Football fans around the nation are gearing up in preparation for the new season, and for thousands of us, that’s cause for a good, old-fashioned tailgate party. Whether you are rooting for your college team or have a favorite professional football team, pre-game festivities are often as important as the game itself. The football enthusiasts at Autobytel Inc. (Nasdaq: ABTL) and its editors have crafted their Top 10 best tailgating cars in anticipation of this year’s kickoffs and cookoffs.
These days, the best tailgating vehicles don’t necessarily need to have a tailgate. What they do need is enough space to tote around a grill, food and beverages, chairs and maybe even a flat screen television.
“Tailgating has been a time-honored tradition among American sports fans, and anyone who’s joined in the festivities will tell you there’s nothing better than sharing a game over a beer and hot dogs,” said Michelle Naranjo, editor-in-chief, Autobytel.com. “We understand that 21 st century tailgating has become larger in scope and complexity since its humble beginnings, and the cars that made this list prove they’re touchdown worthy.”
Following are Autobytel editors’ picks for the 10 best tailgate cars.2012 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1The ZR1’s hand-built 638-horsepower 6.2-liter engine is an instant party, and with 22.4 cubic feet of cargo space, there’s ample room for a Hibachi grill, cooler and folding chairs. 2012 Chrysler Town & CountryNeed to keep covered while tailgating? The Town & Country offers a set of third-row seats that flip and reverse so that you can sit in comfort, protected from the elements. With Uconnect wi-fi Internet service, this minivan provides a perfect platform for streaming live coverage. 2012 Expedition ELWith 42.6 cubic feet of cargo space and the ability to carry eight people, the 2012 Ford Expedition EL is perfectly crafted to stow all of your tailgate gear while comfortably seating your fellow sports fans. 2012 Ford F-350 Super DutyNothing does tailgating better than a pickup truck. With a 110-volt/150-watt power inverter, the F-350 can supply enough juice to power that flat screen TV you hauled to the stadium. 2013 Ford FlexTailgate in style with this seven passenger vehicle that sports rear bucket seats separated by a console equipped with a refrigerator. 2012 Honda RidgelineSeemingly built for tailgate parties, the Ridgeline’s dual-action tailgate swings out to the side or folds down to extend the load surface. With an 8.5 cubic feet locking compartment with a drain hole under the cargo bed floor, you’re completely set for storing ice and beverages. 2012 Jeep PatriotThanks to its optional Boston Acoustics audio system with articulating speakers built into the liftgate, the Patriot is a perfect tailgate vehicle for anyone seeking a mobile boom box. 2012 Jeep Wrangler UnlimitedWith an array of options for the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, such as the Infinity sound system, Uconnect mobile wi-fi or an attached Mopar Trail Camper, this vehicle is a party both inside and out. 2013 Ram 1500With the ability to hold up to 280 cans of your favorite beverages, everyone will surround the Ram 1500 during a tailgate party. Don’t forget, you can keep those drinks on ice with easy clean-up thanks to the drain plug. 2012 Toyota 4RunnerThe 2012 Toyota 4Runner makes the perfect tailgate vehicle with its cargo floor tray that slides out to create a three-sided table for your tailgate party foods. Better yet, it holds up to 440 pounds which means, when the food is gone, you can sit down in the shade. For more details on the best tailgate cars and more Autobytel editors’ choices, visit www.Autobytel.com. Watch exclusive videos on Autobytel’s YouTube page or join the conversation on the Autobytel Facebook Fan Page. About Autobytel Inc.Autobytel Inc., an online leader offering consumer purchase requests and marketing resources to car dealers and manufacturers and providing consumers with the information they need to purchase new and used cars, pioneered the automotive Internet when it launched its flagship website in 1995. Autobytel continues to offer innovative products and services to help consumers buy, and auto dealers and manufacturers sell, more used and new cars. Autobytel has helped tens of millions of automotive consumers research vehicles; connected thousands of dealers nationwide with motivated car buyers; and helped every major automaker market its brand online. Through its flagship website, network of automotive sites and respected online affiliates, Autobytel continues its dedication to innovating the industry's highest quality Internet programs to provide consumers with a comprehensive and positive automotive research and purchasing experience, and auto dealers, dealer groups and auto manufacturers with some of the industry's most productive and cost-effective customer referral and marketing programs. Investors and other interested parties can receive Autobytel news releases and invitations to special events by accessing our online signup form at http://investor.autobytel.com/alerts.cfm