Ford sweeps Texas Truck Rodeo awards, Chrysler defends SUV crown

2011 Ford F-150 4x4 SuperCrew
  • 2011 Ford F-150 4x4 SuperCrew
  • 2011 Ford F-150 4x4 SuperCrew front 3/4 view

  • 2011 Ford F-150 4x4 SuperCrew
  • 2011 Ford F-150 4x4 SuperCrew
  • 2011 Ford F-150 4x4 SuperCrew
  • 2011 Ford F-150 4x4 SuperCrew
  • 2011 Ford F-150 4x4 SuperCrew
  • 2011 Ford F-150 4x4 SuperCrew
  • 2011 Ford F-150 4x4 SuperCrew
  • 2011 Ford F-150 4x4 SuperCrew
  • 2011 Ford F-150 4x4 SuperCrew
  • 2011 Ford F-150 4x4 SuperCrew
  • 2011 Ford F-150 4x4 SuperCrew
  • 2011 Ford F-150 4x4 SuperCrew
  • 2011 Ford F-150 4x4 SuperCrew
  • 2011 Ford F-150 4x4 SuperCrew
  • 2011 Ford F-150 4x4 SuperCrew
  • 2011 Ford F-150 4x4 SuperCrew
  • 2011 Ford F-150 4x4 SuperCrew
  • 2011 Ford F-150 4x4 SuperCrew
  • 2011 Ford F-150 4x4 SuperCrew
  • 2011 Ford F-150 4x4 SuperCrew
The Texas Auto Writers Association has awarded the 2012 Ford F-150 a slew of honors. The pickup took home the Truck of Texas title by beating out its competitors at the annual Truck Rodeo. The award is the association's most prestigious honor, but Ford also picked up a few other nods. TAWA named the company's EcoBoost engine technology its best vehicle feature, and the 2012 Ford Edge took home the CUV of Texas badge. Finally, the entire Ford pickup line was named the Truck Line of Texas by the association, making for a pretty clean sweep of the truck competition.

This year, manufacturers entered 48 vehicles into the TAWA Truck Rodeo, and 57 automotive writers turned out to evaluate the trucks and SUVs. When the dust settled, Ford had earned seven awards total, including the best heavy-duty, luxury and full-size pickup trucks.

For its part, Chrysler saw its products fare well in the competition, too. The 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee went home carrying SUV of Texas trophy, while TAWA awarded its sister, the 2012 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, the mid-sized SUV of Texas title. Finally, the writers in attendance named the 2012 Dodge Durango the full-size SUV of Texas.

Hit the jump for a volley of press releases.
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Ford Ropes 'Truck of Texas' Title, Best Truck Lineup, Six Other High Honors at Annual TAWA Texas Truck Rodeo

• The 2012 Ford F-150 is named Truck of Texas, the most prestigious award presented by the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) at its annual Truck Rodeo in the country's largest truck market. In addition, Ford products and technologies win top honors in seven other categories ?
• The 2012 Ford Edge is named CUV of Texas?
• Ford EcoBoost® technology – available for both F-150 and Edge – is named best vehicle feature. EcoBoost uses gasoline turbocharged direct-injection technology for up to 20 percent better fuel economy, 15 percent fewer CO2 emissions and superior driving performance versus larger displacement engines?
• Ford also is named Truck Line of Texas for the 12th consecutive year, in recognition of the best-in-class capability and durability of its truck lineup

SAN ANTONIO, Oct. 24, 2011 – Ford trucks and crossovers have earned top honors at the 2011 Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) Truck Rodeo, including the 2012 Ford F-150 being named Truck of Texas – the most prestigious award.

"Texan consumers put their trust in TAWA's automotive journalists. After lining up vehicles from major auto manufacturers, our members determined Ford simply had the best trucks and crossover," said Mike Herzing, president of TAWA. "But the real winners here are Texas' truck buyers. Ford delivers the trucks that fit their lifestyles."

Ford also swept seven additional categories for its trucks, crossovers and EcoBoost engine technology.

"These honors show Ford trucks still reign supreme in Texas, and it is rewarding to see that the truck-savvy Texas auto writers appreciate just how innovative our F-Series pickups are," said Mark Fields, Ford's president of The Americas. "These awards validate what our customers have been telling us about our 'Built Ford Tough' F-150, and we are honored by their recognition of the strength of our truck lineup as well as our crossovers and EcoBoost engines."

A total of 48 vehicles were entered in the rodeo and evaluated by the 57 registered TAWA members. TAWA is one of the largest associations of auto writers in the U.S.
At this weekend's Rodeo, TAWA members also named Ford's EcoBoost engine technology Best Vehicle Feature.

V6 EcoBoost engine sales have accounted for more than 40 percent of F-150 retail sales volume each of the past six months. Additionally, F-150s with EcoBoost had their best-ever sales month in September.

The V6 engines continue to outsell V8s among F-150s, with Ford's new 3.5-liter EcoBoost and 3.7-liter V6 engines representing 57 percent of F-150 retail sales in September.

Ford F-150 EcoBoost-equipped trucks offer best-in-class trailer tow capability of 11,300 pounds and can achieve 22 mpg on the highway and 16 mpg in the city. No other truck with comparable horsepower and torque can match the F-150 EcoBoost in highway or city fuel economy.

The 2012 Ford Edge also was awarded the honor of Crossover of Texas and Best Midsize CUV of Texas.

The 2012 Edge features an all-new 2.0-liter EcoBoost® four-cylinder engine that offers 30 mpg highway and 270 lb.-ft. of torque – a combination unmatched in the segment.

Ford's lineup of trucks also was named Truck Line of Texas for the 12th consecutive year. Ford's dominance of the TAWA Truck Line of Texas award is further evidence of the durability and reliability of Built Ford Tough F-Series trucks.

The full list of Ford vehicles winning top honors in their categories at TAWA Truck Rodeo is:

• Truck of Texas: 2012 Ford F-150
• Truck Line of Texas: Ford Motor Company
• CUV of Texas: 2012 Ford Edge
• Heavy-Duty Pickup Truck: 2012 Ford F-250 King Ranch Super Duty
• Luxury Pickup Truck: 2012 Ford F-150 Platinum EcoBoost
• Full-Size Pickup Truck: 2012 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor
• Mid-Size CUV: 2012 Ford Edge Limited
• Outstanding Feature: Ford EcoBoost Engine Technology

2012 Jeep® Grand Cherokee Named "SUV of Texas" by Texas Auto Writers Association

Jeep Wrangler and Grand Cherokee Overland Summit win respective categories

Jeep Grand Cherokee – the most-awarded SUV in history – retains prestigious "SUV of Texas" crown

New, more fuel efficient and powerful 2012 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited named "Mid-size SUV of Texas"

Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland Summit named "Luxury SUV of Texas"

October 24, 2011 , SAN ANTONIO - SAN ANTONIO - Already the most-awarded sport-utility vehicle in history, Jeep Grand Cherokee has been named "SUV of Texas" – for the second consecutive year – by nearly 60 journalists representing the opinion-leading Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA). The award was one of three captured by Jeep vehicles during the annual TAWA Rodeo – a two-day test of the industry's newest SUV and truck lineup over a variety of on-road and rugged off-road terrain – held last Friday and Saturday at the Knibbe Ranch in Spring Branch, Texas, near San Antonio.

The new 2012 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited – with more fuel efficiency, power and torque for 2012 – was named "Mid-size SUV of Texas," and the ultra-premium Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland Summit was named "Luxury SUV of Texas."

"We are delighted that the influential journalists representing the Texas Auto Writers Association have once again recognized Jeep vehicles with several awards, and particularly the Jeep Grand Cherokee as the 'SUV of Texas,'" said Mike Manley, President and CEO – Jeep Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. "Winning this award last year started a string of Grand Cherokee accolades that made it the most-awarded SUV of all-time. More importantly, we know that these TAWA awards translate directly into sales. Through September of this year, Grand Cherokee sales are up 78 percent in the U.S. In the same time period in Texas, sales are up nearly 200 percent.

"We thank the TAWA journalists for recognizing that Jeep is providing consumers a lineup of SUVs that deliver an unmatched combination of capability, refinement, craftsmanship and value," Manley added.

Fifty-seven TAWA members were given two days of on- and off-road evaluation time with Jeep vehicles and their competitors. Consideration was given to everything from exterior styling and off-road capability, to the vehicles' overall utility, value and fuel efficiency.

"Jeep Grand Cherokee has once again demonstrated its superior levels of performance, quality, interior craftsmanship, and reliability that make it an award-winning SUV," said Mike Herzing, TAWA President. "Grand Cherokee is a tremendous value for consumers, and is clearly the 'SUV of Texas.'"

This year's TAWA Rodeo marks the second consecutive year that Jeep Wrangler captured the "Mid-size SUV of Texas" award.

The 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland Summit captured the "Luxury of SUV of Texas" award in its first year of competition at the TAWA rodeo, beating vehicles from several luxury/premium brands.

Jeep Grand Cherokee

The all-new-for-2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee captured more than 30 awards, making it the most-awarded SUV ever. Grand Cherokee delivers premium on-road performance while maintaining the Jeep brand's legendary four-wheel-drive, torque-on-demand two-speed transfer case and towing capability. It offers improved fuel economy (up to 23 miles per gallon), a driving range of more than 550 miles, superb on-road ride and handling, a world-class interior cabin, more than 45 safety and security features, and a variety of advanced technology features.

Contributing to Grand Cherokee's class-leading capability is the combination of Jeep's Quadra-Lift™ air suspension system and the Jeep Selec-Terrain™ traction control system that lets customers choose the 4x4 setting for the optimum driving experience on all terrains.

The 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee is available with three 4x4 systems, and with either V-6 or V-8 powertrains.

Jeep Wrangler

Jeep Wrangler – the most capable and recognized vehicle in the world – becomes even more capable both on- and off-road for 2012, courtesy of an all-new, more fuel efficient and more powerful 3.6-liter V-6 engine, and a new five-speed automatic transmission – both of which it shares with the award-winning Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Chrysler Group's 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine – winner of the prestigious Ward's 10 Best Engines award – delivers 285 horsepower (209 kW) and 260 (353 N•m) lb.-ft. of torque, while delivering up to 21 miles per gallon highway in the 2012 Jeep Wrangler. The improvement, when compared to the previous 3.8-liter V-6 engine, is 40 percent in horsepower and 10 percent in torque.

Jeep continues to refine the successful Wrangler formula by combining legendary, benchmark capability with an interior that delivers rich styling with significantly upgraded touch surfaces, occupant comfort and versatility, and a premium appearance courtesy of a body color hard top for the popular Sahara and Rubicon models.

Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland Summit

Sporting a unique front appearance that includes a fully chromed grille and fog lamp bezels, and riding on 20-inch bright, polished aluminum wheels, the Overland Summit model elevates the Jeep Grand Cherokee to a higher level of indulgence and refinement for drivers seeking the ultimate personal driving statement in a premium sport-utility vehicle.

Inside, the Jeep Grand Cherokee features unique Black Olive burl real wood trim blended into the instrument panel. The distinctive polished trim wraps into the upper panels of both the front and rear doors surrounding passengers with the highest levels of craftsmanship. The wood trim is also used on the standard, leather-wrapped, heated steering wheel. The Grand Cherokee Overland Summit boasts a Black lower and New Saddle upper interior trim color, along with saddle-color Nappa heated and ventilated leather seats – with perforated inserts and accent piping – and Berber floor mats with Black and Chestnut accent binding.

Also standard on the Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland Summit is the Advanced Warning System and Adaptive Cruise Control group, which consists of adaptive cruise control, Forward Collision Warning, Blind-spot Monitoring and Rear Cross Path detection systems.


Dodge Durango, the segment leader in power, towing capacity and driving range, wins "Full-Size SUV of Texas" award

The Texas Automotive Writers Association (TAWA) hosted its annual "Texas Truck Rodeo" Oct.
21-22 in San Antonio

October 24, 2011 , SAN ANTONIO - Nearly 60 journalists belonging to the Texas Automotive Writers Association (TAWA) spent two days driving the industry's newest sport-utility and crossover vehicles in San Antonio late last week, and when the dust settled, the new Dodge Durango stood proud as the winner of the prestigious "Full-Size SUV of Texas" honor.

"It's always an honor when opinion-leading journalists recognize the tremendous capability, style and value we're offering with our all-new lineup of Dodge vehicles," said Reid Bigland, President and CEO – Dodge Brand. "With Durango's standard seven-passenger seating, class-leading towing capacity and driving range, the Dodge Durango offers a true no-compromise solution, blending capability and refinement into one stylish SUV."

The TAWA media take many customer demands into consideration when evaluating the vehicles, including everything from exterior styling and on- and off-road capability, to the entrant's overall utility, value and fuel efficiency.

"The 2012 Dodge Durango made quite an impression at this year's TAWA Truck Rodeo," said Mike Herzing, President of TAWA. "With its spacious and refined interior, impressive driving dynamics, and class-leading towing capability, it's only fitting that the Dodge Durango is named the 2012 Full-Size SUV of Texas."

Earlier this year, the Dodge Journey seven-seat crossover was recognized by TAWA, winning the coveted "Family Car of Texas" award.

About Dodge Durango

With its class-leading towing and driving range of more than 550 miles, V-6 and V-8 engine choices, four-wheel independent suspension, near 50:50 weight distribution, and responsive steering and handling, Durango has functionality and driving dynamics unlike what you typically find in a seven-seat Sport Utility. No other SUV on the road compares with the all-new Dodge Durango's distinctive bold Dodge design that craftily houses a spacious three-row, seven-passenger functional, flexible and premium interior, covered in soft-touch materials.

Durango features more than 30 storage areas, 28 seating configurations and a rear cargo area of nearly 85 cubic feet that fits a six-foot couch with room for coffee table or a 10-foot ladder with the front passenger seat folded flat. Utility may be one of Durango's key attributes, but safety did not take a back seat during development. The 2012 Dodge Durango was recently named a "Top Safety Pick" by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

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