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Are You Ready for Some Football?

AAA kicks off football season with its list of top vehicle picks for tailgating.

College football season is underway and the NFL regular season will soon follow. For many Americans, that means it’s time to load up their car or truck for tailgating prior to the game. AAA is kicking off football season by releasing its list of top vehicle picks for tailgating.

(c) Dallas Cowboys

Above: Cowboys wide receiver Austin Miles catches a pass. The Cowboys’ first home game this season will be Sept. 26 against the Redskins. Dallas Cowboys photo

Below: This is the way to tailgate, baby. The Chevy Avalanche can keep tailgating supplies stowed and secure in its cargo box while fans are inside the stadium. General Motors photo


“Tailgate parties are synonymous with football season. While some diehard fans will purchase an older vehicle and deck it out with their team colors and features specifically for tailgating, most fans head to the stadium in the vehicles they use every day,” said John Nielsen, AAA National Director of Auto Repair, Buying Services and Consumer Information.

If you’re an avid tailgater and in the market for a new vehicle, AAA has compiled a list of vehicles for your consideration.

Tailgating vehicles are traditionally thought of as trucks and SUVs. For those football fans seeking a more traditional vehicle, AAA experts have three top picks:

Ford F-150 EcoBoost: For fans who like their tailgating vehicles to actually have a tailgate, AAA suggests the Ford F-150 EcoBoost. It’s a pickup truck with V-8 power and six-cylinder fuel economy. The extended and crew cabs make it easy to carry friends and family to the game in surprising comfort while the cargo box easily accommodates everything necessary for a great tailgating experience. The TrueCar national average selling price of the 2011 Ford F-150 SuperCab XLT is $32,245, 6.8 percent less than the MSRP.

Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid: Fans seeking a slightly ‘greener’ vehicle for tailgating that still provides them with all the room they need for a good tailgating party should consider the Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid. The cavernous interior provides ample room to carry fans and supplies to the big game. But for those who want a deluxe tailgating experience, the Tahoe’s generous towing rating makes it easy to haul a separate trailer filled with the ultimate tailgating supplies. The TrueCar national average selling price for the 2011 Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid is $46,073, which is 11.6 percent less than the MSRP.

Chevrolet Avalanche: The Chevrolet Avalanche allows fans to enjoy an actual tailgate at their tailgating party while also being able to securely lock away their supplies when they head inside the stadium. The Avalanche has a unique combination of a crew cab pickup truck passenger cabin with a cargo box that can be locked and kept weather-tight. The TrueCar national average selling price for the 2011 Chevrolet Avalanche is $31,780, 14.7 percent less than MSRP

AAA experts recognize not all football fans may want a large truck or SUV for their everyday driving, and therefore named three less traditional tailgating vehicles to the top picks list, as well:

(c) New Orleans Saints

Above: Saints running back Mark Ingram, left, chews up some yards in a recent pre-season game against the 49ers. New Orleans’ first home game will be Sept. 18 against the Chicago Bears. Michael Hebert photo

Below: You won’t have any trouble fitting coolers, chairs and other gear into a Nissan Cube. Nissan USA photo

Nissan Cube
Ford Flex: For fans looking for tons of room without getting an SUV, AAA suggests the Ford Flex. Its boxy styling delivers an exceptionally roomy interior that is perfect for passengers, coolers, grills and folding furniture. The EcoBoost engine, with its improved performance and better fuel economy (over the standard V-6), makes the Flex even more attractive as a spacious SUV alternative for tailgating. The TrueCar national average selling price of the 2011 Ford Flex with Ecoboost is $34,169, which is 9.8 percent less than the MSRP

Subaru Forester: For diehard fans that tailgate in any weather–be it rain, sleet or snow– they want a vehicle like the all-wheel-drive Subaru Forester that can get them through any conditions to the game. In addition to delivering exceptional value, this crossover utility vehicle offers lively engine response (in the turbo version), comfortable seating with room for four and above average ride and handling. In addition, the cargo area should be more than capable of handling the basic necessities for a good tailgating party. The TrueCar national average selling price of the 2011 Subaru Forrester is $20,537, 4.6 percent less than the MSRP.

Nissan Cube: The most untraditional pick by AAA for tailgating is the Nissan Cube. Its stylings may appeal more to college student or recent graduates, but it still provides amazing amounts of room for party food and tailgating gear. Additionally, the Cube has an exceptional turning radius and swing-out tailgate that will make maneuvering and setup in a crowded parking lot a breeze. The TrueCar national average selling price of the 2011 Nissan Cube is $14,697, which is 5.2 percent less than the MSRP.

AAA’s top picks are selected by experts who test drive and evaluate hundreds of vehicles each year. AAA provides free tools for consumers in the market for a new vehicle at

TrueCar is the AAA preferred supplier for new car pricing data for the motor club. TrueCar is a trusted source for car buyers and car dealers, providing what other people actually paid for a vehicle within the last 30 days, locally, regionally and nationally using multiple, and even duplicate sources to gather and authenticate their data. Those in the market for a new vehicle can configure the vehicle they want and get the TrueCar average selling price at Vehicle pricing will vary based on trim packages, and prices included with the top picks are based upon specific trim.

Sep/Oct 2011 Issue

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