Tag Archives: First Drives

2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is a snow warrior, too

It was a bright, sunny February afternoon in Chicago when I picked up the 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. Still, with temperatures in the 30s, the conditions weren't ideal for such a performance beast. No matter really. I wouldn't be taking this 707-horsepower SUV to a track anyway. I'd just be driving it like I owned it. The decent weather wouldn't...

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2019 Audi A7 first drive review: evolution in Africa

Cape Town, South Africa - The South African landscape is unusually parched. Late January is midsummer here, and the country is in the throes of a drought that threatens the water supply. Day Zero is April 16, about a month before the rainy season that could stave off this water crisis. It's an impending problem for a beautiful country still transforming...

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2018 Jaguar E-Pace first drive review: small crossover with big ideas

The afternoon sun in Corsica melts into the 2018 Jaguar E-Pace's sumptuous lines. The E-Pace needs a lot of light. After all, it's instantly familiar. Its shapes raid Jaguar's closet and wrap them around a compact crossover—none of this is a bad idea. The running gear has a family resemblance to the Range Rover Evoque and Land Rover...

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2018 Subaru WRX STI Type RA first drive review: a lighter, tighter WRX STI

Subaru's STI division has a recipe for more fun. Add liberal amounts of better handling, a dash more power, then bring the heat. In the case of the $50,000 2018 Subaru WRX STI Type RA, the recipe is fully baked. . After spending a day with this special edition model--limited to only 500 units in the US market--it's clear that it's a better...

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2018 Subaru BRZ tS first drive review: less sideways, more stick

The Subaru BRZ has been focused on handling and fun since its introduction in 2011. Dynamic drivability comes naturally in a lightweight sports car, after all. For 2018, the STI-tuned Subaru BRZ tS sharpens its handling further—nearly to the point of leaving bare the car's power deficit. Less sideways, more grip The BRZ tS is immediately...

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2018 Buick Regal Sportback first drive review: the crossover of cars

The decision to do away with a sedan shape and offer the 2018 Buick Regal as a hatchback (called Sportback) and a wagon (called Tour X) is an odd one at first blush. After all, mid-size sedans traditionally have been among the strongest selling vehicles, while hatchbacks and especially wagons have seen little success. But a funny thing has happened to...

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2018 Infiniti QX80 first drive review: age is more than a number

The 2018 Infiniti QX80 is a frustrating vehicle. It's (finally) attractive. There's a charming powertrain moving it along. And this big truck does luxury well, with beautiful leatherwork and a quiet cabin. But these attributes aren't enough to to overshadow the QX80's age. At the very least, Infiniti's reskinning of the QX80 has been a success. In a bid to...

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8 things you need to know about the 2018 Cadillac CTS-V

Rip out the heart of a C7 Chevrolet Corvette Z06, shove it into a four-door luxury sedan, and what do you get? The 2018 Cadillac CTS-V. With far more horsepower than anyone truly needs, loud noises that will instantly put hair on your chest like a Chia Pet, and a chassis that should be a dynamic benchmark for the Germans, Cadillac has proven the third time...

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2018 Jeep Wrangler first drive: expectations defied

With anticipation comes expectations. Before venturing to Tucson, Arizona, to experience the 2018 Jeep Wrangler, we assumed that it would be more refined, more livable, more comfortable, more efficient, and more feature-laden. And it delivers all those superlatives. But what we also expected was compromise. If Jeep can make a Wrangler a viable daily driver...

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2019 Volkswagen Jetta prototype first drive: stress relief

Matthias Erb, the engineer tasked with turning VW's North American operations from car importer to full-on development office, isn't able to relax for long. Last year, VW finally got competitive in the American crossover market with its redesigned Tiguan and new Atlas. This year, it's an even bigger challenge: reinvigorating a dated compact...

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