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First Drives of the latest vehicles to enter our test program

Consumer Reports News: July 09, 2008 09:49 AM

At Consumer Reports, we are constantly buying new vehicles to put through our exhaustive test program consisting of more than 50 tests. As vehicles start the evaluation process, we share our initial, raw impressions through the "Logbook" posts to the Cars blog. When vehicles are deeper into their test regimen, we provide First Drive reports on popular models on their way to a complete road test.

The most recent First Drives include the Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid, Honda Pilot, Nissan Murano, Smart ForTwo, Volkswagen Tiguan, and Volvo C30. The full tests of all these vehicles will be published in the months to come.

Down the road, the Acura TSX and Ford Flex are likely candidates for First Drives.

The latest First Drives:

2009 Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid: The Tahoe Hybrid improves on gas mileage over the traditional Tahoe, but the increase in cost may not add up in the fuel savings. Read the complete First Drive.

2009 Honda Pilot: The redesigned Honda Pilot stays close to the original version, but toughens its appearance with an aggressive grille and slab sides. Read the complete First Drive.

2009 Nissan Murano: The redesigned Murano midsized SUV brings improvements such as an upgraded interior and more competitive price. It receives decent fuel economy, but it requires premium fuel. Read the complete First Drive.

2009 Smart ForTwo: The ForTwo minicar combines flashy styling and clever packaging, but it disappoints with dynamics and overall value. Gas mileage is good, but premium fuel eats up the savings. Read the complete First Drive.

2009 Volkswagen Tiguan: Volkswagen’s first small SUV is well crafted with a roomy interior, comfortable ride, and smooth powertrain, but buyers may be in for sticker shock. Read the complete First Drive.

2009 Volvo C30: This sporty small hatchback is very stylish and aims to compete with the Mini Cooper and Volkswagen GTI. However, its competitors are more entertaining and give you more for the money. Read the complete First Drive.

Every month, we add new First Drives to These can be found on our First Drives hub linked on the main Cars page and secondary New Cars page. First looks can also be found in the model overview pages (available to online subscribers) until they are replaced with a final road test.

We’re interested in knowing what new models you would most like to see covered in a future First Drive. Post your suggestions in the Comments below.

Liza Barth

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