I'd like to say that I thought up the idea of picking the world's best tailgating vehicles out of the anonymous masses of the auto market, but Automobile magazine beat me to the punch. It makes for such an interesting niche list, that I thought I'd direct a little traffic their way.
2011 Ford Explorer
The magazine picked out its list of the top 8 cars, trucks, vans and 'utes based on size, tailgating ameneties like powered gates and premium sound systems, power and luxury. Here's how they summed up the search: "For
those looking to upgrade to something new and exciting, we've rounded
up eight of the best new cars, trucks, and SUVs on the market that can
elevate your tailgating experience. Whether you're looking for a faster
way to leave the parking lot, a more luxurious base, or simply better options to connect with the outside world after
you park and set up the buffet, we've got a ride that fits the bill."
From classy rides sure to get you a look from a co-ed or two (Cadillac CTS-V Wagon) to utilitarian brutes that will drive you to the most distant, muddy Pop Warner parking lot without a problem (Ford Explorer), Automobile's list is an interesting look at the cars that will get you to the game on time, let you chill and grill in comfort and get you out of that parking lot before the lines back up to the stadium.
The idea of considering tailgating when selecting a car is kind of silly, unless you really are that hardcore of a 'gaiter. But I will admit that when I traded in years of coupes and compacts for a Dodge Durango, I noticed pretty quickly how much more comfortable it was to hop in, pop a Heineken and chill in the parking lot. So it might not be a bad, albeit secondary, consideration if you spend a lot of fall afternoons grilling, drinking and bs'ing out in your favorite team's lot.
You can check out the full list at Automobile, and sign up to win tailgating gear.