power, great handling and outrageous styling. They don't ever want to be called boring again. The evidence so far: the shapely GS sedan, RC coupe, even the latest RX crossover. Next up: the most extroverted Lexus you’ve ever seen, the 2018 Lexus LC 500 and LC 500h, the most convincing show...

  • 2018 Mercedes-AMG E63 S
    2018 Mercedes-AMG E63 first drive review: the deep-knee Benz

    It's time to come clean, friends. Don't worry, You're in a safe space here. Just admit it. You're power-hungry. But just how much power will it take to get your fix? 300? 400? 500? How about 603 horsepower—stuffed into the latest, greatest version of the Benz E-Class? Works for us. We're just...

  • 2017 Bentley Bentayga
    2017 Bentley Bentayga video review

    Even among big SUVs, it's the little things that make all the differences. One-touch windows, real radio knobs. Yeah, that's the good stuff. This machine? Its little things are a lot different. How about a custom-made picnic basket, 115 paint colors, and a $170,000 watch stuck in the dash? Sounds...

  • 2018 Audi Q5
    2018 Audi Q5 first drive review: everything you expect, in a better package

    Sometimes, familiarity breeds discontent. Such was not the case with the Audi Q5, however. Though it first hit the market all the way back in 2008, the German automaker resisted updating its compact crossover until now—and that seemed just fine with its audience, which has snapped up around...

  • 2017 Mercedes-AMG GLC43, Affalterbach, Germany
    2017 Mercedes-AMG GLC43 first drive review

    We’ve been down this road before—well, not literally, as this particular stretch of Germany’s Baden-Württemburg state isn’t exactly bristling with tourists. But there’s a distinct familiarity to the Mercedes-AMG GLC43. After all, the recipe is tried-and-true for...

  • 2017 Kia Soul Turbo first drive review - Image via Jeff Jablansky
    2017 Kia Soul Turbo first drive review

    The Soul hatchback has been very, very good to Kia. Where some car companies believe in their most expensive products to exemplify their respective brand identities, Kia has turned to the chance popularity of its compact hatchback to embody the image of a brand in transition. The way Kia explains...

  • 2017 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S

    The 911's flat-6 engine has been one of its greatest strengths. The naturally aspirated boxer engine, in displacements ranging from 3.4 to 4.0 liters created great sounds, and put out linear, tractable power that somehow delivered than its power figures would indicate. For 2017, however, Porsche has updated the 991 generation of the 911, adding turbochargers to the base and S models. The new so-called 991.2 generation 911 features two new twin-turbocharged flat sixes. The base version displaces 3.0 liters and puts out 370 horsepower and 331 pound-feet of torque. Those numbers represent...

  • 2017 Audi A4 vs. 2017 Jaguar XE
    Jaguar XE vs. Audi A4: A luxury compact confrontation

    It's a question we've been asking ourselves since the 2017 Audi A4 and the 2017 Jaguar XE first rolled into our driveways: which one's better, and can either of them ascend to the 3-Series' old slot as the top compact sport sedan? We find no shortage of irony that the staid British luxury brand is...

  • 2017 Audi R8 vs. 2017 Acura NSX
    Acura NSX vs. Audi R8: We compare tech versus higher tech

    Supercars give automakers a chance to show off the fullest extents of their design and engineering capabilities. They use lightweight materials, advanced powertrains, and state-of-the-art suspension technologies to create the fastest, best handling, and most exotic automobiles on the planet. But...

  • BMW M2 vs. Focus RS
    BMW M2 vs. Ford Focus RS: Have turbos, will travel

    Being low man on the totem pole isn't always so bad. Two of our finalists for the Motor Authority Best Car To Buy 2017 award, the 2016 BMW M2 and 2016 Ford Focus RS, started life at or near the bottom of their respective lineups. The Ford Focus’ platform dates back to 2011. It’s a...

  • 2017 Chevrolet Camaro 1LE
    2017 Chevrolet Camaro 1LE first drive review: More than a track package

    I’m in the base model, on a pencil-straight desert road, and I already love this car. Even with the V-6 engine you can get in an Impala, the 2017 Chevrolet Camaro 1LE has already wormed its way into my heart. The immediate steering response, the feel of the suede-covered steering wheel, and...

  • 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio
    2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio first drive review

    Cracking off shifts of the ZF 8-speed automatic with the column-mounted aluminum paddle shifters, the 505-horsepower turbocharged 2.9-liter V-6 snarling like a staked pitbull, and railing up the fast, heavy g-loading of Turn 1 at Sonoma, the 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio tucks in and rotates...

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