The folks at General Motors have to be gritting their teeth and stomping their cowboy boots this morning. Despite the general raves being heaped upon the maker's new Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups, the General's new offerings were nudged aside by the year-old Ram when the influential Texas Auto Writers wrapped up their annual pickup truck shoot-out.
Those longhorn journalists gave their Truck of Texas award — again — to the year-old Ram 1500. Well, to be more precise, this year's winner is the new Ram 1500 diesel, the very first oil-burner to be offered in the half-ton full-size pickup segment.
These and a host of other awards were handed out after two days of testing at the Texas Auto Writer's Association's 23rd Truck Rodeo. The competition — which puts a variety of trucks, traditional SUVs and even some more newfangled crossovers through a variety of on- and off-road torture tests — delivered a few surprises, including shut-outs for both the new Chevrolet Silverado and Toyota Tundra models.
In all, the group pulled 24 different awards out of its 10 gallon hat, including the SUV of Texas and CUV of Texas — which went, respectively, to the Jeep Grand Cherokee diesel and the Hyundai Santa Fe — as well as the Midsize Pickup, which garnered a trophy for the Nissan Frontier PRO4X.
Nissan, in fact, took three awards, with additional honors for its Pathfinder and Juke. Hyundai nabbed a second trophy for the Santa Fe in the midsize crossover category. The Acura MDX was named best Luxury CUV. And the Land Rover Range Rover took the prize as the best Full-Size Luxury SUV.
But notably absent among the winners was the newly updated 2014 Toyota Tundra. Amid generally mixed reviews, the Texas-made truck was shut out of the awards ceremony. So was the GM lineup, jurors offering no kudos for either the Silverado or the Sierra. GM did maintain at least a little pride with the GMC Terrain Denali AWD coming in as the best Compact Luxury SUV.
Chrysler and its various brands absolutely dominated the Texas Truck Rodeo balloting. Along with the Ram diesel winning Truck of Texas and the Jeep diesel honored as the Longhorn State's top SUV, Chrysler nabbed a total of 15 of the 24 awards, including Best Technology, for the Ram's new five-link coil rear suspension and the latest Chrysler Uconnect infotainment system.
Here's the complete list of winners:
- Truck of Texas: Ram 1500 (diesel)
- SUV of Texas: Jeep Grand Cherokee (diesel)
- Crossover of Texas: Hyundai Santa Fe
- Truck line of Texas: Ram
- Heavy duty pickup truck: 2014 Ram 2500 Heavy Duty Longhorn
- Best commercial vehicle: 2014 Ram Promaster Cargo
- Luxury pickup truck: 2014 Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn
- Off-road pickup: 2014 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor (fifth year in a row)
- Full-size pickup: 2015 Ram 1500
- Midsize pickup: 2013 Nissan Frontier PRO4X
- Best technology: Ram five-link coil rear suspension.
- Best connectivity: Chrysler Group's Uconnect access via mobile
- Best powertrain: Ram/Jeep 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6
- Off-road utility vehicle: 2014 Jeep Wrangler
- Full-size luxury SUV: 2013 Land Rover Range Rover
- Mid-size luxury SUV: 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit Diesel 4×4
- Compact luxury SUV: 2013 GMC Terrain Denali AWD
- Full-size SUV: 2014 Dodge Durango (sole entry in category)
- Mid-size SUV: 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited Diesel
- Compact SUV: 2014 Jeep Cherokee
- Full-size CUV: 2014 Nissan Pathfinder SL 4×4
- Mid-size CUV: 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe
- Compact CUV: 2013 Nissan Juke (sole entry in category)
- Luxury CUV: 2014 Acura MDX Advance
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But notably absent among the winners was the newly updated 2014 Toyota Tundra. Amid generally mixed reviews, the Texas-made truck was shut out of the awards ceremony.
So you're going to pay a lot extra for the Diesel engine ($6,000+ extra in the 2500 and 3500 lines) and diesel fuel for what? To get a few MPG better? You wont get more capability in the truck than 12,500 pounds towing and even if it can how often will the normal person need to ever tow 12,500 pounds? It wont help the wimpy payload numbers the Ram truck has because of its crappy coil spring rear suspension.
First off the Dodge is not the first in a half ton truck.Chevy/Gmc offered diesels in half ton trucks from late 70s, first the boat anchor 5.7 (POS) and from 82 the 6.2L that was decent but low on power, but got about 23mpg on the highway and later the 6.5 turbo from 93. all offered in half ton trucks.
And by the way the Dodge has a Italian FM motoring diesel motor and the truck is built in Mexico