DALLAS, October 29, 2012 — This week I am taking a different approach with my column, “Behind the Wheel.” announcing the winners of the Texas Auto Writers Association’s (TAWA) 20th Annual Truck Rodeo winners for 2012.
Held last weekend in San Antonio, Texas, TAWA’s Truck Rodeo is a big deal for those of us who are members, and in Texas (as in other parts of the country too, of course) trucks are a big deal.
It came as no surprise to me that Ram took a top honor at the rodeo this year as “the” Truck of Texas.
The 2013 Ram 1500 with a 3.6-liter offers 42 percent more power this year while at the same time touting improved fuel economy, infotainment upgrades and an option for an eight-speed automatic transmission and air suspension.
Ram is also all about best-in-class for ride, handling and aerodynamics at a price tag starting at just $23,585 and 18 miles per gallon in the city, 25 miles per gallon on the highway.
Take a look too at the Ram Laramie Longhorn, touted as one of the most luxurious trucks ever produced by the Chrysler Group and “designed for the owner who needs a truck for work or play, but won’t settle for anything but the finest quality and refinement.”
The Ram Laramie Longhorn edition models showcase a distinctive Western-style exterior and a chrome metal Laramie Longhorn edition badge with painted accents mounted to the
tailgate while model-specific (1500, 2500 or 3500) Laramie Longhorn edition badges adorn the doors. In a word, the Ram 1500 winner is all about what Texans love the most.
“Automotive reporters have reacted extremely favorably to the new 2013 Ram 1500 and our research tells us that resonates with truck buyers,” said Fred Diaz, president and CEO of Ram. “Texas is Ram’s biggest market and we’ve worked relentlessly to build powerful trucks with best-in-class fuel economy and capability for our customers,” added Diaz. “The pickup market is fiercely competitive and we are proud the Texas Auto Writers have awarded Ram trucks with these coveted titles.”
Taking the “SUV of Texas” honor again this year was the Jeep Grand Cherokee. The 2013 model offers the off-road fortified Trailhawk and a luxury version called the Overland Summit, if you are in the market.
From Jeep’s President and CEO, Mike Manley: “We are absolutely delighted that Jeep has won the prestigious ‘SUV of Texas’ award three straight years. Even more impressive is the fact that Jeep vehicles came out on top in every category we entered. We are grateful that the influential Texas auto writers have once again recognized the unmatched combination of benchmark capability and outstanding everyday driving dynamics that Jeep vehicles offer.”
Buick’s 2013 Enclave also received an honor for 2012 being named “Crossover of Texas.”
Wondering how the other trucks stacked up in this year’s TAWA winning categories?
Full-size sport utility vehicle: 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee
Mid-size sport utility vehicle: 2013 Jeep Wrangler
Compact sport utility vehicle: 2013 Ford Escape
Full-size luxury sport utility vehicle: 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland Summit
Mid-size luxury sport utility vehicle: 2013 Ford Explorer Sport
Full-size crossover utility vehicle: 2013 GMC Acadia
Mid-size crossover utility vehicle: 2013 GMC Terrain
Compact crossover utility vehicle: 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport
Full-size luxury crossover utility vehicle: 2013 Buick Enclave
Mid-size luxury crossover utility vehicle: 2013 Cadillac SRX
Mid-size pickup truck: 2013 Toyota Tacoma
Full-size pickup truck: 2013 Ram 1500
Luxury pickup truck: 2013 Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn
Heavy-duty pickup truck: 2013 Ford F-250 Super Duty
Off-road truck: 2013 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor
Should You Need to Know: “Texas accounts for nearly 20 percent of the total U.S. pickup market and has earned the ‘Center of the Truck Universe’ title,” according to Diaz.
Rita Cook is a writer/editor with has over 1000 articles to her credit in the past 13-plus years. She is a frequent auto and travel contributor on a radio show in Los Angeles called Insider Mag Radio at KPRO 1570 am on from midnight to 12:30 a.m. Monday mornings.
She also contributes travel and auto to the Anthony Duva show, which can be heard live from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. EST every Sunday at www.unregularradio.com.
Cook is a member of the Texas Auto Writer’s Association, writes for the Dallas Morning News Green Living Section as well as artist profiles and www.greensourceDFW and spends much of her time on the road traveling or working on books.
She recently received the 2012 Green Media Award from the North Texas Corporate Recycling Association.
Her latest book releases are both “Haunted Dallas” and “Haunted Fort Worth” from www.historypress.net. Her third book in the Haunted Series will be released in October “Haunted Bartlesville, Oklahoma.” Follow Cook at Twitter at @ritacook13.
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