Super Bowl LI is upon us. Many are wrapping up the fantasy season, bragging rights are on the line along with who gets the first draft pick next year. To get into the spirit of things, we put together a Super Bowl caliber fantasy team of our own, highlighting the best the industry has to offer. Here are Carsforsale.com’s fantasy picks for the ultimate automotive team.
Quarterback: 2017 Honda Ridgeline
Agility, endurance, reliability, strength – An MVP – these are the qualities you look for in a quarterback. The 2017 Honda Ridgeline is an MVP in its own right, taking home the 2017 North American Truck of the Year Award. What makes it unique is the unibody construction, giving it better handling and helping to increase safety by design. The zippy 3.5 L V6 produces 280 hp and 262 lb-ft torque. Paired with a smooth 6-speed automatic transmission, passing (on the highway) has never been so easy. It has the endurance to be lead its class in fuel efficiency, 22 mpg combined, and the strength to tow up to 5,000 lbs. Can it take a hit? You bet. The Ridgeline is an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ and took home an overall 5-Star NHTSA rating. Football fans can also appreciate the in-bed trunk with drain plug for the ultimate tailgating experience, too.
Running Back: 2017 Ford Mustang
The Ford Mustang was the most searched coupe on Carsforsale.com in 2016. Since 1970, the Mustang has boosted the most US sales for a sports coupe in the United States, so the demand is obvious. The latest generation is a proven workhorse, mind the pun, and next year we expect an even more impressive Mustang. But don’t sell this season’s short. The 5.0 L V8 (435 hp and 400 lb-ft torque) 2017 Mustang reaches 60 mph in just over four and a half seconds. The suspension is also impressive, allowing for quick cuts through traffic. It will get you across the line or home in time to watch the game, no doubt.
Running Back: 2017 Dodge Challenger
Every team needs a little flash, so why not don a Yellow Jacket high-impact paint job? The 2017 Dodge Challenger is American Muscle, and offers a 6.4 L V8 (485 hp and 475 lb-ft torque) with a 4.5 second 0-60, and 12 second quarter mile time, as just one of its engine options. Whether you show up on game day with the 3.6 L V6 or go for the 707 hp Hellcat V8, this is one running back that won’t disappoint. It handles well for its large size and rides comfortably with plenty of room. To match the flash on the outside, SRT models have illuminated steering wheel logos and all 2017s come with a standard 8.4-inch touchscreen infotainment system that integrates Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Tight End: 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee
The tight end pulls double duty – athletic enough to get downfield and make a play, or strong enough to go up against the biggest and strongest players on the field. Able to perform in the same adverse conditions (figuratively), the 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee is an off-road beast that doubles as a suburban daily driver. This play maker has eyes on the entire field, with standard features that include rearview camera, parallel and perpendicular park assist, and lane departure warning. This Jeep is powerful, too. The 2017 Grand Cherokee SRT’s 6.4 L HEMI V8 pumps 475 hp and produces 470 lb-ft of torque.
Wide Receiver: 2017 Chrysler Pacifica
Going long? The 2017 Pacifica minivan offers comfort and room on extended road trips. With a spacious cabin, extra cargo space, plenty of places for sippy cups, and rear passenger touchscreens for entertainment and distraction, you would be crazy to opt for another minivan this year. If the built-in vacuum doesn’t get your attention, how about a plug-in hybrid model that can go 35 miles on the battery and gets 80 MPGe in hybrid mode? The Pacifica offers the right mix of style, features, and performance with a competitive price tag that won’t create problems with the salary cap.
Wide Receiver: 2017 Mazda Mazda3
When it comes to the Mazda3, Mazda doesn’t drop the ball. Style, performance, value, and peace of mind – the 2017 Mazda3 is the perfect catch. Like a receiver mid-route on the field, it can stop, go, juke, and jive. The hatchback has aggressive looks, cargo room, great control and performance, and earned both the IIHS and NHTSA top honors in safety. It comes with G-Vectoring Control and available features that include automatic high beams, rear cross traffic alert, lane departure warning and lane keep assist, blind spot monitoring and warning, pedestrian brake support, and smart cruise control. It also gets 37 mpg highway thanks to the capable 2.5 L inline-4 (184 hp) and can be paired with a slick 6-speed.
FLEX: 2017 Chevrolet Bolt
There is always that player that seemingly comes out nowhere during the season and starts putting up some ‘mad’ fantasy points. If you’re lucky, you are on top of the waiver order and snag them before anyone else takes notice, and tuck them aways nicely in the FLEX position. The 2017 Chevrolet Bolt did just that in the electric car segment, debuting with a range of 238 miles and a price starting at $36,620 (minus a $7500 federal tax credit). Is it a wagon, or a crossover? It’s a little bit of both, making it a great pick for the FLEX position. The Bolt is comfortable and roomy, with ample cargo space. It’s also quick, with a 0-60 of about six and a half seconds. It’s also a modern player, with a 10.2-inch touchscreen display, rear camera mirror, and Surround Vision. Other tech includes blind spot alert, rear cross traffic alert, forward collision warning, and forward pedestrian alert.
The best offense is a good defense, and Hyundai is an industry leader when it comes to safety and reliability. With players like the 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe and 2017 Hyundai Elantra, Hyundai is putting up some big points in crash tests this year. The Sante Fe and Elantra both had near perfect crash test ratings, earning overall 5-Star NHTSA ratings and 2017 IIHS Top Safety Pick+ honors. The Santa Fe and Elantra are both on the list of only seven vehicles to score Good in IIHS headlight ratings this year. Making the 2017 IIHS Top Safety Pick list are the Santa Fe Sport, Tuscon, and Sonata, just short of Pick+ honors due to marginal headlight ratings.
Hyundai has made safety equipment like roof-mounted side curtain airbags with rollover sensors and driver’s knee airbag standard. Other advanced available safety features through Hyundai include adaptive cruise control, adaptive headlights and automatic high beams, blind spot detection, forward collision warning and mitigation, lane departure warning and mitigation, rear cross-traffic alert, and smart cruise control. Let’s not forget about keeping your car on the road with an industry best 10-year / 100,000-mile powertrain, 60 month / 60,000-mile warranty.
Kicker: 2017 Toyota Prius Prime
Toyota introduced a highly advanced plug-in sub-model to the exceptional Prius line this year, making it a must for our fantasy team. The plug-in 2017 Prius Prime gets a battery upgrade, new fascia and rear-end, and three trim levels. It has a sharper, more aggressive appearance with standard LED headlights, running lights, and taillights. Toyota doubled the battery capacity to 8.8 kWh, increasing the range to 25 miles at 84 mph. But here is the real “kicker,” Toyota Safety Sense comes standard with all three trims and includes a pre-collision system, lane departure alert, automatic high beams, dynamic radar cruise control, and optional 11.6-inch touchscreen and heads-up display. It even has a front grille shutter that shuts at high speeds, improving the already class-leading efficiency. Oh, it’s good.
What are your fantasy picks? Let us know in the comments and enjoy the game!