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Ready for Game Day

TrueCar picks Top 10 vehicle picks for football tailgating season.

Football season is here and game day festivities for fans usually involve a tailgating celebration. In some cities, tailgating is as big (or bigger) than the action on the field.

Durango

Above: The roomy Dodge Durango can move plenty of your gear and passengers from home to the game. Nissan USA photo

Below: With snappy looks, this Nissan Murano Cabriolet will get you to the tailgate party in style. Nissan USA photo

Murano

Whether you have to haul bodies or barbecue grills, TrueCar, Inc., has picked 10 vehicles that are well suited for football season. TrueCar manages the new AAA Car Buying Service that guarantees savings off MSRP for AAA members. Learn more about AAA’s Car Buying Service.

Check out these 2014 party-perfect vehicles.

Pickup Trucks

Tailgating vehicles are traditionally thought of as trucks, and these two selections will deliver plenty of room for cargo and passengers. Ford’s F-150 STX offers a 6 ½-foot truck bed that makes hauling all your football gear a cinch.

If you have a large crew as well as cargo to carry, Nissan’s Titan King Cab has a whopping 168-degree wide rear door opening to accommodate your needs.

Sport-utility Vehicles

Do you need to squeeze into a smaller parking lot? Maybe a midsize SUV like Ford’s Edge or Nissan’s Murano is a better play.

The Edge provides seating for five or cargo capacity of up to 67.8 cubic feet. There’s also storage in the back that holds another 34.3 cubic feet; that should accommodate a portable grill and cooler with ease. And if you’re hands are full, just use the liftgate assist handle to access the back storage area.

Nissan’s Murano Cross Cabriolet doesn’t carry much cargo but who needs to haul a picnic table when you can drop the top and toast your team from the comfort of this snazzy convertible. This all-wheel drive (AWD) crossover convertible comes with the same powerful V6 and luxurious interior of the Murano LE, but outside it’s got a look that’s all its own. You and three guests can get to the game in style.

Need a larger SUV? Take a look at the Dodge Durango. The AWD Durango holds a maximum of 84.5 cubic feet of cargo space behind the first row, 47.7 cubic feet behind the second row, and 17.2 cubic feet of stowage behind the third row of seats.

Get even more cargo room with the Chevy Tahoe. With a maximum of more than 180 cubic feet of cargo space, the Tahoe also can accommodate up to nine passengers. Downside: it’s got the highest price tag of our selected SUV lineup.

Luxury SUVs can make quite a statement on game day. Take a look at Cadillac’s SRX that not only looks great but pays attention to safety–no, not the two-point end zone score–but the Automatic Occupant Sensing System. This system helps prevent penalties for premature unbuckling by young occupants. Sensors activate an icon on the front dashboard, and with room for five, the two-row SRX is an option for families who are looking for a stylish ride.

The seven-seat Acura MDX has the flexibility of a 60/40 split second row and 50/50 split for third row seats, making this vehicle easily adaptable to a variety of passenger and cargo combinations. A power tailgate makes loading your game day gear easy, and a recessed cubby-hole on the left side is perfectly sized for a jug of milk, six-pack of soda, or any similar sized items you want to stay put. Four chrome tie-down hooks help to keep larger items in place.

Minivans

For 30 years, the Dodge Grand Caravan minivan has offered a variety of flexible cargo space and seating systems. An industry-exclusive Super Stow ’n Go® seating system folds flat in seconds and offers up to 81 seating configurations.

Honda’s Odyssey minivan has an excellent reputation, and its Tour Elite trim comes with a convenient and new HondaVac feature that makes clean up after the party a snap.

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 sources to gather and authenticate data. Vehicle pricing will vary based on trim packages. Prices listed were current suggested MSRP as of Aug. 12, 2014, and may be subject to change.

Vehicle Starting MSPR MPG (city/highway) Tailgate notes
Ford F-150 STX $27,510 17/12 6 ½-foot bed
Nissan Titan King Cab $31,790 13/18 Wide rear-door opening
Ford Edge SE FWD SUV $28,100 19/27 Liftgate assist handle
Nissan Murano Cross Cabriolet SUV $41,995 17/22 Cute convertible
Cadillac SRX FWD SUV $37,605 17/24 Safety for young occupants
Dodge Durango SXT $32,990 16/23 Great cargo space
Chevrolet Tahoe LS  $43,600 15/21 Carry up to nine passengers
Dodge Grand Caravan R/T $29,995 17/25 30-year team veteran
Acura MDX SUV $42,290 16/21 Super entertainment
Honda Odyssey Touring Elite minivan $44,450 19/28 Clean up is a breeze

September/October 2014 Issue


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