The Savvy Drivers at the Texas Auto Writers Association Texas Truck Rodeo

TEXAS AUTO WRITERS ASSOCIATION NAMES
2022 TRUCK OF TEXAS AND SUV OF TEXAS

Special thanks to photographer Kevin McCauley / McCauley Creative, LLC for taking most of these photos!

Automotive journalist members of the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) gathered last month to test drive more than 50 vehicles through their paces both on- and off-road at Star Hill Ranch in Beecave, Texas last month. The  journalists attending TAWA’s annual “Texas Truck Rodeo” rated the vehicles on their interior, exterior, value, performance and personal appeal.  TAWA manufacturer members had the opportunity to speak with TAWA journalists and show them in person all of their newest vehicles and features.

We had an inkling that the all-new 2022 Toyota Tundra would do well, and the just-announced winners just confirmed it. The 2022 Truck of Texas is in fact that all-new 2022 Toyota Tundra!  Specifically, we enjoyed the new 1794 edition, sending pictures to a friend of ours who owns the previous model.  Having had the experience of making a road trip with those friends, we fully appreciated the comfort of its ride along with all the factors that make it super capable in every other way.

Built on a new fully boxed chassis and equipped with a new multilink rear suspension, the Tundra offers impressive capability with its maximum tow rating of 12,000 pounds and a max payload of 1,940 pounds. Featuring two new i-Force powertrains – the i-FORCE 3.5L twin-turbo V6 engine and available i-FORCE MAX 3.5L twin-turbo V6 hybrid – the Tundra not only significantly improves performance but both powertrains improve efficiency as well. Maybe the most surprising aspect of the hybrid i-FORCE MAX powertrain is that it is the most powerful of the options, producing 437 hp at 5,200 rpm and a whopping 583 lb.-ft. of torque at an impressively low 2,400 rpm.

The 2022 Tundra arrives in December 2021 with a host of new features to accompany the new chassis and powertrains. Those looking to get off the beaten path will appreciate the off-road technology that includes the available Multi-Terrain Select (MTS), Crawl Control (CRAWL) and selectable rear locker.  The all-new multimedia system offers a user-friendly experience with new voice activated technology or via the massive 14-inch touchscreen.

Additionally, the 2022 Tundra offers drivers groundbreaking towing technology. Using sensors and cameras, Tundra’s driver assistance technology helps drivers easily connect a trailer and Straight Path Assist helps keep it in a straight line when backing up. Additional new interior features include a panoramic moonroof, a tailored cabin, the available fan-favorite power vertical rear window and an available 12.3-inch digital instrument panel for the driver.

TAWA journalists were among the first to test drive the all-new 2022 Wagoneer
and Grand Wagoneer,
named 2022 SUV of Texas

Wagoneer returns to the market as a premium extension of the Jeep brand while continuing its legacy as the original premium SUV. Building on a rich heritage of premium American craftsmanship while offering a new level of comfort, legendary 4×4 capability and customer service, Wagoneer forges a new path – one that defines the new standard of sophistication, authenticity and modern mobility.

Savvy Driver Steve Smirnis in the driver’s seat of the gorgeous Toyota Tundra 1794 Edition

Another of Steve’s favorite drives was the 2022 Lexus GX 460 Blackline Special Edition.  Watch him drive this luxury SUV practically straight up the big hill on the Star Hill Ranch off-road track.  We learned that the GX has a cult-like following for its luxury and capability.

OUR PERSONAL HONORABLE MENTIONS:

The opportunity to drive the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio and the Maserati Levante Trofeo was a thrill!

THANK YOU STAR HILL RANCH
& TAWA BOARD OF DIRECTORS
ON THE GREAT SUCCESS OF THE
29TH ANNUAL TEXAS TRUCK RODEO!

Savvy Driver Beverly Smirnis in the driver’s seat of the GREEN VEHICLE OF TEXAS award-winner–2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe and a lime green 2022 Toytota 4Runner TRD Pro.

“The Wrangler and the 4Runner are always among my favorites to drive off-road,” said Beverly.  “I always appreciate the capability of these vehicles, yes, but I also am delighted by the creativity in the design teams’ newest colors.  I love the raspberry colored Wrangler and the lime green 4Runner!”

Besides the Overall Awards for Truck of Texas and SUV of Texas, we congratulate these category winners:

OFF-ROAD VEHICLE OF TEXAS is the 2021 Ram 1500, chiefly earned by the Ram TRX.

COMPACT SUV OF TEXAS
2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz

MID-SIZE SUV OF TEXAS
2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L

FULL-SIZE SUV OF TEXAS
2022 Wagoneer

MID-SIZE LUXURY SUV OF TEXAS
2022 Genesis GV70

FULL-SIZE LUXURY SUV OF TEXAS
2022 Grand Wagoneer Series III

MID-SIZE PICKUP TRUCK OF TEXAS
2022 Nissan Frontier

FULL-SIZE PICKUP TRUCK OF TEXAS
2022 Ram 1500

HEAVY DUTY PICKUP TRUCK OF TEXAS
2022 Ram 2500 Power Wagon

LUXURY PICKUP TRUCK OF TEXAS
2021 Ram 1500 TRX

GREEN VEHICLE OF TEXAS
2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe

Additional awards were handed out for the Best Safety Feature or Driver Assist, Best Infotainment System and Best Powertrain.

Best Safety Feature or Driver Assist
Lexus Safety System+ 3.0

Best Infotainment System
UConnect 5

Best Powertrain
Ram 6.2-liter Supercharged HEMI V8

2021-11-05T22:16:15-05:00November 6th, 2021|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

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