The Best EV, Luxury, and Bargain Road Trip Cars
Taking a long trip to discover our continent-sized country is a blast if you have the right car and group of friends. We can 8217;t help much with the friends part, but we 8217;ve compiled a list of the best cars to carry you across the nation in style. We 8217;ve factored in attributes such as fuel economy, comfort, reliability, and useful tech features.
We’re focusing on new vehicles, but we 8217;ve added a few legacy options at the end of our list for road-trippers who would rather shop used. And, as always, buckle up.
A good road trip car must be reliable, practical, capable, and fun, and few automakers satisfy those requirements better than Subaru. We’d love to take a WRX STI cross country, but the fuel-sipping Crosstrek makes our list for its rugged construction and well-rounded character. Plus, there’s plenty of room for speed and spoilers later.
With fuel economy ratings of 27 mpg city and 33 mpg highway, the Crosstrek is an apt choice for couples or small families looking to log some serious highway miles. All-wheel drive is standard, of course, and with 8.7 inches of ground clearance, this compact crossover will go just about anywhere you need it to, on or off the interstate.
Honda 8217;s smallest crossover boasts 6.7 inches of ride height and an ingenious 「Magic Seat」 interior layout, which allows passengers to configure the cabin in five different modes 8212; normal, split, tall, utility, and lounge. That means the car can easily ferry anything, whether it be luggage, bikes, tall plants, or even surfboards.
The HR-V’s biggest asset is its relatively low cost, which comes both at the dealer (starting MSRP is $20,620) and at the pump (it returns up to 28 mpg city/34 mpg highway when ordered with front-wheel drive). Throw in a plethora of safety features and you’re all set.
Let’s be honest, you don’t need a thumping V8 soundtrack for a successful road trip, nor do you need the open wind rustling through your hair. You definitely want them, though, and the Mustang GT Convertible happens to provide both. 「GT」 does stand for 「Grand Tourer,」 after all.
If a Tesla isn 8217;t your thing, or if the Model 3 is too expensive, the Chevrolet Bolt is another great option for those seeking a zero-emissions road-tripper. It offers 259 miles of range, so it can drive from New York City to Washington, D.C., in ideal conditions, and it 8217;s spacious enough to comfortably carry a full load of passengers and their gear.
You can zap the Bolt 8217;s battery with about 100 miles of range every 30 minutes when it 8217;s plugged into a DC fast charger, a type of station that 8217;s getting much easier to find as America 8217;s charging infrastructure expands, though keep in mind you 8217;ll need a special charging port Chevrolet charges extra for. Alternatively, if you 8217;re not in a rush, the Bolt gains 25 miles of range per hour plugged in when it 8217;s hooked up to a 240-volt level two charger, which you can find outside of many hotels, restaurants, and other businesses.
We know Volvo can build safe, sophisticated, and elegant machines, but the levels of opulence found in the XC90 make us rethink our outlook on the brand entirely. Not only is the XC90’s interior one of the best we’ve ever seen in an SUV, its smart technology and excellent efficiency make it a no-brainer if you prefer your road trips with a group.
There aren’t a ton of bells and whistles here, but that’s not the point. The MX-5 is about escapism done simply, and it emphasizes that better than just about any car on the market. It’s best suited for solo or short two-person trips, but the fourth-generation model features just enough modern gadgetry to keep you busy if the brilliant engineering isn’t enough.
Ok, we needed at least one more convertible for our list, and Jaguar 8217;s stunning F-Type is one of the most evocative drop-tops ever put to pavement. It has the look, it has the sound 8212; my goodness, the sound 8212; and most importantly, it has the feeling. It’s also fast, agile, and surprisingly refined, as the suspension can be tuned depending on what surface you’re rocketing over.
Practicality takes a back seat in this one (if there were back seats, that is), but people don’t buy V8-powered convertibles because of logic or reason. They buy them because they’re beautiful, stirring, and create a new experience every time you press the start button. Hell, if all you need is to get somewhere quickly and you can’t live without your three favorite suitcases, you’d probably just buy a plane ticket. For the rest of us, open up the throttle and enjoy the ride.
Impressive credentials aside, used LS400’s can be found for less than a few thousand dollars nowadays, which is an absolute steal for the amount of car you 8217;re getting. Throw in reasonable fuel economy ratings of 19 mpg city and 26 mpg highway and you might have the best budget road trip car in the world.
Hate hotel rooms? Why not bring one with you?
From the 1950s to the early 2000s, a German company called Westfalia carved its name into the automotive history books by outfitting Volkswagen vans with improvised living quarters and pop-top campers. Various configurations were offered over the years, including those with sinks, folding tables, foldout seats, side tents, portable chemical toilets, stoves, and even refrigerators. Westfalia’s conversion division was purchased by DaimlerChrysler in 1999, sadly ending its partnership with VW.
The Ford Crown Victoria was, is, and will always be everywhere. A favorite among police officers and cabbies, the Crown Vic is stubbornly reliable and cheap, and will probably outlive the Twinkie as the last remnant of humanity. If we include other vehicles built on the Ford Panther platform like the Lincoln Town Car and Mercury Grand Marquis, some 9.6 million of these beauties were built between 1978 and 2011.
Even though the car is the butt of many jokes, its floaty ride and smooth V8 make for a stress-free experience behind the wheel, and there’s plenty of cargo room if you’re not hauling baddies off to the slammer. Speaking of that, there’s also the side benefit of other motorists thinking you’re a cop, which should cut down on the rude road behavior we’ve sadly become accustomed to. A smooth car that actually makes people nice to you? What could be better than that?标签：