Thule Announces Their 2008 Road Trip Vehicles of the Year

With the summer travel season quickly approaching, Thule, the world leader in transportation accessories, is proud to announce the awards for their inaugural Thule Road Trip vehicles of the year. This distinction is reserved for automobiles above and below $30,000 that provide the perfect combination of utility, gas mileage, safety, conveniences and excitement for a family of four going on the great American road trip.
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Seymour, Conn. -- With the summer travel season quickly approaching, Thule, the world leader in transportation accessories, is proud to announce the awards for their inaugural Thule Road Trip vehicles of the year. This distinction is reserved for automobiles above and below $30,000 that provide the perfect combination of utility, gas mileage, safety, conveniences and excitement for a family of four going on the great American road trip.

"We created a ranking system based on what a family of four would be looking for in a vehicle to head out on the ultimate road trip. This information was broken down into ten groups and given a point value. From there the numbers helped to choose the winners," commented Karl Wiedemann, Thule's PR and Communications Manager.

The ten unique criteria were styling, storage, gas mileage, size, cost, number of cup holders and speakers, warranty, entertainment, safety and comfort. Extra points were given to vehicles that were fun to drive and offered four-wheel or all-wheel drive.

Under $30,000 2008 Thule Road Trip Vehicle of the Year -- Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited

Thule is proud to announce that this years winner in the under $30,000 category is the Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited.

"The Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited combines the styling of a sport wagon with great features such as leather interior with heated seats, all-wheel- drive, four cup-holders, three 12v plugs and an mp3 player dock for around $26,000," remarked Tripp Wyckoff, Thule's VP of Sales, Marketing and Service.

In Thule's testing the Outback 2.5i Limited was a very capable all-weather vehicle. With 8.4" of ground clearance the vehicle made it down the roughest roads with small to medium obstacles. The sports wagon height of the vehicle made for easy loading and unloading of bikes, skis, kayaks and gear into a Thule cargo box.

Over $30,000 2008 Thule Road Trip Vehicle of the Year -- Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited

In the over $30,000 category, the 2008 distinction goes to the Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited.

"The Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited is a capable and luxurious vehicle for the family on the go. It features decent gas mileage, great storage space and the convenience and safety of four-wheel drive," said Wyckoff.

In Thule's testing the Highlander Hybrid Limited was an extremely comfortable vehicle for an all day drive. The leather trimmed heated seats and convenient layout of controls made the Highlander a great vehicle to safely take to the mountains in the day and to the ballet at night. At a rated 27mpg city / 25mpg highway the Highlander spent more time on the road and less at the pump.

Both vehicles, as with most vehicles on the market, work seamlessly with Thule's complete line of racks, cargo boxes, organizational solutions and sport specific accessories. Thule's world-class products help to safely and stylishly transport the gear a family needs to carry.

"Thule is proud that 80% of our products that are sold in North America are designed, engineered and built in the United States. Thule employees love good road trips and we understand the needs of the family on-the-go. We are proud to be along for the ride 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, Thomasville, Georgia and Blackwell, Texas. 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 http://www.thule.com/.

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