The 2021 Ram 1500 Named Truck of Texas by Texas Auto Writers

I’m a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) and our biggest event of the year is the TAWA Truck Rodeo.

Over the course of two days, we put pick up trucks and SUVs through a series of tests both on-road and off-road.

This year the 2021 Ram 1500 emerged as the new reigning Truck of Texas. 

truck of texas

Another FCA Group vehicle won the top SUV prize. The 2021 Dodge Durango was named SUV of Texas.

In fact, FCA Group took home a total of 9 awards.

During the competition, vehicles were evaluated on their interior, exterior, value, performance, and personal appeal.

TAWA made changes to the Truck Rodeo to address the COVID-19 pandemic. Safety protocols included requiring face masks, sanitizing vehicles between drives, and creating a two-wave event to limit the number of journalists present at one time.

Over the course of two days, journalists had an opportunity to drive more than three dozen vehicles representing 13 different brands and evaluate them thoroughly.

Here is a list of the other winners.


Each of the 13 brands presented several high-quality pickups for consideration. While it was difficult to choose just one winner in each category, TAWA remembers managed to select the top pickup trucks to represent Texas.

Heavy Duty Pick Up Truck of Texas – 2020 Ram 2500 Heavy Duty Laramie Night Edition

2020 Ram 2500 Heavy Duty Laramie Night Edition

The 2020 Ram 2500 Heavy Duty Laramie Night Edition is a big pickup truck with a smooth ride, lots of cargo space, and impressive towing capability. After driving this vehicle, it is clear why the Ram 2500 is a front-runner in this segment. The Night Edition package enhances the truck’s overall appearance.

Luxury Pick Up Truck of Texas – 2021 Ram 1500 Longhorn 10th Anniversary Edition

The 2021 Ram 1500 Limited Longhorn 10th Anniversary Edition is a luxurious vehicle with the ultimate combination of capability, performance, high-quality materials, and refinement.

Full-Size Pickup Truck of Texas and Off-Road Pickup Truck of Texas – 2021 Ram 1500 TRX

2021 Ram 1500 TRX

Ram makes some excellent pickup trucks and the 2021 Ram 1500 TRX is a showstopper. Its 702-hp 6.2L HEMI engine, interior comfort, and undeniable on and off-road capability make it stand out among its worthy group of competitors. This truck deserves the title Truck of Texas.

Mid-Size Pickup Truck of Texas – 2021 Jeep Gladiator Mojave

2021 Jeep Gladiator Mojave

The 2021 Jeep Gladiator Mojave is Jeep’s entry into the Baja racer category (think Ford Raptor or Chevrolet Colorado ZR2). This pickup truck is optimized for high-speed desert running.


Although pickup trucks reign in Texas, SUVs are also popular in the Lone Star State. Here are the SUVs that are good enough to please Texans.

Luxury SUV of Texas – 2020 Land Rover Defender 110SE 

2020 Land Rover Defender 110SE 

The 2020 Defender 110SE is a rugged SUV designed to get dirty and look good while doing it. 

Full-Size SUV of Texas – 2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat

2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat

When Dodge adds the SRT Hellcat badge to a vehicle, it means two things: Power and Performace. Both are evident in the 2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat. With its 700-horsepower supercharged 6.2-liter V8 engine, this Durango is ready to devour any road it encounters.

Mid-Size SUV of Texas – 2021 Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy

021 Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy

The 2021 Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy is the top-of-the-line SUV in Hyundai’s lineup. With its unique styling and upgraded interior materials, the Calligraphy offers luxury at an affordable price.

Compact SUV of Texas – 2021 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road 

2021 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road 

The 2021 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road is a great vehicle that can handle all of your adventures. The base trim is so well equipped that you may not even need to make any upgrades.

Off-Road SUV of Texas – 2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 

2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 

Jeeps are designed to go off-road. The 2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon will conquer and trails, rivers, or rocks you encounter. The body style offers considerably more passenger and cargo space.

Special Mention – Rolls-Royce Cullinan

Rolls-Royce Cullinan

Although the Rolls-Royce Cullinan did not win any awards, it was one of the most popular vehicles among the journalists.

All photos by Kevin McCauley

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