Every year, as a member of the Washington Automotive Press Association (WAPA), I get to attend their spotlight event – the WAPA Rally. I called it the WAPA Road Rally because we don’t just look at the cars, we get behind the wheel and drive.
As someone that drives a lot of different cars (some cool, some not so cool) throughout the year, I still get excited for events like these. For car enthusiasts, it’s like being in a candy store.
Many manufacturers are invited to attend a picturesque location somewhere in the DC area (this year, we were in southern Maryland near where I grew up!. They bring the latest and greatest for members of the media to jump behind the wheel and take it for a 20 minute spin.
Although I don’t have the same experience when I test drive a vehicle for a week, I get the chance to drive cars that may otherwise not cross my path.
Lexus RC F Track Edition
Like the Lexus RC F Track Edition. With 472 hp, it goes form 0-60 mph in 3.96 seconds. That’s fast. And Lexus is only making 60 of these vehicles. The fact that I got to spend a little bit of time behind the wheel was awe-inspiring. Also, I loved it.
BMW Z4 M40i
I often say I don’t really have the need for speed but a lap in that Lexus made me rethink that. So I jumped behind the wheel of the BMW Z4 M40i.
It’s another performance car and it performed. With 396 hp, it jumped from 0-60 mph in 3.9 seconds. So it, too, was fast. And it made a lot of rumbly noises for those that are into that. I didn’t think I was but now I know why they pipe in the sound on so many fast cars.
Even with so many fast cars, the most coveted vehicle of the day was the Toyota Supra. It spent most of the day in use so I begged and pleaded my way into the last ride of the day.
Some argue that it looks too much like the BMW Z4 (the Supra is based on the Z4) to which I say SO WHAT? It’s fun, it’s fast, and it’s pretty.
Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro
But it’s not all about sports cars. I look for the cars that are something different, something special. The new Army Green Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro caught my eye so I hopped in with another driver.
We didn’t take it off road. We literally drove it to the water and back. But we imagined all the adventures we could have had. And we did it with all the windows down (including that rear window).
I love it when a vehicle has mixed reviews like the Cadillac XT6. That means I need to drive it and see for myself. And it turns out this SUV is exactly what the Cadillac crowd needs.
It’s sleep, modern. and has third row seating. But don’t let the sign for you. You can drive it on days other than Thursdays.
Kia Telluride vs Hyundai Palisade
I drove the Kia Telluride over the summer and loved it. Like, LOVED it. And I wanted to go and buy it immediately.
(Then I remember that new cars cost money so I didn’t.)
I didn’t drive it because I wanted my fellow writers to experience the joy of this vehicle, and they did while I rode in the back.
And even though they probably don’t want you to compare, I can’t help myself. I drove the sister vehicle, the Hyundai Palisade.
I prefer the look and feel and style of the Kia but both are solid cars.
And that’s another part of the reason I love to attend the rally. It gives me a chance to experience cars that need more than a 20 minute test drive. So if you see anything above or have another vehicle you’d love an honest, consumer-friendly review on, let me know. I’m always happy to do the driving!
Video Adventures at the WAPA Road Rally
I’d love for you to check out these vehicles and more in my video adventures at the WAPA Road Rally!
And the winners are…
At the end of the rally, all media in attendance votes on their favorite vehicles in several categories. Here are the winners from this year:
● Overall Best in Show: Toyota Supra
● Best SUV: Kia Telluride
● Best Pickup Truck: Jeep Gladiator
● Best Luxury Vehicle: Maserati Quattroporte
● Best Vehicle Under $30K: Mazda Miata
● Best Performance Vehicle: Toyota Supra and Lexus RC F Track Edition (tie)