A vehicle that can conquer winter conditions in Minnesota is a vehicle my wife and I want to drive!

My wife and I were watching the Green Bay Packers/LA Rams game Saturday afternoon when a commercial for Honda played. It opened with a familiar scene -- a brand-new SUV racing confidently through a wintry tundra. The location could have been anywhere -- Colorado, Alaska, Maine, basically anyplace that gets lots of snow. The announcer-guy was doing his usual read, "...to make sure it can handle the harsh winter, we took the Real Time All-Wheel Drive technology available in the Honda HR-V and pushed it to its limits in the most severe winter driving conditions..." I was only paying partial attention until the words "Baudette, MN" appeared on the screen. "Hey!" I thought, "That's here!" Suddenly, I was zoned in. As the Honda HR-V proved itself on the winter driving course in Baudette, MN I suddenly felt myself feeling like I needed one. I wasn't alone. As the finished, my wife said "I'm sold. I want one."

While this was the first time I'd seen Baudette, MN featured in a Honda ad, a Google search revealed that Honda has been using the northern Minnesota town as a testing facility as far back as 2016. According an article by The News Wheel, the self-proclaimed "Walleye Capital of the World" is home to Automotive Enviro Testing, a cold weather test facility that is used by Tesla, Acura and Honda. The Automotive Enviro Testing is described at its website as "The Most Comprehensive & Secure Low Temperature Test Facility in North America." Featuring 25 winter courses, 14 various sized customer garages, 4 high-quality motel-style lodges, and equipment, technicians and support, the "ice box region" of extreme northern Minnesota is known for having some of the best winter test conditions in the continental U.S.

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