Northern Group’s Barbecue Hosts SMMT Test Day North Attendees

The Northern Group of Motoring Writers has again played host to a multitude of colleagues from around the motor industry at its annual pre-SMMT Test Day North gathering.

Once again hosted at the Wood Hall Hotel & Spa near Wetherby in West Yorkshire, the event gives those who’ve made the long trip to our region the chance to unwind for an evening.

The soiree is now a regular fixture, with this year’s meet being the fourth in five years — as the SMMT Test Day North was not held, for obvious reasons, in 2020 — and consists of an outdoor drinks gathering (weather permitting) before an indoor buffet-style barbecue.

With so many of the UK’s press offices based entirely in the southern half of the country, it’s a good chance for those who’ve made the four-hour (or more) trek up to have something edible to take the edge off the trip as well as drinks and a general chinwag with colleagues.

This year’s attendees included many of the Northern Group’s own writers as well as those from elsewhere in the British Isles. Among the nearly-60 people present were representatives of press offices that included Genesis, Kia, Suzuki, and Toyota, as well as the SMMT itself.

The event acts as a prelude to the SMMT Test Day North itself, with the annual gathering of writers, press offices, and cars taking place tomorrow. As usual, the NGMW will announce our Car of the Year at the event, along with a presentation to the winning manufacturer should their press team be in attendance.

For 2023 the shortlist of six category winners, assessed at our driving day earlier in the month, is as follows:

  • EV: MG4
  • Family: Volkswagen ID.Buzz
  • Fun: Kia EV6 GT
  • Luxury: BMW 7 Series
  • Small: Hyundai Kona
  • SUV: Lexus RX