We're just a few days away from announcing the 2013 Motor Trend Sport/Utility of the Year, and Wide Open Throttle host Jessi Lang provides her behind the scenes perspective of the days long event.
With a fairly large group of 16 vehicles, we started our elimination round on a short but technical driving loop at the Central California Jet Center in Santa Maria, California. Quite a few contenders didn't make it through the first round, including one German offroader, which we reveal in the video.
The episode also features a thorough explanation of the event from a number of editors including road test editor Scott Mortara, editor-in-chief Ed Loh, and senior features editor Jonny Lieberman. As with every event, a few SUVs surprised staffers. Technical director Frank Markus, for example, was convinced that the new 2013 Nissan Pathfinder would be nothing more than a "Mallfinder," but had a change of heart after driving it through the off-road course.
Watch the video below for more impressions and a closer look at the event; we've also included links to the WOT stories of all the contenders, though one more contender story will be published on WOT today at 3:30 p.m. PDT.
Sport/Utility Contender WOT stories:
Hyundai Santa Fe Sport
Subaru XV Crosstrek
Check back to TruckTrend.com on October 15 at 3 a.m. PDT/6 a.m. EDT to discover what will become the 2013 Motor Trend Sport/Utility of the Year!