Gettin’ Down and Dirty
May 6, 2015
Jeep® and Ram Truck brand vehicles cleaned up at the 21st annual “Mudfest” competition hosted by the Northwest Automotive Press Association (NWAPA) a professional organization of automotive journalists and media members from throughout the Pacific Northwest and Canada.
When the mud cleared, each FCA US vehicle entered winning its respective category. In addition, the all-new 2015 Jeep Renegade took home top honors, being voted “Northwest Outdoor Activity Vehicle of the Year” by automotive journalist members of NWAPA in attendance.
“Following two days of extensive testing, I think it’s clear that Jeep has something special with the new Renegade Trailhawk,” said Ryan Douthit, co-chair of the event. “Don’t let its size fool you: this is one capable little machine. Even though it did extremely well in our sealed-surface slalom and braking tests, it was the smallest Jeep’s remarkable off-road abilities that really impressed our members.”
The 2015 Jeep Renegade was also named the winner of the Compact Utility class, and the 2015 Jeep Cherokee was the winner of the Family Utility class. The 2015 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel won the Pickups category, while the 2015 Ram Power Wagon won in the Extreme Capability class.
“This annual competition sets the bar for outdoor activity vehicle buyers in not only the Northwest, but the entire country,” said Nik Miles, president of NWAPA. “The journalists push vehicles to their limits; this competition is not for the meek and faint of heart. FCA came to the table ready for a tough fight and they played rough and tough, driving away with a trunk full of trophies.”
More than 20 NWAPA automotive journalists spent two days testing vehicles on paved and off-road routes. Journalists tested 27 vehicles from 21 manufacturers to select winners in six categories: compact utility, family utility, premium compact utility, premium standard utility, pickups and extreme capability vehicles. The overall winner, the all-new 2015 Jeep Renegade, was selected from the class winners to be named the Northwest Outdoor Activity Vehicle of the Year.
2015 Jeep Renegade
The all-new 2015 Jeep Renegade expands the brand’s global vehicle lineup, entering the growing small SUV segment, while staying true to the fun-and-freedom lifestyle for which the Jeep brand is known. Renegade delivers a unique combination of best-in-class off-road capability, open-air freedom and convenience, a segment-first nine-speed automatic transmission that contributes to outstanding on-road and off-road driving dynamics, world-class refinement, two fuel-efficient MultiAir engines with more than 30 mpg, and a host of innovative safety and advanced technology offerings.
2015 Jeep Cherokee
There is a new king of the hill in the mid-size sport-utility vehicle (SUV) segment: the 2015 Jeep Cherokee. The 2015 Jeep Cherokee delivers legendary Jeep 4×4 capability, premium on-road manners and superior ride and handling, a segment-exclusive nine-speed automatic transmission, fuel economy ratings of up to 31 miles per gallon (mpg) highway, world-class craftsmanship, state-of-the-art useful technology, more than 70 advanced safety and security features and best-in-class V-6 towing capability of 4,500 pounds.
Powered by a choice of two engines, the 2.4-liter Tigershark MultiAir2 I-4 or the 3.2-liter Pentastar V-6, which includes Engine Stop-Start (ESS) technology and three innovative 4×4 systems that feature the first use of a fully automated disconnecting rear axle, the Jeep Cherokee revolutionizes the mid-size SUV segment. The Cherokee delivers state-of-the-art, easy-to-use technology that customers value, world-class craftsmanship and clever features like the available 8.4-inch touch screen media center, the seven-inch full-color instrument cluster display, inventive storage solutions and cargo flexibility not found elsewhere in the segment with the Jeep Cargo Management system.
2015 Ram 1500
The most recognizable pickup on the road delivers best-in-class fuel economy with a truckload of pioneering, fuel-saving systems and first-in-segment technologies: TorqueFlite 8-speed automatic transmission, thermal management system, pulse-width modulation and active aerodynamics, including grille shutters and air suspension. The Ram 1500 delivers an outstanding combination of best-in-class fuel efficiency, unsurpassed torque and a surplus of towing capability. The EcoDiesel-powered Ram 1500 earned a 29 mpg rating from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the best highway-cycle test result ever achieved by a full-size, half-ton pickup.
2015 Ram Power Wagon
Ram Truck brand’s quest to build the best pickups continues. Ram’s Heavy Duty truck line owns best-in-class towing at 30,000 lbs. and best-in-class Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) at 37,600 lbs., but there’s an additional title Ram Truck has always held: the most off-road-capable pickup. Built to master the most rigorous off-road trails, the Ram Power Wagon is based on the Ram 2500 Heavy Duty 4×4 Crew Cab, but features a number of off-road-specific engineering enhancements, including a unique suspension with more than two inches of lift, locking differentials and a 12,000-pound winch to give the truck a significant advantage over all production pickups.
NWAPA (www.nwapa.org) is a professional organization of automotive journalists and media members from throughout the Pacific Northwest and Canada. Founded in 1991, NWAPA includes 45 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.