Savvy Drivers -SUV of Texas

Photography/Videography by Eric O’Hara and Kelby McGaughey—1Off Productions 

Ever popular SUVs, ranging from compact to full-size contend in the Texas Auto Writers Association Annual Texas Truck Rodeo. They vie for the coveted title of SUV of Texas. About half of the test driving is conducted on-road.  But the event was primarily and originally established as an off-road test-driving event. So our votes tend to skew toward the vehicles most capable of going anywhere and everywhere you might wish to drive them. That said, we’d wager that a lot of owners of the off-road-ready SUVs rarely experience all that they are capable of! 

Click on the links in this post to see videos showing just how capable some of the SUVs are!

Targeting Adventurous Families (a.k.a. Texas Ranch Owners) The Following Vie for Off-Road SUV of Texas

2024 Sequoia TRD Pro in new Pro-exclusive Terra color features Toyota’s standard i-Force MAX Hybrid powertrain, entered into the Best Towing Technology competition. 
2023 Wrangler 4xe Rubicon and Wrangler 392 meet all the expectations of Jeep®’s legendary off-road capability and also on interior refinement, high-tech features and versatility. The 4xe also completes for Green Vehicle of Texas.  The Wranglers were also entered for Best Infotainment System.

One of a Kind

TAWA Journalists also had the opportunity to test the Polaris Ranger

Full-Size SUV of Texas: (Enclosed 3-Row Versions of Today’s Luxury Pick-ups) Do All That a Truck Does with a Full Load of Passengers

The Dodge Durango continues to be a segment leader with proven performance and a combination of uncompromised utility, advanced technology, class-leading towing, confident driving dynamics and iconic styling, keyed by the most powerful SUV on the planet — the Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat.
The all-new 2024 Toyota Grand Highlander midsize 3-row SUV made its debut at the Truck Rodeo. Its modified TNGA-K platform has a wider track and longer wheelbase. The Grand Highlander was also entered for Best Infotainment System.  And its Hyybrid Max 2.4L 4-cylinder turbocharged engine contends for Best Powertrain.
The 2023 Kia Telluride with new X-Line trim adds ruggedness and capability with higher ground clearance, raised roof fails, and Downhill Brake Control.  Kia also displayed its 2024 X-Pro adding increased tow capacity, 18-inch wheels and Continental All-Terrain tires. 

Rugged is the Fashion Statement Among Mid-Size SUV of Texas Contenders

2024 Nissan Pathfinder with Rock Creek® package enables bold exploration with lifted suspension and all-terrain tires.
The 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Altitude 4×4 will continue building upon Grand Cherokee’s legacy as the most awarded SUV.
The X-Line package adds a rugged look to the 2023 Kia Sorento
The 2024 VW Atlas sports a major refresh including a significant interior upgrade.  Rugged Atlas Peak Edition™ trimline adds unique interior and exterior features.

A Brand for Every Type of Buyer in the Compact SUV of Texas Competition

Honda entered the hybrid version of its completed redesigned 2023 CR-V.  
Hyundai entered its second-generation 2024 Kona with top-shelf Limited trim and AWD.
As the newest member of the Dodge family, the 2024 Hornet R/T represents the brand’s first-ever electrified performance vehicle.  It also competes for Green Vehicle of Texas
Mazda’s 2024 CX-50 Meridian Edition sported its 2.5 turbo engine featuring 9Activ AWD system with Mi-Drive Sport and Off-road modes.  It’s towing capacity of 3,500 pounds is a standout.

Luxury SUV’s Represent a Broad Category Across All Size Segments

Compact:  The 2023 Genesis Electrified GV70 features exceptional design and refined performance.  Genesis’ all-electric compact luxury crossover SUV and also competes for Green Vehicle of Texas.
Mid-Size:  The Acura MDX Type S is the high-performance variant of the fourth-generation mid-size MDX SUV.
Full-Size:  The 2023 Grand Wagoneer is the premium extension of the Jeep brand offering legendary 4×4 capability and a new standard of sophistication, authenticity and modern mobility among the full-size SUV segment.  Read our recent review.

The contention for SUV of Texas was hot at the Texas Truck Rodeo. And so was the Truck of Texas competition among the half-ton and heavy-duty trucks.

Life On The Estate

Life On The Site

Life On The Set

Life With A Twist

About The Savvy List