Kelley Blue Book's 'Best Beach Cars' Had a Few Puzzling Picks

Ford and Jeep made Kelley Blue Book’s best beach cars list, but some luxury cars from Mercedes-Benz and Porsche seem like odd choices to include on the list.
Written by Lisa Steuer McArdle
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
Sep 29, 2021
Kelley Blue Book recently made a list of the 10 best beach cars, which includes some
new cars
and popular off-road staples. If you live near the beach or are embarking on a vacation near the water this summer, it’s helpful to know which vehicles work best, especially if you plan to
rent a car
.
But some of the cars on the list seem like odd choices for this type of list. Here’s a closer look at
Kelley Blue Book
’s best beach cars and why they were chosen.

Ford’s best beach cars

Some cars included on Kelley Blue Book’s best beach cars list seem like odd choices
A couple of
Ford
models made the list, which makes sense to us. For instance, the 2021 Ford Bronco Sport made the list because of its off-road capabilities with its standard five G.O.A.T modes (which stands for "Goes Over Any Terrain). That seems perfect for driving on beach terrain.
In addition, the Ford Bronco Sport has plenty of cargo space to fit all your beach necessities and even has a built-in bottle opener for your ocean-side beverages.
The other Ford on the list is the Ford F-150 Raptor, a high-speed pickup truck that also reportedly has good off-road capabilities. It’s also got a lot of power behind it, with a 450-horsepower, twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6 engine that packs 510 lb-ft of torque, which means it definitely can haul all your beach equipment.
Plus, with a maximum towing capacity of 8,200 pounds, you can hook up a trailer with a small camper or watercraft for a perfect beach day.

Jeep’s best beach cars

Jeep is another carmaker we’d expect to make a list like this, so of course it made the list twice.
The 2021
Jeep Wrangler
Unlimited made the list because it’s an all-terrain vehicle that can handle beach sand with its standard four-wheel drive and V6 engine. It also has removable doors and a roof.
The 2021 Jeep Gladiator is the other Jeep that made the list, and for similar reasons—removable doors and standard four-wheel drive. In addition, it has 4,000 pounds of towing capacity and a 5-foot bed that can carry plenty of beach gear.

Odd choices for best beach cars

While Ford and Jeep fit perfectly on a best beach cars list, the cars we were surprised to see on the list were the 2021 Mercedes Benz GLS and the 2021 Porsche Cayenne.
Kelley Blue Book says it included the Mercedes because the roomy, 3-row SUV can tow what you need to bring to the beach with its 7,700 pounds of towing capacity. The vehicle also reportedly has a bounce mode that helps the car get unstuck from the sand.
The Porsche is another one that even Kelley Blue Book admits doesn’t usually come to your mind when you think of best beach cars or off-roading. But the vehicle reportedly does have off-pavement capabilities with its standard all-wheel drive, which can help maneuver through sand. Like the Mercedes, it can also tow 7,700 pounds.

Driving by the water

Kelley Blue Book did mention that the cars on the list could just be good for cruising along the beach. Looking at it from that perspective, we could sort of see why a Porsche and Mercedes were included in the list.
Still, including
luxury vehicles
on a list about best beach cars does seem a bit out of touch. When we think of beach cars, we think of vehicles that can drive on sand and handle off-roading—like the Jeep and the Ford.
The other vehicles included on the list were the 2021 Land Rover Defender 110, 2021 Mazda MX-5 Miata, 2021 Subaru Outback and the 2021 Toyota Sienna.
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