Latino Traffic Report (LTR) has learned that the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) has named the all-new 2022 Toyota Tundra and the 2022 Grand Wagoneer as the 2022 Truck of Texas and 2022 SUV of Texas, respectively, following the Texas Truck Rodeo, held October 2021 and attended by LTR editor Valerie Menard, a TAWA voting member. Both models were first-time winners.
“At the Texas Truck Rodeo, we get to put dozens of vehicles through their paces both on- and off-road,” said TAWA president Kristin Shaw. “At the end of the day, our members were duly impressed by the updates and technological advancements included in both the 2022 Tundra and the reborn Grand Wagoneer; both were equally capable on the road course and dirt circuit.”
More than 40 Texas Auto Writers Association journalists traveled to Star Hill Ranch outside Austin on October 4-5, to evaluate more than 50 vehicles on an upgraded off-roading course designed for the event. Drivers had the opportunity to drive vehicles on-road as well.
Members voted on the coveted Truck of Texas and SUV of Texas awards as well as eleven 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.
“With Texas as the number-one truck market, these awards have special significance,” said Menard. “I’ve been a member of this organization for more than 20 years and have been attending the annual truck rodeo for about as long. I look forward to it each year.”
While the Tundra and Wagoneer took the top prizes, other standouts for the day included the Hyundai Santa Cruz, which garnered the Compact SUV of Texas honor. Based on the Hyundai Tucson, the Santa Cruz will remind many of the Subaru Brat and while some may resist the urge to call it a pickup, the open bed does offer truck utility and includes a waterproof cooler inside the bed.
Sporting a distinctive exterior look and exceptional interior luxury (including multi-zone massager in the front seats), the Genesis GV70 took home the Luxury SUV of Texas award. It has one of the lowest prices in its segment, starting at $52,000. The as-tested price was $64,045 but that pales in comparison to other competitors at the rodeo like the Maserati Levante Trofeo at $160,040 and even the Jeep Grand Wagoneer Series III at $109,580.
This year, the health and safety of all participants remained the top priority. Safety protocols that remained in place after being adopted in 2020 to address the pandemic included sanitizing vehicles between drives and hosting all meals and meetings outdoors. TAWA thanks our participating members, automakers, press fleets and sponsors for their support.
For a full list of award winners go to https://www.texasautowriters.org/truck-of-texas-2022.