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The Northwest Automotive Press Association announces its Mufest 2019 award winners.

RYAN DOUTHIT, MEDIASPIGOT LLC - The 2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon dominated the Mudfest 2019 awards with its extreme off-road 4X4 capabilities and its smooth, quiet on-road manners.

Recognizing that SUV and pickup truck sales account for more than two-thirds of all new vehicles sold in America, automotive journalists from around the Pacific Northwest gathered near Shelton, Washington recently to test drive 22 different SUV and pickup truck models. At the end of the event, the assembled journalists voted for the best all-purpose vehicles for Northwest drivers.

The event, called Mudfest 2019, was organized by the Northwest Automotive Press Association (NWAPA).

RYAN DOUTHIT, MEDIASPIGOT LLC - The 2019 Subaru Forester Sport won the Subcompact and Compact Family award.

At the conclusion of two days of on-road and off-road testing, the all-new 2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon mid-size pickup truck dominated the awards. The Gladiator received top marks among pickup trucks, extreme capability vehicles, and the overall Northwest Outdoor Activity Vehicle of the Year award.

"The all-new 2020 Jeep Gladiator earned its title with an exceptionally functional blend of SUV and pickup attributes," said NWAPA President John Vincent, of U.S. News & World Report.

Journalists were impressed by the Jeep's extreme off-road 4X4 capabilities, its smooth, quiet on-road manners, and the fact that the Gladiator is the only pickup on the market with a removable top. All 2020 Gladiators come with a four-door crew cab, five-foot truck bed, four-wheel-drive, and a 3.6-liter V6 engine. Gladiator pricing starts at $35,040 including destination fees.

RYAN DOUTHIT, MEDIASPIGOT LLC - The 2020 Kia Telluride SX V6 AWD won the Mid-and Full-Size Family award.

Additional category winners were chosen among small and mid-size family SUVs, as well as mid-size and full-size luxury SUVs. Category winners included:

• Subcompact and Compact Family - 2019 Subaru Forester Sport

• Mid-and Full-Size Family - 2020 Kia Telluride SX V6 AWD

• Compact and Midsize Luxury - 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE450 4MATIC

• Full-Size Luxury - 2019 BMW X7 xDrive50i

• Pickup Trucks - 2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon

• Extreme Capability - 2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon

• NW Outdoor Activity Vehicle of the Year - 2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon

RYAN DOUTHIT, MEDIASPIGOT LLC - The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE450 4MATIC won the Compact and Midsize Luxury award.

In all, 25 automotive media professionals spent two days driving through a mix of on-road handling and off-road courses. The first day was given to on-road handling tests while the second day took journalists through a custom-made off-road course designed to evaluate the capabilities of the sport utility vehicles and pickups. Each journalist was required to test-drive every vehicle in order to register a vote for the awards.

The off-road course simulated rough Forest Service roads that Northwest drivers often encounter on weekend adventures. Plenty of loose dirt, deep ruts, steep climbs, and dramatic descents formed the route, challenging each vehicle's all-wheel drive systems. The venue showcased state-of-the-art off-road technologies, including available 360-view cameras, hill descent controls, and active traction management systems present on many new vehicles.

All of the award-winning vehicles are available in Portland area dealerships now.

You can read a Portland Tribune/Pamplin Media Group review of the 2020 Jeep Gladiator here.

RYAN DOUTHIT, MEDIASPIGOT LLC - The 2019 BMW X7 xDrive50i won the Full-Size Luxury award.

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