POSTED: Tuesday, November 26, 2013 - 7:51pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, November 26, 2013 - 11:59pm
It happens every fall, and is the event that all of us in the Texas Auto Writers association look forward to all year long.
That's when we travel to the beautiful Knibbe Ranch in the Hill Country north of San Antonio and gather virtually every truck and SUV on the market and basically drive the bejabbers out of them.
And this year, the competition for the title "Truck of Texas" was fierce.
Both Ford and Ram had new trucks last year.
This year, the new Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra were odds on favorites.
And Toyota has the new redesigned Tundra with luxury and power in spades.
But Ram had a twist.
Under the hood of last year’s new design was this year’s new engine, a 3-liter, V6 diesel engine.
It’s the first diesel available in a light-duty, half-ton pickup.
And the factory reps gathered, and watched as we drove their babies.
Of course, everyone had their best and shiniest at the event.
Vehicles ranged from tough off-roaders to sleek luxury trucks that will probably never see dirt, much less a rock, were there.
And this year, the beautiful Guadalupe River was higher thanks to abundant rain this Spring and Summer.
The remnants of the drought though, still remain.
And all the best were there, and being pounded over some pretty rough terrain.
Some drivers were sensible, and some were in danger of running out talent if they weren't careful.
In the end though, we had to pick some winners.
And the 2013 Truck of Texas was the new Ram 1500 diesel from Chrysler.
The Ram heavy-duty also won its category.
Another Chrysler product, the Jeep Grand Cherokee, also equipped with the diesel was the SUV of Texas.
And another new Jeep product, the sleek if controversial Cherokee was named mid-sized Sport Utility vehicle of Texas…
… and Ram won the Truck Line of Texas.
Other category winners include the Jeep Wrangler, GMC Terrain, Nissan Juke, Nissan Pathfinder and Frontier, Hyundai Sante Fe, Ford Raptor, Range Rover, and more.
My voting differed a bit from my colleagues as I think the New GM pickups were absolutely stunning, and the F-150 still shows why it is the best selling pickup in the country consistently.
And the new Toyota Tundra I drove down to San Antonio is finally a very competitive entry.
It was a great event, unless you don’t work for Chrysler.
And for all the other guys, there is always next year.