2019 Texas Vehicle of the Year Awards Announced

HOUSTON– January 23, 2019 - The winners for the inaugural Texas Motor Press Association’s  Texas Vehicle of the Year Awards presented by Gow Media were announced today at the Houston Auto Show. The winners are:

Texas Car of the Year:
Toyota Corolla Hatchback

“The new 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback is a step in the right direction for the world’s best-selling car. It’s a hot hatch that’s stable on the road and fuel efficient, two things that are very important for Texas’s commuters. The Corolla Hatchback is also one of the few remaining cars that comes standard with a manual transmission.” – Mike Herzing, President, Texas Motor Press Association

Texas Crossover of the Year:
Hyundai Kona

“The Hyundai Kona arrived on U.S. shores and immediately set the standard for subcompact crossovers. It gives buyers a lot of bang for their buck in every trim level and comes with a long warranty, making it a good choice for Texas’s teenagers, families, and empty nesters.” – Mike Herzing, President, Texas Motor Press Association

Texas SUV of the Year:
Jeep Wrangler

“The redesigned 2019 Jeep Wrangler easily transitions from highway to ranch road to rocky trail. Its versatility and upgraded amenities are something Texans can appreciate and what helped it win SUV of the Year.” – Mike Herzing, President, Texas Motor Press Association

Texas Truck of the Year:
Ram 1500

“Three new full-size trucks debuted in 2018 but the Ram 1500 is easily at the top of the heap. It’s a great value in all trim levels and has an interior design that is head and shoulders above the competition.” – Mike Herzing, President, Texas Motor Press Association

A selected group of jurors from the Texas Motor Press Association’s membership chose the finalists after being charged with finding not just the best new or significantly refreshed vehicles on the market by Nov. 1, 2018, but the ones that are also best for Texans.

This year’s jury consisted of members of the automotive press who have a significant audience in Texas:

  • Michael Herzing (SB Nation Radio)
  • David Stall (KCBQ)
  • Nicole Wakelin (freelance including Autobytel and BestRide)
  • Chad Kirchner (freelance including AutoGuide.com, The Drive, The Truth About Cars)
  • Alexander Dykes (Alex on Autos)
  • Michael Garfield (High Tech Texan/KPRC/iHeartRadio)
  • Alan Gell (KBFC-FM, Focus Daily News)
  • William Owney (motorcarsnow.com)
  • Gregory Riley (Let’s Talk Wheels, Old Cars Weekly)
  • Steve Smirnis (Estate Life Magazines)
  • Adam Moore (TXGarage.com)
  • Matt Perrault (SB Nation Radio)
  • Jerry Perez (The Drive)
  • Manuel Carrillo (Roadshow by CNET)
  • Eileen Falkenberg-Hull (Trucks.com, American City Business Journals, U.S. News & World Report)

“The Texas Motor Press Association is proud to recognize the top contenders in the automotive industry in terms of new vehicle innovation, drivability, and design with the Texas Vehicle of the Year Awards,” said Michael Herzing, President, Texas Motor Press Association. “Jurors spent thousands of hours in 2018 test driving the newest vehicles on the market to help them cast informed votes.”

Texas is one of the country’s largest automotive markets. According to the National Automotive Dealer Association, in 2017 there were 1,180 new car dealerships in the state. All Texas dealerships represented $90.1 billion in total sales and created 219,875 jobs.

According to The State of Texas, Texas automotive exports went up 49 percent from 2012-2017. The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics reports that Texas is one of the top automotive manufacturing employers in the country. Texas is also home to a number of automotive test facilities including those affiliated with Bridgestone, Continental, Goodyear, and Mercedes-Benz. BMW has a distribution center in Lancaster, Texas while General Motors, Toyota, and Peterbilt manufacture vehicles in the state.

Representatives from the Texas Motor Press Association are available for interviews upon request.


About Texas Motor Press Association

Texas Motor Press Association (TxMPA) is a registered 501(c)3 organization that is focused on bringing together automotive industry professionals to create informed content highlighting various facets of the industry in ways that register with a Texas-based audience and beyond.

The membership is made up of automotive industry journalists that cover cars, trucks, SUVs, ATVs, and UTVs in a variety of media as well as professionals that represent corporate interests in the automotive community. TxMPA members represent the best of the Texas automotive industry. Media members have engaged, interested, enthusiastic, and influential audiences that span the media landscape. The membership is as diverse in coverage and membership as the state itself.