When Ford found out this year's Texas Truck Rodeo, basically America's biggest 4x4 comparison test, was sponsored by the Steel Market Development Institute they could only have been thrilled. You see; the 2015 F-150 is made of aluminum. Get it?

It was pretty much a win-win scenario for the Blue Oval. If their new aluminum truck lost the steel-sponsored test, the result could be easily dismissed. They could count on cynical car bloggers claiming the comparison was "bought." And if they won, it could be pitched as a "huge upset."

Well not only did they win, but the aluminum body of the 2015 Ford F-150 won the "best technology" prize. As well it should have; there's no denying Ford stuck their necks out farthest on truck innovation for 2015.


The Steel Market Development Institute must have felt a little weird handing that "best tech" award to Ford specifically for making a truck out of not-steel. Word on the street is, there were folks trying to stir Truck Rodeo-attending media into questioning aluminum's safety... but that's only a rumor.

After two days of evaluating "on and off-road," most of the other category wins were boringly obvious choices:

• Best Off-Road SUV: Jeep Wrangler

• Best Mid-Sized Pickup Truck: Chevrolet Colorado
Up against rivals that are a decade old.


• Best Full-Sized Pickup Truck: Ford F-150 King Ranch
Nothing called the "Texas anything" is not going to give an award to the F-150 King Ranch.

• Best Luxury Pickup Truck: Ford F-150 Platinum

• Best Heavy Duty Pickup Truck: Ram 2500 Laramie Longhorn

• Best Off-Road Pickup Truck: Ram Power Wagon
There is no 2015 Ford Raptor, that leaves only one highlander.


• Best Commercial Vehicle: Ford Transit
What other commercial vehicles are there?

• Best Powertrain: Ram EcoDiesel
Couldn't really spend all year begging for smaller diesel trucks and not clap when one finally comes out.

• Best Connectivity: Chrysler Uconnect
Every auto journalists' favorite infotainment system. Seriously, ask any of us.


Best Compact SUV: Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk

Best Compact Luxury SUV: Range Rover Evoque

Best Mid-Sized SUV: Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland

Best Mid-Sized Luxury SUV: Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit EcoDiesel

Best Full-Sized SUV: Chevrolet Tahoe

Best Full-Sized Luxury SUV: GMC Yukon Denali

The Honda CR-V, Subaru Outback, Kia Sedona, and Lincoln MKC won the best crossover categories.


Image: Ford, Wikipedia Creative Commons