New aluminum Ford Super Duty named Truck of Texas

Michael Martinez
The Detroit News

Ford Motor Co.’s new aluminum-body Super Duty pickup on Wednesday was named “Truck of Texas” by the Texas Auto Writers Association.

The Dearborn automaker took home the top honors at the TAWA Texas Truck Rodeo, and also picked up three more awards for its venerable F-Series trucks. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV received seven awards for its Ram trucks and Jeep SUVs, while General Motors Co. was shut out.

Nissan took home the most segment awards of any single brand with six, including the SUV of Texas honor for its Armada. The Volvo XC90 was named the CUV of Texas.

“Ford’s all-new 2017 Super Duty and its innovative use of advance materials, as well as improvements in powertrain and features, thoroughly impressed our journalists,” TAWA President Nic Phillips said in a statement. “This year’s Texas Truck Rodeo was by far the most competitive in the most categories. More than 70 member journalists put in more than the equivalent of 15 days of driving time in the competing vehicles. After careful evaluation, I believe the results of the competition show just how competitive the truck and utility vehicles are today.”

Ford has won Truck of Texas honors 13 times. It most recently won in 2014 with its new aluminum-body F-150.

The Super Duty was also named the best heavy duty pickup; the F-150 with the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 won Best Powertrain, and Ford also won Truck Line of Texas.

Ford upgraded the Super Duty for the 2017 model year for the first time since its introduction in 1999. It features an aluminum body, like its F-150 counterpart, which reduced weight by 350 pounds. Ford says the new truck has 17 segment-first features, including LED lights and adaptive cruise control.

The 2017 Ram 1500 was named best luxury pickup and the Ram 2500 Power Wagon was named best off-road pickup. FCA also won the best connectivity award for its UConnect Access, and the Jeep brand won best off-road utility for the Wrangler Rubicon; best mid-sized SUV for the Grand Cherokee; compact SUV for the Cherokee; and compact CUV for its Renegade.

A total of 71 vehicles were entered in this year’s rodeo.

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2017 Texas Auto Writer Association Award Winners

■Truck of Texas: 2017 Ford Super Duty

■SUV of Texas: 2017 Nissan Armada

■CUV of Texas: 2017 Volvo XC90

■Truck line of Texas: Ford Motor Co.

■Heavy duty pickup truck: 2017 Ford Super Duty

■Best commercial vehicle: 2017 Nissan Titan XD Single Cab

■Luxury pickup truck: 2017 RAM 1500

■Off-road pickup: 2017 RAM 2500 Power Wagon

■Full-size pickup: 2017 Nissan Titan

■Midsize pickup: 2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro

■Best technology: Honda In-bed audio system

■Best connectivity: FCA Uconnect Access

■Best powertrain: 2017 Ford F-150 with 3.5 EcoBoost V-6 engine

■Off-road utility vehicle: 2017 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon

■Full-size luxury SUV: 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS

■Mid-size luxury SUV: 2017 Jaguar F-Pace

■Full-size SUV: 2017 Nissan Armada

■Mid-size SUV: 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee

■Compact SUV: 2017 Jeep Cherokee

■Full-size CUV: 2016 Mazda CX-9

■Mid-size CUV: 2016 Nissan Murano

■Compact CUV: 2016 Jeep Renegade

■Luxury CUV: 2017 Volvo XC90