Capability. Comfort. Lots of Yee-haw! Meet the 2019 Texas Truck Rodeo Winners

At The Tawa Texas Truck Rodeo, I Had Fun Driving The 2020 Ram 1500 Rebel Ecodiesel In The Texas Hill Country.
At the TAWA Texas Truck Rodeo, I had fun driving the 2020 Ram 1500 Rebel EcoDiesel in the Texas Hill Country. ?: Elias Garcia

Texas is the ultimate proving ground. These are the trucks (and SUVs) that ruled.

Ram won the Truck of Texas award again, while Kia wowed as the overall SUV of Texas at the Texas Auto Writers Association’s annual Texas Truck Rodeo in October. 54 different trucks and SUVs vied for the coveted awards juried by 56 journalists on hand to evaluate the on-and off-road capabilities. It was misty, cold, and wet in the Texas Hill Country when the competition took place. And that was perfect. What better setting for proving the ability to climb muddy hills and traverse deep trenches?

Let’s take a look at the winners.

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Meet the Truck of Texas: 2020 RAM 1500 Rebel

More families are upgrading to SUVs and trucks. It’s no surprise the Ram 1500 Rebel EcoDiesel caught everyone’s attention. It is quiet, but don’t mistake its power and fuel economy. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles engineered a versatile family truck that’s adaptable to Texas and its lifestyle needs. With tons of storage space inside and outside, this truck makes it easy for you to use it for work, driving around the family, or towing a boat for weekend getaways. You don’t have to put your purse on the floor with the ample, hidden storage, and there are enough chargers for everyone to stay connected.

This truck is diesel powered with the ability to travel across the state of Texas on one tank of diesel. Think of how much money you could save at the pump over time. With the power, luxurious interior and infotainment center, as well as storage plus fuel economy, there is no room for compromise. This sporty truck is changing the family car dynamic away from sedans and moving towards the future with selecting these Ram trucks. The Ram 1500 Rebel EcoDiesel also earned itself the Full-Size Pickup Truck of Texas and Best Powertrain awards.

RELATED: RAM 1500 IS CROWNED THE BEST TRUCK OF TEXAS AT THE TEXAS TRUCK RODEO

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SUV of Texas: 2020 Kia Telluride SX

The luxurious-yet-affordable, boxy 2020 Kia Telluride SX gives you the all wheel drive stability, while giving you those fancy Land Rover vibes without sticker shock. It’s perfect for driving the family around for school, work, errands, activities, groceries, and trips. You never know what you’ll encounter, and this one can handle the on-and off-road capabilities one might face driving throughout Texas Hill Country.

When the road is wet, an SUV with this size and comfortable necessities create the driving experience you could hope for in an SUV. For the price, it is gives you ample space for 8 passengers, personal space for everyone, charging, cupholders, and my favorites: driver lane assist and adaptive cruise control. I love this SUV for its stable handling, space, and luxurious infotainment and design details.

RELATED: 2020 KIA TELLURIDE SX 3-ROW SUV: BESPOKE DETAILS AT AN OFF-THE-RACK PRICE

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A Girls Guide to Cars Loves These Trucks and SUVs, too!

Driving these SUVs and trucks on-and off-road helped understand each vehicle’s capabilities, luxuries, and what makes each of them unique. After reviewing the winners list, I’d have to agree. My two favorites from the event won the SUV and Truck of Texas. Depending on your SUV or truck needs to fit just you or your family, each size rank and award can give you an idea of what might be the truck or SUV you’ve been looking for.

I enjoyed driving the Jeep Renegade Trailhawk and Wrangler Rubicon on the off-road course since it was muddy. It gave me an idea of what I could accomplish in all types of Texas weather, while the Toyota Sequoia TRD Pro and Lexus GX 460 Luxury did all of that plus that extra touch of luxury as each model suggests.

Whether you want a truck with the power and fuel efficiency of a sporty truck like the Ram 1500 Rebel EcoDiesel or the affordable, premium, and adaptable drive in the Kia Telluride SX, these won the overall SUV and Truck of Texas for many reasons. I encourage you to take a test drive and see why we loved these two from the rodeo.

Here are more categories and winners from the TAWA Texas Truck Rodeo:

Subcompact Sport Utility Vehicle of Texas: 2019 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk
Compact Sport Utility Vehicle of Texas: 2020 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road
Mid-Size Sport Utility Vehicle of Texas: 2020 KiaTelluride SX
Full-Size Sport Utility Vehicle of Texas: 2020 Toyota Sequoia TRD Pro

Full-Size Luxury Sport Utility Vehicle of Texas: 2020 Lexus GX 460 Luxury
Mid-Size Pickup Truck of Texas: 2020 Jeep Gladiator Overland

Compact Luxury Sport Utility Vehicle of Texas: 2020 Acura RDX A-Spec SH-AWD
Mid-Size Luxury Sport Utility Vehicle of Texas: 2020 Volvo XC90 T8 Inscription

Heavy Duty Pickup Truck of Texas: 2019 RAM 2500 Laramie Longhorn
Luxury Pickup Truck of Texas: 2020 RAM 1500 Limited
Off-Road Pickup Truck of Texas: 2019 RAM 2500 Power Wagon
Commercial Vehicle of Texas: 2019 Mercedes Sprinter Passenger 4×4
Off-Road Sport Utility Vehicle of Texas: 2020 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon
Best Infotainment System: RAM Uconnect System & Touchscreen Display
Best Towing: RAM Rear Air Suspension
Best Safety Feature: Toyota Safety Sense P
Best Driver Assist System: Toyota Panoramic View & Multi-Terrain Monitor

Congratulations to Ram for winning 7 awards!

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I'm Natalie "Kitty" Merola. I'm a cool mom who loves fabulous style + beauty accessories, fast cars, video games,... More about Natalie Merola