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The right rides for tailgating

Football season is kicking off, and for many Americans that means it's time to load up their car or truck for tailgating before the game. "Tailgate parties are synonymous with football season. While some die-hard 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. Here are some picks from the AAA auto buying experts:

Traditional vehicles

Ford F-150 EcoBoost: For fans who like their tailgating vehicles to actually have a tailgate. 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 comfortably, while the cargo box easily accommodates everything necessary for a great tailgating experience.

Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid: For fans seeking a slightly "greener" vehicle for tailgating that still provides them with all the room they need for a good tailgating party. There's ample room inside to carry fans and supplies to the big game.

Chevrolet Avalanche: This has a combination of a crew cab pickup truck passenger cabin with a cargo box that can be locked and kept weather-tight. So you can store your stuff while you're at the game.

Less traditional

Ford Flex: For fans looking for tons of room without getting an SUV. Its boxy styling provides a roomy interior that is perfect for passengers, coolers, grills and folding furniture. The EcoBoost engine delivers better performance and fuel economy compared to the standard V-6.

Subaru Forester: Fans that tailgate in any weather would want a vehicle with all-wheel-drive. 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 handle the basic necessities for a good tailgating party.

Nissan Cube: Its stylings may appeal more to college students or recent graduates, but it still provides plenty of room for party food and tailgating gear. Additionally, the Cube has good turning radius and a swing-out tailgate that will make maneuvering and setup in a crowded parking lot a breeze.

The right rides for tailgating 09/06/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 6, 2011 4:30am]
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