2023 Western Automotive Journalists Best of the Bay Media Days
Like so many of us organizations took a big hit from the pandemic. The Western Automotive Journalists (WAJ), of which I've been a member of since 1997, almost died. But thanks to the efforts of a handful of dedicated members - Michael Coates, Doug Berman, Heather Durham, Jon Rosner, and Alex Stack (aka "The Board") - plus the folks that get cars to us (DriveShop and Page One Automotive), and some wonderful auto companies, WAJ has and will survive.
A dedicated group of content providers, of which I was one, and car companies recently gathered at the Vintner's Resort (vintnersresort.com) to drive cars and find The Best of the Bay in five categories - Sedan, SUV, EV, Technology, and Overall. The results will be announced by WAJ very soon but for now here's the cars and my thumbnail impressions.
|Genesis G80 Electrified|
|Genesis GV70 Electrified|
2023 Genesis Electrified GV70 AWD and G80 AWD - I recently had a Electrified G80 for a week (https://www.brucehotchkiss.net/2023/09/2023-genesis-g80-electrified-beautiful.html) and loved it. The Electrified GV70, a SUV, is just as great. Genesis get extra points for coming from behind to now challenging the best in record time. I'd be proud to have a Genesis product in my driveway.
|Hyunda Ioniq 5 (courtesy of Hyundai)|
|Hyundai Ioniq 6|
Technology - Tech is a tough category. What constitutes good tech in a vehicle? Judy Turner, the wife of a fellow content provider, said, and I'm paraphrasing, that good tech is not intrusive and offers a value. A couple that come to mind are attention monitors and emergency braking. The attention monitors tell you when your eyes wander from the job of driving. I usually score close to 100%. Emergency braking takes over if something or someone is in your path and you don't stop. My introduction to it was from Volvo in 2008. I recently had emergency braking save me when I wasn't hard enough on the brakes as someone in front of me stopped abruptly. It works and should be on every vehicle.
As you can see the list of auto makers to offer their vehicles for our evaluation was slim. So kudos and many, many thanks to Acura, Genesis, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Lexus, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, and Toyota.
Those who weren't there, know that you were missed. Next year?
We had fantastic accommodations at the Vintners Resort. I can't say enough about how beautiful the rooms are, and the setting, surrounded by vineyards, is fantastic.
The meals were very good with an exceptional dinner at John Ash & Co. courtesy of Hyundai.
I'm not telling what my choices were for Best of the Bay. As soon as the winners are announced I'll let you all know.