Texas Auto Writers Association Announces
2023 Texas Truck Rodeo Winners
For almost 30 years – with time off for a pandemic – members of the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) have been gathering to judge trucks, SUVs and crossovers on their relative merits, especially as those merits align with the perceived needs of their reading and viewing constituents. This collection of media members, vehicles and those execs representing the participating brands had grown significantly from its roots in the fall of 1993, only to shrink somewhat in the aftermath of Covid. But the Texas Truck Rodeo was back this October, and the results of this latest get-together have just been announced. The TAWA press release – with minimal editing for length – is below.
2023 Texas Truck Rodeo Winners
The Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) is pleased to announce the award winners of the 2023 TAWA Texas Truck Rodeo. This year’s event was held in Decatur, Texas at Eagles Canyon Raceway. The awards were announced in partnership with the Houston Auto Show on November 1.
Automotive journalists from across the state tested a cross-section of the world’s most capable vehicles at this year’s event, held October 3-4. TAWA members evaluated vehicles based on their interior, exterior, value, performance and overall personal appeal. This year’s attendees rated vehicles from automakers including Acura, Genesis, Honda, Hyundai, Jeep, Lexus, Mazda, Nissan, Ram, Toyota, Nissan, Volkswagen and Wagoneer.
This year the title award categories were Truck of Texas and Sport Utility Vehicle of Texas. An additional 11 category awards, one feature-based award and 5 calculated merit awards were also awarded by TAWA’s Member Journalists.
“The Texas Auto Writers Association thanks and congratulates all automotive members and partners for joining us for this year’s Texas Truck Rodeo. We are delighted to give special congratulations to the title and category winners of the 2023 Texas Truck Rodeo,” said TAWA President Teia Collier. “To experience and put these world-class vehicles through their paces at Eagles Canyon Raceway is a rugged opportunity to see what these machines can do.”
The Ram 1500 was named the 2023 Truck of Texas and serves as a reminder of Texas’ love and appreciation of a capable, full-size pickup truck. The all-new 2023 Toyota Sequoia was named the 2023 Sport Utility Vehicle of Texas.
QUOTE FROM RAM TRUCKS:
“Texas is the world’s largest pickup truck market so Ram 1500 winning the Truck of Texas title is truly a significant accomplishment,” said Mike Koval Jr., Ram brand CEO – Stellantis. “The Texas Auto Writers Association has a long tradition of recognizing the best truck available for the hard-working needs of Texas truck buyers. We are honored the Ram 1500 has captured this year’s prestigious award.”
QUOTE FROM TOYOTA:
“The all-new Toyota Sequoia provides all the room, technology, power and efficiency our customers need, and we appreciate TAWA recognizing all that the Sequoia offers,” said Mike Sweers, executive chief engineer for the Toyota Tundra, Sequoia, Tacoma and 4Runner vehicle programs at Toyota Motor North America, Research and Development (TMNA R&D). “After the successful launch of the Tundra, which TAWA named Truck of Texas at the 2021 Truck Rodeo, we are excited to be accelerating into the next chapter in our truck-family story with the Sequoia.”
QUOTE FROM GENESIS:
“Genesis is humbled to be recognized by the Texas Auto Writers Association. We are pleased that GV60 has been warmly received by industry experts in the region, and we look forward to introducing this model to Texas customers in the near future.” – Claudia Marquez, Chief Operating Officer, Genesis Motor North America
QUOTE FROM MAZDA:
“We’re thrilled to continue our recent regional recognitions for the 2023 Mazda CX-50 through Texas Auto Writers Association’s Texas Truck Rodeo,” states Mazda Southern Region General Manager, Spencer Bridges. “The organization’s events throughout this year have allowed the Mazda CX-50 to showcase its expansive capabilities, both on- and off-road while keeping the driver confident.”
QUOTE FROM TAWA
“The vehicles represented at the 2023 Texas Truck Rodeo brought new levels of efficiency, and capability to meet the needs of the modern buyer and automotive enthusiasts that do not want to choose between function and performance. We saw advancements in technology, safety and beautiful displays of automotive design. After experiencing this year’s competitive class, we cannot help but feel excited and optimistic about the future of the industry,” said Collier.
The Texas Auto Writers Association offers a special thanks to both Katzkin Leather for sponsorship of the 2023 Texas Truck Rodeo, and to the Houston Auto and Boat Show for its continued support through the years.
2023 TEXAS TRUCK RODEO WINNERS
TRUCK OF TEXAS: RAM 1500
SPORT UTILITY VEHICLE OF TEXAS: TOYOTA SEQUOIA
COMPACT SUV: MAZDA CX-50
MID-SIZE SUV: NISSAN PATHFINDER
FULL-SIZE SUV: TOYOTA SEQUOIA
OFF-ROAD SUV: TOYOTA SEQUOIA
LUXURY SUV: GENESIS GV60
MID-SIZE TRUCK: NISSAN FRONTIER
FULL-SIZE PICKUP TRUCK: RAM 1500
OFF-ROAD PICKUP TRUCK: TOYOTA TUNDRA
LUXURY PICKUP TRUCK: RAM 1500 LIMITED
GREEN VEHICLE: GENESIS GV60
HEAVY DUTY PICKUP TRUCK: RAM HEAVY DUTY REBEL
BEST INTERIOR: GRAND WAGONEER
BEST EXTERIOR: TOYOTA SEQUOIA
BEST VALUE: GENESIS GV60
BEST PERFORMANCE: RAM 1500
BEST PERSONAL APPEAL: RAM 1500
BEST NEW FEATURE: HURRICANE TWIN TURBO, WAGONEER