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It’s common practice for regional auto journalist associations to gather, usually once a year, and vote on which cars they like most.
During its annual Truck Rodeo in the city of San Antonio, the Texas Auto Writers’ Association, one of the largest such organizations in the country, declared two Chrysler products as winners in the SUV category.
For the Grand Cherokee, this represents the second year in a row that it has won the SUV of Texas title, the 57 journalists present at the rodeo deciding that among the vehicles tested in the category, the GC was the most worthy.
The award adds to a growing list of accolades, which currently makes the Jeep Grand Cherokee the most awarded SUV in history. Besides winning the SUV category overall, the new Overland Summit model also won the “Luxury SUV of Texas” accolade.
Mike Herzig, TAWA’s president declared that the “[Jeep Grand Cherokee] has once again demonstrated its superior levels of performance, quality, interior craftsmanship, and reliability that make it an award-winning SUV; Grand Cherokee is a tremendous value for consumers, and is clearly the ‘SUV of Texas.”
His words certainly seem to resonate with residents of the Lone Star State, for the current Grand Cherokee (introduced as a 2011 model), has seen sales increase by some 200 percent through September this year.
Besides the Grand Cherokee, another Jeep vehicle came home with an award, the 3.6-liter engined 2012 Wrangler Unlimited, which garnered “Mid-Size SUV of Texas” honors.
As for the Durango, it apparently made quite a splash at this year’s TAWA two-day evaluation, drawing favorable opinions for its seven-passenger seating, towing capability and more than 550 mile driving range among other things.
The 2012 Dodge Durango made quite an impression at this year’s TAWA Truck Rodeo,” said Mike Herzing, president of TAWA. “With its spacious and refined interior, impressive driving dynamics, and class-leading towing capability, it’s only fitting that the Dodge Durango is named the 2012 Full-Size SUV of Texas.”
Reid Bigland, the CEO of Dodge Brand, on hearing the news, remarked that, ”it’s always an honor when opinion-leading journalists recognize the tremendous capability, style and value we’re offering with our all-new lineup of Dodge vehicles. The Dodge Durango offers a true no-compromise solution, blending capability and refinement into one stylish SUV.”
At the annual Truck Rodeo in San Antonio, the Texas Auto Writer’s Association (TAWA), declared that of the 48 vehicles evaluated among 57 members, the 2012 Ford F-150 was most deserving of the prestigious “Truck of Texas” award for 2012.
In other categories, the Ford Edge was named best Crossover Utility Vehicle of Texas, while Ford’s EcoBoost direct injection/turbo technology, available in both vehicles was named best overall vehicle feature.
In addition, the entire Ford truck line was also named “Best in Texas” for the 12 consecutive year, in recognition of best-in-class durability and capability.
“Texan consumers put their trust in TAWA’s automotive journalists,” stated the association’s president Mike Herzing. “After lining up vehicles from major auto manufacturers, our members determined Ford simply had the best trucks and crossover.” He also went to say that “ the real winners here are Texas’ truck buyers. Ford delivers the trucks that fit their lifestyles.”
Ford’s President of the Americas, Mark Fields, added, “these awards validate what our customers have been telling us about our ‘Built Ford Tough’ F-150, and we are honored by their recognition of the strength of our truck lineup as well as our crossovers and EcoBoost engines.”
It’s no secret that the Lone Star State is known as truck country. Texas accounts for 17 percent of total pickup sales in the U.S. and this year, after two grueling days of evaluating a total of 57 trucks and SUVs, the Texas Auto Writers Association, declared the 2011 Ram Laramie Longhorn as this year’s ‘Truck of Texas.’
And from looking at this truck, it probably isn’t difficult to see why. The Laramie Longhorn is loaded with gingerbread, from the two tone paint on the outside and plenty of chrome, to a luxurious leather interior that harks back to the days of the old west; plus it has a big Hemi V8 and that most Texas of features, chrome dual exhausts, which nearly every big pickup on the road in the Lone Star state seems to sport these days.
Besides winning this prestigious award, Chrysler products cleaned house in other categories too – the Ram Power Wagon won Heavy-Duty pickup honors (for the second year in a row), while the full-size truck award went to the Ram Outdoorsman a model aimed at hunters, fisherman and campers, that incorporates such features such as a towing package and RamBox holster (we don’t need to tell you what that’s for). In the SUV category – top awards also went to Chrysler Group vehicles – Jeep’s new 2011 Grand Cherokee took the win in the full-size category, while the mid-size award went to the 2011 Jeep Wrangler.
GALLERY: 2011 Ram Laramie Longhorn
Each year the Texas Auto Writers Association holds its annual Texas Truck Rodeo, where journalists test the latest offerings from the automakers and decide what vehicles, in a list of classes, get top honors. And the results are in.
For 2011, the new Jeep Grand Cherokee has been announced as the SUV of Texas. The first all-new vehicle from the new Chrysler, the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee is a bold step forward for the struggling American automaker with an impressive new look and much-improved interior quality. It retains all its off-road credentials and makes big strides in fuel economy with a base V6 that even gets a bump in horsepower.
In the truck category, the 2011 ‘Truck of Texas’ title was awarded to the Ram Laramie Longhorn, while Ford took away top honors as the Truck Line of Texas.
Hit the jump for a breakdown of the rest of the winners, and read our review of the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee by hitting the link below:
Each year the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) gives out accolades to vehicles in different classes, but none carry the quite the prestigious honor as the “Truck of Texas” title. For 2010 TAWA has awarded the Ford F-150 SVT Raptor as the “Truck of Texas,” making this the seventh year in a row that a Ford has won the top truck award.
“Winning the Truck of Texas is a distinct honor,” said Mark Fields, president, The Americas, Ford Motor Company. “Texans know their trucks, and this award is further proof of why the F-150 remains America’s number-one selling pickup. We built F-150 SVT Raptor for truck enthusiasts. And we’re gratified it’s gaining recognition for both its unequaled off-road performance and confidence-inspiring on-road demeanor.”
The F-150 SVT Raptor gets big fender flares, FOX Racing Shox with 11.2-inches of front suspension travel and 12.1-inches of rear suspension travel, as well as 35-inch BFGoodrich tires. A 5.4-liter V8 engine with 320-hp and 390 ft-lbs of torque is currently offered and Ford plans to make a 6.2-liter V8 with 400-hp and 400 ft-lbs of torque available.
But what really makes the Raptor so amazing is that as off-road capable as it is, you can actually use it for normal daily driving.
See our review of the F-150 SVT Raptor here:
GALLERY: Ford F-150 SVT Raptor
Official release after the jump:
Another win for this heavy hitter
In a less than surprising move the Ford F150 was named the North American Truck of the Year. It did, however, face some stiff competition, including a main rival, the Dodge Ram. The other finalist was the the diesel Mercedes ML320 blueTEC. The all new 2009 F150 is a perennial favorite and can claim the top sales numbers for any vehicle in North America for 27 straight years. It is also the top selling pickup for 32 straight years.
The Truck of the Year Award is just one of many prestigious honors the F150 has had after recently being named Motor Trend “Truck of the Year” and “Truck of Texas” by the Texas Auto Writers Association.
For 2009 the F150 has received five star front and side impact ratings from the NHTSA and is a Top Pick for the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS).
The F150 comes standard with a 5.4-liter V8 that gets 12 percent better fuel economy (in certain trims) than the previous renditions.
Official release after the jump: