Another list from Kelley Blue Book — Top football tailgating vehicles

(August 30, 2011) IRVINE, Calif. — With college and NFL football set to get underway, fans will be flocking to stadiums around the country to not only cheer for their favorite team, but to party hearty in the parking lot, pre-game. 

With this national pastime upon us, the editors at Kelley Blue Book have named the 2011 Top 10 Tailgating Cars.  While almost any car will do for such a party, Kelley Blue Book has selected a few that go the extra yard to ensure a rockin' good time.

"Forget the beach parties and don't worry about the holidays just yet — it's time for cold drinks and hot dogs before a stadium-sized event," said Jack Nerad, executive editorial director and executive market analyst for Kelley Blue Book's  "And to throw a proper tailgating party, you need a proper tailgating car.  We've ranked the top 10 new party-mobiles to assist anyone in planning their next parking-lot party."

The editors chose new cars with game-party-friendly features such as:  adjustable rear seats, multiple video monitors prime for game-watching, in-vehicle coolers, rear-passenger-compartment audio controls, power liftgates, multiple power outlets and an array of impressive sound systems.  In addition, many of the cars on this year's list offer fold-down tailgates.

Top 10 Tailgating Vehicles

10.  2011 Ford Explorer

Why? Ford Explorer seats seven in cavernous comfort, but the 50/50 split-folding third row, 60/40 second row, and fully adjustable front passenger seat can accommodate any combination of sandwich and human cargo for your next tailgate extravaganza...

9.  2012 Lexus RX 350

Why? If your tailgating parties are more likely to involve wine and cheese than beer and bratwursts, the smooth-riding 2012 Lexus RX 350 is a fitting conveyance...

8.  2012 Mini Countryman

Why? Small enough to squeeze into the smallest college stadium parking spaces, its wide-opening tailgate and folding rear seats make it a fun choice for a two-person tailgate with all the fixins...

7.  2011 Kia Soul

Why?  Aside from having plenty of space for your lawn chairs and team-color body paint collection, the Kia Soul rocks a sound system with speaker lights that can pulse to the beat of Queen's "We Will Rock You..."

6.  2011 Honda Ridgeline

Why?  With clever storage solutions and an even cleverer tailgate, the 2011 Honda Ridgeline is the Swiss Army knife of tailgating cars...

5.  2012 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque

One could argue that driving a Land Rover anywhere but far away from paved civilization is a waste of its abilities, but the slickly styled new Evoque will look right at home in the most modern environs.

4.  2011 Honda Odyssey

The 2011 Honda Odyssey is the hot ticket for the tailgate party at your next football game. The new Honda Odyssey carries you and six of your best friends to a game in V6 style.

3.  2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee

Whether you're into Eagles, Tigers, Bulldogs or Panthers, the outdoorsy 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee is a first-class vehicle for showing up early and supporting your team. The Grand Cherokee offers seating for five fans, plus a wide-mouthed rear hatch and fold-flat second row for the cooler, chairs and barbecue.

2.  2011 GMC Terrain

Whether it's an EPL/MLS friendly or the U.S. team taking on Mexico, soccer games can get pretty crazy. So what better way to get your pre-game party going than in the comfort (and protection) of the 2011 GMC Terrain? The Terrain has an incredibly spacious second row with eight inches of fore and aft movement, so even the tallest fans can find room for their knees. And the optional rear entertainment system has two screens — so you can relive Landon Donovan's greatest hits with your best friend before the game.

1.  2011 Ram 1500

The ace up this Ram's sleeve is the RamBox cargo management system: Locking bedside bins that can accommodate up to 240 12-ounce cans of your favorite before-game beverage. And if that's not enough storage, the interior can be outfitted with in-floor bins that can be filled with more cold stuff as well as rear under-seat compartments for any other party favors. Combined with a big bed for chairs, grills, canopies and everything else that goes into a deluxe pre-game party, the Ram 1500 is our top tailgater for 2011.

For the full editorial commentary and reasoning behind each of the editors' picks, visit the Top 10 Tailgating Cars story.