Presentation of 2019 TAWA SUV of Texas award at San Antonio Auto and Truck Show opening gala

The new Kia Telluride went big and bold at the 2019 Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) Truck Rodeo in October taking home the coveted “2019 SUV of Texas” title.  On the way to collecting one of the two top prizes, the three-row Telluride was also named the “Mid-Size SUV of Texas.”

Michael Marrs, TAWA’s president remarked that TAWA members were impressed by the level of luxury and value in the new Telluride. He added “It delivers a lot of practicality and comfort for Texas families”.

TAWA members have now honored the Kia Telluride twice in 2019.  The 2019 Truck Rodeo wins follow Telluride being awarded the top “SUV of Texas” and “Mid-Size SUV” category honors at TAWA’s annual 2019 Auto Roundup road event in April 2019.

Results for both events are based on the on-site driving and evaluation of a wide variety of criteria of each vehicle and category by the TAWA media members attending.

“Taking the two top prizes at the TAWA Truck Rodeo is further evidence that Kia ’gave it everything’ when it comes to Telluride,” said Michael Cole, president, Kia Motors America. “Texans love their SUVs and the TAWA members are a discerning group, especially when it comes to utility vehicles. Taking the ‘SUV of Texas’ prize is a true honor for the Kia brand.”

Texas Auto Writers Association Truck Rodeo

The Texas Auto Writers Association Truck Rodeo has been held annually since 1993. For 2019, the competition featured two top awards coveted by manufacturers – Truck of Texas and SUV of Texas. 

The 2019 TAWA Truck Rodeo competition was held on and around Star Hill Ranch near Austin, Texas in late October. The competition saw near 60 TAWA automotive journalist members from across the U.S. gather for a two-day evaluation of the industry’s best trucks, SUVs and CUVs.

After driving each vehicle on predetermined off-road and street courses, TAWA members voted on the top vehicles across the several categories. As part of the evaluation process, attendees  were encouraged to drive the vehicles as they would if they were simulating their own day-to-day driving conditions.

The announcement of the Texas Truck Rodeo Winners and presentation of awards was made at the San Antonio Auto and Truck Show opening gala on November 20.

Car and Driver 10Best Honor

November has been a good month for the new Kia Telluride.

Following the honors bestowed by the Texas Auto Writers Association – Spring Auto Roundup and the Fall Truck Rodeo – Telluride was just named to the Car and Driver’s 10Best Trucks and SUVs list (10Best)

10Best recognizes 2019’s best trucks and SUVs on the market. The renowned automotive publication selected the award-winning three-row sport utility for this prestigious honor based on its design, equipment, performance and road manners.

Echoing the sentiments of TAWA members, Sharon Silke, Car and Driver editor-in-chief said “The Telluride is rare in how good it is.  It spoils passengers with features, is quiet, responsive and smooth. It stands out in the crowded three-row SUV market.”



Car and Driver 10Best winners are selected from a nominee list of all-new or significantly updated vehicles.  Evaluation is based on a number of criteria, including value, driving dynamics and mission fulfillment.

10Best Trucks and SUVs awards are organized around segments and recognize one honoree from each category, including subcompact SUV, subcompact luxury SUV, compact SUV, compact luxury SUV, mid-size SUV, mid-size luxury SUV, large SUV, mid-size pickup, full-size pickup, and van.

Learn more about the 2020 Kia Telluride at https://www.kia.com/us/en/telluride

More information on the 2019 TAWA Auto Round-Up, including the full list of participating vehicles, can be found at www.texasautowriters.org.