Quantcast

Home » First Impressions » Recent Articles:

First Drive: 2015 Lexus NX
Dynamically, a step in the right direction

2015-Lexus-NX-front-wide-mountains-720

[Editor's Note: We have a First Drive coming soon too. The initial footage is not yet finished though, so GET EXCITED because you have more Lexus NX coming your way.]

It also happens to be damned perfect for its target market. The RX is comfortable, offers up an appropriate level of luxury, looks fancy enough without standing out, and is priced in line with the rest of its segment. If you’re afraid to test the diesel waters, the Lexus RX Hybrid is a perfectly fine vehicle for you.

Still, there are some who desire some engagement from their machines. Toyota President Akio Toyoda himself even said recently that he desires to see more a more sporting attitude and nature throughout the Toyota lineup. To that end, we’ve begun to see the initial results of his push. The Avalon no longer looka like the last car you’ll ever buy your grandmother, the Lexus IS and GS are truly entertaining machines both on the street and the track, and the Toyota/Scion GT-86/FR-S are rhythm car blasts from enthusiast heaven.

It should stand then, that a compact crossover from Lexus should be enjoyable to drive as well. This is one of the hottest segments out there, so Lexus needs to offer something unique. Enter the 2015 Lexus NX… and even if you hate how it looks, prepare to love how it drives.

… Continue Reading

First Drive: 2015 Volkswagen GTI
Moving forward while embracing the past

2015 volkswagen gti

It’s not EmKay… it’s Mark. As in Mark 7. I’m referring to the Volkswagen Golf GTI. More specifically, I’m talking about the all-new 2015 Volkswagen GTI. It’s been a fan favorite since the early 80s, and even further back for those that live outside the United States. There’s a reason for that, of course, since this is the car that most consider to be the grandfather of the hot hatch.

We’re not fortunate to swim in the massive sea of hatchbacks that our European friends get to enjoy, so for us the be-all end-all of hot hatchdom is the GTI. It’s important then, that the car continue to be improved. Such is the case with the newest jackrabbit. It’s been given more power, lightened up, has greater interior space, and continues to slide further into the realm of the premium automobile… all without rising in price or losing its charm.

Plaid seats? Check. Golf ball shifter? Indeed. Fun to drive? You bet your ass it is…

… Continue Reading

Quick Spin: 2014 Nissan NV200 Taxi

Nissan NYC taxi (16)
Sometime ago New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission solicited bids for the Taxi of Tomorrow. Four companies were finally selected with Nissan ending up with the winning bid. Unfortunately the bidding process and vehicle development took some time. There were also court hearings regarding Nissan being the only choice. In the end, the replacement for the venerable Crown Victoria has been opened to many automotive makes and models, and the NV200-based cab has become just another choice for the independent cabbies and taxi companies in New York City.

When hailing a cab in New York City today, one may end up with anything from a dying Crown Vic to a diesel Volkswagen Jetta. There are also Altimas, Camrys, Sonatas, Priuses, Escapes, Malibus, Highlanders, Transit Connects, even a Lexus RX. There are a slew of minivans, too. The really lucky riders can end up in one of several Mercedes E or ML diesels. Never before has NYC seen this much variety in its choices for a cab. The bad news is that you still can’t get a cab when you really need one.

Of all the above mentioned vehicles, only the NV200 is developed for taxi duty from the factory. The other ones, even if they are commonly seen as taxis, have been modified with aftermarket taxi equipment. The NV200 is not limited to New York City and can be purchased by anyone at their local Nissan dealership for around $29,000 and it comes with a 150,000 mile warranty. Hit the jump to see more details of the Nissan NV-200 taxi.

… Continue Reading

First Drive: 2015 Hyundai Genesis
No longer an attempt at luxury, but now the real thing

2015-Hyundai-Genesis lede

When the first Genesis was introduced to the planet in 2009, most of the world scoffed at the idea of a luxury vehicle wearing a Hyundai badge. Still, the car has performed alright, and it does a decent job at playing pretend luxury sedan. There were a few areas, however, where it fell a bit flat. The driving dynamics were mediocre, and the seats were far from luxurious.

Now though, it appears we’re ready for round two of the Genesis story. No, I’m not talking about Phil Collins trying to get the band back together, but rather Hyundai turning its upscale four-door into a true contender. The 2015 Hyundai Genesis is here, and it’s not stuck in the Land of Confusion (Whoooaaaa ooooooh).

It’s now a real luxury sedan, and it’s time that Germany and Japan ought to pay attention to it.

… Continue Reading

First Drive: 2015 Audi A3 Sedan
Drop the base…

audi-a3-lede

Don’t call it a base-level car.

While, that sounds harsh… I’m not here to tell you to do anything, of course. What I mean to say is that, after spending a bit of time with the newest compact sedan from Audi, I feel like calling it an entry-level machine is selling it a bit short. This is the 2015 Audi A3, and it might be hiding a bit more bang for your buck than you think.

… Continue Reading

First Drive: 2015 Subaru WRX STI
The same song, still sounds pretty sweet

2015 subaru wrx sti lede

The more things change, the more the stay the same, right? That is how that particular saying goes, and it’s one that could easily be applied to the new 2015 Subaru WRX STI. The lines of the body have changed, the interior has received a few upgrades, and the only body style being offered is the sedan. Still, under the hood sits the familiar 2.5-liter Boxer four-cylinder engine, there’s a large wing out back, and the upgraded interior will not be confused with that of a luxury car.

So is the newest STI just a refreshed all-wheel-drive burble monkey? Sort of… but in a delightful way.

… Continue Reading

First Drive: 2015 Aston Martin V12 Vantage S [Video]

2015-aston-martin-v12-vantage-s-first-drive

I’m a massive fan of the Aston Martin V12 Vantage. That car is a wild mash-up of littlest Aston meeting the automaker’s largest engine, and it’s paired with a manual gearbox to boot. Now though, the automaker has come to market with a new version of the car. It’s called the Aston Martin V12 Vantage S, and it boasts more power, a higher top speed, and can run from 0-60 miles per hour in under four seconds.

There’s a problem though… the manual gearbox is gone. Is this actually a problem though? I trekked to the Palm Beach International Raceway to find out.

… Continue Reading

First Drive: The New 2014 Peugeot 308

20131025_101542

Twenty years ago there came the day that the Ford Escort and the Vauxhall Astra, mainstays of the British family car market, championed by unimaginative car buyers the depth and breadth of the country, were rendered obsolete at a stroke. Not just the Griffon and the Blue Oval, either. Certain, highly respected cars that had enjoyed things all their own way for years began to sit up and take notice, too.

On that day in 1993 the Peugeot 306 was launched, and it took everybody a little by surprise. Of course, a world-class Peugeot was nothing new, the 205 had long had enthusiastic drivers foaming at the mouth, but the 306 was a mature, well-balanced all-rounder that was far better at everything than anybody would have expected. Today, Peugeot are attempting the same trick again, with the best 308 I’ve driven that wasn’t red with the engine in the middle.

… Continue Reading

First Drive: 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel and Ram 2500 Cummins Turbo-DieselNew tech meets old

2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

As part of my trip to the Chrysler press drive event, where I got to test-drive the new 2014 Jeep Cherokee, I was also able to sample some of the new Ram offerings. Two of these were the new 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel, the first light duty full size pickup to offer a diesel engine, and a very capable heavy duty 2014 Ram 2500. This 2500, equipped with a manual transmission, is the last full size pickup to offer a row-your-own option in the United States.

Hit the jump to enter the Wonderful World of Diesel. … Continue Reading

First Ride: 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 [w/Video]
A finely honed track weapon

2014-chevrolet-camaro-z28-lede

I don’t really care for the Chevrolet Camaro.

If you’re a regular reader of Hooniverse, you’ve heard me say that before. Sure, the older ones are definitely cool, but I have no love for the modern version. The Camaro ZL1 is certainly a blast thanks to its delightful amount of horsepower and noise. Folks who have driven the 1LE rave about its handling prowess. But other than those two (and one aftermarket tuned example), I’ve never enjoyed my time with the Camaro.

I’m telling you this so you fully understand just how impressed I am by the 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28. General Motors flew a handful of folks to Michigan so we could get a closer look at the latest machine to wear a very important badge. No, I didn’t get to drive the car, but I ride shotgun…

…and it was enough to blow me away.

… Continue Reading

Search

Hooniverse Marketplace

Featuring Top 2/3 of vehicles Available in Marketplace

Read more





Subscribe via RSS