12th Annual Active Lifestyle Vehicle of the Year Winners Announced

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Winners include a four-peat and some surprises / Photos by Mark Elias

The twelfth annual Carspondent.com Active Lifestyle Vehicle of the Year awards program is proud to announce the winners of this year’s event. Among the winners were the Kia Soul winning its fourth consecutive award in the Urban category, as well as new-comers Ford and Mitsubishi. Winning vehicles competed in six different classes among their peers, judged by the very consumers they are designed and built for, those with active lifestyles.

Nearly one hundred journalists and athletes test drove vehicles on a variety of street, freeway and off-road courses to get a feel for how they perform. Participants scrutinized livability features including seating, cargo capability, and overall versatility for activities such as camping, sports, and road trips.

The vehicles which included cars, trucks, SUVs and crossovers came from well known and respected brands Audi, Buick, Chrysler, Fiat, Ford, Dodge, GMC, Jeep, KIA, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Scion, Toyota and Volkswagen.

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The program continues to grow in size and scope with each iteration”, said Nina Russin, event co-founder. “But after twelve years we remain committed to our original mission of giving the OEMs direct feedback from the active audience”.

Class Winners:

Best Value Off Road: 2015 Ford F-150

Luxury Off Road: 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee

Luxury On Road: 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450

Best Value On Road: 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander

Best Value Family: 2015 Ford Edge

Urban: 2015 Kia Soul

During the two-day event, members of the Phoenix Automotive Press Association judged vehicles on its own and awarded the first Best of the Southwest award, that went to the 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

About the Active Lifestyle Vehicle Awards

A Phoenix based event, the Active Lifestyle Vehicle Awards has grown in size and prestige since its inception in 2004. The event brings the perspectives and opinions of over 100 consumers who live the active lifestyles automakers market their products to, culminating into top awards in multiple categories. The group of athletes and active lifestyle enthusiasts act as a valuable focus group for automakers and industry experts alike. This year’s event moved to a new electronic scoring system, providing more comprehensive consumer feedback to manufacturers.

Historic San Marcos Golf Resort to host 2015 Active Lifestyle Vehicle of the Year Awards

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An exciting, luxurious and historic Arizona resort venue will be home for the twelfth annual Carspondent.com Active Lifestyle Vehicle of the Year awards program. Raising the profile and provenance of the two-day test drive and awards event October 16-17, home base will be the historic San Marcos Golf Resort in Chandler, Arizona.

Built in 1912, the architecturally rich resort was home to the very first grass links in Arizona and now sits in the very heart of historic old-town Chandler. Restored with authentic charm, it has been the playground for many known celebrities and dignitaries during its 103 year history.

Active Lifestyle Vehicle of the Year has previously been held at Local Motors in Chandler, Arizona. The company has been a key partner for many years and has contributed to the event’s success. “For the past three years Local Motors has been a wonderful host to our program. But as both organizations have grown significantly, we chose a new venue which offers us the space and ancillary services we need to keep ALV moving forward.”, says event Co-Founder Nina Russin.

The new venue adds a vibrant atmosphere to the event and provides a home base for out-of-town quests with event festivities, dining, and room accommodations all in one location. Several restaurants, shops and local attractions are also found within walking distance.

Launching from the San Marcos Golf Resort also brings new and improved drive routes that will provide an enhanced experience for jury panel members. The new routes provide for a genuine mix of city and freeway driving in a warm and colorful home town atmosphere. It all starts on Friday October 16th with a full press-day for local media including members of the Phoenix Automotive Press Association to drive and judge the palette of vehicles. Saturday hosts the big event where elite and recreational athletes test dozens of crossovers, SUVs, trucks and other vehicles catering to active lifestyles.

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Judged by the very group of consumers they’re marketed to, vehicles awarded gain a seal of approval that goes above and beyond just that of the automotive journalists and experts who help lead the evaluation process. The jury will award top-picks in eight categories with a new electronic judging system which will be faster scoring and provide more in-depth detail. An awards ceremony will be held at the San Marcos Golf Resort on Saturday afternoon at end of festivities.

Participants planning to stay at the San Marcos Golf Resort during the event must reserve online by September 15th by using the group block link: Crowne Plaza San Marcos Golf Resort

About the Active Lifestyle Vehicle Awards

A Phoenix based event, the Active Lifestyle Vehicle Awards has consistently grown in size and prestige since its inception in 2004. The event brings the perspectives and opinions of over 100 consumers who live the active lifestyles automakers market their products to, culminating into top awards in multiple categories.

The group of athletes, celebrities and active lifestyle enthusiasts act as a valuable focus group for automakers and industry experts alike. With this year’s event moving to a new data rich electronic scoring system, the outcome of consumer perspective metrics for manufacturers will be more comprehensive than ever.

2013 Active Lifestyle Vehicle of the Year Awards

5More than 100 elite athletes will gather Oct. 18-19 to serve as automotive judges for the 10th annual Carspondent.com Active Lifestyle Vehicle of the Year awards at Local Motors in Chandler, Arizona. In this unique competition, athletes from around the nation – who participate regularly in such sports as running, bicycling, soccer, baseball, kayaking and triathlon – are teamed up with automotive journalists to evaluate new cars, trucks and SUVs, and decide which ones best fit their special Active Lifestyle Vehicle needs. The goal is to choose the vehicles in several classes that best exemplify what active people want from their own vehicles, such as toting bicycles, kayaks, or any other gear they need to pursue their sporting interests. Ergonomics are critically important to these athletes, who push their bodies to the limit. [Read more…]