2013 Honda Fit
A repeat, if unlikely, candidate, the Fit’s small size hides some surprising cargo room: 20.6 cubic feet behind the rear seats and nearly 60 cubic feet if you fold them down. Honda’s second-row Magic Seat has cushions that flip up, which leaves a high enough storage area to throw in a small grill. The hatchback’s maneuverability can help away fans can slip out unnoticed, which might be for the best, given certain rivalries. It also has the best mileage in this group, so you can save money for other needs.
2014 Subaru Forester
The redesigned Forester preserves its nameplate’s excellent visibility with tall windows and narrow pillars. For a small SUV with standard all-wheel-drive and good cargo room (31.5 to 34.4 cubic feet behind the backseat, depending on trim), the Subie has sightlines that should keep nearby tailgates well within view. The big win? Up-level models have a removable cargo tray in back, which helps a lot with post-partying cleanup.
2013 Toyota Sienna
There’s a common thread here. Minivans are the Southeastern Conference of tailgating vehicles. The Sienna stands out for one thing, and that’s cargo room. We’re talking a gargantuan 150 cubic feet with the third row stowed and the second row removed. That’s better than any other minivan or SUV. If you tailgate near public transit, tell your tailgaters to meet you there—and load up for the ultimate asphalt party.
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