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Fourth of July: Four cars for the ultimate July 4th driving extravaganza

New York Daily News logo New York Daily News 6/30/2015 Jeff Jablansky

© Ford

The 239th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence is rapidly approaching, and we can’t think of a better time to let freedom ring on the open road.

It’s important to make a statement at your Fourth of July celebration, whether you’re amongst friends and family, or on the way to a fireworks display.

That's because on Independence Day there’s no better time to enjoy your unalienable right to driving happiness.

Open-air fireworks: Ford Mustang 2.3 EcoBoost Convertible

American cars don't get much more patriotic than the original pony car.© Jeff Jablanksy | New York Daily News American cars don't get much more patriotic than the original pony car.

There’s nothing more American than taking to the open highway in a convertible to celebrate the summer. Few drop-tops do it better than the Ford Mustang does. Profess your love of America while showing your inner progressive by opting for the Mustang’s gutsy 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which puts out 310-horsepower and returns 32 mpg on the highway. (For old school power, a 5.0-liter V-8 is still available.)

Everywhere we went with the Triple Yellow convertible, smiles and thumbs-up followed, thanks to the swagger inherent to showing up in the original pony car—which ismore tech-focused and driver-centric than ever before. Driving the Mustang was such a treat, we kept the top down the entire time we had it. In case you want to limit expenditures on sunscreen, there is always the hardtop variant.

Related Link: Research the Ford Mustang

Best at: Integrating muscle and style.

Also consider: The Chevrolet Camaro convertible is about to be replaced, so there are Louisiana Purchase-size deals to be had.

Price: $35,700 (includes $900 destination charge)

Working on the weekend: GMC Sierra 2500 HD Crew Cab Turbodiesel

The GMC Sierra is our choice for when weekends demand more than kicking back on the sofa.© Jeff Jablanksy | New York Daily News The GMC Sierra is our choice for when weekends demand more than kicking back on the sofa.

Every successful July Fourth celebration requires a strong organizer. That’s where the GMC Sierra 2500 HD comes in. Available with a 6.6-liter turbocharged V-8 diesel engine and either rear or four-wheel-drive, the beefy Sierra 2500 HD can easily haul over 14,000 lbs. of barbecue prep (and that’s a LOT of bbq, ladies and gents!).

Moreover, it’s as comfortable to maneuver around city streets as a much smaller pickup, and offers room for five full-size adults inside. Still not convinced? The opulent Sierra Denali is the closest thing to a Cadillac Escalade pickup truck that Johan de Nysschen will allow.

Related Link: Research the GMC Sierra 2500 HD

Best at: Live-streaming fireworks over a 4G LTE in-car connection.

Also consider: The GMC Canyon is a smaller, though nearly as capable alternative.

Price: $38,175 (includes $1195 destination charge)

The strong silent type: Tesla Model S 70D

We've already spent time with the 691-horsepower Tesla Model S P85D. The all-wheel-drive Model S 70D is an equally attractive all-electric option.© Jeff Jablanksy | New York Daily News We've already spent time with the 691-horsepower Tesla Model S P85D. The all-wheel-drive Model S 70D is an equally attractive all-electric option.

Independence Day would surely be a whole lot less fun without fireworks and noisemaking. But what if you could celebrate just as heartily without making a sound? Arrive quickly to the holiday event with Tesla’s newly released, 329-hp Model S 70D, an all-wheel-drive variant of the Model S sedan that we’ve come to love driving.

The “70D”moniker signifies the presence of a 70-kWh battery, which is less powerful than the 85D and P85D, but offers almost as much range—almost 240 miles per charge. No changes in styling mean that the 70D flies even more quietly under the radar, and it can reportedly launch as hard and perform a smoky burnout as well as any conventional car with an internal combustion engine. We’d like to see it happen for ourselves. Now cue those Tesla fireworks!

Best at: Amazing a picnic crowd with silent smoky burnouts.

Also consider: The Chevrolet Spark EV is more than a fireworks cliché, and don’t discount its ability to roast its own tires, either.

Price: $76,200 (includes $1200 destination charge)

A European vacation: BMW X6 M

The BMW X6 M might seem like an outsider in this company. But this BMW is built in the U.S. - and is ridiculously fun to drive.© Jeff Jablansky | New York Daily News The BMW X6 M might seem like an outsider in this company. But this BMW is built in the U.S. - and is ridiculously fun to drive.

What’s a large, powerful, German extrovert doing among this cadre of all-American thoroughbreds? It starts and ends with the birthplace of the 567-hp BMW X6 M, at BMW’s facility in South Carolina, which makes it more American than some of the Big Three’s vehicles.

Beyond its proof of citizenship, the X6 M exemplifies core American principles of injecting power, speed, and a little bit of crazy. After spending a week with the X6 M on public roads, we only wish we had some time at the track to exploit its handling, acceleration, and braking prowess. Plan your barbecue site accordingly.

Related Link: Research the BMW X6

Best at: Replicating the American flag in Melbourne red, Mineral white, and Long Beach blue. Oh, and it also snarls and snorts like a muscle car on stilts.

Also consider: The less audacious Lincoln MKC, a new favorite of ours, if you want to impress with a cool and subdued American SUV at this year’s barbecue.

Price: $103,095 (includes $995 destination charge)

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