Best Car Features for Tailgating in 2022

With the onset of fall comes the return of football and all it takes: debriefing about a water cooler on Monday mornings, adults in oversized T-shirts, musings on the meaning of pigskin and, perhaps most importantly, a meditation on meaning. Maybe you’re in the market for a new car and think about your retreat capabilities as much as the strength of your team’s schedule; While we can’t help the latter, here are some of the features we noticed recently to help with the former.

Stash your supplies

A fit-forward look requires more than a frenzied fan base. You need chairs and tents, food to cook, drinks to drink, things to cook and drink…you get the idea. But there’s more you can do for storage than just buying a file.

GM’s full-size pickups have been offering MultiPro (for GMC Sierra 1500) or Multi-Flex Tailgate (Chevrolet Silverado 1500) pickups for a few years now. It is equipped with six separate posts, two of which can allow you to safely carry longer items such as your tent in bed. Bonus: One of the factory-installed accessories made for these tailgates is a two-channel, 100-watt, two-channel Bluetooth audio system to help make your truck the envy (or eyeroll) in the parking lot.


The Ram 1500 Competition takes a slightly different approach with: open it up part of the way like a swinging door via a 60/40 split to avoid the grill sliding off while offloading, or simply drop it like a regular tailgate if you’re looking to droop the leg from behind. Pair that with the venerable RamBox cargo management system, which features drainable storage bins, an adjustable bed divider and rails with sliding and adjustable cleats, and you’re ready to play.

Electric trucks can also make the tailgate more fun. The Rivian’s Camp Kitchen x Snow Peak package isn’t available yet, but once you can grab it, the package — which will include a 30-piece kitchen set, modular kitchen and two-burner induction hob — stands out easily from the “gear tunnel” running behind the cabin in R1T, which Rivian believes equals 11.7 cubic feet of storage space. And like the R1T, it features the drainable “trunk” (front trunk) where you’d normally find an internal combustion engine; In the case of the R1T, that equals 11 cubic feet of space, in the Lightning 14.1 cubic feet.

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And if the constraints are tight and working with a full-size pickup isn’t an option, do we recommend pickup trucks for the big game? Honda’s mid-size Ridgeline features built-in speakers and a tailgate, and the Hyundai Santa Cruz and Ford Maverick—which—may be the smallest tailgates in the industry.

Where do you put your plugs

Having a set of barbecue supplies or the largest TV in the stadium area this side of the Jumbotron won’t do much if you don’t have a way to power it. Fortunately, there are vehicles that are up to the task—perhaps none more so than the Ford F-150 Lightning and its F-150 hybrid brethren, both of which come. In Lightning, the system is Ford’s most powerful yet at 9.6, available via 10 120-volt outlets and one 240-volt outlet; The F-150 Hybrid truck features optional 2.4 kW or 7.2 kW systems. The Lightning also features ports for storage (although we don’t recommend using them if you also use your refrigerator as a cooler).


Related automakers Hyundai (with its luxury sub-brand Genesis) and Kia feature vehicle-mounted technology in the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and upcoming Ioniq 6, Genesis’ GV70, and Kia’s EV6. The V2L system allows owners to connect and charge electrical appliances similar to the Pro Power Onboard, but is less powerful and does not feature a 240-volt option.

Standard and optional on all but the base LE, the Toyota Sienna 2022’s 1500-watt inverter and 120-volt AC outlet is also worth calling out, as it offers much more than the typical 400-watt feature of most family pickup trucks.

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And as with the supplies, the Ford Maverick has 3D-printing options for do-it-yourself accessories and features if you’re in the mood for prep, including our long-range test truck: a 12-volt accessory port in a bed.

Retreating on your own is something you definitely are Can She does, but it doesn’t really align with the platonic ideal of the thing – so you want to make sure you have room for a few friends (or strangers) to literally hang out with. Standard rear-door pickups aside, there are a few other notable features from the less obvious corners of the auto market.

Two of these examples come from the luxurious end of the spectrum. The Mercedes-Benz E450 All-Terrain Wagon is comfortable for anyone who needs rear support but still wants to face the rear set: a 3rd row two seater. Likewise, Land Rover features the Tailgate Event Seating accessory for 2014 or newer Range Rover Sport and 2017 or newer Discovery SUVs.


The logistics of a retreat is about as complicated as you want to make it, but no matter how deep your team rolls or how demanding their entertainment is, choosing the right vehicle for the occasion can mean the difference between a successful Sunday enjoying a game with friends and, well, tail alone at the next lottery.

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