The Northwest Automotive Press Association has named the 2017 Land Rover Discovery HSE Luxury as its 2017 Northwest Outdoor Activity Vehicle of the Year.
The 2017 Land Rover Discovery impressed NWAPA members with its on-road and extreme off-road prowess, demonstrating the perfect combination of performance, features, capability and technology during NWAPA's 23rd annual Mudfest competition.
Other winners in different categories included:
• Best Compact: 2017 Jeep Compass Trailhawk
• Best Premium Compact: 2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack
• Best Family: 2017 Subaru Forester 2.5i Touring
• Best Premium: 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk
• Best Extreme Capability: 2017 Land Rover Discovery HSE Luxury
• Best Pickup: 2017 Ford Raptor
To make the decisions, 28 NWAPA automotive journalists spent two days driving 27 vehicles through a mix of on-road handing and off-road courses. Testing took place at The Ridge Motorsports Park in Shelton, Wash.
NWAPA officials said the it was a close competition with excellent vehicles from all manufacturers in each category.
"With the U.S. experiencing a long period of low fuel prices, the SUV and crossover segments are booming," says NWAPA President John Vincent of U.S. News & World Report. "Whether you're a skier who's looking for an SUV that can get you to the mountains in the worst of weather, or a family needing plenty of room for kids and all their gear, an all-wheel drive SUV is a great option."
Journalists tested on-road capabilities on a coned-off autocross course that lead into The Ridge's go-kart course. The layout was a perfect test of a vehicle's acceleration, slalom, panic braking and rear-view camera capabilities.
All of the vehicles were also tested on an off-road course with optional sections of more difficult conditions. It inlcuded dirt, mud, ruts and elevation to test a vehicle's four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive systems and technology features like front cameras and hill descent control.
An extreme off-road section subjected certain vehicles to more rigorous conditions designed to evaluate their off-road prowess and features including low-range four-wheel drive, superior axle articulation, and approach angles. Although only three vehicles were officially entered in the extreme capability class, several others were also tested on it, including the 2017 Ford Raptor, Jeep Compass Trailhawk, Grand Cherokee Trailhawk, Nissan Titan Pro-4X, Nissan Armada, Ram 2500 Power Wagon and Subaru Forester.
NWAPA is a professional organization of automotive journalists and media members from throughout the Pacific Northwest and Southwest Canada. Founded in 1991, it includes 53 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. For more information, visit www.nwapa.org