Five Best Vehicles To Take To A Football Tailgate Party

by Don Elliott on September 14, 2012

Once in a while, used car valuepresents itself in way that is beyond the normal features and benefits. Football season provides the perfect special use situation that could determine your next vehicle purchase.

Tailgating is the time-honored tradition of celebrating gridiron activity before the game, sometimes during the game and often after the game in the afterglow of a great victory. Originally, as the name implies, most of the parking lot socializing occurred on and around the tailgate of a pickup truck. A good cooler, some special food, and a couple of folding chairs were all that were necessary for a successful pre-game event.

More recently, audio and video requirements, cooking appliances, sophisticated games and expectations of increased comfort opened the way for more vehicles than the traditional 2-door, standard cab pickup.

When choosing the best vehicles to take to a football tailgating party, we did not consider purchase price, gas mileage, depreciation, or features that might confuse the real reason to own these rides—partying in the parking lot! The following vehicles use their used car value in unique ways. Does your car make the list?

Pontiac Aztek – Okay, about the only reason to own this car is for tailgating. The Aztek has gotten beaten up by car enthusiasts since its arrival in the now defunct Pontiac showrooms. Aztek was the first generation of car to offer internal features that can be appreciated externally. For example, the front center console is actually a water tight cooler that can be removed and carted off to the bleachers in stadiums where that is still allowed. Three 12-volt power outlets are located front, rear and in the cargo area. The combination lift gate/tailgate provides alternative uses for a sumptuous food spread or protection from the weather. The rear seat can be removed in sections to accommodate 2-5 passengers and more or less gear. A funky cargo tray and lots of hidden compartments makes it possible to carry necessities like bug spray and bottle openers full-time, not just to the game.

Chrysler Town & Country – With the recent announcement of the possible demise of the minivan, now is a good time to snag this seasoned tailgating favorite while you still can! Seven-passenger seating will get everyone to the game in one vehicle with plenty of storage behind the rear seat. Stow-N-Go seating makes it possible to easily reconfigure the seating to accommodate shade tents and big tables when necessary. Individual rear video screens and heated seats make the Town & Country a great alternative when the weather turns foul.

Jeep Wrangler – No matter the vintage, the Jeep Wrangler with the top removed and the doors off is an invitation to party. The Infinity premium sound system provides plenty of music making capability to entertain your group and all of those around your favorite tailgating parking lot spot. Add the Mopar Trail Camper to the trailer hitch and you have all you need to party with the best.

Chevrolet Suburban – Huge cargo capacity, richly appointed interiors and decades of history to support this estate wagon as the most functional tailgating vehicle of all time. Premium sound or the Bose system will push plenty of music out the back door. The lifting tailgate provides porch-like protection from sun or rain, and plenty of 12-volt outlets make hooking up accessories a breeze. And, what doesn’t fit inside can easily be tied onto the roof with the multi-functional roof rack and accessories.

Ford F350 Super Duty King Ranch Turbo Diesel Dually – What’s not to like about this truck at a tailgate party? First, it is the only one on this list with a tailgate, in this case a very substantial tailgate. Add the tailgate step, and you can hop into the bed to tailgate on the roof. Just the sheer size of this beast suggests that you are the party king in the parking lot. The King Ranch package provides creature comforts in the cab that might make it hard to leave for the stadium at game time. Finally, the turbo diesel provides an inexpensive(???) generator to power big screens, electric grills and a small village if necessary.

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