FIRST IMPRESSION: 2019 Toyota RAV4

by Steve Wheeler, The Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA)

Toyora RAV4 1.jpg

Toyota engineers, armed with marching orders to use “adventure” and “refinement” when designing the company’s best-selling car, went to work on the 2019 RAV4 way back in 2015.

With the boom in smaller crossovers, the engineers became aware that sales of the car they were redesigning have doubled in the last five years.

No pressure, right? Those engineers were probably sweating bullets for every one of those one thousand four hundred and sixty days.

Well, Toyota engineers, now that the 2019 RAV4 has finally been launched y'all can take a breath. Exhale.

Your new RAV4 is nice. Really nice.

There aren’t any guarantees, of course, that it will continue to be the company's top dog. But a betting person would give it good odds. I know I do.

"The RAV4 is huge for us," said Lisa Materazzo, Toyota's vice president of Toyota vehicle marketing and communications. Speaking to journalists gathered for the west coast launch of the RAV4, Materazzo said more than 400,000 RAV4s were sold last year.

Smaller SUVs and Crossovers are all the rage today, and Toyota says the RAV4 was the creator of the compact SUV segment when it was first introduced four car generations ago, which in real time is about 22 years. It was intended to combine the best of bigger SUVs with the best of cars. "Crossover" became the new industry buzzword and is now an official car category.

The new RAV4 has more of a carved, chiseled look rather than a smooth, flowing look, a deliberate move by Toyota that brings it back toward the SUV end of the spectrum. The new RAV4 has edges and geometrical lines.

Powered by a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine that develops 203 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft. of torque, the RAV4 is EPA-rated at 26 miles per gallon in the city, 35 mpg on the highway and 30 mpg combined.

There is also a RAV4 Hybrid that adds electric motors to a 176-horsepower 2.5-liter gas engine to combine for a net of 219 horsepower. The Hybrid version promises to take you 41 miles down city streets or 37 miles on the highway using a single gallon of gasoline. The Hybrid is also actually quicker off the line than the gasoline RAV4.

The base LE RAV4 starts at $25,500, and the base LE Hybrid RAV4 starts at $27,700. AWD is available on all trims for $1,400 more. Other RAV4 trims are the XLE, XLE Premium, Adventure and Limited. RAV4 Hybrid trims include LE, XLE, XSE and Limited.

At Toyota's launch of the RAV4 near Big Sur -- one of the few places in California not affected by smoke from the horrific wildfires -- I was able to drive each RAV4 trim. And for my money, I'd take a mid-grade Hybrid.

I really enjoyed my time behind the wheel of the RAV4. The cabin had quality materials and soft surfaces in the all the right places. The only real ding I'd give the RAV4 is that more road noise filtered into the cabin than I'd have liked. Otherwise, it's a quality interior, especially in the higher trims.

Out on the road, the RAV4 gave me a feeling of confidence and felt planted and secure. Diving into hard corners, the RAV4 was composed and relatively flat.

The RAV4 even has off-road game thanks to the AWD availability. During the mild off-road portion of the test drive, Toyota set up an articulation course that left one or two wheels of the RAV4 off the ground at a time. The car balanced diagonally on two wheels nicely without bending. Toyota says the RAV4 unibody is 57 percent more rigid than the outgoing model.

Connectivity and infotainment on all RAV4 models are via Toyota's Entune 3.0 multimedia system with a 7- or 8-inch touchscreen atop the center stack. It supports Wi-FI Connect by Verison, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant and Apple CarPlay, but not Android Auto.

Safety testing on the 2019 RAV4 hasn't been completed, but last year's model got a Top Safety Pick from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. There's no reason to think the 2019 won't do as well. Toyota's Safety Sense system is standard in every RAV4 and includes a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, dynamic radar cruise control, lane departure alert with steering assist, lane tracking assist and road sign assist. The RAV4 has eight standard airbags and a backup camera that features projected path and a bird's-eye setting.

Toyota RAV4 2.jpg


Steve Wheeler is an award-winning journalist with decades of experience in the newspaper business. Wheeler was a reporter, senior reporter and special sections editor at The Baton Rouge Advocate for more than 25 years before being named the editor of the daily newspaper’s automotive and real estate sections.

Wheeler has won numerous auto writing awards, including the International Automotive Media Competition of the ISVP, and the Excellence in Craft Competition of the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA). He is the first vice president of TAWA, and has been writing about cars for more than 12 years. He is currently the editor of the WHEELS section of The Baton Rouge Advocate.

Kristin Shaw
Hagerty's Tabetha Hammer Keeps Classic Car Culture Alive with Youth Programs

by Kristin Shaw

Tabetha - Hagerty Youth Judging.jpg

Born and raised in Colorado, Tabetha Hammer grew up in a farming family. She’s the third of three children, and all three of them helped their father keep the machinery in order on the farm. Before she could drive – and really, from the moment she was old enough to hold a wrench – Tabetha was learning about tractor parts and engineering concepts with her father and siblings.

Now, Tabetha is the senior manager of car culture for Hagerty, and her job is to support the collector community through youth and heritage. She manages the communication between Hagerty Insurance Company and the groups through which the company gives back to the classic car community, including the RPM (Reservation Preservation Mentorship) Foundation, which helps kids learn; the Historic Vehicle Association; and Hagerty’s youth programs, which she has been managing for all of her nine years at the company. Based at HQ in Traverse City, Michigan, she helps share stories of student successes, milestones in automotive heritage recognition, and promotes giving teenagers the chance to be an active part of the classic car community.

The youngest of three, Tabetha started working on tractors and antique cars like her brother and sister, and all of them were members of the Future Farmers of America (FFA) organization. Her brother was struggling in school, and his FFA advisor recommended he enter the Chevron Delo Tractor Restoration Competition in order to get him to focus on school, because he had to keep his grades up to participate. And as he began to learn the art of antique tractor restoration, his little sisters came along for the ride, both as passengers and quick studies of the machines themselves.

Tabetha-John-Deeres---Tab-Dad-Grandpa.jpg

“My grandparents purchased a tractor and each of us restored our own; we’re very into the antique tractor enthusiast side,” Tabatha remembers. “The deal was that when we got our high school diploma, we got the bill of sale to the tractor. It was a good motivator.”

Not long after her brother entered, Tabetha’s sister became the first female to place in the top three in the contest. Motivated, perhaps, by a bit of friendly sibling rivalry, Tabetha entered a couple of years later and became the first female to win the whole thing with her restored 1935 John Deer Model B2003. The following year, Tabetha won a back-to-back title with FFA and made history again as the first consecutive winner with a 1928 John Deere Model D.

“Because of my success with the contest, I did quite a few promotional events with Chevron,” Tabetha says. “They did a phenomenal job of telling the story. Out of the blue, a rep from McPherson College read an article about me and wondered if I’d be interested in restoring cars. I had no clue about the school and was set to go to West Texas A&M for agriculture.” 

The idea piqued her interest, though, and Tabetha scheduled a campus visit. When she arrived, she didn’t necessarily want to work in the shop for her day-to-day career but she had a passion for the history and a love for cars. She took a leap of faith and enrolled, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Automotive Restoration.

 Tabatha, 15, meeting Mario Andretti after winning the tractor restoration contest.

Tabatha, 15, meeting Mario Andretti after winning the tractor restoration contest.

Tabetha often gets a surprised look from people when she tells them what she studied in college.

“I guess it’s kind of fun in that aspect in that it helps others be interested,” she says. “When people are flabbergasted I think ‘why?’ There are surprisingly more females in the industry than one might think. There is a strong presence of women both in the aftermarket and classic worlds, and that’s an exciting thing.”

Tabetha still has the tractors that she restored. She also has a 1966 Mustang that has been in her husband’s family since it was new, and a black 1968 MGB. She met her husband at McPherson, incidentally – Adam was a year ahead of Tabatha and they have been together more than a dozen years. Six years ago, they opened a restoration business together: Hammer & Dolly Restorations, LLC.

She’s quite active in the classic car community, as a member of the Board of Directors for the Antique Automobile Club of America; a member of the Northwestern Michigan Region AACA; she has judged at the Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance and other events; she has served as a committee member of the Mott Children’s Hospital’s “Caden’s Car Show/Full Throttle Event”; and she facilitates youth automotive education programs.

I attended one of Hagerty’s youth education programs in Austin; three or four classic car and truck owners brought their personal vehicles to a parking lot at the Circuit of the Americas. All of the vehicles were manual transmission from the 50s and 60s, and the teenagers had the opportunity to drive them. (Brave, aren’t they?)

Tabetha keeps in touch with some of her youth participants after the programs are over. Some have reached back out to let her know where they are now. One on Tabetha’s favorite stories is about a young man who is now studying at a design college in Pasadena; he had told her he found his passion through Hagerty’s Young Designers contest. The contest was introduced in 2010 for young people passionate about automotive design and provided them the opportunity to showcase their skills. Designers from13-17 years old are eligible to submit original renderings of what they thought their favorite classic car would look like if designed 50 years in the future. The top five finalists are selected through online voting and are awarded an all-expense-paid trip with a guardian to Monterey, California, during the Monterey Classic Car Week for final judging.

“Our programs are all about giving young people the chance to experience classics. Once they experience one, they have a whole different outlook,” says Tabetha. “‘This thing is cool!’ they say. It’s hard to get that excitement when you walk past a car show. If we want kids to like these old cars, we have to give them a chance experience them.”

It’s a noble initiative. You’ll have to excuse me now - I’m going to go sign my 9-year-old up for some of these education programs, so he can fall in love with the classics the way I did when my dad took me to car shows.


All photos: credit Tabetha Hammer

Tabetha - 1935 JD B - TH  2.jpg








Kristin Shaw
Don't Tell Her She Can't: Toyota Racing’s Laura Pierce Was Born for Motorsports

by Kristin Shaw

mario.JPG

The Big Switch: Education to Engineering

Indiana native Laura Pierce was on track to become a teacher upon graduation from high school. Her mother was a stay-at-home mom, and teachers were the only other role models for women she knew. Laura’s father, Andy, recognized that her love for math and science might take her on another path, and he introduced her to a female engineer on his team at Subaru. That engineer loved what she did for a living and encouraged Laura to be an engineer, too.  

Gently nudging her in that direction, Andy signed his daughter up for a Women in Engineering day at Purdue University in nearby Lafayette. Ultimately, Laura enrolled there as an Industrial Engineering major, and discovered at freshman orientation that fewer than 20% of the students in that program were women.  

“It was intimidating when the professor said, ‘Look to your left and to your right; those people will not be there at your graduation,” Laura says. “Not everyone makes it.”

However, Laura’s approach to life is: “If someone says I can’t, that gives me fuel to succeed.”  

 Learning how to drift. Photo: Laura Pierce

Learning how to drift. Photo: Laura Pierce

Encouraging Girls to Pursue Careers in Automotive

The fuel reference is apropos; Laura is now President of Toyota Racing, and her turbo-charged career includes regular speaking engagements at schools and with Girl Scout groups to share her story. To say that Laura is one of the coolest women in the industry is no stretch; she is kind, thoughtful, and has a razor-sharp mind.

“The more we can get girls at an early age to pick the right classes and get everything lined up, the better,” Laura says. “It’s not innate for us to want to take a career in automotive, but they are more likely to try it withPur a little encouragement.”  

 Laura and her dad with one of his stock cars. Photo: Laura Pierce

Laura and her dad with one of his stock cars. Photo: Laura Pierce

Swap Meets and Stock Cars Planted the Seed

As a kid, Laura attended swap meets and antique car shows with her dad, and later joined his pit crew when he raced stock cars on weekends. Her job was to keep an eye on tire temperatures to see where the rubber was wearing on the track and calculate the resulting alignment. Using a specialized gauge, Laura would check the temperatures on the tires and she would mark them down on paper, checking the numbers as she went.  

Before she was allowed to get her drivers’ license, Laura’s dad required her to learn how to change her oil and tires.  

“I appreciate that now, but I may not have back then,” she laughs.  

In fact, it was her father who guided her to Toyota after working for Delphi for several years and then GM. He had been working in the automotive industry for several years, and heard that Toyota was increasing its staff in Erlanger, Kentucky, just south of Cincinnati.  

“I think dads play a big role for women discovering what they see in themselves,” Laura says. 

This writer agrees; my dad led the impetus for my love of anything automotive, too.

 Laura and her family at the track. Photo: Laura Pierce

Laura and her family at the track. Photo: Laura Pierce

Laura’s Supportive Family Plays a Key Role

After moving to Kentucky, Laura, her husband Jay, and their three boys built a village of friends and they all helped each other manage busy careers and their home lives. Each kid (twin 17-year-olds and a 10-year-old boy), Laura says, has his own set of interests, and they tried to ensure that she or Jay was always available to be present for the boys’ various activities.  

“I always joke that I thought I would raise the next generation of strong females,” Laura says. “Instead, I raise supportive men.” 

Their boys have a strong role model in their father, who took on the position of stay-at-home dad when the Pierce family moved to Texas. Initially, they thought Jay would take a year off, but the whole family discovered that having him at home more often was the perfect balance for all of them.  

“If you’re passionate about your career, you have to find that fulfillment,” Laura says. “We’re big on the whole ‘we’re making decisions that are best for our family’ thing. You hope in the long term the kids will take that to heart.”  

And she’s on her way up: Laura started a women’s leadership forum at Toyota, and she meets with her own mentors a few times a year. She’s deliberate about her career planning, and her goal is to learn and develop, moving up every two to four years. One way she ensures cross-functional leadership is to operate in several different kinds of jobs; before she moved to Texas, she held a position in corporate strategy, including buying analysis; project management for new vehicle development; and production planning.  

 Born to be a car enthusiast. Photo: Laura Pierce

Born to be a car enthusiast. Photo: Laura Pierce

“Never Say Never”

Some women are still intimidated by the motor sports market, Laura says, and she recommends finding a champion to help push past any fears. She has mentors at Toyota who have helped her move up, and she believes it’s important for her to pay it forward. Spending time with other women with aspirations in automotive or engineering gives Laura a chance to be the champion and role model.  

“Having that confidence in yourself that anything is possible is critical,” Laura says. “Never say never. Years ago, I said that I’d love to be in motor sports in Toyota, but I didn’t think it would happen. Keep working hard, and opportunities will come.”

drift driver.jpg

  

 

Kristin Shaw
Nissan Titan: It's All in the Family, 2004-Present

by Kristin Shaw

Nissan Titans then and now.jpg

I didn’t know that driving a truck could be so fun… until I moved to Texas

When I moved to the Lone Star State, I was driving a Nissan Altima in Sonoma Sunset Pearl with a spoiler and a sunroof. I loved that car; it represented my freedom and independence. I was all about the sedans; I purchased the Altima after a long line of four-doors in my life. It didn’t occur to me to fall in love with a truck… but once I got to Texas, I learned about ranch life from my husband’s family out in San Angelo and Midland, and riding in a truck felt completely right.

In fact, my father-in-law has a 2004 Nissan Titan; it was the first year the Titan was available, and Steve is still quite attached to that truck, even now that it has more than 200K miles on it. We all drive it on gravel roads across craggy terrain, dodging the occasional sheep or startled cow. In fact, they like the brand so much that my mother-in-law, Nancy, drives a brand-new Maxima. It’s a Nissan family up in here.

 The Titan, then and now (2004 and 2018).

The Titan, then and now (2004 and 2018).

A comprehensive warranty AND fatigue-reducing seats

Not long ago, I had the chance to test drive new Nissan Titans, back to back: one Titan XD PRO 4X King Cab, and one Titan half-ton Crew Cab. Nissan is proud of their truck line, and rightfully so: the half-ton model is projected to be the highest volume Titan in their history. They’re so sure of it that they offer the best truck warranty in the business (bumper-to-bumper coverage of 5 years/100,000 miles, whichever comes first). And that seems like a pretty good sign, to me.

If you have ever stayed at a Westin, then you know they pride themselves on their Heavenly Beds. They’re cushier, with a pillowtop to help you sleep better, theoretically. Nissan has the equivalent of the Heavenly Bed in their Zero Gravity seats, inspired by NASA, of course. Developed through joint research with Yamazaki Laboratory at Keio University and using a seat simulator and a musculo-skeletal model for seating analysis, the Zero Gravity seats are designed for supreme comfort. Here’s an explanation of why Nissan’s seats are so heavenly:

How do I know which model I need?

This question is a whole post in itself: diesel vs gas powered, two door vs four, and which accessories do I need? We’ll have more information from the gearhead angle on some of that next week. In the meantime, in order to make a smart choice for your needs, here are few things to take under consideration:

  1. Will you be using this vehicle to tow?

  2. How important is MPG to you?

  3. Can you remember to use diesel fuel or is that an inconvenience for you?

To put it simply, if you’re going to be towing a horse trailer, camper, or boat, either truck is going to be capable. But the Cummins diesel-powered engine will pull the load more smoothly off the start, and the MPG is slightly better.

The Titan Crew Cab has the same style of the Titan XD, but is built on a separate chassis and is about a foot shorter in wheelbase (the distance between the front and rear axles of a vehicle). Titan and Titan XD share the same cabs, and both offer similar bed and driving aid features.

Overall, the Titan has been recognized by numerous press organizations for its quality: here in Texas, the Texas Auto Writers Association named the 2018 Titan King Cab “Best Value of Texas”. And the 2018 Titan Midnight Edition “Best Full-Size Truck of Texas”. In other words, it’s a fantastic truck, and I grew very fond of it in our short time together. I hated to say goodbye.

 The Ultimate Service Titan can be a mobile help station or hub in disaster situations.

The Ultimate Service Titan can be a mobile help station or hub in disaster situations.

Calling all Titans

Here’s the really cool message about Titans that Nissan has developed and cultivated: it’s not just a truck, it’s a call to action. People who drive Titans are ready to help - anywhere, any time. Their “Calling All Titans” theme pays homage to the people who drive their trucks and have jumped in to help in a variety of disaster situations.

On the Nissan site, volunteers may sign up for an opportunity to help their communities along with their truck. That’s a great way to mobilize a lot of good-hearted people.

Before the Miami Auto Show, Nissan revealed their “Ultimate Service Titan” and donated it to the Red Cross in the Miami area to help when disaster strikes. The amount of thought and work that went into this customization is awe-inspiring.

 Millie, our Camp Gladiator mascot, stands guard over the Titan while our team works out.

Millie, our Camp Gladiator mascot, stands guard over the Titan while our team works out.

What you need to know about the Titan:

TITAN CREW CAB

–     Models: Nissan TITAN Crew Cab S, SV, SL, Platinum Reserve, PRO-4X

–     Roomy TITAN Crew Cab half-ton is ideal for work, family or both

–     Offered in both 4x4 and 4x2 configurations and in five levels: S, SV, PRO-4X, SL and Platinum Reserve

–     Midnight Edition Package offered on Crew Cab SV and SL grades

–     Available Zero Gravity front and rear seats 

–     Starts at $35,680 for a 4 x 2 Titan S; ranges up to the 4 x 4 Platinum Reserve for $56,300 

TITAN XD PRO 4X

  • Models:   Nissan TITAN XD PRO-4X Crew Cab Gas, TITAN XD PRO-4X King Cab Gas, TITAN XD PRO-4X Crew Cab Diesel, TITAN XD PRO-4X King Cab Diesel

  • Choice of two engines: 390 horsepower V8 or 310-horsepower Cummins 5.0L V8 Turbo Diesel

  • Unique PRO-4X exterior and interior features

  • Standard 18-inch wheels and 275/65/R18 BSW all-terrain off-road tires, Bilstein off-road shock absorbers, electronic locking rear differential, lower radiator skid plate

  • Starts at $45,890 for the King Cab 4 x 4 gas to $53,480 for the Crew Cab (four doors) 4 x 4 diesel.

 Truck converted!

Truck converted!

Kristin Shaw
Goal-Driven Hailie Deegan Makes History as First Female NASCAR K&N Race Winner

by Kristin Shaw

Hailie win 1.jpeg

In true modern-woman fashion, race car driver Hailie Deegan keeps her goals list on her phone.

“If you don’t create goals, what are you aiming toward?” the Toyota-driving NASCAR phenom says. “You can’t have just one end goal, because you won’t feel the progress. I put a checklist in Notes on my phone, and every time I complete one, I check it off.”

Hailie Deegan goals graphic.png

On September 29, Hailie crossed the last goal off her list for 2018, just in time to celebrate over the holidays – she took the checkered flag and became the first female to win a NASCAR K&N race.

Hailie’s step-up goals were measurable but not necessarily easy. The whole idea about setting a goal is to stretch, and if you’ve ever read the backstory on any successful person, he or she had a vision and an unshakable belief. She’s 17 years old and a recent high school graduate, and Hailie is singularly focused on the direction she’s headed.

“I built on each of my goals,” she says. “One, finish top 10. Two, finish top 5. Three, get a pole.”

Check. Check. Check. Hailie could see the progress she was making, and every item she checked off the list meant that she was closer to her end goal: to win a race. In Bakersfield, California, at her first race of the season for Bill McAnally Racing, she earned a top-ten finish. In 14 starts this year, Hailie achieved multiple top-ten finishes and a handful of top-five finishes. And then she ended up earning a pole in Vegas. The weekend before her next race, she took a screen shot of her goals list and posted it to Instagram and Twitter for the world to see.


Hailie win 2.jpeg

"My crew has something to prove, just like me”

When Hailie lined up at the Meridian Speedway in Idaho for her 18th start on the NASCAR K&N circuit in September, her car was humming with a vibe that felt good to her. And her crew, barely in their 20s themselves, tuned her up and got her ready to roar.  

“My crew guys are young – the oldest is 23,” she says. “And I think that’s what suits my style. I work well with younger people because they have something to prove, just like me.”

In a real-life Lightnin’ McQueen moment, the other drivers started jostling Hailie, flexing their driving muscles to rattle her. She wasn’t going to bite.  

“I am an aggressive driver; if you hit me, I’m not going to take it,” Hailie says. “I realized about halfway through the race that I had to throw some elbows to win this race.”

Hailie win 3.jpeg

Bump and Run

And she was prepared to do it, after practicing her bump-and-run technique over and over with her dad, Motocross X Games champion Brian Deegan. The Deegans – Hailie, her parents, and her two younger brothers – ride race cars and motorbikes on their private track at their home on a 30-acre lot near Temecula, California. Her dad trains with her often, when they’re both in town at the same time. And he had readied her by giving her the latitude to learn how to drive like a champion without any kid gloves, teaching her about the bump and run. 

Bump and run is the only way you can pass on short tracks, Hailie says, which is what brings out different skill sets. On the big tracks, some drivers can hold it wide open by getting up on the wheel and driving hard. At Meridien, Hailie knew it was time to put her nose in.

“Something happened to one of my teammates [in the Meridien race] and I knew that I was in the best position to make a move,” she says. “I couldn’t wait. I knew I had to go for it in the last lap, and I had it all planned out. Coming into turns three and four, I knew I had not been as fast coming off turn two, so I pushed back and ran as fast as I could to the finish.”

… and Rookie of the Year Honors, Too

After she crossed the finish line and returned to her pit, Hailie and her crew went nuts. She says it was the most excited she has ever been in her life. After a season of ups and downs, the Hailie Deegan team was celebrating a major win. And a major milestone for the sport.

And that wasn’t it for Hailie this season. Her last race was at the end of September, and right after that she was named NASCAR’s first woman to win Rookie of the Year honors. Don’t wait for her to take a virtual victory lap, however. Hailie doesn’t like to sit still for long and that’s why she doesn’t like to take vacations. She’s on the road enough with her racing career, and when she’s home, all she wants to do is practice.

And maybe think about her next set of goals.

Kristin Shaw
The San Antonio Auto Show: Gas Monkey Garage, Monster Trucks, and More
SA Auto show 4.jpg

The San Antonio Auto and Truck Show (SAATS), produced by the SA Auto Dealers (SADA), is next week, bringing all things automotive to South Texas, and we’ll be there!  Celebrating their 50th anniversary in 2018, visitors can experience the most current and innovative automotive technologies, test drive new vehicles, meet celebrities, and experience some of the most exotic vehicles on the planet.

There is something for all ages, including a monster truck event, activities for kids, ride and drive opportunities, and lots more, November 15 to 18.

SA Auto show 2.jpg

2018 SAATS COLLEGE CHALLENGE

Here’s the idea: student teams race against the clock to fill two vehicles with as many student bodies as possible before time runs out.

The program draws attendees from across the show floor to the competition ring, where they students battle for the title, the Cup, a monetary donation to the charity of their choice, and a full year of bragging rights. Past winners have included the University of Texas at San Antonio, the University of the Incarnate Word, Our Lady of the Lake University (a two-time champion), and Texas A&M.

The College Challenge has hosted over 200 college student participants since its inception and continues to expand its presence at the fast-growing San Antonio Auto and Truck Show.

If you are a member of a student organization interested in partaking in the College Challenge, please email info@sammisochoa.com to learn more!

THE TRUCK CAPITAL OF SOUTH TEXAS

With a focus on trucks, the SAATS is “the truck capital of South Texas”, where visitors can experience the latest in Texas-sized pickup trucks at the outdoor SAATS Ride and Drive Experience, where visitors will have the opportunity to test drive their favorite new vehicles. 

MEET THE GUYS FROM GAS MONKEY GARAGE

We love Discovery Channel’s Fast N’ Loud, and we are looking forward to meeting them in person at the show. Jason, Jeremy, and Mike will be coming down from Dallas to represent the Gas Monkey Garage crew with Richard Rawlings’ 1968 Shelby Mustang.

GREEN CAR AWARDS

Green Car Journal has identified finalists for its high-profile Green Car Awards™ program hosted each year by the San Antonio Auto & Truck Show. Finalists for 2019 Green Truck of the Year™ include the Chevrolet Colorado, Chevrolet Silverado, Ford F-150, Ford Ranger, and RAM 1500. Making the cut as finalists for 2019 Commercial Green Car of the Year™ are the Ford Special Service Plug-In Hybrid Sedan, Ford Transit Connect, Mercedes-Benz Metris, RAM ProMaster City, and RAM 1500.

SA Auto show.jpg

Follow #SAATS18 for the latest on the 2018 San Antonio Auto & Truck Show. Tag your photos for your chance to be featured.

Kristin Shaw