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KBB Names Best Tailgating Vehicles

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2012 Dodge Ram 1500 Truck

author photo by Jeffrey Archer
  • KBB named the top vehicles for tailgating
  • The list mainly included pickups and SUVs
  • The Ram 1500 Regular Cab finished first

With football season just around the corner, Kelley Blue Book recently named the ten best tailgating vehicles of 2012. And with a vehicle included at just about every price point, the automotive analytics firm nominated a great choice for nearly all buyers, whether their seats are in the nosebleeds or a luxury box.

While Kelley Blue Book's list was heavy on SUVs, its top three vehicles for tailgating were all trucks. Leading the list was the Ram 1500 Regular Cab, which KBB described as "the ultimate party animal" thanks to a full-size truck bed, waterproof gear storage system, and available Wi-Fi. Finishing second was the Ford F-150, thanks in part to a deployable step hidden within the tailgate, while the Honda Ridgeline took third due to a drainable in-bed trunk and clever tailgate designed to swing out or fold down.

KBB devoted much of the rest of its list to SUVs and crossovers, including the GMC Yukon and Ford Flex, which finished fourth and fifth respectively. Of the Yukon, KBB remarked that it brings "a touch of class to any stadium parking lot," while the Flex received high marks due to its built-in refrigerator and third-row seats that can face backward with the rear hatch raised.

But while KBB mostly highlighted trucks and SUVs, it also included one reasonably priced economy car on its list of the top vehicles for tailgating. According to Kelley Blue Book, the boldly styled Kia Soul hatchback is the ninth best tailgating vehicle--an honor it earned thanks to a large cargo area and an available 350-watt Infinity audio system seen in the small car's well-known "dancing hamsters" commercials.

Rounding out the rest of Kelley Blue Book's list were the Toyota 4Runner in sixth place, the Mitsubishi Outlander in seventh, the Mazda CX-5 in eighth, and the bulky Mercedes G-Class in tenth. While the high-dollar Mercedes might seem like an odd choice, KBB justified its inclusion by highlighting the SUV's swing-open rear door and go-anywhere capability for buyers interested in tailgating outside the traditional stadium parking lot.

What it means to you: If you're eager to tailgate this football season, consider one of the vehicles on Kelley Blue Book's latest list.


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KBB Names Best Tailgating Vehicles