My First Texas Truck Rodeo & 2018 Award Winners

October 18, 2017

My First Texas Truck Rodeo & 2018 Award Winners

I spent the weekend doing what I love… off-roading in the Hill Country. I was amongst 75 (including myself) other journalists at the Texas Auto Writers Association Truck Rodeo. Being that it was my first-year attending, I was like a kid in a candy store wanting to try every single vehicle that was there and I practically did. The 2017 Texas Truck Rodeo was held at the Longhorn River Ranch located in the scenic Dripping Springs, Texas area.


The 2017 Texas Truck Rodeo had a combination of sixty-four 2017 and 2018 trucks, CUVs, and SUVS with a combined value of nearly $4 million. We journalists test drove them and compared them the 2 days of the Rodeo at the ranch. Before, during, and after we test drove each vehicle, engineers from the competing manufacturers were on hand to answer all our questions about the vehicles. All the vehicles are evaluated on their interior, exterior, value, performance and personal appeal.


We drove the vehicles on the street and highway and through off-road courses. My favorite was the off-road course where we tested out all the 4×4 features of all the trucks and SUVs. (Total Texas Girl!) What made the driving even more enjoyable was being able to enjoy the beauty of the ranch, crossing through creeks and ravines, and seeing all the exotic wildlife. After all the fun and evaluating was over, we all received a ballot to vote for our favorites. Congratulations to 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


The Texas Auto Writers Association, Inc. was founded in 1985 by automotive journalists who wanted to provide an avenue for professional growth, development, and networking. These professionals sought to create an automotive event that was unique to Texas, and the result was the TAWA Truck Rodeo. Since 1992, Truck Rodeos have been held in San Antonio, Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, Granbury and Spring Branch, and now Dripping Springs.