John “Bugsy” Lawlor and the New England Motor Press Association gave one of New England’s worst winters ever an emphatic boot this past weekend. Having assembled an impressive fleet of new cars and trucks, not to mention a mouth-watering buffet, Lawlor and his Automotion crew hosted a large and varied group of auto journalists for NEMPA’s 2015 Winter Vehicle Awards testing.
Roads were relatively clear but very wet, and withering grey remnants of this year’s record-setting snowfall lingered just beyond the pavement. But having the opportunity to put a large and varied assortment of cars through its paces refreshed everyone’s perspective and attitude. We all learned a ton and had a blast, and we now eagerly look forward to ditching snow tires, opening car windows and roofs wide, and hitting the back roads in something speedy and nimble.
The list of cars available for testing included everything from hot compact all-wheel-drive hatches to full-size trucks, with a number of muscle and sports cars tossed in for good measure. My co-workers and I did our best to sample as wide a range as possible, though we’ll confess that some of our choices were driven by parking-lot logistics. NEMPA’s Winter Vehicle Awards winners won’t get announced until springtime, but here are some thoughts on the cars we drove.