How To Choose The Perfect Car For A Road Trip

Thursday, February 08, 2018

When you’re traveling around a new country, flying from place to place is the quickest option but you miss out on a lot along the way. You’ll usually be flying from one city to another, experiencing what’s there but that’s often just the touristy stuff. The more unique and authentic experiences are often found off the beaten track and the best way to discover lesser known areas is by driving instead of flying. There are so many great road trip routes around the world that take you through all of the varied places that a country has to offer and it’s an opportunity to stumble across those little gems that you might otherwise have missed.


When you’re taking a long road trip you’re going to be stuck in your car for hours on end. If it’s not comfortable in there, your trip of a lifetime can quickly turn into a sweaty nightmare. That situation is made a lot worse if you’ve got a lot of people in the car. You also need to think about how reliable the car is because the last thing you want is to break down in the middle of nowhere in a country that you don’t know very well. That’s why it’s important to pick your car carefully and find one that is both comfortable and reliable, for a reasonable price.

You can always take your own car if you’re staying in the same country but you’ll need to get it checked over before you go in case of any problems. If you’re traveling to a different country, you’ll either have to rent a car or if you’re on a longer trip, you could buy one and then sell it on before you head home. Whatever you decide to do, picking the right car is vital to the success of your trip. To help you avoid any disasters, these are some of the best cars for a long road trip.



Mazda MX-5


If you’re taking a solo road trip, you don’t need to worry about space too much so you can sacrifice that extra room in favor of driving experience. The Mazda MX-5 doesn’t have much legroom and there’s only space for one person's luggage in the boot but if it makes up for those downfalls with a great driving experience. It’s got comfortable seats and a relatively powerful engine that you can open up on those long roads. It also has great fuel economy which is a big concern when you’re going on a long road trip, otherwise, you’ll end up spending a lot of money on your trip. It comes with a choice of manual or automatic transmission so it’s perfect for all drivers. You can even pay a little extra for the model with a convertible roof which is ideal for taking in the countryside on a long drive in a hot country.

Subaru WRX


If you’re the kind of person that gets bored easily, road trips can be a bit of a struggle for you. The subaru wrx is the perfect solution to that. It’s got a great entertainment package that will keep you from getting bored or tired on long stints in the car. The stereo is state of the art and you can connect your phone to it and blast out your favorite driving playlist as you cruise along. It also has great driver assist features which are incredibly useful if you find yourself losing focus during long periods of driving. Parking assist, vision assist and emergency stop functions all make for a much safer trip. It’s also equipped with a great sat nav system that can help you out of some sticky situations if you find yourself getting lost in a foreign country.

Hyundai Sonata


When you’re taking a big group, the last two entries on this list might be a little small so you’d be better off going for something like the Hyundai Sonata. It’s got plenty of legroom in the back which helps avoid any complaints from the passengers and there’s plenty of space in the boot for all your luggage. This is a huge help because being prepared and bringing enough stuff with you is the key to a successful road trip. On top of that, it’s cheap to buy and it gets great mileage so if you’re working on a budget, it’s the best choice. There aren’t many frills on the Sonata and the interior is a bit plain but it comes with all of the standard features you need, for a good price.

Ford Fusion Hybrid


The Ford Fusion Hybrid is a great all rounder that offers everything you need for a reasonable price. The storage options are great and the seats are extra comfortable which is a real deal breaker for a lot of people. It’s got a decent engine that offers good acceleration and a smooth ride. If comfort is your priority and you’re planning particularly long routes, the Ford Fusion Hybrid is the car for you.

Jeep Grand Cherokee


A lot of less developed countries that don’t have the infrastructure that you find in wealthier places are going to have a lot of rough terrain to traverse. If you’re driving in a standard road car, you’re going to run into trouble very quickly and you risk having to cut your trip short. If you’re going off road, the Jeep Grand Cherokee is a good choice because it doesn’t sacrifice comfort for power. People often worry about fuel consumption with a big 4x4 but with the Grand Cherokee, you can upgrade to an EcoDiesel engine which still gets good mileage. It gives you a smooth ride and has a nice comfortable interior when compared with a lot of other 4x4’s. It also has the power to pull an impressive 7,400 pounds so if you’re going on a long trip and you need a trailer with all of your stuff, you won’t have to make any sacrifices. This is particularly good if you’re taking a camping trip where you’ll need to take a lot of equipment with you.

Mazda CX-5


The Grand Cherokee is a great offroader but it’s not ideal for city driving. That’s fine if you’re only going to be out in the sticks but if your trip is going to take you through cities as well as more rural areas, you need a good all rounder like the Mazda CX-5. It’s quite sporty compared to a lot of other crossovers which makes for great city driving and it has good fuel economy as well. It has a great all-wheel drive setting which is good for more difficult terrain. It’s not well-suited to large hill climbs but it does pretty well on most medium difficulty terrains. As long as you don’t overstretch yourself, it’s a good all rounder.  

Honda Odyssey


If it’s a family road trip you’re taking, you’re going to need a lot of space. If the kids are squashed into the back they’ll be fighting in no time and your road trip will quickly become unbearable. A minivan is the best vehicle for a family road trip because it affords plenty of space for everybody and the Honda Odyssey is one of the best minivans on the market. There are seats for up to 8 people and the interiors are nice and comfortable. It’s also got a great entertainment system complete with screens in the back of the seats that have HDMI capability. That’s ideal when you’ve got kids in the back seat that are getting bored and irritable after 5 hours of constant driving. As well as all of these great features, the Odyssey is actually pretty great to drive. When you’re buying a minivan, you’ll often struggle to find one that drives well but Honda Odyssey doesn’t have that issue.

Honda Ridgeline


A truck is often a good option for road trips, especially if you’ve got a lot of stuff to take with you. But some people don’t like the idea of driving a large truck. Luckily, you can get the best of both worlds with the Honda Ridgeline. It’s a great truck that drives like a car so if you’re not used to handling larger vehicles, it’s probably a safer option. As well as driving nicely, it has some pretty incredible storage options. The bottom of the car has lockable underfloor storage in it which can be used to hold all of your stuff, or even filled with ice to make a portable cooler (the water drains right out of the bottom as it melts). The more expensive models are fitted out with a powerful stereo so if you’re going on a camping trip, the Ridgeline turns into your very own entertainment system.   

There’s a lot to consider when you’re picking the perfect car for a road trip. It all depends on how many people you’ve got going with you and what your priorities are. If you’re taking a solo trip and you’re all about the fun of driving, there are some great sportier entries on the list. But if you’re taking a trip with a bigger group and you’re going to need more stuff, there are some good options on the larger end.

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