Best Vehicles for Active Lifestyles

Many Arizonans live active lifestyles, especially as summer fades into the eight months of “this is why we live here weather.” Recently, seven vehicles were deemed the best for accessing that lifestyle, gear and all.

The 9th Annual Active Lifestyle Vehicle of the Year program concluded with ride-and-drive at Local Motors in Chandler. At the event, 70 athletes evaluated more 28 cars in seven categories to determine which vehicles best suited their active lifestyles. Among the factors considered were fuel economy, cargo capacity for hauling gear, and performance characteristics such as power and the ability of the vehicle to adequately get to the chosen activity, whether it be on or off road.

With each successive year, it  the quality bar rises for each of the seven competitive categories. The most recent program was no exception, with differences in scoring being as small in some cases as hundredths of a point

“Authenticity is a very important aspect of this program,” said ALV co-founder, Nina Russin. “We vet the athletes to make sure their involvement in sports is significant enough to impact their car buying decisions. Team leaders are considered opinion leaders in the active community. This year, we invited parents judging the family category to bring their kids, so that they would test drive the cars in the same way that they might use their personal vehicles.”

2013 Active Lifestyle Vehicles of the Year are:

Urban (MSRP at or below $20,000): 2013 Kia Soul
Best Value On-road (MSRP at or below $35,000): 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe
Best Value Off-Road (MSRP at or below $35,000 with true off-road capability): 2012 Jeep Wrangler
Luxury On-Road (MSRP over $35,000): 2013 Audi allroad
Luxury Off-Road (MSRP over $35,000): 2013 Ram 1500 4X4 Laramie
Green (alternative fuel or hybrid): 2012 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen TDI
Family (three rows of seating): 2013 Mercedes-Benz GL BlueTec

ALV is the only car-of-the-year program in the United States that combines the input of automotive journalists with elite athletes to determine which cars and trucks best meet the needs of buyers with active lifestyles.

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