Latino Traffic Report (LTR) would like to recognize the winners of the 2018 Texas Truck Rodeo, hosted by the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) and presented by the Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI). Taking the top three awards, Truck of Texas, Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) of Texas, and Crossover Utility Vehicle (CUV) of Texas were the Ford F-150, the Volvo XC60, and Alfa Romeo Stelvio, respectively.
The thirtieth annual Texas Truck Rodeo took place at the Longhorn Ranch in Dripping Springs, TX.
Each year, automotive journalists spend two days driving on off- and on-road courses, testing vehicles (trucks, SUVs, CUVs, and commercial vehicles) to select winners in 21 categories as well as three overall winners. Sixty-four vehicles, with a combined value of nearly $4 million were test driven this year by 75 journalists.
“The competition was incredibly fierce at this year’s Texas Truck Rodeo,” said TAWA President Nic Phillips. “Journalists put in more than 300 hours of driving time, evaluating the vehicles presented. The results in several categories are separated by the narrowest of margins … confirming just how competitive the trucks and utility vehicles are today,” Phillips said.
Engineers from the competing manufacturers were on hand to answer questions from journalists about the vehicles and to aid in the evaluation process. Vehicles are measured on their interior, exterior, value, performance, and personal appeal
Traditionally, new features or new models tend to attract the most votes. Restyled for 2018, one memorable moment in the F-150 Limited included getting a massage from the all-new seat massage function. This is the ninth win for Ford at the rodeo and a repeat from last year when the Ford F-250 won the title.
“With the new 2018 F-150, we’re honored to earn back-to-back Truck of Texas awards for F-Series, a recognition that speaks to the truck team’s dedication to our hard-working customers,” said Raj Nair, executive vice president and president of North America. “That’s especially true here in Texas – truck capital of the world.”
The SUV of Texas win represents a three-peat for Volvo. It was also the last SUV to be named Truck of Texas in 2003, prompting creation of the SUV and CUV of Texas awards. The 2018 XC60 T6 and the super luxe T8 Hybrid, with premium features like an Orefors crystal shift knob, were entered to compete in the Mid-Size Luxury SUV of Texas category, which it won as well. Additional awards for the XC60 included Best Connectivity for its Sensus infotainment system and Best Powertrain. Alfa Romeo’s first CUV also won the Luxury CUV of Texas category.
Overall, Nissan was the most overall awarded brand with five category wins and Mazda swept the three non-luxury CUVs, categories. Other highlights from the event included a near vertical climb up a hill with the Ram Power Wagon, assisted by a winch and the Land Rover Discovery, assisted by cruise control.
The following is a list of all the winners.
The 2018 award categories and winning vehicles were:
- Truck of Texas: 2018 Ford F150
- SUV of Texas: 2018 Volvo XC60
- CUV of Texas: 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Ti Sport
- Heavy duty pickup truck: 2018 Ram 2500 Limited Tungsten
- Best commercial vehicle: 2018 Nissan Titan King Cab SV
- Luxury pickup truck: 2018 Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn Southfork
- Off-road pickup: 2017 Ford F150 Raptor
- Full-size pickup: 2018 Nissan Titan Midnight Edition
- Midsize pickup: 2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro
- Best technology: Nissan Pro Pilot
- Best connectivity: Volvo XC60
- Best powertrain: Volvo XC60
- Off-road utility vehicle: 2017 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon Recon
- Sub-Compact SUV: 2017 Jeep Renegade Desert Hawk
- Compact SUV: 2018 Nissan Rogue Platinum
- Mid-size Luxury SUV: 2018 Volvo XC60
- Compact Luxury SUV: 2018 Infiniti QX30 Premium AWD
- Full-size SUV: 2018 Dodge Durango SRT
- Mid-size SUV: 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk
- Compact SUV: 2018 Nissan Rogue Platinum
- Full-size CUV: 2018 Mazda CX9 Grand Touring AWD
- Mid-size CUV: 2017 Mazda CX5 Grand Touring GT
- Compact CUV: 2018 Mazda CX3 Grand Touring FWD
- Luxury CUV: 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Ti Sport