An active lifestyle is quite a big deal here in Arizona. We have all the climates and terrains most states don’t have. From the sandy desert to the muddy forest, up to the snowy mountains – we have just about everything for an adventure seeker. But what about the car? It’s a big deal for car manufacturers to work their cars around all lifestyles; whether you’re a stay at home mom with an errands list longer than a CVS receipt or a thrill chaser in search of the next cliff to climb, a car must fit all walks of life.
For over a decade, there has been a tradition held here in Phoenix: Active Lifestyle Vehicle Awards. This year marked its 14th year where Manufacturers and local athletes (cyclist, former football players and triathlon runners), as well as media (the normal everyday lifestyle bunch) come out and analyze specifically categorized cars for to see who takes home a trophy at the end of the day.
This is a one day event where we test over 25 cars through various courses from extreme off conditions to the mundane road life. There are 9 categories: Urban, Best Value on Road, Green (EV), Luxury on Road, Best Value Family, Luxury Family, Best Value Off-Road, Extreme Off-Road and High Luxury.
The winners from each category:
Urban: 2018 HONDA FIT
Starting at 16,190, and topping out at $20,520 – the Honda Fit won this category not only because of its value, but because of its interior capabilities with rear seats that can fold in multiple directions and lounge function where someone can lay almost completely flat over the passenger seat. This makes it ideal for an individual always on the go.
BEST VALUE ON ROAD: 2018 VOLKSWAGEN TIGUAN
New for 2018, the Volkswagen Tiguan has been redesigned from the ground up starting at $25,345. This mid-level $30,380 SE with 4MOTIOn all-wheel drive made it the ideal candidate for the athletic individual that needs an everyday comfortable crossover for the day-to-day routine with the capabilities for a weekend escape. Its 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder and comfortable, well equipped interior made it the best bang for the buck in this category
GREEN (EV): 2017 CHEVROLET BOLT EV
Going green is everything in today’s world and the ability to maximize the most of electricity comes with no sacrifice the Green category winner going to the all-new Bolt. With a strictly electric motor (no gas), the Bolt has the ability to achieve nearly 240 miles on pure electricity. I think this is about as green as it can get.
LUXURY ON ROAD: 2018 ALFA ROMEO STELVIO
All new for 2018, Alfa Romeo is making a comeback tour in the United States, and with the Stelvio being the 3rd model to arrive, it’s no surprise here its won the hearts of many spectators. For the thrill seeker that needs to keep up appearances and enjoys an enthusiastic driving experience, the Alfa Romeo Stelivo stole the Luxury Road category.
BEST VALUE FAMILY: 2017 CHRYSLER PACIFICA HYBRID
Family matters even to the most adventurous. The ability to haul kids around while maintaining an active lifestyle is a big deal. With the Chrysler Pacifica starting $28,995 to our range topping $44,995 Plug-in Hybrid, the Pacifica is the ideal vehicle that can haul just about anything your heart desires while carrying your passengers in supreme comfort.
LUXURY FAMILY: 2018 DODGE DURANGO SRT
Life can’t get much better than feeling a 6.4-liter HEMI V-8 running a quarter mile in 12.9 seconds and 0-60 in 4.4 seconds. That coming from a 3-row SUV. If it’s a race to get to the destination, you may end up arriving sideways and smiling. It took one time behind the wheel for the Durango SRT to swoon over every juror.
BEST VALUE OFF ROAD: 2017 JEEP COMPASS TRAILHAWK
Winning by a decimal point to the new 2018 Subaru CrossTrek, the all-new Jeep Compass four-wheel drive and ultimate capabilities made it the deciding factor to win Best Value Off Road. Starting at $28,695 for this Trailhawk edition, the Compass Trailhawk is the ideal candidate for any adventure looking to escape the city and hit the back trails.
EXTREME OFF ROAD: 2017 NISSAN TITAN PRO4X
Having the ability to go anywhere and do anything was a tough call in this category, competing against the Colorado ZR2 Diesel, Toyota 4Runner Trail, and RAM Rebel – the Nissan Titan PRO4X ultimately took home the trophy being considered the most extreme off road vehicle to get you out of any sticky situation.
HIGH LUXURY OFF ROAD: 2018 RAM LARAMIE LONGHORN SOUTHFORK
As off road vehicles keep getting more luxurious, the ability still take the finniest of extravagance anywhere is important. Without having to sacrifice all the comfort creatures of a luxury car, the RAM Laramie with its open pore wood finish interior, white supple leather, and silky smooth suspension – this was the kind of truck you can pick up your clients in the city and take them to swamp lands for some old fashion gator huntin.
Special thanks to carspondent.com and thecarlab.com for hosting this event. Mark Elias for the Photography and to all the manufacturers that participated and sponsored the event: Acura, Honda, Kia, Nissan, General Motors, FCA, Volkswagen, Toyota, and Subaru.