Jeep left Texas this weekend with a title that carries some sizeable weight considering how big everything in the Lone Star state is. The Texas Auto Writers Association named the Grand Cherokee “SUV of Texas” for the second consecutive year. The 2012 Wrangler Unlimited was also named “Mid-size SUV of Texas” while the Grand Cherokee Overland Summit earned the title for “Luxury SUV of Texas.” Competing against several other auto makers certain Jeep models worked its way through 57 journalist’s hands en route to earning the awards. The evaluation took place over a two-day period navigating both on- and off-road terrain.
The TAWA award publicity has the tendency to quickly turn into sales, and Mike Manley, President and CEO of Jeep Brand, Chrysler Group LLC is fully aware of that.
“Winning this award last year started a string of accolades that made it the most-awarded SUV of all-time. More importantly, we know that these TAWA awards translate directly into sales. Through September of this year, Grand Cherokee sales are up 78 percent in the U.S. In the same time period in Texas, sales are up nearly 200 percent.”
The Grand Cherokee has seen its fair share of awards since it was re-introduced in 2011, collecting more than 30 awards. Features like Jeep’s renowned four-wheel capability along with a respectable towing capacity have made the Cherokee a popular choice over the last year. The new styling includes a restructured front and rear end as well as other interior accents. The 2012 Grand Cherokee can be configured with three four-wheel drive systems and either a V-6 or V-8 engine.
The upper-echelon Grand Cherokee Overland Summit offers a front grille fully decked out in chrome with covered fog lights. Other features include 20-inch aluminum wheels, leather and wood trim, heated leather seats, Chrysler’s Advanced Warning System, and Adaptive Cruise Control group.
Jeep’s flagship vehicle, the ever-stalwart Wrangler, rolls into the 2012 model year touted as possibly the best one ever by sister publication Motor Trend. The Wrangler welcomes the smooth-operating 3.6-liter V-6 Pentastar engine mated to a new five-speed automatic transmission. The new mill is rated at 285 horsepower and 265 lb-ft of torque while consuming fuel at a rate of 16 mpg in the city and 21 mpg on the highway for the Limited Edition and 17/21 mpg all other models.
Ford’s mid-size pickup, the F-150 took home the title for 2011 Truck of the Texas State Fair as voted on by fans over the three week event. Fans were able to be critics of the popular truck by submitting their votes through text messages. The F-150 battled it out with the Chevrolet Silverado and Nissan Titan but was declared the overall winner in the end. Ford has taken home the title of truck of the state fair for the second consecutive year with the F-350 Lariat the fan favorite last year.
Do you think the Jeep Wrangler, Grand Cherokee, and Grand Cherokee Overland Summit are worthy of the Texas-sized award? Tell us what you think in the comment section below.