Chrysler Group Dominates Texas Truck Rodeo, Ram Takes Top Honors Again
The 2013 Texas Truck Rodeo was a shootout of 63 trucks and sport utility vehicles for the 2013 and 2014 model year that were submitted to a long list of tests by the folks from the Texas Auto Writers Association and when the dust had cleared – the TAWA members picked the 2014 Ram 1500 for their top honors. This marks the second year in a row and the third time in four years where the Ram 1500 nabbed the top Truck of Texas honors with the Ford F150 breaking up the four-peat fun for the mighty Ram. Winning this prestigious award two years in a row is impressive but what makes the back to back win for the Ram 1500 that much more impressive is the fact that the Toyota Tundra, GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Silverado were all new for 2014 while the Ram 1500 continues on relatively unchanged.
The TAWA members picked a Ram pickup or a feature of the Ram pickup for a total of 8 of the 24 awards. In addition to being named the Truck of Texas, the Ram 1500 was claimed the Fullsize Pickup title while the Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn was named the top Luxury Pickup and the Ram 2500 claimed honors for being the best Heavy Duty Pickup. The new 3.0L EcoDiesel from the Ram 1500 and the Jeep Grand Cherokee was named the Best Powertrain; the Uconnect Access via Mobile device system offered in the Ram was named the Best Connectivity feature and the Ram’s five link coil suspension setup was named the Best Technology feature. Finally, with so many major awards going to various Ram products and features, it should come as no huge surprise that the Ram brand was named the Truck Line of Texas.
In addition to the Ram brand claiming one third of the Texas Truck Rodeo awards, the Jeep brand was well represented on the award sheet. The new 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee nabbed a trio of awards with the top Midsize SUV (2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited Diesel 4x4), the top Midsize Luxury SUV (2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit Diesel 4x4) and the overall SUV of Texas award – which is the top honors for sport utility vehicles. In addition to the awards claimed by the Grand Cherokee, the new 2014 Jeep Cherokee was named top Compact SUV, the 2014 Jeep Wrangler was named the top Off-Road SUV and the Jeep lineup received more attention with those awards given to the new EcoDiesel V6 and the Uconnect mobile interface, as those features are both offered in the Jeep lineup.
The Dodge brand also got involved with the Dodge Durango being named the top Fullsize SUV…which seems a bit odd considering that the Durango shares most attributes (except for the Durango’s third row seating) with the Jeep Grand Cherokee that was named the top Midsize SUV.
After the Chrysler Group claimed 15 of the 24 TAWA awards, Nissan was the next biggest winner with 3 awards. The Nissan Juke was named the top Compact crossover, the Nissan Pathfinder SL 4x4 was named top Fullsize crossover and the Nissan Frontier Pro4X was named the top Midsize Pickup. Hyundai claimed 2 awards with the Santa Fe Limited AWD claiming the top Midsize crossover award and the Crossover of Texas award (top honors for the crossover segment). Finally, Honda claimed one award with the Acura MDX being named the top Luxury crossover, General Motors got involved with the GMC Terrain Denali AWD claimed the top Compact Luxury SUV, Land Rover claimed the top Fullsize Luxury SUV title and the Ford F150 SVT Raptor was named the top Off-Road Pickup.
Compact CUV: 2013 Nissan Juke
Midsize CUV: 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited AWD
Fullsize CUV: 2014 Nissan Pathfinder SL 4x4
Luxury CUV: 2014 Acura MDX
Compact SUV: 2014 Jeep Cherokee
Midsize SUV: 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited Diesel 4x4
Fullsize SUV: 2014 Dodge Durango
Compact Luxury SUV: 2013 GMC Terrain Denali AWD
Midsize Luxury SUV: 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit Diesel 4x4
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