It happens every spring. About 50 Texas auto journalists and photographers take to the Texas Motor Speedway to evaluate a nearly equal number of cars and crossover vehicles (and not just a few performance cars) to honor the best in Texas.
This year it was an even 49/49 so cars were driven constantly — those tagged for the track and on-road; the others on-road only/ Manufacturers identified them for their specific purpose and were on hand to lure attendees behind the wheel.
Vehicles were driven 782 times for an average of 17 times per vehicle. Most driven was the 2014 Ford Fiesta SE with a rockin’ 1L EcoBoost engine that surprised a lot of veteran drivers.
The results were interesting, challenging and indicative of the feeling that there are virtually no bad cars in the market today; and there are a number of really exiting ones that can take your breath away.
The covetable overall awards are for Car of Texas, Family Car of Texas, Best Feature, Best New Interior and Best Value. These went to the 2015 Hyundai Genesis and to the 2014 Chrysler Town & Country minivan (with the Genesis also the runner up in this category). The Best Feature and the Best Value trophies went to the 1L EcoBoost Engine and the Ford Fiesta SE, respectively. The Genesis also claimed the prize for mid-size luxury car best new interior.
I’ll do a complete review of this impressive new entry when I have a chance to drive it more. For now, just say I agreed with the voting. (For a full review of the family car honoree, read my review at fishgame.com.)
The winners and runners-up in each category are as follows:
Sub-Compact: winner: 2014 Ford Fiesta SE; runner-up: 2014 FIAT 500 1957 Edition
Compact: winner: 2014 Dodge Dart SXT/Rallye Appearance; runner-up: 2014 Volkswagen Jetta SEL
Premium Compact: winner: 2015 Subaru WRX Limited; runner-up: 2024 Mazda Mazda3 S 5-door Grand Touring
Performance Compact: 2014 Ford Fiesta ST, runner-up: 2014 Scion FR-S
Mid-Size: 2015 Chrysler 200, runner-up: 2014 Ford Fusion Energi Titanium
Mid-Sized Luxury: 2015 Hyundai Genesis 5.0L RWD, runner-up: 2015 Volvo S60 T6 Drive-E Sedan Platinum
Full-Size: Chrysler 300C, runner-up: Chevrolet SS Sedan
Full-Size Luxury: 2014 Cadillac XTS Twin Turbo V Sport Premium; runner-up: 2015 Kia K900 VIP
Performance Coupe:2014 Jaguar F-Type V8S Convertible; runner-up: 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Convertible
Performance Sedan: 2014 Lexus IS 350 F Sport, runner-up: 2014 Infiniti Q50S 3.7
Minivan: 2014 Chrysler Town & Country 30th Anniversary Edition; runner-up: 2014 Toyota Sienna Limited
Activity Vehicle: 2014 Toyota Highlander Limited; runner-up: 2014 Dodge Journey Crossroad
Performance Utility: 2014 SRT Jeep Grand Cherokee
Green Vehicle: 2014 Ford Fusion Energi Titanium; runner-up; 2014 Cadillac ELR Electric
Most of these vehicles have been reviewed or will be reviewed over the next year. If there is a particular vehicle listed here, or not, that you would like reviewed, please let me know. I’ll do my best to get one and give you my take on thumbs up, down or neither.