9 Must-Have Options for Summertime Cruising
Warm-weather accessories you'll appreciate during the dog days of summer.
Anyone can plan a great summer drive by donning polarized shades and stuffing the trunk full of outdoor gear. But not everyone can cool their lemonades without ice or camp comfortably in their car — and very few drivers avoid being scorched by their leather seats. To really cruise in style and comfort, you'll need a car that sports the latest warm-weather features. We've chosen nine such features, most of which are available only as factory options or dealer accessories. Even if you don't live in a perpetually sun-drenched dreamland state such as California, you'll appreciate them when vacation comes due.
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The tailgate party, whether in a stadium parking lot or on a beach, is an automotive ritual best experienced with a car that can place the tunes where the gang can hear them. Certain SUVs perform better than others at this task. Press the Party Mode button at the back of a Toyota 4Runner Limited and the optional JBL audio system ($1,155, bundled with navigation) will instantly send more volume to the rear speakers. For $1,150, the Dodge Caliber can be equipped with a fold-out Boston Acoustics boombox built right into the tailgate. The Jeep Wrangler has a pair of speakers built into the roll cage, which makes the music easy to hear even when the roof is attached. Bass lovers will like how Mitsubishi packs a 10-inch Rockford Fosgate subwoofer at the very rear of the Mitsubishi SE (equipped with the $1,800 premium package).
When you're craving liquids and the gas station is out of cold ones, a cooled cupholder is your quickest route to a slightly cool Gatorade. Just flip two switches and these front cupholders start to chill in a matter of minutes. (Be careful; they also can heat.) They're available on just three cars and only on certain trim levels: the Dodge Charger SXT Plus ($30,495), the Chrysler 300C ($39,595) and the Cadillac Escalade Platinum ($80,940). So long as you're not expecting a freezing-cold miracle, it's a welcome touch on a stifling day.
Even better than cooled cupholders are hidden cooler boxes, a luxury no longer limited to Maybach passengers sipping chilled champagne. The workaday Dodge Caliber, for instance, offers as standard equipment a glove-compartment cooler that can hold four 20-ounce bottles. The top-level Honda Odyssey EX-L does the same thing, but has its own dedicated pull-out bin at the bottom of the center console. On Ford Flex Limited and Lincoln MKT models, a deep cooler box fits right between the second-row seats. Land Rover offers a standard cooler box under the front armrest on LR4 and Range Rover Sport models. One thing to remember: The engine must be running to keep your stash cold, so don't let that half-eaten roast beef-and-mayo sandwich linger.
Ventilated, air-conditioned seats are now common in luxury cars. But no matter how good those seat fans are, the upholstery — especially leather — can reach skin-searing temperatures after a few minutes in direct sunlight. The fix? Most Audi and BMW convertibles treat their leather seats with heat-reflecting pigments that keep the rays at bay. On the R8 Spyder, Audi says the pigments lower surface temperatures as much as 68 degrees versus a standard seat. We can't vouch for exact numbers, but we've never gotten burned in a new German drop-top.
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Back in the 90s a buddy got a tool box for his truck that was half refrigerator. I though that would really take off, but it didn't.
I like the cooler boxes. The cooled cup holders are pretty ''cool'' too.
cars with tents attached is pretty stupid. the upside would be what?I camp all the time and a tent attached to my vehicle is the last thing I would want. Rarely are my tents close to my vehicle. My vehicle may be being used for a border at Talledaga and a power plug anywhere. My vehicle rarely is that close to my tents and anyone that buys one does not know much about camping