2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe named Northwest Outdoor Activity Vehicle of the Year
After two days of on- and off-road evaluations, the automotive media professionals of the Northwest Automotive Press Association named the 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe as the Northwest Outdoor Activity Vehicle of the Year. This marks the first time in the 27-year history of the event — fondly referred to as "Mudfest" — that a plug-in vehicle has won the overall title.
The completely redesigned SUV also won the Mid- and Full-Size Family category, won the Electrified Vehicle category, and tied for second place in the Extreme Capability category.
"The 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe marks a new era in the SUV market," NWAPA President John Vincent of U.S. News & World Report said. "It's a no-compromise vehicle that blends Jeep's legendary off-road capability with outstanding on-road manners, impressive fuel economy, and the ability to travel on electricity alone."
The 20 crossovers, SUVs and pickups tested during the event represented the most diverse — and most competitive — field in the history of Mudfest. First and second place winners were announced in the following categories:
• Subcompact and Compact Family — 2023 Mazda CX-50 Turbo Premium Plus
Runner up — 2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness
• Mid- and Full-Size Family — 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe
Runner up — 2022 Kia Sorento PHEV
• Compact and Midsize Luxury — 2022 Genesis GV70 AWD 3.5T Sport Prestige (repeat winner)
Runner up — 2022 Acura MDX Type S
• Full-Size Luxury — 2021 Genesis GV80 AWD 3.5T Prestige
Runner up — 2022 Wagoneer Series III 4x4
• Pickup Trucks — 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz Limited AWD (repeat winner)
Runner up — 2022 Nissan Frontier Pro-4X
• Extreme Capability — 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor
Runner up (tie) — 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe
Runner up (tie) — 2022 Wagoneer Series II 4x4
• Electrified Utility Vehicle — 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe
Runner up — 2022 Kia Sorento PHEV
• NW Outdoor Activity Vehicle of the Year — 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe
Runner up — 2022 Genesis GV70 AWD 3.5T Sport Prestige
Members of the NWAPA spent April 19 and 20 evaluating the 2022 and 2023 vehicles on specially prepared courses at the Ridge Motorsports Park in Shelton, Wash. The first day of testing consisted of on-pavement courses designed to allow evaluation of acceleration, braking, road manners, and handling. The second day was all about off-road performance, with challenges crafted to evaluate traction, clearance, articulation, and the latest in off-road technology.
The off-road testing courses also featured optional sections for extremely capable vehicles. They took these SUVs and pickups through steep climbs, deep moguls, and extreme descents on loose dirt and mud to test their prowess and features, such as low-range four-wheel drive, axle articulation, plus approach, breakover, and departure angles. Vehicles were required to complete this course to be eligible for the Extreme Capability category.
New for 2022 was the Electrified Outdoor Activity Vehicle of the Year class. To compete in this class, a vehicle needed to be fully electric or a plug-in hybrid. The electrified vehicles competing this year were plug-in hybrid SUVs.
NWAPA is a professional organization of automotive journalists and media members from throughout the Pacific Northwest and Southwest Canada. Founded in 1991, it includes 45 voting members representing newspapers, magazines, radio stations, media groups, and the internet. Members of the organization have been testing SUVs and crossovers since the advent of the modern sport-utility vehicle in the mid-1990s. Non-voting NWAPA members include representatives from automotive manufacturers and related industry professionals. Learn more at www.nwapa.org.
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