There's really nothing like a crisp autumn day spent outside with your friends and family tailgating before a football game. This quintessential American pastime can seem as important as the game itself.
With the Broncos and Ravens kicking off the official 2013 NFL season tonight, we thought we would come up with a list of the best vehicles for tailgating. With tons of storage, roomy rear seats and solid sound systems, these are the vehicles we'd pick to take to our next parking lot party. After all, it's not really a tailgate without an excess of food, drink and fun.
Click on through to see what we came up with.
10. Kia Soul
Sticker Price: $14,400 - $19,900
Invoice Price: $14,090 - $18,985
Fuel Economy: 25 mpg City, 30 mpg Highway
This funky urban crossover looks as good next to the stadium as it does in the city. With a big rear hatch, the back of the Soul has lots of room for tailgating supplies and can double as a seating area for a couple of people in a pinch. It may be small, but it shows there are good tailgaters at every price point.
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9. Mazda CX-5
Sticker Price: $21,395 - $29,070
Invoice Price: $20,784 - $28,233
Fuel Economy: 26 mpg City, 35 mpg Highway
Sharp looks and lots of cargo room make the Mazda CX-5 an excellent choice for game day. And with sporty driving dynamics and great fuel economy, getting to the stadium is both fun and economical.
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8. Subaru Outback
Sticker Price: $23,495 - $32,095
Invoice Price: $22,123 - $30,034
Fuel Economy: 22 mpg City, 29 mpg Highway
The Subaru Outback is one of the most versatile cars on the planet. Its standard roof-rack and 71 cu. ft. of cargo room allow you to transport almost anything you can think of to your next tailgate. And there is nothing better to get you on your way come December when the snows fall during the game.
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7. Ford Flex
Sticker Price: $31,100 - $44,120
Invoice Price: $29,312 - $41,143
Fuel Economy: 18 mpg City, 25 mpg Highway
The Ford Flex comes with three rows of seating and lots of interior features, allowing you to transport up to seven people to the game-day celebration in comfort and style. An available interior refrigerator will allow you to keep your beverage of choice cold all day long, too. The Flex is a great alternative to a minivan, too.
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6. Honda CR-V
Sticker Price: $22,795 - $28,795
Invoice Price: $21,413 - $27,030
Fuel Economy: 23 mpg City, 31 mpg Highway
We'll never really know how the engineers at Honda managed to design a compact crossover so roomy on the inside. Regardless, the CR-V comes with tons of interior and cargo space, as well as all kinds of nooks and crannies to store your game day gear.
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5. Mercedes-Benz E-Class Wagon
Sticker Price: $58,600
Invoice Price: $54,498
Fuel Economy: 19 mpg City, 26 mpg Highway
The E-Class Wagon is comfortable and roomy, sure. But the best thing about this wagon is that it has rear-facing seats, allowing you to pop the liftgate, sit back, relax and take in all the action. Wagons aren't as popular in the U.S. as they are in Europe where picnicking is a way of life for many families. But give it a try. The E-Class wagon drives like a luxury sedan, but is far handier.
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4. Honda Ridgeline
Sticker Price: $29,450 - $35,030
Invoice Price: $26,936 - $32,026
Fuel Economy: 15 mpg City, 21 mpg Highway
The Honda Ridgeline comes with a locking compartment under the rear cargo bed floor that provides hidden, secure storage. Also, the big bed allows for seating and transport of your favorite tailgating games, such as the classic cornhole. The Ridgeline isn't going to tow your horse-trailer full of equines but it is a great light-duty pickup, and can handle your coolers just fine.
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3. Dodge Grand Caravan
Sticker Price: $19,995 - $29,995
Invoice Price: $19,730 - $28,530
Fuel Economy: 17 mpg City, 25 mpg Highway
The Dodge Grand Caravan's Stow-n-Go seating makes it super easy to fold down the rear seats, quickly transforming the minivan into cargo-holding powerhouse. Grilles, coolers, chairs, you name it. You'll be able to bring it all to the next tailgate.
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2. Toyota 4Runner
Sticker Price: $31,490 - $41,030
Invoice Price: $28,971 - $37,749
Fuel Economy: 17 mpg City, 22 mpg Highway
The Toyota 4Runner is suited to tackling back-country trails, as well as game-day parking lots. A cool feature on this burly SUV is Party Mode, which switches the sound system's output to the liftgate speakers, allowing everyone to hear the fight song, over and over. That's just an awesome idea.
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1. Ram 1500
Sticker Price: $23,100 - $48,230
Invoice Price: $21,654 - $44,203
Fuel Economy: 14 mpg City, 20 mpg Highway
Storage, storage and more storage. With a lockable compartment located over rear fenders in the truck bed and additional storage under the floor, you won't run out of space for food, beverages and entertainment. The bed of the Ram 1500 is also great for seating and hauling some of the heavier toys.
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