The 2015 WAJ Media Days, held 4/6-4/8 in Monterey, California, have come and gone. In case you didn’t know, WAJ stands for Western Automotive Journalists, a local automotive guild in my area. I loved meeting up with local automotive journalists and catching up with brand representatives. A ton of car models were on hand for this year’s event again, ranging from sports cars to fully-electric vehicles to off-road SUVs. The day started off with some rain but it quickly cleared up for our drive 🙂
2015 WAJ Media Days – Ride & Drive and Off-Road Experience
This time around Frans switched off driving with me. That make it a whole lot easier to take photos and jot down some thoughts. Instead of fighting the senior WAJ members to the sports cars, we chose more family-friendly cars. Here are our first impressions of the seven vehicles we drove:
2015 Nissan Murano: Interior is not impressive, high hood obstructs view, good steering better but sluggish acceleration
2015 BMW X6: Seriously strong engine, sensitive acceleration, strange buzzing noise, tight steering, handles turns good, and has a crystal clear HD backup screen.
2015 Volkswagen Touareg TDI Executive: Doesn’t feel big, seats are almost too soft but still comfortable, nice console layout, and huge panoramic sunroof with mesh cover. Perfect road trip car but a bit noisy as you can hear sound of road.
2015 Infiniti QX80: Lots of tech features but missing key components, fantastic turning radius, slippery leather interior, definitely luxury but I expected more from a car with a consumer demographic making $500K per year.
2015 Mercedes GLA250 4Matic: Rock hard seats, cramped, suspension too hard so that turns feel unsteady, buttons all in weird places. At least it looks good.
2015 Fiat Abarth 500C: Very sporty, loud, handles well, no telescoping steering wheel for people with long limbs, clean layout, sport mode changes tone of muffler, and wobbly steering. More fun than practical.
2015 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon: Not much can be said of the comfort but the handling capabilities are amazing.
2016 Kia Sorento: You already know how I feel about this CUV but now Frans finally got a chance to try it. He kept giving reasons why it’s perfect for our next car 🙂
We finished off the day with a private off-roading session. This was pretty cool because the experience would normally cost some $1200 per person. Taking the Jeep Wrangler on the course was definitely a good choice. Check out some of the video footage:
The following day was supposed to be spent at the race track. However, since it was also the day of our 15th wedding anniversary, we decided to skip it again this time around.