Photo Credit: Kevin McCauley
It’s the yearly award that the entire truck industry eagerly vies for each year: the Truck of Texas award. Bestowed by the Texas Auto Writer’s Association (TAWA), a collection of automotive journalists, the Truck of Texas award is the result of an unique evaluation event held every fall in the Hill Country area of central Texas. The event is appropriately called Truck Rodeo and for two days it’s a muddin’, hauling, and mountain climbing extravaganza where TAWA journalist take a slew of current truck models through various, real-world terrain in order to vote on which truck should be named this year’s top truck. Journalists evaluate all aspects of each truck including exterior/interior styling, off-road capability, value and performance. Last year, RAM’s 2019 half-ton 1500 took home on top prize and this year RAM has locked in a “repeat”; the 2020 RAM 1500 is once again TAWA’s choice for Truck of Texas.
“Our journalist members were impressed with the continued capability and refinement in the Ram product line, particularly the 1500 compared to the domestic competitors at the event,” said Michael Marrs, TAWA’s president.
Earning the top title at Truck Rodeo apparently wasn’t enough for RAM, which won more awards than any other brand at the event, including Heavy Duty Truck of Texas, Luxury Truck of Texas and Full-Size Truck of Texas.
Trucks aren’t the only vehicles TAWA evaluates at the Truck Rodeo: Sports Utility Vehicles are also test driven and taken through many of the same terrain conditions as the trucks in the competition. In the SUV category, Kia’s new 2020 Telluride and Telluride SX took home two top prizes respectively: SUV of Texas and Mid-Size SUV of Texas.
“Taking the two top prizes at the TAWA Truck Rodeo is further evidence that Kia ’gave it everything’ when it comes to Telluride,” said Michael Cole, president, Kia Motors America. “Texans love their SUVs and the TAWA members are a discerning group, especially when it comes to utility vehicles. Taking the ‘SUV of Texas’ prize is a true honor for the Kia brand.”
Both the 2020 RAM 1500 and the 2020 Kia Telluride were featured vehicles at the 2019 Texas Auto Show at the State Fair of Texas. Below is a full list of winners from TAWA’s Truck Rodeo.
Truck of Texas: 2020 RAM 1500
SUV of Texas: 2020 Kia Telluride
Subcompact Sport Utility Vehicle of Texas: 2019 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk
Compact Sport Utility Vehicle of Texas: 2020 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road
Mid-Size Sport Utility Vehicle of Texas: 2020 Kia Telluride SX
Full-Size Sport Utility Vehicle of Texas: 2020 Toyota Sequoia TRD Pro
Compact Luxury Sport Utility Vehicle of Texas: 2020 Acura RDX A-Spec SH-AWD
Mid-Size Luxury Sport Utility Vehicle of Texas: 2020 Volvo XC90 T8 Inscription
Full-Size Luxury Sport Utility Vehicle of Texas: 2020 Lexus GX 460 Luxury
Mid-Size Pickup Truck of Texas: 2020 Jeep Gladiator Overland
Full-Size Pickup Truck of Texas: 2020 RAM 1500 Rebel
Heavy Duty Pickup Truck of Texas: 2019 RAM 2500 Laramie Longhorn
Luxury Pickup Truck of Texas: 2020 RAM 1500 Limited
Off-Road Pickup Truck of Texas: 2019 RAM 2500 Power Wagon
Commercial Vehicle of Texas: 2019 Mercedes Sprinter Passenger 4×4
Off-Road Sport Utility Vehicle of Texas: 2020 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon
Best Infotainment System: RAM Uconnect System & Touchscreen Display
Best Powertrain: RAM EcoDiesel
Best Towing: RAM Rear Air Suspension
Best Safety Feature: Toyota Safety Sense P
Best Driver Assist System: Toyota Panoramic View & Multi-Terrain Monitor