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The best cars for Texas: These unique auto awards honor the rides Lone Star State drivers truly love

Photo by Kevin McCauley
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Auto journalist members of the Texas Auto Writers Association traveled to Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth to evaluate and drive some of the best new vehicles available for 2014. There are a range of categories and criteria, but the goal is the same.

To find the Car of Texas.

Car of Texas is, simply put, the car that Texans feel best about recommending to other Texans. And, as everyone knows, Texans don't appreciate being told what car to buy by people in New York or California. 

Pictured: Mercedes-Benz CLA 250

Photo by Kevin McCauley
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Pictured: 2014 Infiniti Q50S 3.7

Category: Performance Sedan (runner up)

Infiniti's new Q50 uses groundbreaking technology (electric steering) and sports car DNA to pick up where the successful Infiniti G37 sedan left off. 

Photo by Kevin McCauley
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Pictured: 2014 Lexus IS 350 F-Sport

Category: Performance Sedan (winner)

The IS F-Sport won its category, thanks to a nimbler chassis and (I like to think), its cutting edge exterior.

Photo by Kevin McCauley
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Alfa Romeo proudly showed off its stunning 4C mid-engined sports car, which goes on sale in America later this year.

Photo by Kevin McCauley
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Pictured: 2014 Ford Fiesta SE

Category: Sub-Compact Car, (winner) Best New Feature (winner)

The reworked Ford Fiesta took home prizes in the sub-compact category and for its novel new 1.0 liter, 3-cylinder EcoBoost turbocharged engine, which provides excellent efficiency and performance. 

Photo by Kevin McCauley
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Pictured: 2014 Chrysler Town & Country 30th Anniversary Edition

Category: Minivan (winner)

The Town & Country triumphed in a close vote over the runner-up Toyota Sienna.

Photo by Kevin McCauley
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Pictured: 2014 Jaguar F-Type S

Category: Performance Coupe (winner), Car of Texas (runner-up)

Jaguar brought the even more powerful version of the F-Type roadster we drove last year, and set it loose on a race track where it provided thrills, and, of course, a sensational soundtrack. A 488 horsepower engine gives it the bite to match its bark. 

Photo by Kevin McCauley
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Pictured: 2014 Ford Fiesta ST

Category: Performance Compact, (winner) Best Value (winner)

Like the Fiesta SE, the hot-hatch ST version took home two awards, thanks to surprising, explosive performance and fun-to-drive chassis tuning. It's great to see such tight competition in the Performance Compact class.

Photo by Kevin McCauley
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Pictured: 2014 Chrysler 200

Category: Mid-size Car (winner)

Chrysler's all-new 200 sedan uses the familiar and well-liked Pentastar V6 and drops it into an aerodynamic and responsive package that aims to dethrone the Ford Fusion.

On this day, at least, it achieved that.

Photo by Kevin McCauley
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Pictured: 2015 Hyundai Genesis 5.0L

Category: Car of Texas (winner), Mid-Size Luxury Car (winner), Best New Interior (winner), Family Car of Texas (runner-up)

The freshly-launched Genesis earned wins in just about everything it was eligible for, but most importantly, took home Car of Texas.

Congratulations, Hyundai.

Photo by Kevin McCauley
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Pictured: 2014 Chrysler 300

Category: Full-Size Luxury Car (winner)

Though not all new like its younger sibling (Chrysler 200), the 300 still offers a unique combination of luxury, exterior and interior details and performance that no one has been able to equal in this category.

Photo by Kevin McCauley
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Pictured: 2015 Kia K900 VIP

Category: Full-Size Luxury Car (runner-up)

The K900 is a bold effort from Kia, which marks the automaker's first V8-engine and rear-drive chassis sold in the United States market.  Naturally, everyone was extremely curious to try it.

Photo by Kevin McCauley
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Pictured: 2014 Dodge Challenger R/T Shaker

Category: Performance Coupe

The current Challenger will make way for a refreshed 2015 Challenger next year, but a few laps in the HEMI-powered brute will always put a smile on your face.

Photo by Kevin McCauley
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Pictured: 2014 Fiat 500 1957 Edition

Category: Sub-Compact Car (runner-up)

The cheeky 1957 Edition 500 adds even more character to a car that's already got it in spades. Its body-colored wheel caps were among the most talked-about features on any car in attendance.  

Photo by Kevin McCauley
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Pictured: 2014 Scion FR-S 

Category: Performance Compact (runner-up)

The FR-S is always a favorite among enthusiasts, and its influence in the marketplace will start to become more apparent in the next few model years.

Photo by Kevin McCauley
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Pictured: 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Convertible 

Category: Performance Coupe (runner-up)

A new-generation of Corvette is always exciting. and the C7 is the best 'Vette yet. 

 

 

Photo by Kevin McCauley
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Pictured: Ford Fusion Energi Titanium

Category: Green Vehicle (winner)

The Fusion Energi took top honors in the increasingly-competitive Green Vehicle segment. Offering the range of gas, the efficiency of electric and the proven package of the Ford Fusion, the Fusion Energi is a seamless and practical electric-powered option for most people.

Photo by Kevin McCauley
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2014 Texas Auto Roundup Results
 
Sub-Compact Car
2014 Ford Fiesta SE
Runner-up:  2014 FIAT 500 1957 Edition
 
Compact Car
2014 Dodge Dart SXT/Rallye Appearance
Runner-up: 2014 Volkswagen Jetta SEL
 
Premium Compact
2015 Subaru WRX Limited
Runner-up: 2014 Mazda Mazda3 S 5-Door Grand Touring
 
Performance Compact
2014 Ford Fiesta ST
Runner-up: 2014 Scion FR-S
 
Mid-Size Car
2015 Chrysler 200
Runner-up: 2014 Ford Fusion Energi Titanium
 
Full-Size Car
2014 Chrysler 300 C
Runner-up: 2014 GM Chevrolet SS Sedan
 
Mid-Size Luxury Car
2015 Hyundai Genesis 5.0L RWD 91 points
Runner-up: 2015 Volvo S60 T6 Drive-E Sedan Platinum
 
Full-Size Luxury Car
2014 Cadillac XTS Twin Turbo V Sport Premium
Runner-up: 2015 Kia K900 VIP 66 points
 
Performance Coupe
2014 Jaguar F-Type V8 S Convertible
Runner-up: 2014 GM Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Convertible
 
Performance Sedan
2014 Lexus IS 350 F SPORT
Runner-up: 2014 Infiniti Q50S 3.7
 
Minivan
2014 Chrysler Town & Country 30th Anniversary Edition
Runner-up:  2014 Toyota Sienna Limited
 
Activity Vehicle
2014 Toyota Highlander Limited
Runner-up: 2014 Dodge Journey Crossroad
 
Performance Utility
2014 SRT Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT
 
Green Vehicle
2014 Ford Fusion Energi Titanium
Runner-up: 2014 Cadillac ELR Electric
 
Overall Awards
 
Best New Feature: Ford Fiesta's 1.0 Liter EcoBoost Engine
 
Best New Interior: Hyundai Genesis
 
Best Value: Fiesta ST
 
Family Car of Texas
2014 Chrysler Town & Country
Runner-up: 2015 Hyundai Genesis
 
Car of Texas
2015 Hyundai Genesis
Runner-up: 2014 Jaguar F-Type