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  • Tuesday, September 14, 2021 2:35 PM | Amy Plemons (Administrator)

    2021 CALL FOR ENTRIES: BILL NEALE AUTOMOTIVE FINE ART AWARD INVITATIONAL

    September 14, 2021 - The Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA), in association with the Bill Neale family, is extremely pleased to announce a call for entries for its inaugural Bill Neale Automotive Fine Art Award Invitational. This award honors the world-renowned talent and legacy of automotive artistic icon Bill Neale. A longtime friend to TAWA, Neale passed away in January of 2021 at the age of 95. TAWA thanks the Bill Neale family for its support in developing this prestigious award. 

    The Bill Neale Automotive Fine Art Award recognizes and encourages excellence in automotive fine art. This award is an invitational and as such is open to both TAWA-members and non-TAWA members.

    • CALL FOR ENTRIES: Entries were accepted beginning Monday, September 13, 2021.Eligible entries for the 2021 competition include automotive fine art published from September 13, 2020 to November 8, 2021. 

    • ENTRY DEADLINE: midnight Monday, November 8, 2021.

    • ENTRY FEE: No entry fee is required for the award's inaugural year.

    • WINNER NOTIFICATION, PRIZE: The Winning Artist will be notified by December 13, 2021. The Bill Neale Automotive Fine Art Award Recipient receives a prize valued at $200.

    For complete eligibility rules and requirements and to enter visit: https://www.texasautowriters.org/2021-Bill-Neale-Automotive-Award.

    For questions contact: VP of Communications Amy Plemons at amplemons.tvproducer@gmail.com


  • Wednesday, May 19, 2021 9:49 AM | Amy Plemons (Administrator)

    Houston, TX – May 19, 2021 –  The Texas Auto Writers Association is pleased to announce the award winners of the 2021 TAWA Texas Auto Roundup. The awards were announced in partnership with the Houston Summer Auto Show on May 19, 2021.

    Forty automotive journalists evaluated 35 vehicles at this year’s event held at the Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth on April 19-20, 2021. TAWA members evaluated vehicles based on their interior, exterior, value, performance and personal appeal.  

    This year the main award categories were Family Vehicle of Texas, Performance Vehicle of Texas, Luxury Performance Vehicle of Texas and a newly elevated category of Green Vehicle of Texas. An additional nine category awards, two feature awards and four merit awards were also awarded.   

    “The Texas Auto Writers Association congratulates all of the title and category winners, and thanks all of our automotive members and partners for joining us at the 2021 Auto Roundup,” said TAWA President Kristin Shaw. “Everyone in attendance was happy to have the opportunity to drive and network at the Texas Motor Speedway.” 

    Like the 2020 Texas Truck Rodeo held last fall, the spring Auto Roundup was held amid strict health and safety protocols that included requiring face masks, sanitizing vehicles between drives and creating a two-wave event to limit the number of journalists present at one time. 

    The Chrysler Pacifica was named the Family Vehicle of Texas, its fifth consecutive win since the nameplate was reintroduced in 2016 as a 2017 model. The Auto Roundup was not held in 2020 due to the pandemic.

    Toyota and Lexus each took home an overall award. The Toyota Supra was named Performance Vehicle of Texas and the Lexus LC 500 took the Performance Luxury Vehicle of Texas crown.

    “A commitment to excellence in engineering, design and performance is something that both Toyota and Lexus takes to heart, and we are proud of these two vehicles for leading the pack and competition,” said Greg Thome, Senior Manager, TMNA Corporate Communications. “We are especially honored to receive this recognition here in our home state of Texas.”

    TAWA elevated the former Green Vehicle category to major award status, given the growth in electrified vehicles. The Green Vehicle of Texas award went to a newcomer, the new all-electric Volkswagen ID.4.

    “It’s a great honor that ID.4 has been named the Green Vehicle of Texas,” said Matthew Renna, vice president E-mobility and innovation, Volkswagen of America. “Having organizations like Texas Auto Writers Association educate the public on our brand’s electric future – and EVs in general – is valuable to the transition to electrification.”

    The Texas Auto Writers Association wishes to thank our generous sponsor Blink Charging for its support of this year’s event. TAWA also thanks our participating members, automakers and press fleets for their support of this event and vigilance in adhering to safety protocols. 

    "In what has been a challenging past year for the automotive industry, we applaud the continued efforts by automakers to continually enhance their lineups focusing on user-friendly design, technology and safety,” said Shaw. “In many respects, since the pandemic began, vehicles are more important than ever and those represented at the Auto Roundup are all deserving of applause. "

    OVERALL AWARDS

    • FAMILY VEHICLE OF TEXAS: Chrysler Pacifica

    • PERFORMANCE VEHICLE OF TEXAS: Toyota Supra

    • LUXURY PERFORMANCE VEHICLE OF TEXAS: Lexus LC 500

    • GREEN VEHICLE OF TEXAS:  Volkswagen ID.4

    CATEGORY AWARDS

    • BEST MINIVAN: Chrysler Pacifica

    • PERFORMANCE SEDAN: Dodge Charger

    • LUXURY CAR ($40,000-$65,000) Genesis G80

    • LUXURY CAR ($65,000-$100,000): Lexus LC 500

    • PERFORMANCE COUPE: Toyota Supra

    • MIDSIZE CAR: Volkswagen Arteon

    • COMPACT VEHICLE: Mazda3 Hatchback Turbo

    • MIDSIZE CUV: Nissan Rogue

    • LUXURY CUV: Genesis GV80

    FEATURE AWARDS

    • BEST NEW FEATURE: Chrysler FamCam

    • BEST NEW INTERIOR: Chrysler Pacifica Pinnacle

    MERIT AWARDS (based on calculated points)

    • BEST VALUE: TIE

      • Dodge Challenger

      • Lexus IS 350

    • BEST INTERIOR: Lexus LC 500

    • BEST EXTERIOR: Lexus LC 500

    • HIGHEST PERSONAL APPEAL: Lexus LC 500

    About TAWA

    The Texas Auto Writers Association was founded in 1987 by automotive journalists who wanted to provide an avenue for professional growth, development, and networking. These professionals sought to create an automotive event that was unique to Texas, and the result was the TAWA Truck Rodeo. Since 1993, Truck Rodeos have been held in San Antonio, Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, Granbury and Spring Branch, Dripping Springs and most recently at the Star Hill Ranch in Bee Cave, Texas.

    In 2003, TAWA created an event for sedans, sports cars, and other vehicles not eligible for the Truck Rodeo. The Texas Auto Roundup, as the event is called today, returned in 2021 after being cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic.  For more information, visit www.texasautowriters.org.

    Media Contact: Amy Plemons, amplemons.tvproducer@gmail.com

  • Thursday, November 05, 2020 4:10 PM | Amy Plemons (Administrator)

    Houston, TX – Nov. 5, 2020 –  The 2021 Ram 1500 is the new reigning Truck of Texas. The Ram 1500 was crowned the 2021 Truck of Texas by the Texas Auto Writers Association in a live virtual ceremony on November 5, 2020 in conjunction with the Houston Auto Show. The Texas Truck Rodeo digital awards presentation follows the 2020 Texas Truck Rodeo held in October. 

    "The SUV and truck market in Texas is strong, and narrow margins between the vehicles confirmed just how competitive this market is this year," said TAWA President Kristin Shaw. “TAWA was the first journalist group to drive Ram's new 1500 TRX and its impressive 702-hp 6.2L HEMI along with undeniable capability on and off road convinced our journalists to rank the Ram 1500 number one in the Truck of Texas category."   

    Twenty-seven TAWA members traveled to Star Hill Ranch outside Austin on October 5-6, 2020, to evaluate 39 trucks and SUVs on a new off-roading course designed for this year's event. Drivers also had the opportunity to drive the vehicles on-road as well. Vehicles are measured on their interior, exterior, value, performance and personal appeal.  

    The 2021 Dodge Durango took home the SUV of Texas crown. Other awardees include the 2020 Land Rover Defender 110SE as Luxury SUV of Texas and the 2021 Ram 1500 Limited Longhorn 10th Anniversary Edition as Luxury Pickup Truck of Texas. The 2021 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road took home the CUV of Texas title for a second consecutive year.

    "This year, we hosted 13 different brands at the Texas Truck Rodeo and welcomed Land Rover and Rolls-Royce back to the event. Both the Defender and the Cullinan were popular at the event and the former took home the Luxury SUV of Texas trophy," said Shaw. "Toyota's 2021 RAV4 TRD Off-Road retained its title of Compact SUV of Texas, the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon maintained its edge as top Off-Road SUV, and Hyundai's elegant Palisade Calligraphy earned top honors as Mid-Size SUV of Texas." 

    TAWA made program changes this year to address the pandemic. Safety protocols included requiring face masks, sanitizing vehicles between drives and creating a two-wave event to limit the number of journalists present at one time. 

    This year has brought a lot of challenges to the automotive industry, and we are grateful for the partnership of our journalist and OEM members to provide an opportunity to have access to vehicles, network, and create content that is vital to our livelihoods and shared passion," said Shaw. "Over the course of two days, journalists had an opportunity to drive more than three dozen vehicles and evaluate them thoroughly." 

    TAWA thanks our participating members, automakers and press fleets for their support.  TAWA also wishes to thank all of our amazing sponsors for helping to make this year's event possible. Thank you to the Houston Auto Show, Katzkin, Prestige Auto, JBL by Harman and the Austin Auto Show.    

    Texas Truck Rodeo Winners

    • Truck of Texas:  2021 Ram 1500  
    • SUV of Texas: 2021 Dodge Durango 
    • Luxury SUV: Land Rover Defender 110SE
    • Full-Size SUV 2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat
    • Mid-Size SUV: 2021 Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy 
    • Compact SUV: 2021 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road 
    • Off-Road SUV2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon
    • Full-Size Pickup: 2021 Ram 1500 TRX 
    • Mid-Size Pickup: 2021 Jeep Gladiator Mojave
    • Off-Road Pickup: 2021 Ram 1500 TRX
    • Luxury Pickup: 2021 Ram 1500 Limited Longhorn 10th Anniversary Edition
    • Heavy Duty Pickup2020 Ram 2500 Heavy Duty Laramie Night Edition

    Additional Awards

    • Best Powertrain: FCA 6.2-liter Supercharged HEMI V8 
    • Best Infotainment: FCA UConnect
    • Best Safety or Driver Assist: Nissan ProPILOT Assist with Navi-link 
    • Best Towing Technology: Ram Heavy Duty 360-degree Surround View Camera 

    Texas Truck Rodeo Images

    All event photography provided by Kevin McCauley. Additional event images can be found here. All images are for editorial use only and should be credited to Kevin McCauley/ Capturing the Machine. For commercial use, please contact Kevin McCauley / capturingthemachine.com.

    About the Off-Road Course

    The 2020 Texas Truck Rodeo took place at Star Hill Ranch in Bee Cave, Texas, for the second consecutive year. Sue Mead, an accomplished off-roading journalist and member of the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame, was the 2020 Texas Truck Rodeo course director, overseeing the construction and design executed by Offcamber Design.

    About TAWA

    The Texas Auto Writers Association was founded in 1987 by automotive journalists who wanted to provide an avenue for professional growth, development, and networking. These professionals sought to create an automotive event that was unique to Texas, and the result was the TAWA Truck Rodeo. Since 1993, Truck Rodeos have been held in San Antonio, Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, Granbury and Spring Branch, as well as Dripping Springs and for the past two years at the Star Hill Ranch in Bee Cave, Texas.

    In 2003, TAWA created an event for sedans, sports cars, and other vehicles not eligible for the Truck Rodeo. The Texas Auto Roundup, as the event is called today, was not held in 2020 due to the pandemic with plans to return in the spring of 2021.  For more information, visit www.texasautowriters.org.

    Media Contact: Amy Plemons, amplemons.tvproducer@gmail.com



  • Sunday, October 25, 2020 2:23 PM | Amy Plemons (Administrator)

    Texas Auto Writers Association Announces Excellence in Craft Competition Winners for 2020

    DALLAS (October 25, 2020) — Automotive journalists Kathy Locke, Mercedes Lilienthal, and The Fast Lane Truck team were among the top winners in the Texas Auto Writers Association’s 2020 journalism competition.

    The award winners, who were announced Thursday, October 22, 2020 via livestream, included writers, photographers, designers and online content creators from across the United States who entered TAWA’s two contests: the Excellence in Craft Competition, which is only open to TAWA members, and the Texas Truck Invitational, which is open to any journalist who covers the truck industry.  

    “This year’s TAWA Excellence in Craft Competition saw a record number of entries across the board,” said Aaron Starnes, TAWA board member and chair of the award programs. “Mercedes Lilienthal earned first place in the highly competitive writing segment for both the magazine and newspaper categories. Kathy Locke was a first-time winner of the Texas Truck Invitational Writing competition with her story about the Rebelle Rally. And ‘The Fast Lane Car’ and ‘The Fast Lane Truck’ entries took first and third in the video category.” 

    Starnes said the panel of judges for the TAWA Excellence in Craft Competition are at the top of their fields, including John Pearley Huffman, Harvey Briggs, Steven Cole Smith, Stan Hulen, Chris Waits, Ivan Galvan, and Jaime Florez.

    TEXAS TRUCK INVITATIONAL


    NEWSPAPER WRITING

    1st: Teia Collier, Dallas Single Mom, “First Drive: 2019 Ford Ranger Supercrew XL 4x4

    2nd: Jason Fogelson, Forbes.com, “2019 Lexus GX460 Luxury Test Drive and Review: Dream On

    3rd: Derek Price, Cargazing, “Italian Practicality Cranked Up


    MAGAZINE WRITING

    1st: Kathy Locke, Toyota Cruisers and Trucks magazine, “My Journey to Rebelle

    2nd: (tie) Sue Mead, Outdoorx4, “Baja Boot-Maker Glickenhaus Now Races to Save Lives

    2nd:(tie) Jonathan Hanson, Outdoorx4, “Super Duty Ford: Dilemma or Solution?


    TAWA EXCELLENCE IN CRAFT COMPETITION


    MAGAZINE WRITING

    1st: Mercedes Lilienthal, Tread Magazine

    2nd: Sue Mead, Automotive Map

    3rd: Michael Satterfield, The Gentleman Racer

    ·       Scotty, Reiss, A Girls Guide to Cars. There’s some very good automotive journalism going on at Agirlsguidetocars.com. Founder Scotty Reiss and a solid roster of contributors would, as you’d expect, have a slightly different take on automotive journalism than the traditional white male author, and that’s a welcome addition to the plethora of fare out there.

    ·       Kristin V. Shaw, TODAY Parents. Kristin takes us for a 90-degree turn from where you think she’s headed in a moving column titled “My Dad Taught Me How to Recover From a Crash” at Community.today.com. Nicely done.

    ·       Natan Tazelaar, Vintage Motorsport magazine. Natan writes a detailed, comprehensive biography of the underrated Siata 208 S sports car.

    ·       G.R. Whale, Pickuptrucktalk.com. Greg hits all the right notes in his review of the Lexus GX460, making a fairly mundane SUV into something worth reading about.  


    NEWSPAPER WRITING

    1st: Mercedes Lilienthal, New York Times, “Driving Across the Globe to Fight Child Trafficking

    2nd: Jordan Golson, North State Journal, “Impressive excess: The 2020 Lexus LX 570 review

    3rd: Mercedes Lilienthal, New York Times, “Life on the Road in Pandemic America


    RADIO

    1st: The Automotive Reporter, Harold Gunn and Wayne Cronin, “Interview with Ford Historian Robert Kreipke: The History of the Model A

    2nd: The Car Pro USA Radio Show, Jerry Reynolds, “Car Pro on the CEO of Ford

    3rd: The Car Pro USA Radio Show, Jerry Reynolds, “Interview with Good Morning America's Adrienne Bankert


    WEB DESIGN

    1st: GarageDeluxe, Greg Riley, “Rolls Royce Cullinan Test Drive” AND (tie) “History of Jaguar”

    2nd: Jesus Garcia, The Drive, “Rebuilding high-school GMC

    3rd: Bill Owney, MotorcarsNow.com, “Camry Hybrid Test Drive


    VIDEO - Tie for First

    1st: The Fast Lane Truck, Andre Smirnov, Tommy Mica, and Roman Mica; “Small Jeep vs. Large Ford Truck On the World’s Most Beautiful Trail! No Pavement Needed Ep. 2”  

    2nd: Kitty’s Glam Rides, Natalie Merola-Garcia, “2021 Kia Seltos SX Turbo AWD: It’s Under $30K?!”  

    3rd: (tie) CarProUSA, Amy Plemons; “2020 Lexus NX 300 F Sport Review

    3rd: (tie) The Fast Lane Car, Roman Mica and Tommy Mica; “Nail Biter: We Race Two Budget Off-Roaders Up a 12,000 Foot Mountain Top! Montezuma Challenge Ep.1


    PHOTOGRAPHY

    1st: Mike Satterfield, The Gentleman Racer, “First Drive: 2020 Bentley Bentayga Speed”   

    2nd: Kristin Shaw, Drive Mode Show, “Glowing Yellow and Stormy Sea Sonata at Four Peaks-Off Road, Arizona

    3rd: Elias Garcia, Revmatch Media, “Super Lap Battle at COTA 2020


    PR/MARKETING PRESS KITS

    1st: Mazda, 2020 Mazda CX-30 Vehicle Press Kit


    For judge comments and profiles click here. 


  • Friday, October 23, 2020 2:12 PM | Amy Plemons (Administrator)


    TAWA ANNOUNCES 

    2020 TEXAS TRUCK RODEO FINALISTS


    Bee Cave, TX – Oct. 22, 2020 –  A successful 2020 Texas Truck Rodeo is in the rearview mirror! With social distancing and safety protocols in place during this unprecedented year, the Texas Auto Writers Association held its 2020 Texas Truck Rodeo in the Texas Hill Country in October. 

    Twenty-seven Texas Auto Writers Association members traveled to Star Hill Ranch outside Austin on October 5-6, 2020, to evaluate 39 trucks and SUVs on a new off-roading course designed for the event. Sue Mead, an accomplished off-roading journalist and member of the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame, was the 2020 Texas Truck Rodeo course director, overseeing the construction and design executed by Offcamber Design. Drivers had the opportunity to drive the vehicles on-road as well.

    Along with voting on Truck of Texas and SUV of Texas, members judged vehicles in ten sub-categories including Full-Size Pickup Truck of Texas, Off-Road Pickup Truck of Texas, Luxury SUV of Texas, Mid-size SUV of Texas and Compact SUV of Texas. Vehicles are measured on their interior, exterior, value, performance and personal appeal.  

    TAWA organizers took special care in event planning, making program changes to address the pandemic. Those included safety protocols that included requiring face masks, sanitizing vehicles between drives and creating a two-wave event to limit the number of journalists present at one time. TAWA thanks our participating members, automakers and press fleets for their support.

    2020 TEXAS TRUCK RODEO FINALISTS

    TAWA is now pleased to announce the finalists in select categories (in alphabetical order.) All winners will be announced November 5th in a Live Facebook Event on the Houston Auto Show Facebook Page. 

    Truck of Texas

    • 2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon
    • 2021 Ram 1500 Limited Longhorn 10th Anniversary
    • 2021 Ram 1500 TRX

    SUV of Texas

    • 2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat
    • 2021 Kia Telluride SX
    • 2021 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro

    Full-Size Pickup Truck of Texas:  

    • 2020 Nissan Titan Pro-4X CC
    • 2021 Ram 1500 TRX 
    • 2021 Toyota Tundra Trail Edition

    Mid-Size Pickup Truck of Texas:  

    • 2021 Jeep Gladiator Mojave
    • 2021 Jeep Gladiator Overland EcoDiesel
    • 2021 Toyota Tacoma Trail Edition

    Off-Road Pickup Truck of Texas:  

    • 2021 Jeep Gladiator Mojave
    • 2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon
    • 2021 Ram 1500 TRX

    Luxury Sport Utility of Texas:  

    • 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit
    • 2020 Land Rover Defender 110SE
    • 2020 Rolls-Royce Cullinan

    Mid-Size Sport Utility of Texas:  

    • 2021 Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy AWD
    • 2020 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon
    • 2021 Kia Telluride SX

    Compact Sport Utility of Texas:  

    • 2021 Jeep Cherokee Latitude LUX
    • 2020 Mazda CX-30 Premium Package AWD
    • 2021 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road

    Photography

    All event photography provided by Kevin McCauley. Event images can be found here. All images are for editorial use only and should be credited to Kevin McCauley. For commercial use, please contact Kevin McCauley / capturingthemachine.com

    Sponsors

    TAWA also wishes to thank all of our amazing sponsors for helping to make this year's event possible. Thank you to the Houston Auto Show, Katzkin, Prestige Auto, JBL by Harman and the Austin Auto Show.   

    About TAWA

    The Texas Auto Writers Association was founded in 1987 by automotive journalists who wanted to provide an avenue for professional growth, development, and networking. These professionals sought to create an automotive event that was unique to Texas, and the result was the TAWA Truck Rodeo. Since 1993, Truck Rodeos have been held in San Antonio, Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, Granbury and Spring Branch, as well as Dripping Springs and for the past two years at the Star Hill Ranch in Bee Cave, Texas.

    In 2003, TAWA created an event for sedans, sports cars, and other vehicles not eligible for the Truck Rodeo. The Texas Auto Roundup, as the event is called today, was not held in 2020 due to the pandemic with plans to return in the spring of 2021.  For more information, visit www.texasautowriters.org.

    Media Contact: Amy Plemons, amplemons.tvproducer@gmail.com

  • Wednesday, November 20, 2019 8:12 PM | Scott Tilley (Administrator)

    Ram, Kia Win Top Awards in Texas

    Wednesday, November 11, 2019 8:09 PM | Derek Price  

    SAN ANTONIO, Texas — The Ram 1500 and Kia Telluride took home the top awards from the Texas Auto Writers Association's annual Texas Truck Rodeo in October.

    TAWA's journalist members named the half-ton Ram the Truck of Texas for the second year in a row after two days of evaluating vehicles on- and off-road in the Texas Hill Country. The Telluride, a new vehicle recently introduced by Kia, won the SUV of Texas award. The award winners were announced Nov. 20 at the San Antonio Auto and Truck Show.

    "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. "They also were impressed by the level of luxury and value in the new Telluride. It delivers a lot of practicality and comfort for Texas families."

    Ram won more awards than any other brand at the event. In addition to the prestigious Truck of Texas title, it won the heavy duty, luxury and full-size truck categories, along with several awards for its innovative features.

    Toyota won four awards, including the mid-size and full-size SUV categories with the RAV4 and Sequoia. Jeep's Gladiator and Wrangler won the mid-size pickup and off-road SUV categories, while Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, Acura and Volvo also took home awards.

    TAWA's 2019 Texas Truck Rodeo included 56 journalists who evaluated 54 vehicles.

    A complete list of award winners is below.

    The 2019 Texas Truck Rodeo was sponsored by the Austin Auto Show, Big Tex Trailers, DFW Auto Show, Houston Auto Show, Katzkin Automotive Leather, San Antonio Auto & Truck Show, Prestige Auto and Wieck.

    For more information, contact Kristin Shaw, TAWA's Vice President for Events, at kristin.shaw@texasautowriters.org.


    2019 Texas Truck Rodeo Award Winners

    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 KiaTelluride 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 4x4
    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


  • Thursday, November 07, 2019 10:55 AM | Kristin Shaw (Administrator)

    BEE CAVE, Texas - November 7, 2019 —The Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) today announced the nine finalists vying for the coveted 2019 Truck of Texas, SUV of Texas, and Compact SUV of Texas crowns following this year's prestigious Texas Truck Rodeo event in the Texas Hill Country.

    More than 50 journalists drove 40+ trucks and SUVs over the course of a day and a half, putting the vehicles through off- and on-road routes to test the strengths and weaknesses of the trucks’ features and durability. Journalists judged each of the vehicles on five criteria: interior, exterior, performance, value and personal appeal.

    All finalists listed in alphabetical order by manufacturer:

    FINALISTS, TRUCK OF TEXAS

    2020 Jeep Gladiator

    2020 Ram 1500

    2020 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro 4x4

    FINALISTS, SUV OF TEXAS

    2020 Jeep Wrangler

    2020 Kia Telluride SX

    2020 Volvo XC90

    FINALISTS, COMPACT SUV OF TEXAS

    2020 Hyundai Santa Fe

    2019 Mazda CX-5

    2020 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road

    The trophies for the Texas Truck Rodeo will be presented on November 20 at the San Antonio Auto & Truck Show during the dealer preview gala.

    The 2019 Texas Truck Rodeo was hosted at the unique Star Hill Ranch, an event facility and movie set that has been host to the Texas Auto Writer Association dinners in the past. 

    Manufacturers celebrate the prestigious awards they earn at the Texas Truck Rodeo and often mention the honors in their press releases, promotional materials and campaigns across the globe.

    Sponsors of the 2019 Texas Truck Rodeo included the Austin Auto Show, Big Tex Trailers, DFW Auto Show, Houston Auto Show, Katzkin Automotive Leather, Prestige Auto, the San Antonio Auto & Truck Show, and Wieck.

    About TAWA

    For over 30 years, the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) has pursued its mission to promote accuracy and quality in the automotive journalism field. TAWA has grown to become one of the most influential and recognized automotive journalist associations in the United States. Journalist members of the association are among the most respected in the country.

    As part of TAWA’s efforts to serve journalist members who cover the automotive industry, the association annually hosts the Texas Truck Rodeo in the fall. This event gives journalists the opportunity to drive and evaluate vehicles entered by manufacturers. Winners of the Truck Rodeo’s “Truck of Texas” award have announced their awards on national television commercials, and TAWA’s logo has even appeared in Super Bowl commercials.

    Texas Truck Rodeo trophy photo by Kevin McCauley


  • Wednesday, August 14, 2019 1:17 PM | Kristin Shaw (Administrator)


    AUSTIN, TX, August 14, 2019 – Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) will be hosting its 30th annual Texas Truck Rodeo October 27-19, 2019.

    For 30 years, the Texas Truck Rodeo has been a unique opportunity for journalist members of TAWA to evaluate pickup trucks and SUVs in a side-by-side comparison. This event offers real-time comparisons, which is important as journalists continue to learn about the evolving automotive industry and develop stories for outlets that reach potential consumers. Once the evaluations are completed and the votes from each journalist are accumulated, the prestigious Truck of Texas trophy is awarded.

    Almost 25 percent of trucks in the U.S. are sold in Texas, and many journalists are focused intensely on pickups; winning a head-to-head comparison is a significant award. Strong support from journalists, manufacturers, and sponsors help to keep this event fresh and new.

    Event credential pickup starts at 2:00 P.M CT on Sunday, Oct. 27, and events beginning at 5:00 P.M. CT. Look for more information in the next few weeks. 

    Date: October 27-29, 2019

    Location: Austin, Texas; the Sonesta Hotel will be the media base and the driving will take place at nearby Star Hill Ranch

    Notes for Media

    All participants must be members of TAWA as of September 1, 2019. Active members may reside in Texas or out of state; newspapers, magazines, and web sites - which are accessible anywhere - are applicable.

    Membership is dependent on approval by TAWA board; applicants must have five or more automotive-related articles in the past 12 months to qualify. See https://www.texasautowriters.org/membership/journalist for more information and to apply.

    Notes for Manufacturers

    Registration for vehicles will begin August 21, 2019

    Contact Information

    Kristin Shaw, VP of Events, Texas Auto Writers Association

    kristin.shaw@texasautowriters.org

    512-914-4954


  • Tuesday, April 23, 2019 3:32 PM | Derek Price

    A Dodge muscle car won the top award at the 2019 Texas Auto Roundup. After 44 journalist members of the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) evaluated 29 vehicles April 14-16, the 2019 Dodge Challenger was crowned the overall Car of Texas.

    “Driving enthusiasts in Texas love horsepower, and the Challenger’s classic muscular lines and monumental power won over our voters,” said Michael Marrs, president of TAWA and co-host of the In Wheel Time radio show in Houston. “The most powerful Challenger that Dodge brought to the Roundup — the SRT Hellcat Redeye — drew attention for its 797-horsepower engine and raucous exhaust note.”

    The Challenger also won the Performance Car of Texas title. Other top awards include the 2019 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid as Family Car of Texas and 2020 Kia Telluride as CUV of Texas.

    TAWA members, who cover the automotive industry for print, online and broadcast outlets across the United States, voted on the top vehicles after spending two days comparing them in Denton, Texas. They took the vehicles on a series of street and handling exercises, pushing performance cars and taking other vehicles on slalom, acceleration and braking tests. Members also learned about the new vehicles’ features and changes from manufacturer representatives.

    OVERALL AWARDS

    CAR OF TEXAS
    Winner: 2019 Dodge Challenger
    Runner-Up: 2019 Alfa Romeo Giulia

    PERFORMANCE CAR OF TEXAS
    Winner: 2019 Dodge Challenger
    Runner-Up: 2019 Alfa Romeo Giulia

    FAMILY CAR OF TEXAS
    Winner: 2019 Chrysler Pacifica
    Runner-Up: 2019 Nissan Maxima

    CUV OF TEXAS
    Winner: 2020 Kia Telluride
    Runner-Up: 2019 Mercedes-Benz E63 S Wagon


    CATEGORY AWARDS

    COMPACT CAR
    Winner: 2020 Toyota Corolla XSE
    Runner-Up: 2020 Toyota Corolla LE Hybrid

    MID-SIZE CAR
    Winner: 2019 Nissan Maxima Platinum

    MINIVAN
    Winner: 2019 Chrysler Pacifica Limited

    GREEN VEHICLE
    Winner: 2019 Nissan LEAF PLUS SV
    Runner-Up: 2019 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Limited

    MID-SIZE LUXURY CAR
    Winner: 2019 Lexus ES 350 F Sport
    Runner-Up: 2019 Lexus ES 300h Luxury

    PERFORMANCE COMPACT
    Winner: 2019 Volkswagen GTI SE

    PERFORMANCE COUPE
    Winner: 2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye
    Runner-Up: 2019 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack Widebody

    PERFORMANCE SEDAN
    Winner: 2019 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio
    Runner-Up: 2019 Volkswagen GLI 35th Anniversary Edition

    COMPACT CUV
    Winner: 2019 Mazda CX-5 Signature AWD
    Runner-Up: 2019 Toyota RAV4 XSE Hybrid

    MID-SIZE CUV
    Winner: 2020 Kia Telluride SX

    LUXURY CUV
    Winner: 2019 Mercedes-Benz E63 S Wagon Carbon Fiber
    Runner-Up: 2019 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio

  • Tuesday, October 16, 2018 8:09 PM | Derek Price

    BEE CAVE, Texas — After two days of evaluations, journalist members of the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) selected the 2019 Ram 1500 as Truck of Texas.

    The award was presented Oct. 16 at the culmination of the Texas Truck Rodeo, presented by the Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI), in which 69 journalists drove 57 vehicles and voted on winners across a range of consumer categories.

    In addition to the Ram 1500 winning the overall prize, the 2019 Maserati Levante GTS won SUV of Texas and 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio took home CUV of Texas. Complete results from the voting are listed below.

    “TAWA journalists know their trucks, and they picked the new Ram as the clear winner,” said Michael Marrs, TAWA president. “Our members said the truck performed well even in challenging weather conditions during the Hill Country floods this year. It was also noteworthy that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles swept all the overall awards at this year’s competition.”

    After a morning of off-road driving on Monday, torrential rain and safety concerns forced the remainder of the event to move to on-road evaluations. Still, journalists said they enjoyed their brief time driving four-wheel-drive vehicles on slippery Texas hills and through deep mud — conditions that challenge even the best 4x4s and uncover strengths and weaknesses of off-road products.

    "Being named the Texas Auto Writers Association's Truck of Texas is the highest honor in the world's largest pickup market," said Reid Bigland, Head of Ram Brand and U.S. Sales; Chairman, President and CEO, FCA Canada Inc. "The all-new 2019 Ram 1500 offers the best combination of class exclusive features, refinement capability and efficiency. Winning this award is a challenge, but the Ram 1500  is well suited to the hard-working needs of Texas truck buyers."

    At the end of the event, journalists judged each of the vehicles in five criteria: Interior, Exterior, Performance, Value and Personal Appeal.

    In addition to SMDI’s title sponsorship, other sponsors of the 2019 Texas Truck Rodeo included LINE-X Protective Coatings, Saddleback Leather Company, Katzkin Automotive Leather, the San Antonio Auto & Truck Show, DFW Auto Show, Houston Auto Show, AutomotiveTouchup and Wieck.


    OVERALL AWARDS
    TRUCK OF TEXAS

    Winner: 2019 Ram 1500
    Runner Up: 2018 Ram 2500 Power Wagon

    SUV OF TEXAS
    Winner: 2019 Maserati Levante GTS
    Runner Up: 2018 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon

    CUV OF TEXAS
    Winner: 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio
    Runner Up: 2019 Mazda CX-9


    CATEGORY AWARDS
    COMPACT CUV

    Winner: 2019 Nissan Kicks SR
    Runner Up: 2019 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring AWD

    MID-SIZE CUV
    Winner: 2018 Nissan Murano Midnight Edition AWD
    Runner Up: 2019 Honda Pilot Elite

    FULL-SIZE CUV
    Winner: 2019 Mazda CX-9 Signature AWD
    Runner Up: 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan SEL

    LUXURY CUV
    Winner: 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio
    Runner Up: 2019 Lexus UX 250h F Sport

    SUB-COMPACT SUV
    Winner: 2018 Hyundai Kona Ultimate AWD
    Runner Up: 2018 Fiat 500X Trekking AWD

    COMPACT SUV
    Winner: 2019 Toyota RAV4 Adventure
    Runner Up: 2019 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk

    MID-SIZE SUV
    Winner: 2018 Jeep Wrangler Sahara
    Runner Up: 2019 Toyota 4Runner Nightshade Limited

    FULL-SIZE SUV
    Winner: 2019 Dodge Durango SRT
    Runner Up: 2019 Nissan Armada Platinum 4x4

    COMPACT LUXURY SUV
    Winner: 2019 Volvo XC40 R-Design
    Runner Up: 2019 Acura RDX Advance

    MID-SIZE LUXURY SUV
    Winner: 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit
    Runner Up: 2019 Lexus RX 350L

    FULL-SIZE LUXURY SUV
    Winner: 2019 Maserati Levante GTS
    Runner Up: 2019 Infiniti QX80 Limited

    OFF-ROAD UTILITY VEHICLE
    Winner: 2018 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon
    Runner Up: 2019 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro

    MID-SIZE PICKUP TRUCK
    Winner: 2019 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro

    FULL-SIZE PICKUP TRUCK
    Winner: 2019 Ram 1500 Limited
    Runner Up: 2019 Nissan Titan Crew Cab SL

    HEAVY DUTY PICKUP TRUCK
    Winner: 2018 Ram 2500 Power Wagon

    LUXURY PICKUP TRUCK
    Winner: 2019 Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn
    Runner Up: 2019 Nissan Titan Platinum Reserve

    OFF-ROAD PICKUP TRUCK
    Winner: 2019 Ram 1500 Rebel
    Runner Up: 2019 Nissan Titan PRO-4X

    COMMERCIAL VEHICLE
    Winner: 2019 Nissan Titan XD Single Cab


    FEATURE AWARDS
    BEST TECHNOLOGY

    Winner: UConnect 4C With 12-inch Screen
    Runner Up: Infiniti Smart Rearview Mirror

    BEST POWERTRAIN
    Winner: Ram eTorque Mild Hybrid
    Runner Up: Infiniti VC-Turbo

    BEST CONNECTIVITY
    Winner: Volvo Sensus



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