11/7/2013 - The best cars for tailgating season
With football season well underway, thousands of people pack stadium parking lots every weekend to see their favorite NFL team take to the gridiron. And prior to kickoff, it's customary to fire up the grill to enjoy a good, old-fashioned tailgating party.
However, in order to get the most out of every tailgating event, football and food enthusiasts need a reliable vehicle that offers a wide variety of amenities. With this in mind, online automotive resource Cars.com recently came to a decision on what it considers to be the best vehicles for tailgaters.
Patrick Olsen, editor-in-chief at Cars.com, indicated that tailgating festivities are as synonymous with football as the touchdown, and the right automobile can take these parties into high gear.
"The ultimate tailgate requires the perfect tailgating car," said Olsen. "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."
2013 Ram 1500 tops for tailgaters
Chief among the tailgate-friendly vehicles is the 2013 Ram 1500, which is made by Chrysler. While Rams are frequently spotted on the highway, they're ideal for tailgating parties, Olsen contended, because the latest model makes access to the bed of the truck a great deal easier thanks to being able to lower the height of the truck so that tailgating equipment can be placed on the rear.
Additionally, the Ram 1500 sports an array of weatherproof containers that tailgaters can use for their beverage needs - capable of holding 280 cans including ice.
"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 vehicles that the experts at Cars.com said are perfect for tailgating included the 2013 Chevrolet Suburban, Ford Flex, GMC Acadia, Honda Fit and Chrysler Town and Country. For 2014, the Honda Odyssey and Subaru Forester have features that are perfect for tailgating, such as removable cargo trays that make for easy clean-up.
While tailgating parties typically go off without a hitch, revelers should be sure to practice safe grilling practices, as a vehicle can catch fire if equipment is used improperly or poorly placed. Earlier this year, fans in Oakland, Calif. experienced one such incident, which likely resulted in auto insurance claims for the three cars involved.