Source: AutoVerdict
October 18, 2017
by Adam Barrera

With the help of two curious emus, Texas-based auto scribes took to the dusty trails of Longhorn River Ranch to evaluate the industry's newest trucks and crossovers. After two days and 321 collective hours of drive time, three vehicles emerged with top honors at the 2017 Texas Auto Writers Association Texas Truck Rodeo: SUV of Texas, the Volvo XC60; CUV of Texas, the Alfa Romeo Stelvio; and the Ford F-150, winner of the prestigious Truck of Texas trophy.

Trucks comprise nearly a quarter of new vehicle sales in Texas, where the economy is strong and fuel is cheap. As Hurricane Harvey survivors replace hundreds of thousands of flooded cars, the Texas Auto Writers Association took on the mission of helping Texans choose the best new vehicle for their needs by selecting winners in a variety of categories. CUVs and SUVs competed by size and segment, while pickups divvied into those built for luxury, commercial or heavy duty applications. Each sub-category had a winner, but only one truck, SUV and CUV won top honors overall.

2017 Texas Truck Rodeo Winners by Category

Truck of Texas: 2018 Ford F-150
SUV of Texas: 2018 Volvo XC60
CUV of Texas: 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Ti Sport

Heavy duty pickup truck: 2018 Ram 2500 Limited Tungsten
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 ProPilot
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

Interestingly, due to the vote tabulation algorithm, winning an individual category does not necessarily reflect winning overall. Writers vote on each aspect of a vehicle, including exterior, interior, performance, value and personal appeal. Three levels of off-road courses adapt to each vehicle's capabilities, including a Level 3 course designed by veteran rock racer Sue Mead incorporating 20 degrees of articulation and dizzying approach and departure angle tests.

Mazda's strong performance across the CUV category reflects the premium attention to detail paid to the interior and exterior design of the CX-3, CX-5 and CX-9 trio. Journalists responded to the Nissan Titan's proficiency on several points on the spectrum, with commercial, mass-market and premium editions taking awards in each category.

Read full article at AutoVerdict

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