Voting after their annual Truck Rodeo, members of the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) named the all-new 2009 Dodge Ram 1500 "Full-Size Pickup Truck of Texas," giving Dodge honors over competitors from Ford, Chevrolet, GMC, Nissan, Honda and Toyota.

"This is quite an honor," said Mike Accavitti, Director, Dodge Marketing. "In a head-to-head competition, our game-changing all-new 2009 Dodge Ram un-seated the new Ford F-150, long considered the leader in the market. This is not only the best pickup truck we've ever built, it's the best pickup on the market, period."

TAWA's competition names three overall winners, including Truck of Texas, SUV of Texas and Crossover of Texas (a new category this year), along with 12 additional categories. Judging by the 40-plus TAWA members occurs over two full days of on- and off-road evaluation. Consideration is given to everything from exterior styling and off-road capability to the entrant's overall utility, value and fuel efficiency.

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"The TAWA Truck Rodeo is the most comprehensive evaluation of new trucks and SUVs in the country and manufacturers consider it a great honor to win their category," said Harold Gunn, President of TAWA. "This was an especially tight competition because several manufacturers are building great product. We're proud that the Texas truck rodeo is considered the most important competition of its type in the nation."

The all-new 2009 Dodge Ram includes more than 35 new or improved features when compared to the previous light-duty Dodge Ram. These features include:

* Dodge Ram's first-ever crew-cab size model * First-in-segment coil-spring, five-link rear suspension fitted to a solid rear axle provides the required towing and payload capability, with ride and handling unexpected in a pickup truck * New 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 provides more horsepower (390 hp) and torque (407 lb.-ft.), with increased fuel economy (20 mpg on the 4x2 model) * Best-in-class aerodynamics – .387 Cd – helps improve fuel economy and performance * First-in-segment, RamBox™ cargo management system that includes versatile, weatherproof, lockable, illuminated, drainable storage bins; pickup bed dividers; 2-foot bed extender; and cargo rail system with sliding, adjustable cleats * First-in-segment, factory-installed 4-inch dual exhaust styled dramatically into the rear bumper * First-in-segment store-in-the-floor bins * Nearly twice as many storage bins (42) than the previous model (26) * 35 safety and security technologies, including standard front and rear side-curtain air bags, four-wheel Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) and Electronic Stability Program (ESP) * Significantly upgraded interiors with segment-first surround-sound audio system and live SIRIUS Backseat TV™