Members of the Northwest Automotive Press Association (NWAPA) voted the 2019 Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S Four-Door as the Northwest’s Most Fun to Drive Vehicle in its annual Run to the Sun performance vehicle and convertible event. This year marked the 13th anniversary of the annual event.
Over the course of three days, NWAPA members drove two dozen different 2019 and 2020 model-year vehicles on some of the best roads in America, with routes ranging from wide-open high desert highways to twisty canyon roads. From its base at the Skamania Lodge in Stevenson, Wash., journalists drove roads throughout the Columbia River Gorge and central Oregon.
Vehicles entered in Run to the Sun competed in four categories: Northwest Most Fun in the Sun (Convertibles), Most Fun Coupe, Most Fun Sports Sedan, and Most Fun SUV. The overall winner — the Northwest Most Fun to Drive Vehicle — was the Mercedes GT 63 S, which captivated journalists with its potent, yet refined, 630-horsepower engine, excellent road manners, and exquisite interior.
“The Northwest’s spectacular roads and three days of magnificent weather gave NWAPA members the perfect opportunity to put 24 world-class vehicles through their paces,” said NWAPA President John Vincent, a senior reporter with U.S. News & World Report.
The course weaved through the Columbia River Gorge and traveled as far south as the Erickson Aircraft Collection museum in Madras, Ore. before heading east to the ghost town of Shaniko, Ore. The day ended with a sprint back to the Skamania Lodge. The final day took the group along the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge, then into Oregon and the historic Mosier Curves, before returning to Portland.
Participants were asked which vehicle they would choose as their own based on what they learned over the 459-mile drive route.
The winners selected by the 24 participating automotive media professionals are:
- Northwest Most Fun in the Sun (Convertible) — 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata Club RF
- Northwest Most Fun Coupe — 2020 Toyota GR Supra
- Northwest Most Fun Sports Sedan — 2019 Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S Four-Door
- Northwest Most Fun SUV — 2019 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio AWD
- Northwest Most Fun to Drive Vehicle — 2019 Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S Four-Door
“Whether on the wide-open stretches of tarmac in Oregon’s high desert or carving through the twisty roads of the Columbia River Gorge, the 2019 Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S proved its status as the pinnacle of Mercedes performance,” said Vincent. “Its supercar performance is blended with superb driving dynamics and a gorgeous, functional interior.”