2017 Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) Truck Rodeo

Discussion in 'In the News' started by xcel, Oct 25, 2017.

  1. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    With the details of the event and award winners announced, what did the OEM’s talk about in their releases immediately after the event concluded?

    Here is Ford’s release with some of the fluff culled and my own additions added.

    I voted the 2018 Ford F-150 as the “Truck of Texas” due to its refinement. I also voted the 2017 Ford Raptor as the Off-Road award winner due to its capability and especially the forward-looking camera from bumper level when you need to see the terrain ahead. I am talking about the times when all you see out of the windscreen is blue sky which happens far more often than I car to admit on some of the off-road course I have experienced while behind the wheel of these super trucks.

    2018 Ford F-150

    In the case of the coveted “Truck of Texas”, there is but one left standing.​

    Ford has once again secured top honors at this year’s Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) Texas Truck Rodeo. The 2018 F-150 earned “Truck of Texas” at the 24th annual competition, marking the 14th time F-Series has roped in the most prestigious award.

    Additionally, F-150 Raptor won the Off-Road Pickup Truck category and earned the highest overall personal appeal score and best overall exterior score across all participating vehicles.

    At the Texas Truck Rodeo at Longhorn River Ranch, journalists evaluated trucks on both on- and off-road courses over a two-day period. The panel previously awarded Truck of Texas honors to Ford F-Series in 1993, 1997, 1999, 2003-09, 2011, 2014 and 2016.

    Nic Phillips, TAWA president:
    The new Ford F-150 – from America’s truck leader – is tougher, smarter and more capable than ever for 2018.

    New features include standard Auto Start-Stop for all engines, all-new 3.3L V6 with port and direct-injection technology, and 6-speed AT with selectable drive modes – normal, tow/haul and sport. The 10-speed AT – the one I drove - features selectable drive modes – normal, tow/haul, snow/wet, eco-select and sport (standard with all-new 2.7L, 3.5L EcoBoost and 5.0L V8 engines.

    The second-gen 2.7L EcoBoost now has both dual port - helps reduce particulate on start up - and direct-injection to. The 5.0L V8 now includes advanced dual port and direct-injection technology, plus spray-on bore liner technology to reduce friction. Major exterior freshening across the lineup includes new grilles, bumpers, lighting, tailgate outer, appliqués and wheels.

    Interior freshening on XLT Sport, XLT Special Edition, Lariat, King Ranch, Platinum and Limited includes color and material changes for seats, instrument panel and console trim. For King Ranch trucks, the new interior leather color is Kingsville, while Platinum gets Dark Marsala and F-150 Limited gets Navy Pier. Leather-trimmed bucket seats with flow-through console are now available on the base Lariat truck. All-new B&O PLAY premium audio by HARMAN is also available.

    For 2018, SYNC Connect is optional on XLT and Lariat trucks, and standard on King Ranch, Platinum and Limited; it includes a Wi-Fi hotspot connecting up to 10 devices. Adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go functionality and Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection are available. A Technology Package is now available with the 2.7L EcoBoost engine.

    With an EPA-estimated rating of 20/26/22 mpg city/highway/combined ratings, the 2.7L EcoBoost equipped F-150 returns best-in-class fuel economy. The 3.5L EcoBoost equipped F-150 is no slouch in the efficiency department either with an 18/25/21 mpg city/highway/combined rating while also offering an unheard best-in-class towing of 13,200 pounds with the optional lowest ratio rear end.
    Built at Dearborn Truck Plant in Michigan and Kansas City Assembly Plant in Missouri, the 2018 F-150 is available at Ford dealerships now.

    Ford F-150 Raptor

    By the numbers.​

    The purpose-built, off-road F-150 Raptor builds on the success of its predecessor with even more performance gains and new technology. The 2018 Raptor features a high-output 450 horsepower and 510 lb.-ft. of torque 3.5L EcoBoost V6 mated to a 10-speed AT with six-mode Terrain Management System. Its high-strength, military-grade, aluminum-alloy body saves 500 pounds over the previous model.

    F-150 Raptor’s competition-proven chassis sets the performance bar with its second-generation BFGoodrich KO2 tires designed exclusively for the truck’s extended off-road capabilities. In addition, upgraded FOX shocks, jointly engineered by Ford Performance and FOX, are 44 percent larger with three-inch-diameter shock canisters (2.5 inches previously) and nine-stage bypass damping to deliver improved suspension control. F-150 Raptor’s shock design enables an increase in suspension travel to 13 inches at the front and 13.9 inches at the rear, a gain of 0.8 inch and 1.9 inches in wheel travel compared to its predecessor. To put this amount of suspension travel into perspective, a stock ready to race Motocross bike has about an inch less!

    BillLin likes this.
  2. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    My top picks for Luxurious HD and LD trucks included both the 2018 RAM 2500 Limited Tungsten and the 2018 Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn Southfork. Both vehicles interiors are feature full and luxury packed. Read my write-up including the pics of the Tungsten. It places all other OEMs on notice that if you want to play in the luxury truck market, you must beat RAM in no uncertain terms.

    when it comes to do everything capability and the comfort of an SUV, the Jeep Grand Cherokee was my personal choice for Best in Class. You can read about my thoughts regarding the need for the 3.0L EcoDiesel in both the Jeep Grand Cherokee and the RAM 1500 pickups in the Grand Cherokee writeup posted earlier in the thread.

    FCA’s 2017 TAWA release.

    Ram, Jeep, and Dodge Earn Top Honors from the Texas Auto Writers Association

    Ram wins two pickup truck categories and the Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn Southfork tops the scoring charts with the highest overall interior score.

    2018 Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn Southfork

    Yes, driving this exact truck up to the marquee for pickup or drop off shows you have arrived. ;)

    Jeep Grand Cherokee beats its competition for seventh consecutive year!

    2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited

    With the still unavailable 3.0L EcoDiesel, it is the best all-around SUV available anywhere.​

    Jeep Wrangler wins its category for the eighth consecutive year!

    Ram, Jeep and Dodge vehicles earned top honors at the annual Texas Truck Rodeo, hosted by the Texas Automotive Writers Association (TAWA). Collectively, these brands secured the most awards of any manufacturer at the event.

    Nic Phillips, TAWA president:
    A total of 64 pickups, SUVs, crossovers and commercial vehicles were entered in the competition and 75 TAWA members attended the event. Members cast their votes after two days of on- and off-road vehicle evaluations. Consideration is given to everything from exterior/interior styling and off-road capability to the entrant’s overall utility, value and performance. Ram, Jeep and Dodge vehicles with top honors include:


    Heavy Duty Pickup Truck: 2018 Ram 2500 Limited Tungsten
    Luxury Pickup Truck: 2018 Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn Southfork
    Highest Overall Interior Score: 2018 Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn Southfork


    Subcompact SUV: 2017 Jeep Renegade
    Mid-size SUV: 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk
    Off-road SUV: 2017 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Recon


    Full-size SUV: 2018 Dodge Durango SRT
    Highest Overall Performance Score: 2018 Dodge Durango SRT

    BillLin likes this.
  3. Jay

    Jay Well-Known Member

    I had a pickup once. But only once. It was a Mazda and I hated it. It was so gutless that loaded semis could beat me off the line and across the street. It stopped like crap, went like crap, handled like crap, and got crappy gas mileage. It was noisy and had terrible blind spots. Worst of all, it hauled like crap. I bought it for the utility but I quickly found out that a pickup without a cab high or some other cover is nearly useless because you can't haul anything without exposing your cargo to elements and theft. Bought a TV and now need to stop at the grocery store on the way home? Forget it. The TV will be gone by the time you get back. The high bed height makes it impractical to haul dirt bikes or other heavy things. After a few months of pickup ownership I discovered that it was utterly impractical for about 90% of my hauling needs. Never again. Boo pickups.
    BillLin and xcel like this.
  4. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    One of the vehicles I was not able to procure for short 15-minute drive was the brand new 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio. The Interior looked a lot like the Alfa Romeo Giulia we drove at the Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA) Spring Rally. I thought that model was too tight for taller drivers.

    The Drive experience? It won its category so those that did get a few minutes behind the wheel must have really liked it. Here in California, the all-new model is already being heavily discounted.

    2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio


    The all-new 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio was awarded the coveted “Crossover of Texas”.

    Along with the “Crossover of Texas”, the Stelvio took home the “Luxury Crossover of Texas” and of all the vehicles on hand, was driven the most.

    The Stelvio feature a perfect 50/50 weight distribution, class-leading power and performance and an 8-speed AT with available steering column-mounted aluminum paddle shifters with gear shifts in less than 100 milliseconds.

    Stelvio comes very well-equipped with many standard premium features, including a direct-injection 280-hp turbocharged and intercooled 2.0L I4, delivering 0-60 mph in 5.4 seconds, DNA drive mode selector, genuine leather interior, remote start with passive entry, bi-xenon headlamps, dual exhaust, class-exclusive carbon-fiber driveshaft, flat-bottom Formula One-inspired steering wheel, 7-inch TFT and much more.

    Stelvio Ti (Turismo Internazionale) adds 19-inch wheels, genuine wood interior accents, an 8.8-inch widescreen entertainment and information display, heated seats, heated steering wheel and more

    Stelvio Quadrifoglio recently set a Nürburgring lap time record of 7 minutes, 51.7 seconds, making it the world’s fastest production SUV. The Grand Cherokee Trackhawk which was the Jeep Grand Cherokee on hand including the 707 hp and 645 lb.-ft. of torque, supercharged 6.2L V8 from the Hellcat would kill it however. ;)

    The iQ4 all-wheel-drive (AWD) system provides additional driving acumen and superior control.

    The Stelvio and Stelvio Ti are on sale now with an MSRP of $41,995 and $43,995, respectively

    Nic Phillips, President of TAWA:
    A total of 64 pickups, SUVs, crossovers and commercial vehicles were entered in the competition and 75 TAWA members attended the event. Members cast their votes after two days of on- and off-road vehicle evaluations. Consideration is given to everything from exterior/interior styling and off-road capability to the entrant’s overall utility, value and performance.

    2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Interior


    At TAWA’s Texas Auto Roundup earlier this year, the 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio was crowned “Car of Texas” and also took home honors for “Performance Sedan of Texas” and “Most Drives” at Circuit of The Americas (COTA).

    The Stelvio lineup brings world-class performance, state-of-the-art technologies, seductive Italian style and an exhilarating driving experience to the premium mid-size SUV segment.

    Crafted by Alfa Romeo artisans at the Cassino plant in Italy, the all-new 2018 Stelvio lineup is a testament to Alfa Romeo’s perfect balance of engineering and emotion, creating a premium mid-size SUV for driving enthusiasts that stands out in one of the largest and fastest growing segments in the United States.
    BillLin likes this.
  5. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Jay:

    How big is your TV?


    In all seriousness, I would not call any of these vehicles under performing by any stretch. Inefficient with most of the drivetrains highlighted is unfortunate but under performing whether straight line, handling, climbing and descending, or braking is not in their descriptions.

    Jay and BillLin like this.
  6. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    Toyota’s 2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro earned its stripes at TAWA Truck Rodeo for second straight year.

    The Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro earned the title “Mid-Size Pickup Truck of Texas” at the 2017 Texas Auto Writers Association’s (TAWA) Truck Rodeo.

    After driving 16 hours over rugged, off-road terrain and paved local roads over the rolling hills of Longhorn River Ranch in Dripping Springs, Texas, 75 journalists voted Toyota's Tacoma TRD Pro with back-to-back victories.

    2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro in action


    Assembled at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Texas (TMMTX), in San Antonio, the 2017 Tacoma TRD Pro impressed TAWA members with its suspension, exhaust enhancements and off-road technology. The TRD Pro takes the Tacoma to the next level with 2.5-inch Fox Internal Bypass front shocks paired with TRD-tuned springs to provide an additional one inch of lift. Remote-reservoir Fox shocks are equipped in the rear that, along with the progressive-rate leaf springs, help provide the TRD Pro with exceptional off-road performance. The TRD Pro features a heritage-inspired TOYOTA grille, TRD Pro badge on the front doors and additional black badging to help it stand out in the crowd. The Tacoma TRD Pro is also fitted with an aluminum front skid plate, Rigid Industries LED fog lights, a TRD cat-black stainless-steel exhaust system, TRD Pro floor mats and a TRD shift lever. Powered by an Atkinsonized V6, the Tacoma TRD Pro produces 278 horsepower and 265 lb.-ft. of torque. The TRD Pro is also equipped with off-road features such as CRAWL Control, Multi-Terrain Select, and a selectable locking rear differential.

    From one of the journalists that drove one down from North of Dallas and my own experience in a standard Tacoma Limited a few months back, there are too many compromises imho. That said, it dominates the Mid-size pickup truck segment.
    BillLin likes this.
  7. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    The Nissan truck and SUV lineup earned five awards following two full days of evaluations at the annual Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) Texas Truck Rodeo.

    2018 Nissan Titan


    The Nissan TITAN half-ton earned the "Full-size Truck of Texas" for the second straight year. The 2018 Nissan Rogue earned the title "Compact SUV of Texas," and its new ProPILOT Assist driver assistance system earned the "Best Technology" award.

    Texas Truck Rodeo, held at the 1,632-acre Longhorn River Ranch in Dripping Springs, Texas, included on-road and off-road evaluations by members of the Texas Auto Writers Association, one of the most influential and recognized automotive journalist associations in the country. Nissan vehicles won a total of five awards, including the following:
    • "Full-size Truck of Texas" (second consecutive year) – Nissan TITAN Midnight Edition
    • "Compact SUV of Texas" – Nissan Rogue
    • "Best Technology" – Nissan ProPILOT Assist
    • "Commercial Vehicle of Texas" (second consecutive year) – Nissan TITAN King Cab with Rear Seat Delete
    • "Best Value" – TITAN King Cab (1st), TITAN PRO-4X (2nd), TITAN Platinum Reserve (3rd)
    Nissan TITAN King Cab with Rear Seat Delete


    The Nissan TITAN half-ton is offered as a Crew Cab in both 4x4 and 4x2 configurations and in five well-equipped grade levels: S, SV, PRO-4X, SL and Platinum Reserve – each powered by a 5.6L V8 gasoline engine. The TITAN Single Cab and King Cab models are also available. For 2018, a new Midnight Edition featuring a special "blackout" exterior treatment is available on TITAN Crew Cab SV and SL grade 4x4 and 4x2 models.

    All 2018 TITAN and TITAN XD models are covered by Nissan's "America's Best Truck Warranty" with 5 years/100k mile bumper-to-bumper coverage.

    For 2018 MY, the hot selling 2018 Nissan Rogue SL as part of the Platinum Package can now be equipped with the brands ProPILOT Assist system with a MSRP of just under $35,000. ProPILOT Assist adds Lane Keep Assist and RCC with Auto Emergency Braking. Moving to something really new however, every Rogue is available with NissanConnect including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

    2018 Nissan Rogue


    Nissan ProPILOT Assist earned "Best Technology" of Texas.

    The 2018 Nissan Rogue and 2018 TITAN are now available at Nissan dealers nationwide.
    BillLin likes this.
  8. Trollbait

    Trollbait Well-Known Member

    I saw a new Ridgeline in the wild a couple days ago. Looks like an option for someone wanting something that isn't 'over built' for road use.

    My only concern is that every Honda, including Pilots, I've seen towing have some degree of ass dragging. A basic U-haul utility trailer with just a lawnmower and a box put an Odyssey's rear wheels out of camber.
    BillLin likes this.
  9. Carcus

    Carcus Well-Known Member

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