Each year auto journalists and manufacturers gather in Texas for the big event known as the Truck Rodeo, organized by the Texas Auto Writers Association. Here, nearly 100 of the newest trucks, SUVs, crossovers and commercial vehicles compete across several classes to take home the gold.
And what is the Gold? Well this event is as important as football for the manufacturers who vie for the top title, Truck of Texas. There’s also SUV, CUV and Truck Line of Texas honors too, but we’ll get to those in a moment.
The event spans two days where journalists test all the vehicles both on some pretty moderate off-road courses and back-trails. This allows us to really see what they’re made of and how capable they really are back to back with their competitors.
On paved roads, we can take the less off-road oriented vehicles for highway and street driving tests too. Here, provided we don’t hit a deer, we can stretch a vehicle’s legs and see how well it handles. We can get a read on its ride and listen to its audio system too.
So who won the coveted titles? Well staring with Truck Line of Texas, this award takes into account the entire lineup of trucks from the entry level all the way up to the top of the line models they offer. So it’s not any one model in particular. This year, the Texas Auto Writers Association journalists gave the nod to Ford Motor Company.
CUV of Texas, or Crossover Vehicle of Texas was a contentious category this year with many new entries. The top three started with the 2016 Lexus RX-350 and the new Jeep Renegade. But the winner of this honor this year went to the all-new Volvo XC90.
When it comes to SUVs, while the classes are sometimes blurred this is one which Jeep has long aimed their sights for with their Grand Cherokee and often won. But this year the redesigned 2016 Ford Explorer bested both it and the new Toyota Land Cruiser for top prize.
Now we get to Truck of Texas. No other title in the United States when it comes to competitions are as coveted, perhaps equal to Truck of the Year from Motor Trend and the like. It’s a major marketing boon that is used all year long in commercials here in Texas, the largest pickup truck market in the world.
In the past it has almost always gone to domestic manufacturers, Ford, GM and RAM. This year however a new entry swayed the journalists in a big way. The all-new 2016 Nissan Titan came to the party with a Cummins diesel under its hood in addition to its all new design.
After a lot of driving, a lot of consideration and voting, the Texas Auto Writers Association named the 2016 Nissan Titan XD the Truck of Texas.
I’d love to tell you why the truck won, but because this was the first event were journalists like myself got to drive the new trucks, we are under an embargo until November 15th to share our driving impressions.
But, you can click on the link here and see our First Drive Preview of the new 2016 Nissan Titan XD and see it in action until then.