Meet the Top Brands Recognized by the Texas Auto Writers Association This Year

 Photo: Lexus

Photo: Lexus

In April, the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) hosted its annual Auto Roundup, this year at Eagle's Canyon Racetrack in Decatur, Texas. Members had a chance to drive and evaluate 46 vehicles over the course of a day and a half, which was a dizzying but thrilling experience, overall. We were there to drive the vehicles on the track and test out the capabilities on slalom, acceleration, and braking over a 2.5-mile course. 

For the first time at a TAWA event, journalists at the roundup were able to take a three-wheeled roadster out on the track: the Polaris Slingshot. If you're not familiar with the term autocycle, don't worry - it's pretty new on the circuit. The Slingshot is a unique three-wheeled vehicle with a manual shift and three pedals, which makes it feel like a cross between a very smooth manual transmission car and a luxury motorcycle. We'll tell you more about the Slingshot after our more comprehensive test drive; for now, we can tell you that it's a blast to drive. 

 The Slingshot drives like a car but feels like a motorcycle... thus, the new "autocycle" moniker. 

The Slingshot drives like a car but feels like a motorcycle... thus, the new "autocycle" moniker. 

After all of the survey results were tallied, the 2018 Lexus LC 500 (pictured at top) was crowned the overall Car of Texas; the 2018 Chrysler Pacifica brought home the award for Family Car of Texas. 

 The Chrysler Pacifica has a host of comfort and convenience highlights; it's a great road trip vehicle. 

The Chrysler Pacifica has a host of comfort and convenience highlights; it's a great road trip vehicle. 

TAWA roundup Slingshot.jpg

2018 Texas Auto Roundup Winners:

ACTIVITY VEHICLE
Winner: 2018 Infiniti QX80
Runner-Up: 2018 Jeep Wrangler

 I remember Corollas from back in the 80s and 90s, and this isn't anything like those. The new hatchback is zippy, sporty, and more fun than ever. 

I remember Corollas from back in the 80s and 90s, and this isn't anything like those. The new hatchback is zippy, sporty, and more fun than ever. 

COMPACT CAR
Winner: 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback
Runner-Up: 2018 Volkswagen Golf R

MID-SIZE CAR
Winner: 2018 Toyota Camry
Runner-Up: 2018 Volkswagen Passat

FULL-SIZE CAR
Winner: 2019 Toyota Avalon
Runner-Up: 2018 Honda Accord

FULL-SIZE LUXURY CAR
Winner: 2018 Lexus LS 500
Runner-Up: 2019 Infiniti QX50

GREEN VEHICLE
Winner: 2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid
Runner-Up: 2018 Honda Clarity

 I was a little nervous to drive the Honda Civic Type R (which is available with manual transmission only), but after Honda representative Davis took us for a spin around the track, I felt emboldened to try it. It was astonishingly smooth and easy to drive, and exceedingly fun! 

I was a little nervous to drive the Honda Civic Type R (which is available with manual transmission only), but after Honda representative Davis took us for a spin around the track, I felt emboldened to try it. It was astonishingly smooth and easy to drive, and exceedingly fun! 

PERFORMANCE COMPACT
Winner: 2018 Honda Civic Type R
Runner-Up: 2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata

PERFORMANCE COUPE
Winner: 2018 Lexus LC 500
Runner-Up: 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody

PERFORMANCE SEDAN
Winner: 2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio
Runner-Up: 2018 Kia Stinger

PERFORMANCE UTILITY
Winner: 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio
Runner-Up: 2018 Dodge Durango SRT

 The Mercedes AMG GT supercar is a unique luxury experience, and driving it around the track was a dream. 

The Mercedes AMG GT supercar is a unique luxury experience, and driving it around the track was a dream. 

SUPERCAR
Winner: 2018 Mercedes-Benz GT R
Runner-Up: 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk

BEST TECHNOLOGY
Winner: World’s First Production-Ready Variable Compression Ratio Engine, 2019 Infiniti QX50

BEST NEW INTERIOR
Winner: 2019 Toyota Avalon Touring

 

Kristin Shaw