Stay up to date on new products, promotions, and more!

Cars.com selects top trucks and SUVs for tailgating

The arrival of fall brings plenty of good news for people across the U.S., but for many, it means only one thing: football. Even so, the cooler autumn weather is also excellent for off-roading, meaning that many drivers need to find ways to blend the two pastimes. That's easy to do with the help of some popular automobiles, as they boast a number of features that are great for off-road driving, tailgating and everything in between.

"With football season comes the return of fans to parking lots across the nation to partake in tailgating festivities," said Patrick Olsen, the editor-in-chief of Cars.com. "The ultimate tailgate requires the perfect tailgating car, so we took a look at a variety of new cars to determine which ones have factory-installed features to take the drama out of the pre-game party." 

Ram 1500 named the best 
Cars.com selected the Ram 1500 as the top vehicle for tailgating, adding yet another accolade to the long list of awards the truck has already racked up. Not only is the Ram tough enough to handle itself on and off the gridiron, but it comes with a host of extras that can enhance the tailgating experience. One new feature allows drivers to lower the truck to parking height to easily access the truck bed - and all of the grilling gear you've stored there. Even if you've already installed a Dodge lift kit, this capability can help to make it more manageable to reach all of your equipment. 

The truck bed also boasts a few extras that should make it easier to handle anything from tailgating to off-roading. Motorists can choose to purchase a RamBox package that includes weatherproof storage containers that fit snugly into the back of a truck. All together, these boxes can hold up to 280 cans of your beverage of choice - plus ice. Several tie-down points allow owners to securely place grills, tables or any other equipment in the bed. More technology-based features, such as Uconnect Wi-Fi, allow users to tap into a private network - which is great for things like checking in on other games or getting directions to your parking spot. 

Each of these features goes a long way toward making tailgating a smoother and more enjoyable experience. However, they can also be used to make off-roading safer and easier. The impressive cargo space is ideal for storing camping equipment, tools and spare tires. 

Other top vehicles
The Ram 1500 wasn't the only vehicle to earn praise for its tailgating abilities. Cars.com also recognized automobiles like the Chevrolet Suburban, GMC Acadia and Honda Ridgeline for their large cargo spaces, comfortable passenger seating, excellent stereo sound systems and plenty of safety features. Not every vehicle is as keenly catered to tailgating as the Ram 1500, but these options are ideal for motorists who need to blend practical use, off-roading and other recreational activities into one automobile. 

Enhance your own ride
Even if you drive a different model vehicle, you can add a few truck or Jeep modifications to make it well suited for everything from off-road driving to tailgating. For example, installing towing hooks may come in handy if you're looking to bring a trailer to a tailgate, and it can also be used as you head out for off-roading experiences. This kind of all-purpose use makes it a worthy option for any driver looking for ways to enhance a vehicle. 

Drivers should also be sure to check on their emergency kits to guarantee they have everything they need to stay safe, whether they're in the wilderness or a stadium parking lot. Things like a first aid kit, basic tool set, jumper cables and other emergency supplies are must-haves for any adventure.