Cars.com Kicks Off Football Season with Annual List of Top Tailgating Cars

Aug 29, 2013, 01:00 ET from Cars.com

CHICAGO, Aug. 29, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Cars.com, the premier online resource for buying and selling new and used cars, today released a list of the top cars for tailgating, just in time for the start of football season. Experts from the site evaluated a gamut of cars, big and small, to determine which have the most to offer the serious tailgater.

"With football season comes the return of fans to parking lots across the nation to partake in tailgating festivities," said Patrick Olsen, editor-in-chief at Cars.com. "The ultimate tailgate requires the perfect tailgating car, so we took a look at a variety of new cars to determine which ones have factory-installed features to take the drama out of the pre-game party."

The top tailgating car for 2013, as determined by Cars.com experts is:

  • 2013 Ram 1500: Thanks to a host of tailgate-friendly updates, the tough-looking Ram 1500 is this year's winner. Notable tailgating-friendly highlights that made the 1500 the winner include:
    • A new feature for 2013 allows owners to lower their truck to parking height for easier access to the bed and its contents
    • An optional RamBox package that includes covered, weatherproof containers that Chrysler says can store up to 280 cans plus ice
    • Adjustable tie-down points and truck bed divider (both included with the RamBox Package) should help keep the grill secure en route to the game.
    • Uconnect WiFi which allows your crew to set their fantasy football lineups via a private internet network accessible within 150 feet of the truck.

"The 1500 really has it all when it comes to tailgating, but we realize the pickups aren't for everyone," said Olsen. "Our list includes a variety of cars that also come with great tailgating features and fit the needs of every kind of driver."

Other top tailgating cars according to the Cars.com experts are (listed alphabetically):

  • 2013 Chevrolet Suburban: For those who need to haul the most passengers and gear, the Suburban can't be beat. With an available front bench seat, this SUV can accommodate up to nine fans plus minivan-beating cargo space large enough for grills, coolers and chairs behind the third row.
  • 2013 Chrysler Town & Country: Beyond the potential minivan embarrassment that some tailgaters might have, the Town & Country boasts impressive cargo room and available powered rear tailgate seats. Beyond that, Chrysler claims a segment-exclusive rear entertainment setup: two flip-down screens viewable from behind the open liftgate.
  • 2013 Ford Flex: The Flex boasts substantial cargo space behind the third row, so an efficient packer could cram a small grill and coolers behind as many as seven football fans. Unlike many three-row SUVs, the Flex's third row fits adults in reasonable comfort. During the cookout, that third row converts to a rear-facing tailgate seat.
  • 2013 GMC Acadia: The Acadia is perfect for the minivan hater who still wants minivan utility. The three-row Acadia boasts van-like cargo space large enough for all of the tailgating essentials. It also has available cargo-area stereo controls, which means you can plug (and charge) your iPhone up front while manning the playlist out back.
  • 2013 Honda Fit: A repeat, if unlikely, candidate, the Fit's small size hides some surprising cargo room for its size behind the rear seats and even more if you fold them down. It also has the best fuel mileage in the group to help save money on a long trip to the stadium or traveling to away games.
  • 2014 Honda Odyssey: The Odyssey has all the minivan goods:  best-in-class cargo room behind the second row, plus a widescreen entertainment screen visible from behind an open tailgate. New for 2014 is the Odyssey's available HondaVac system, whose powerful ShopVac vacuum makes cleaning up after the party a breeze.
  • 2013 Honda Ridgeline: The Ridgeline returns to the list for 2013 thanks to its drainable in-bed trunk, allowing you to leave the cooler at home. Fold the crew cab's backseat cushions up and you get enough vertical storage to fit a small grill. New for 2013, a standard rearview camera should help you back into those tight tailgate spots.
  • 2014 Subaru Forester: The redesigned Forester preserves its nameplate's excellent visibility. For a small SUV with standard all-wheel drive and good cargo room, the Subaru has sightlines that should keep nearby tailgates well within view. The big win? The more expensive models have a removable cargo tray in back, which helps with post-partying cleanup.
  • 2013 Toyota Sienna: The Sienna stands out for one thing, and that's cargo room. We're talking a gargantuan cargo area with the third row stowed and the second row removed. That's better than any other minivan or SUV.

In addition to naming the top tailgating vehicles of the season, Cars.com is also getting back into the football spirit this fall as the Presenting Sponsor of ESPN Saturday Afternoon College Football. For more information on the Cars.com experts top picks for the tailgating season, visit blogs.cars.com. Please tailgate responsibly.

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SOURCE Cars.com

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