The Texas Automotive Writers Association (TAWA) have released their list of winners from the group’s annual Texas Truck Rodeo. Dozens of journalists spent two days in early October driving the auto industry’s newest trucks and sport utility vehicles (SUVs) over a number of on-road and off-road conditions. When everything was settled, the Jeep®, Ram, and Uconnect brands from Stellantis won several awards, including the coveted “SUV of Texas” award.
Jeep® Brand –
The ultra-premium all-new 2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer proved itself to be a winner as it was crowned the “SUV of Texas” in its inaugural year out. The Grand Wagoneer Series III, the highest-trim in the Wagoneer series also took home top honors as the “Luxury SUV of Texas” making sure to showcase that the Jeep subbrand is ready to go up against the likes of Cadillac and Lincoln. The more toned-down Wagoneer lineup also was awarded top honors as the “Full-Size SUV of Texas”.
“The 2022 Grand Wagoneer truly impressed our members. The attention to detail, luxury materials, integrated design, and the capability and technology is indeed setting a new benchmark for the Full-Size Luxury SUV segment,” said Kristin Shaw, President of TAWA. “Ram trucks also brought their A-game, winning several consecutive awards. Texas auto writers are true connoisseurs of pickup trucks so Ram’s honors are well deserved. We also enjoyed the lineup from Jeep with several vehicles that were the stars of their categories, offering capability, craftsmanship, and versatility.”
The Wagoneer/Grand Wagoneer series wasn’t the only Jeep branded vehicle to win awards. The plug-in hybrid (PHEV) Jeep Wrangler Unlimited 4xe took home the “Green Vehicle of Texas” award thanks to its efficient Wrangler 4xe propulsion system that combines two electric motors, a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four engine, and an 8-speed automatic transmission for nearly silent propulsion and enhanced 4×4 off-road capability, without EV range anxiety. The powertrain allows the “Trail Rated” Wrangler to retain its running gear that includes solid front and rear axles, a full-time two-speed transfer case, a fully-articulating suspension, and 30 inches of water fording capability.
The all-new three-row Jeep Grand Cherokee L took home the “Midsize SUV of Texas” award. The newest iteration of the Grand Cherokee is designed and engineered to deliver an unmatched combination of even more legendary 4×4 capability, superior on-road refinement, premium styling, and craftsmanship inside and out, a host of advanced safety and technology features.
Ram Truck Brand –
Although the RAM brand missed out on winning the “Truck of Texas” award this year (thanks to the all-new Texas-built 2022 Toyota Tundra taking the top honors), the RAM brand dominated most of the other pickup categories.
The Ram 1500 won “Full-Size Pickup Truck of Texas” once again, showing that RAM’s half-ton truck is still competitive despite being four years old this year. RAM’s half-ton took home the honor last year thanks to the debut of the high-performance off-roader Ram 1500 TRX model, which continues to show its dominance at the awards taking home “Luxury Pickup Truck of Texas”, “Off-Road Vehicle of Texas” and even “Best Powertrain” from its supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI HELLCAT V8 making 702 horsepower and 650 lb.-ft. of torque.
The off-road-oriented 2022 Ram 2500 Power Wagon took home the “Heavy-Duty Pickup Truck of Texas” award with top honors. The Power Wagon now offers four-different flavors of the most capable off-road pickup on the market for 2022. The Power Wagon can be found in Tradesman, Power Wagon, Power Wagon Level 2, and premium Power Wagon Level 3 offerings to give Heavy Duty truck owners the ability to tackle anything off-road.
The new Uconnect 5 infotainment system which found its way into the Ram 1500, Ram 1500 TRX, Ram 2500, Wagoneer, Grand Wagoneer, and Grand Cherokee L vehicles, was named “Best Infotainment System” at the Texas Truck Rodeo. With greater connectivity, rich content, and greater personalization, the fifth generation of Uconnect infotainment software is the most advanced Uconnect system ever.
This year’s Rodeo was held at Star Hill Ranch in Bee Cave, Texas, featuring both on-road and technical off-road driving opportunities. TAWA members cast their votes after two days of vehicle evaluations. Consideration is given to everything from exterior/interior styling and off-road capability to the entrant’s overall utility, value, and performance.
More than 50 pickup trucks and SUVs were entered in the competition and more than 40 TAWA members attended.
What do you think of the winners? Let us know in the comments below or in the MoparInsiders.com forums.