By Patrick Rall
The Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) annual Truck Rodeo awards have become some of the most coveted honors handed out by the media and at the 2013 Texas Truck Rodeo – Chrysler Group vehicles from Ram, Jeep and Dodge combined to claim 15 of the 24 available awards. Most importantly, the Chrysler Group claimed 3 of the 4 top awards including SUV of Texas, Truck of Texas and Truck Line of Texas.
The biggest news from the 2013 Texas Truck Rodeo was that the 2014 Ram 1500 claimed its second straight Truck of Texas – having also won the major award in 2010. The fact that the Ram 1500 won once again is an especially big deal when you consider that the Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra and Toyota Tundra were all-new…and the current Ram 1500 is still better. The 2014 Ram 1500 also claimed the award for the best Fullsize Pickup Truck while the 2014 Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn grabbed the title of the best Luxury Pickup Truck and the 2014 Ram 2500 was named the best Heavy Duty Pickup Truck by the TAWA members.
The Ram ProMaster was named the best Commercial Vehicle, the new 3.0L EcoDiesel engine that is available in the 2014 Ram 1500 was named Best Powertrain, the Ram’s UConnect system via mobile was named the best Connectivity feature and the Ram’s five link rear coil suspension was named the best Technology in this year’s competition. Not surprisingly, with Ram brand products claiming 7 of the 24 awards, the TAWA members also named Ram the Truck Line of Texas.
Over on the SUV side of things, the Jeep and Dodge brand both got onto the awards list for the 2013 Texas Truck Rodeo. The 2014 Dodge Durango was named the best Fullsize SUV while the closely related 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited Diesel 4×4 was named the top Midsize SUV and the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit Diesel 4×4 was named the best Midsized Luxury SUV. The Grand Cherokee was also named the top SUV of Texas. The new 2014 Jeep Cherokee was named the best Compact SUV while the 2014 Jeep Wrangler was named the best Off-Road SUV.
2013 Texas Truck Rodeo Award List:
Compact CUV: 2013 Nissan Juke
Midsize CUV: 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited AWD
Fullsize CUV: 2014 Nissan Pathfinder SL 4×4
Luxury CUV: 2014 Acura MDX
Compact SUV: 2014 Jeep Cherokee
Midsize SUV: 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited Diesel 4×4
Fullsize SUV: 2014 Dodge Durango
Compact Luxury SUV: 2013 GMC Terrain Denali AWD
Midsize Luxury SUV: 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit Diesel 4×4
Fullsize Luxury SUV: 2013 Land Rover Range Rover
Off-Road SUV: 2014 Jeep Wrangler
Midsize Pickup Truck: 2013 Nissan Frontier Pro4X
Fullsize Pickup Truck: 2014 Ram 1500
Luxury Pickup Truck: 2014 Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn
Heavy Duty Pickup Truck: 2014 Ram 2500 Heavy Duty
Off-Road Pickup Truck: 2014 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor
Commercial Vehicle: Ram Promaster
Best Powertrain: Ram/Jeep 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6
Best Connectivity: Ram/Jeep/Dodge Uconnect Access Via Mobile
Best Technology: Ram Five-link Coil Rear Suspension
CUV of Texas: 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe
SUV of Texas: 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee
Truck of Texas: 2014 Ram 1500
Truck Line of Texas: Ram