NWAPA Announces Mudfest 2010 Winners

SUV of the Year decided at the 16th Sport Utility Vehicle Competition
 The results are in from the Northwest Automotive Press Association’s Mudfest 2010 event, which was held in Vancouver, Washington, September 30 and October 1. Twenty SUVs and CUVx competed in four scored categories-Affordable, Family, Luxury, and Off-Road-with the overall highest-scoring vehicle being declared the SUV of the Year.
The 2010 winners are: 

SUV of the Year:  
2010 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Supercharged

Best Affordable SUV: 
2011 Subaru Outback

Best Family SUV: 
2010 Acura MDX

Best Luxury SUV: 
2010 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Supercharged

Best Off-Road SUV: 
2011 Land Rover LR4

    The 20 NWAPA members who tested and scored every vehicle both days noted the Range Rover’s “elegant look” and “outstanding performance on- and off-road.” One tester said of the LR4, “What can you say? A great SUV.” The Outback was praised for its “aggressive handling,” while another tester said the Subaru “flew over the [off-road] track.” The Acura MDX garnered much praise from the journalists, who called it “very sporty with a beautiful interior.” One tester said its “quality and refinement [were] first class.”

    Mudfest (shorthand for the Northwest Sport Utility Vehicle of the Year Competition), is a yearly event bringing journalists from the Pacific Northwest and the latest in off-road vehicles together for two days of testing. The first day involves an on-road route, where vehicles are tested in every-day situations and scored on design, handling, braking, and more. The second day of the event puts vehicles through their paces on an off-road track, where handling and ride are rated.

    Each vehicle was also assigned to one of four categories in addition to vying for SUV/CUV of the Year. The Family category included scoring for kid-friendly features and versatility, Affordable vehicles were scored on features for the money and power vs. MPG, Luxury vehicles were rated on materials and technology, and Off-Roaders had to prove their capability and gear capacity.

    Sport-utility vehicles are a mainstay of the Pacific Northwest automotive market, and journalists from this region are among the most knowledgeable critics of this segment. Mudfest is the most widely recognized event of its kind in North America.  This annual event allows member journalists to test the performance, handling, and braking, as well as the on-road and off-road demeanor, of each competing SUV. Vehicles invited to participate include all-new and recently updated models. The previous year’s winners are also invited to defend their title.

    NWAPA (www.nwapa.org) is a professional trade organization of automotive journalists from throughout the Pacific Northwest and Canada. Founded in 1991, NWAPA includes 38 voting members, representing more than 100 newspapers, magazines, radio and television stations, media groups and online resources. Non-voting members are comprised of representatives from automotive manufacturers and related industry professionals.