Every Fall the Washington Automotive Press Association (WAPA) rounds up a fleet of new cars, trucks & SUVs for us to test drive. Sometimes it’s the first opportunity to drive a brand new vehicle and sometimes it gives us a chance to get a second opinion of a car we had previously driven.
This year the WAPA Rally was held at Summit Point Motorsports Park in West Virginia. Below is an overview of some of the cars I had an opportunity to drive.
2018 Audi S5 Sportback
It’s typical Audi. Very easy to drive, probably the best initial driving experience of any car, and a wonderfully tech-happy interior. I particularly like the Sportback because I’m a true fan of hatchbacks for their versatility.
Related: Audi’s S5 Sportback Car Configurator
2018 Ford Expedition Platinum
I can’t remember when the last time I ranked the Ford Expedition higher than the Chevrolet Tahoe or GMC Yukon Denali but the all-new 2018 Ford Expedition is an absolute home run and is Roadfly’s 2018 “Best Full-Size SUV” and it appears that the Expedition will also hold the title for 2019. If you’re out SUV shopping you really need to put the Expedition on your SUV shopping list.
Related: Ford’s Expedition Configurator
2019 Mercedes-Benz C 300 Cabriolet
Both the C 300 Coupe and Cabriolet were redesigned for 2019. In addition to a new exterior design the interior has been updated with available digital cockpit and there are now more fuel efficient engine options.
Starting at $51,850 our test vehicle priced out at $69,000. Below the photo gallery is a copy of the full options list along with prices for the C 300 Cabriolet.
2019 Subaru Ascent Touring 7-Passenger SUV
Subaru has been growing at an incredible pace for the past ten years. They’ve continued to expand their line up with model variants and upgraded interiors. For 2019 Subaru has launched their first ever 7-passenger, 3-row SUV to compete with the likes of the Honda Pilot and the Toyota Highlander.
The all-new Subaru Ascent is more comfortable and quieter than I expected. Our test vehicle with touring trim had all the bells and whistles.
2019 Lexus ES 350 F Sport
Lexus has offered an F Sport version of many of their cars for sometime now. In 2019 the popular ES 350 is available as an F Sport for the first time. As the name implies the F Sport version of the ES is a lot faster, a much more sporty aesthetic and a lot more fun to drive!
2019 RAM 1500 Crew Cab
RAM’s 1500 series truck is all-new for 2019. Now offering a standard eTorque mild-hybrid system in models equipped with the V6 Pentastar engine. ETorque is available as an option on RAM 1500 models with the HEMI engine option.
While arguably the eTorque system deserves the most attention I want to focus on the interior of the new RAMs. In Laramie trim the interior is just spectacular. If you’re in the market for a new truck or just enjoy browsing dealers lots make sure you saddle up inside one of the new RAMs.
Ram Truck, The Best Truck Interior in the Business!
2019 Maserati Levante GTS
With the arrival of the GTS, Maserati now offers the Levante in four distinct versions for North America, two featuring the 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine and two featuring the new Ferrari-assembled 3.8-liter twin-turbocharged V8, two of the most powerful and exclusive SUVs ever built.
The Levante GTS’ 3.8-liter twin-turbocharged V8, one of the most powerful engines ever in a Maserati, is a retuned version of the unit fitted in the super-sport Levante Trofeo, delivering 550 horsepower at 6,250 rpm and peak torque of no less than 538 lb.-ft. in a wide range between 2,500 and 5,000 rpm. Like all Levante’s, it is mated to Maserati’s Q4 Intelligent All-Wheel-Drive System and as with all Maserati gas engines, is assembled by Ferrari in Maranello, Italy.
The Maserati Levnate GTS starts at $119,900.
Related: Build your own at MaseratiUSA.com
2019 Genesis G70 Sport Sedan
- Choice of powerful and refined turbocharged engines: 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder or a 3.3-liter V-6, capable of accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.5 seconds
- Available driver-focused features include Genesis Active Safety Control, limited-slip differential, Michelin® Pilot® Sport 4S tires and Brembo® brakes
- Available 6-speed manual gearbox (2.0T RWD model)
2019 GMC Sierra Denali 1500 Pickup Truck with Multipro Tailgate
- Redesigned from the ground up and larger in almost every dimension, including a longer wheelbase and longer crew cab body that offers about 3 inches more rear legroom than the previous model
- GMC-exclusive, industry-first MultiPro Tailgate offers six functions and positions for enhanced second-tier loading and load-stop solutions, a standing workstation and easier access to items in the cargo box
- Segment-first Multi-Color Head-Up Display projects key, customizable vehicle data on the windshield in a 3-inch x 7-inch display
- Up to 360 pounds (163k) lighter than the previous model, thanks to a mixed materials approach — including aluminum for the doors, hood and tailgate, with steel for the fenders, roof and standard cargo box
- Fully boxed steel frame that is 88 pounds (40 kg) lighter than its predecessor, while offering 10 percent greater torsional rigidity
- Denali-exclusive Adaptive Ride control offers premium ride comfort through real-time monitoring of the road and driver inputs, reacting in milliseconds to adjust damping for exceptional body control and ride isolation
Official GMC Configurator: GMC Sierra Truck Configurator
Related: Here’s a video of how the GMC Multipro Tailgate works:
2018 Buick Regal TourX
This was the most surprising vehicle I drove at this years WAPA Rally. It has gorgeous and sexy styling and is very easy to drive. And it does it all for only $40,000 which is ten or $20,000 less than some of it’s competitors.
The TourX rides higher than its Sportback counterpart, enabling greater capability. Its rugged exterior appearance, standard roof rails, interior amenities, standard intelligent all-wheel drive (AWD) with active twin-clutch and functional cargo area epitomize upscale utility, capability and convenience.
2018 KIA Stinger GT
The Stinger is KIA’s first foray into the sport sedan segment. The car has been tremendously over-hyped by KIA and a few auto outlets. It’s a lot of fun to drive, has great styling but no, it’s not better than a Porsche Panorama or BMW 440i or any of the other cars KIA chose to hype it over. Having said that, it’s a really attractive package and is very sporty and it definitely deserves a look.
The Stinger is offered with two engines — a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder making 255 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque and a 3.3-liter twin-turbocharged V6 making 365 horsepower and 376 lb-ft of torque. Cars equipped with the latter engine are dubbed Stinger GTs. Both engines pair with a smooth-shifting eight-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel drive is standard, with all-wheel drive available.
Related: KIA’s Stinger car configurator
2019 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon
It’s a Jeep Wrangler and Roadfly has a 2016 Jeep Wrangler all modded out. What more need I write!
The most recognized vehicle in the world and it delivers extreme off-road capability. Powertrain options include a 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 and an all-new 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine. Wrangler continues to offer a body-on-frame design, front and rear five-link suspension system, solid axles, electronic lockers and is one of the few midsize SUVs that offer a six-speed manual transmission in addition to its available eight-speed automatic.
All-new for 2019, the Jeep Wrangler in Rubicon trim offers a commanding presence on and off the road.
Related: Visit Jeep.com to build your own!