Tailgating is a bad habit that causes a lot of auto accidents. On the other hand, tailgating parties are a great way to enjoy yourself before a football game, or really, any sporting event. Whether you prefer a truck or an SUV, if you want your vehicle to be party central in the parking lot, consider one of the following models.
Dodge Ram 1500
Starting in 2009, the Dodge Ram (later just Ram) entered its fourth generation, and with this update the Chrysler Group added several features that seem designed just for tailgating. For instance, the rear seats of the Crew Cab models can fold up to let you access storage bins with enough room for ice and beverages, and the lining is removable for easy cleanup.
Ram trucks equipped with the RamBox cargo management system come with a pair of lockable containers you can easily access from the sides of the truck; they can hold an impressive number of beverages or whatever else you feel like bringing to the party.
From 2010 to 2013, many 4Runner SUVs came with a “Party Mode” button that shifted the audio balance to the back of the vehicle, giving it the ability to act as a stereo system for any gathering that happens to take place behind it. Newer models lack the button, but that’s only because users can now adjust the sound balance manually through the new audio system.
Also, the 4Runner can come with an optional cargo tray. While Toyota designed the tray to make loading and unloading heavy objects easier, it can just as easily serve as a convenient table with the weight to hold snacks, coolers, or anything else.
The Ford Flex debuted with the 2009 model year, and like the Ram 1500, it comes with a few features that are meant specifically for tailgating. For instance, the available PowerFold third-row seats don’t just fold flat, but they can flip backward. Certain models also come with a built-in refrigerator, a 110-volt outlet for household appliances, and 12-volt outlets in the back rows and the cargo area. As for tunes, the available Sony audio system comes with 12 speakers, including a subwoofer in the rear.
Introduced in 2006, the Ridgeline is an unusual hybrid between a truck and an SUV, and it comes with several unusual features. These include a tailgate that can swing down or swing out, plus a lockable and drainable in-bed trunk that can serve as a very nice cooler on its own. On the inside, the rear seats can fold up to offer more room for coolers and portable grills.
Whether you’re in the football stadium parking lot or whether you’re there in spirit at a neighborhood barbecue, a truck or SUV with the right set of features can add to any tailgating party. Whether it’s built-in coolers, powerful sound systems, or rear seats that fold over backwards, automakers have plenty of options for tailgaters who love to be the life of the party.