Thule Announces Their 2009 Road Trip Vehicles of the Year

May 21, 2009

SEYMOUR, Conn., May 21 /PRNewswire/ — With summer right around the corner, Thule, a world leader in transportation accessories, is proud to announce the awards for their 2009 Thule Road Trip Vehicles of the Year. This distinction is reserved for automobiles above and below $30,000 that provide the perfect combination of fun, utility, gas mileage, safety and conveniences for a family or group of four planning a road trip.

“The ranking system takes into effect what a family of four would be looking for in a vehicle as they head out on their summer road trip. We evaluated each vehicle based on 10 unique criteria. Each category was given a specific point value and consisted of styling, storage, gas mileage, size, cost, number of cup holders and speakers, warranty, entertainment options, safety and comfort. Extra points were given to vehicles that were fun to drive or offered four-wheel or all-wheel drive. From there the numbers helped to choose the winners,” commented Karl Wiedemann, Thule’s PR and Communications Manager.

Under $30,000 2009 Thule Road Trip Vehicle of the Year – Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen TDI

“Volkswagen did a great job with the Jetta SportWagen TDI. It is a reasonably priced vehicle with lots of great standard options. With a gas mileage rating of 30 mpg city and 41 mpg highway the Jetta SportWagen TDI can go 600+ miles without refueling,” remarked Tripp Wyckoff, Thule’s VP of Sales, Marketing and Service.

In Thule’s testing, the Jetta SportsWagen TDI was a comfortable, all day travel companion. With a very intuitive dashboard layout, all the important controls are right at the tester’s fingertips. The 6-disc CD player, MP3 jack and 10 speaker sound system provide adequate audio options for the trip.

“With the standard raised rail on the roof, installing a Thule multi-purpose roof rack system took less than 10 minutes. The test vehicle was equipped with a Thule roof box for carrying longer items and two Sidearm upright bicycle carriers. This gave more interior space for snacks and games on our road trip,” said Wiedemann.

Over $30,000 2009 Thule Road Trip Vehicle of the Year – Ford Flex Limited AWD

“The Ford Flex Limited AWD is a very fun vehicle. Ford thought of just about everything with this one. Available options such as ambient lighting, rear refrigerator/freezer, seating for seven and a panoramic sunroof make this vehicle a pleasure to drive on long trips,” said Wyckoff.

In Thule’s testing, the Ford Flex was a great balance of utility, style and fun. When the third row seating was not in use, the Flex provided adequate storage for a weekend away. The rear DVD entertainment center will keep backseat passengers occupied during any trip.

The generous width of the roof, providing up to 58″ of roof rack space, can easily accommodate two bicycle carriers and a Thule cargo box. The vehicle’s lower profile design made it easy to load and unload the rooftop cargo.

As with most vehicles on the market, the Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen TDI and the Ford Flex Limited AWD work seamlessly with Thule’s complete line of racks, cargo boxes, organizational solutions and sport specific carriers. With innovative solutions to carry bicycles, kayaks, surfboards, canoes, camping gear, snowboards and skis, a multi-purpose Thule rack system will take away the age-old road trip question of, “how are we going to fit all this stuff in the car?” Thule’s world-class products help to safely and stylishly transport all the gear a family needs to carry this summer.

“Our employees enjoy a good road trip, love the outdoors and understand the needs of the family on-the-go. Thule is proud that 80% of our products that are sold in North America are designed, engineered and built in the United States. Our Seymour, CT facility has a 318 kilowatt solar array which offsets 26% of the electricity we use. We are proud that so many people trust Thule to be along with them on their adventures,” concluded Wiedemann.

About Thule Inc.

Thule Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary within the Thule Group. It is the leading US manufacturer of transportation accessories with production sites in Seymour, Connecticut, Chicago, Illinois, Perry, Florida and Thomasville, Georgia. Thule’s extensive product line features multi-purpose roof racks, roof top boxes, rear mount racks, truck boxes, side steps and accessories for transporting and organizing outdoor equipment (Thule), professional contractor equipment (Thule Professional and UWS) and recreational vehicles (Thule SMART RV). For more information visit www.thuleracks.com.

SOURCE Thule Inc.

Source: newswire

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