Staci and I spent the last few days in Dripping Springs Texas for the Texas Auto Writers Truck Rodeo. For the last few years, the Texas Truck Rodeo has been hosted about 35 miles west of Austin Texas at the Long Horn River Ranch in the Texas Hill Country. This would be my first ever #TXTruckRodeo and had high expectations for the event, which did not let down. We drove vehicle after vehicle
and talked cars and trucks with some of the best auto journalist in Texas.
2018 Texas Truck Rodeo – TAWA
I was happy to see my friends over at Toyota walk away with a couple awards. Here is their press release from the 2018 #TXTruckRodeo.
Toyota took home two awards at the Texas Auto Writers Association’s (TAWA) Texas Truck Rodeo. The all-new 2019 Toyota RAV4 Adventure grade won top honors in the Compact SUV of Texas category, and the 2019 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro was named Texas’ Mid-Sized Truck of the Year for the fourth consecutive time.
Toyota RAV4 Adventure
“Bringing home awards for the all-new 2019 RAV4 and 2019 Tacoma TRD Pro validates why Toyota’s vehicles are chosen for the next generation of off-road dominance,” said Lisa Materazzo, vice president, vehicle marketing and communications, Toyota Motor North America. “Performing on the courses this year with new and highly capable vehicles showcases exactly how Toyota has developed its lineup of trucks and SUVs to conquer a variety of driving situations.”
The 2019 Toyota RAV4 Adventure grade and Toyota RAV4 XSE HV grades were introduced to TAWA members showcasing the versatility of the line-up. The 2019 Toyota RAV4 XSE HV, the sportiest RAV4 yet, offers greater horsepower, faster acceleration, a sport-tuned suspension and, of course, higher MPG. But the journalists’ votes gravitated toward the 2019 Toyota RAV4 Adventure grade which features a rugged exterior, thanks in part to its more aggressive grille, fog light surrounds, and unique wheel design, while also featuring an optimally tuned multi-link rear suspension, providing ideal damping for handling, minimum interior cabin noise, and the utmost ride comfort.
With the segment- and Toyota-first Dynamic Torque Vectoring AWD system with Rear Driveline Disconnect, combined with Multi-Terrain Select, the RAV4 Adventure grade can handle it all, from city exploration to a jaunt on the trails. The 2019 RAV4 Adventure grade, as well as all 2019 RAV4 gas models, will be available in dealerships by the end of this year.
Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro
Designed by engineers at Toyota Racing Development (TRD), the 2019 Tacoma TRD Pro impressed TAWA members with the most eye-catching Tacoma upgrade – the all-new TRD Desert Air Intake. Designed to sustain consistent off-road performance no matter how silty or dirty the terrain gets, the TRD Desert Air Intake takes the 278-horsepower 3.5L V6 engine’s air intake away from dust that hovers inside the wheel well (where traditional air intakes are located) during off-road operation. Its suspension, made up of 2.5-inch TRD Pro-exclusive Fox Internal Bypass shocks, is tuned specifically for each vehicle by the engineers at TRD. The aluminum-bodied Fox shocks offer impressive performance and supreme damping for a wide variety of driving situations including high-speed desert running, slow-speed rock crawling, or simply driving to and from work.
This year’s Texas Truck Rodeo brought together 69 journalists to test drive 57 vehicles in 18 different categories in Bee Cave, Texas. Trucks and SUVs from the world’s top manufacturers were evaluated on their performance, value and design. The Tacoma TRD Pro and RAV4 Adventure grade defeated two days of tough competition against competitors.
TAWA is a Texas-based nonprofit association for automotive journalists promoting professionalism and quality in journalism for more than two decades. TAWA has grown to become one of the most influential and recognized automotive journalist associates in the United States. The group produces two annual events – Texas Auto Roundup and Texas Truck Rodeo – that allow members to experience vehicles from various manufacturers in one place, at one time.