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TAWA Best of 2022 Winners 

The Texas Auto Writers Association, Inc. was founded in 1987 by automotive journalists who wanted to provide an avenue of professional growth, development and networking in the southern region.

Because the state of Texas is the number one seller of Trucks in the world the leadership of TAWA thought at it was important to provide consumers a list of trucks that were Texas worthy, so In 1993 the Texas Truck Rodeo was created.

Today fifty plus TAWA automotive journalists and dozens of manufacturer representatives from throughout the nation meet annually in the fall for a two-day evaluation of the industry’s best trucks and Sport Utility Vehicles (SUV) for the upcoming calendar year.

Manufacturers covet the prestigious awards they earn at the Texas Truck Rodeo and often mention the honors in their press releases, promotional materials and campaigns across the globe. In previous years, the results from the Texas Truck Rodeo are widely covered in national publications such as Motor Trend, Yahoo News, Consumer Reports, and USA Today.  

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2022 Truck Of Texas - 2022 Toyota Tundra

All new from the ground up, the 2022 Toyota Tundra is built on a new fully boxed chassis and equipped with a new multilink rear suspension offering buyers the impressive capability to tow anything up to 12,000 pounds or haul 1,940 pounds of fun.

Featuring two new i-Force powertrains – the i-FORCE 3.5L twin-turbo V6 engine and available i-FORCE MAX 3.5L twin-turbo V6 hybrid – the Tundra not only significantly improves performance but both powertrains improve efficiency as well. Maybe the most surprising aspect of the hybrid i-FORCE MAX powertrain is that it is the most powerful of the options, producing 437 hp @ 5,200 rpm and a whopping 583 lb.-ft. of torque and an impressively low 2,400 rpm.

Additionally, the 2022 Tundra offers drivers groundbreaking towing technology. Using sensors and cameras, Tundra’s driver assistance technology helps drivers easily connect a trailer and Straight Path Assist helps keep it in a straight line when backing up. Additional new interior features include a panoramic moonroof, a tailored cabin, the available fan-favorite power vertical rear window and an available 12.3-inch digital instrument panel for the driver.

For more information on truck pricing and specific vehicle specs, please click here.

2022 Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) of Texas - 2022 Grand Wagoneer

The all-new 2022 Grand Wagoneer makes its return to the North America market as a premium extension of the Jeep brand and marks the rebirth of an American icon while continuing their legacy as the first modern SUVs. The Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer build on a rich heritage of premium American craftsmanship, heritage and refinement while offering a new level of comfort, legendary 4x4 capability.

It brings back legendary capability with three 4x4 systems: Quadra-Trac I, Quadra-Trac II and Quadra-Drive II with active low range and rear electronic limited slip differential allowing for a crawl ratio of 48:1 and up to 24 inches of water fording. The Quadra-Lift air suspension delivers a smooth ride and up to 10 inches of ground clearance and the Wagaoneer also has best-in-class towing capability of up to 10,000 lbs.

For more information on truck pricing and specific vehicle specs, please click here.

2022 Mid-Size Truck of Texas - 2022 Nissan Frontier

Built on the expertise of more than 62 years of Nissan truck heritage, the Nissan Frontier has been re-invented for 2022 to deliver on modern midsize truck buyer needs. The all-new Frontier design combines aggressive, modern style with elements inspired by the iconic Nissan Hardbody, a truck that burnished its rough and rugged reputation winning off-road races in the 1980s and 1990s.

The new Frontier features a powerful front end with a massive grille and chiseled hood, framed by new precision interlocking headlights. A wide, elevated stance and massive vertical fenders evoke durability and strength, accentuated by a high eye-point and high shoulder bodysides – where natural light and shadows meet.

Building on a proven chassis and frame known for being one of the most durable in the midsize truck segment the Frontier will feature the same wheelbase as the previous model (126.0 inches), so it will remain the "right-sized" pickup, precisely agile for a weekend of off-road adventure or a workweek in the city.

For more information about the Frontier, click here

2022 Compact Vehicle of Texas - 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz

The 2022 Santa Cruz breaks new ground within the SUV, Truck and Crossover segments by offering a true Sport Adventure Vehicle unlike anything else in the U.S. The Santa Cruz boasts bold yet sophisticated design, powerful and efficient powertrain options, a flexible open bed for gear, cutting-edge connectivity and a highly maneuverable all-wheel drive platform that is equally at home in urban and adventure-focused environments. 

Santa Cruz was developed to be the ultimate Sport Adventure Vehicle, a moniker confirmed in Hyundai’s early consumer research. The research found consumers, often living in urban environments, whose lifestyles include the need to escape to weekend adventures of all kinds.

“Santa Cruz, with its bold styling, breaks open all new segment territory, both for Hyundai and the industry as a whole. Open-bed flexibility coupled with closed-cabin security meets the changing everyday needs of its adventure-oriented buyers, while powerful and efficient engines and superb maneuverability ensure it is a pleasure to drive in urban or off-road environments. Our customers will wonder just how they managed before owning one,” said Jose Munoz, president and CEO, Hyundai Motor North America.

For more information about the Santa Cruz, click here

2022 Luxury Sports Utility Vehicle of Texas - 2022 Genesis GV70

The Genesis GV70 represents the fifth model for the Genesis brand and second SUV in the Genesis lineup. Its design is not only is dynamic but also meets practical needs of SUV consumers based on various design elements including the signature Crest Grille and the Quad Lamps, representing the Genesis wing emblem. 

The hallmark of the GV70’s side profile is its emphasis on a dynamic expression created by a dramatic contrast of its rear fender with the arching Parabolic Line that begins at the top of Quad Lamps and runs across the body. The sleek and elegant coupe-like roofline, along with the dropping chrome line to the C-pillar, accentuates the sporty characteristics.

The sporty interior design inspired by the aerodynamic sections of aircraft wings, visualizes rich volume by applying uniquely elliptical elements as the main interior theme. A new type of mood lamp highlights the GV70’s unique character by emphasizing the overall interior design.

For more information about the GV 70, click here

2022 Green Vehicle of Texas - Jeep Wrangler 4xe

The Jeep Wrangler 4xe is the most powerful, efficient, eco-friendly, connected and technologically advanced Wrangler ever built. The 4xe’s propulsion system combines two electric motors, a 2.0-liter I-4 engine and 8-speed automatic transmission for nearly silent propulsion and enhanced 4x4 off-road capability, without EV range anxiety

It offers a maximum combined output of 380 horsepower, courtesy of the pairing of two electric motor generators, a high-voltage battery pack, a high-tech turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine and the proven TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission. 

Thanks to its plug-in hybrid powertrain, Wrangler 4xe enables customers to travel in full-electric and at zero emissions on their everyday commutes around the city, and to enjoy an efficient and fun on-road driving experience, while benefitting of enhanced all terrain performance in nearly absolute silence.

For more information about the Jeep 4xe, click here

TAWA Sponsorship and Scholarship Information

If you would like to find out about sponsorship opportunities for any of the upcoming events with the Texas Auto Writers Association, feel free to reach out to the Vice President of Events.

A portion of all proceeds generated from Texas Auto Writers annual events goes to the Harold Gunn Scholarship fund, which provides scholarship money for two Texas college journalist students each year. 

The two winning students are picked by college advisors with the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association at their annual convention.  If you would like more information on the scholarship program, please click here

Become A Member

TAWA is always looking for journalist, associate and manufacturer members. Journalist members are required to meet professional journalistic standards, must be sponsored by two other active TAWA members and are approved by the Board of Directors. 

 Learn more about TAWA Membership




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