NWAPA Announces 2015 Northwest Outdoor Activity Vehicle of the Year
Tahuya, Wash. – Apr. 27, 2015 – The Northwest Automotive Press Association (NWAPA) named the 2015 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk as its 2015 Northwest Outdoor Activity Vehicle of the Year. The 2015 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk combined the perfect blend of performance, features, off-road capabilities, fuel economy and value after two days of rigorous testing during NWAPA’s annual Mudfest competition. This is the event’s 21st year.
Twenty-four NWAPA automotive journalists spent two days putting 27 vehicles through a mix of paved and off-road tracks. On-road testing took place at Sanderson Field in Shelton. Off-road testing was done at the Tahuya Offroad Area near Tahuya, Wash.
Crossover and sport utility vehicles competed in five different categories: compact, premium compact, family, premium mid-size and full-size, and extreme capability. For the first time in Mudfest history, a pickup category was also included. The attending journalists selected from among these category winners to determine an overall winner.
It was a grueling competition with excellent vehicles from all manufacturers in each category, but the vehicles below were a cut above the rest:
- Best Compact: 2015 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk 4×4
- Best Premium Compact: Land Rover Discovery Sport HSE
- Best Family: 2015 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk 4×4
- Best Premium: 2015 Acura MDX AWD
- Best Extreme Capability: 2015 RAM 2500 Power Wagon Crew Cab 4×4
- Best Pickup: 2015 Ram 1500 Outdoorsman Crew Cab 4×4 EcoDiesel
- Best Overall: 2015 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk 4×4
Journalists tested on-road capabilities on a decommissioned runway at Sanderson Field with a customized track layout that tested each vehicle’s acceleration, slalom, panic braking and backup camera capabilities. Two off-road courses were used: a moderate course designed for typical outdoor activities with plenty of dirt, mud, deep puddles and ruts; and an extreme off-road course for highly-capable vehicles, subjecting them to the more rigorous conditions designed for leisure off-roading that benefits from locking differentials as well as superior axle articulation and approach angles. Although only two vehicles were officially entered in the extreme capability class, the 2015 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk 4×4, 2015 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk 4×4, and 2015 Land Rover Discovery Sport HSE were also qualified for the tougher course.
NWAPA (www.nwapa.org) is a professional organization of automotive journalists and media members from throughout the Pacific Northwest and Canada. Founded in 1991, NWAPA includes 45 voting members representing more than 100 newspapers, magazines, radio stations, media groups and the Internet. Non-voting members include representatives from automotive manufacturers and related industry professionals.