What are the best cars for road trips?


When it comes to embarking on a memorable road trip, one of the most crucial decisions you’ll make is choosing the right vehicle. Your car can greatly impact the overall experience, from comfort and space to fuel efficiency and safety. In this article, we will delve into the world of road trip vehicles and explore the best cars that can make your journey enjoyable, comfortable, and hassle-free.

Why the Right Car Matters

Photo Of Person Driving

Before we dive into our top picks for road trip vehicles, let’s understand why the choice of the right car is so crucial. A road trip often involves covering long distances, diverse terrains, and varying weather conditions. Here’s why your car matters:

1. Comfort Matters

A comfortable car can make hours behind the wheel feel like a breeze. Adequate legroom, plush seating, and a smooth ride are essential.

2. Space for Luggage

Storage space is paramount when you’re carrying luggage, camping gear, or souvenirs. An ample cargo area can save you from cramped conditions.

3. Fuel Efficiency

Long journeys can be expensive, but a fuel-efficient car can help you save money on gas, leaving more for adventures.

4. Safety First

Safety should be a top priority. A reliable car with advanced safety features can provide peace of mind on the open road.

Top Picks for Road Trip Vehicles

Woman Inside Vehicle

Now that we’ve established why the right car is essential, let’s explore our top picks for road trip vehicles:

1. Subaru Outback

The Subaru Outback is a versatile choice for road trips. It offers all-wheel drive, generous ground clearance, and a spacious interior. It’s perfect for those who enjoy off-road adventures and need extra cargo space.

2. Toyota RAV4

The Toyota RAV4 is known for its reliability and fuel efficiency. With comfortable seating and a smooth ride, it’s an excellent choice for long journeys. Plus, it comes with a hybrid option for even better gas mileage.

3. Honda CR-V

The Honda CR-V combines practicality and comfort. It has a spacious cabin, excellent fuel economy, and a reputation for reliability. Its all-wheel drive option makes it suitable for various road conditions.

4. Ford Mustang

If you’re looking for a more spirited road trip experience, the Ford Mustang might be your pick. This iconic American muscle car offers a powerful engine and a sense of adventure that’s hard to beat.

5. Volkswagen Atlas

For larger groups or families, the Volkswagen Atlas is an excellent choice. It’s a spacious three-row SUV with plenty of legroom and cargo space. The comfortable ride ensures everyone stays happy during the journey.

6. Tesla Model 3

For those who prefer electric vehicles, the Tesla Model 3 is a game-changer. With impressive range and cutting-edge technology, it’s perfect for eco-conscious road trippers.

7. Jeep Wrangler

If your road trip includes off-roading or exploring rugged terrain, the Jeep Wrangler is your go-to vehicle. It’s designed for adventure and offers unmatched versatility.

8. Chevrolet Suburban

For the ultimate in space and comfort, the Chevrolet Suburban is a top choice. It’s a full-size SUV with abundant seating and cargo capacity. Perfect for large families or groups.

Tips for Choosing the Perfect Road Trip Vehicle

Cheerful woman in car enjoying sunset

Selecting the ideal road trip vehicle involves more than just picking a car from the list. Here are some additional tips to help you make the best choice:

1. Consider the Distance

The length of your road trip matters. If you’re planning a cross-country adventure, you’ll want a vehicle that excels in fuel efficiency and offers a comfortable ride. For shorter trips, you might prioritize other features.

2. Research Fuel Efficiency

Gas prices can significantly impact your road trip budget. Research the fuel efficiency of your chosen vehicle and calculate estimated fuel costs for your journey. Opting for a hybrid or electric car can save you money in the long run.

3. Think About Passengers

If you’re traveling with friends or family, consider their comfort and needs. Ensure the vehicle has enough seating and legroom for everyone. A harmonious atmosphere inside the car makes for a more enjoyable trip.

4. Plan for Luggage and Cargo

Depending on the duration of your road trip and the activities you have planned, you may need ample cargo space. Check the vehicle’s trunk size and cargo capacity to ensure you can carry all your gear without feeling cramped.

5. Assess Terrain and Weather

Consider the types of roads and weather conditions you’ll encounter during your journey. If you’re heading off the beaten path or expecting snow and rain, all-wheel drive or 4×4 capabilities can be invaluable.

6. Test Drive

Before committing to a road trip vehicle, take it for a test drive. Pay attention to how it handles on the road, its comfort level, and any potential blind spots. A test drive can reveal if the car is the right fit for you.

7. Budget Wisely

Road trips can be costly, so set a budget for your vehicle rental or purchase. Be mindful of additional expenses such as insurance, maintenance, and tolls. Staying within your budget ensures you can enjoy your trip without financial stress.

Packing Essentials for a Successful Road Trip

Woman Looking At The Map

Once you’ve chosen the perfect road trip vehicle, it’s time to pack for your adventure. Here’s a checklist of essentials:

  • Maps and Navigation: Even in the age of GPS, having physical maps can be a lifesaver in remote areas with poor signal.
  • Emergency Kit: Include items like a first-aid kit, flashlight, basic tools, and jumper cables.
  • Snacks and Water: Pack a variety of snacks to keep hunger at bay, and carry enough water to stay hydrated throughout your journey.
  • Entertainment: Road trips can involve long stretches of driving. Bring books, music, podcasts, or audiobooks to keep you entertained.
  • Personal Items: Don’t forget essentials like toiletries, medications, and identification documents.
  • Comfort Accessories: Neck pillows, blankets, and sunglasses can make your journey more comfortable.
  • Weather-Appropriate Clothing: Dress in layers and bring clothing suitable for different weather conditions.
  • Cash and Cards: Have both cash and cards for emergencies and places that may not accept cards.

Eco-Friendly Road Tripping

Person In A Vehicle With Legs Stretched On the Dashboard

For those environmentally conscious travelers, here are some tips to make your road trip more eco-friendly:

  • Choose a Fuel-Efficient or Electric Vehicle: Opt for a car with excellent gas mileage or go fully electric to reduce your carbon footprint.
  • Minimize Idling: Turn off your engine when parked or during long stops to conserve fuel and reduce emissions.
  • Reduce Plastic Waste: Use reusable water bottles and containers instead of single-use plastics.
  • Sustainable Accommodations: Look for eco-friendly accommodations that prioritize sustainability and energy efficiency.
  • Support Local and Green Activities: Explore activities that promote environmental conservation and support local communities.

A well-planned road trip with the right vehicle and a focus on sustainability can lead to a truly memorable and responsible adventure.


Choosing the best car for your road trip can significantly enhance your adventure. Consider your specific needs, whether it’s space, fuel efficiency, or off-road capability, and pick a vehicle that suits your preferences. With the right car, you can embark on a memorable journey with confidence.


How do I decide which car is best for my road trip?

To choose the best car, consider factors like the number of passengers, storage needs, terrain, and fuel efficiency. Assess your priorities and pick a vehicle that aligns with them.

Is it better to rent a car for a road trip or use my own?

The choice between renting and using your own car depends on various factors, including the distance, condition of your vehicle, and rental costs. Evaluate both options before making a decision.

What should I pack for a successful road trip?

Essentials include maps, GPS, snacks, water, emergency kit, entertainment, and personal items. Tailor your packing list to the specific needs of your journey.

Are SUVs better for road trips than sedans?

SUVs typically offer more cargo space and sometimes better off-road capabilities than sedans. However, the choice depends on your preferences and the nature of your trip.

How can I ensure my road trip is eco-friendly?

To make your road trip eco-friendly, choose a fuel-efficient or electric vehicle, minimize idling, reduce plastic waste, and opt for sustainable accommodations and activities.

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