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Best Cars For Roadtripping (2021)

March 29, 2021

Nothing rejuvenates the soul like a spring or summer road-trip. There’s something incredibly therapeutic about visiting unseen sights and unfamiliar cities and discovering your new favorite spot. If you’re planning to leave town in search of adventure, you’ll want a car that is up to the task.

Sedan

Sedans are characterized by their four doors and large trunk. They are well-suited for road trips due to their roomy interior, ample head and legroom, and overall comfort level. Broad bench-style seating and interior space allow up to five adults to be transported comfortably. Additionally, the large trunk can hold everybody’s luggage with ease.

2021 BMW M5; Photo credit: BMW

Our Choice: BMW M5

The 2021 BMW M5 is proof that sedans don’t have to be stuffy and boring. The M5 is a ludicrously fast 4 door sports car putting out over 600 horsepower with an ultra-luscious leather interior. Four-zone automatic climate control means no fighting over who is hot or cold. Heated seats with a massage function ensures you arrive at your destination feeling refreshed. A massive 12.3-inch screen provides all the in-car entertainment needed to stave off any travel boredom.

Coupe

A coupe can be distinguished from a sedan by the fact it only has two doors instead of four. While it certainly looks cooler, the obvious disadvantage is that back seat passengers can’t be let out unless someone in the front gets out. However, most people seem happy to trade off the inconvenience for the sportier look. The biggest drawback is typically the rear seat is smaller than a sedan and rear passengers will almost certainly complain about the lack of legroom.

2019 Mustang Convertible; Photo credit: Ford

Our Choice: Ford Mustang

It’s practically impossible to overlook this iconic American muscle car. The exterior styling ensures it can’t be mistaken for any other car and the evolutionary-retro interior pays homage to vintage Mustangs without sacrificing the creature comforts that make sitting in a car for hours enjoyable. Opt for the 5.0-liter V8 version and you’ll get a burbly V8 soundtrack to enjoy.

Sports Car

One of the most misunderstood types of vehicle as nobody, including car manufacturers, seems to be able to agree on what the term sports car really means. We’re going to define it as a two-seater car with a low center of gravity and a high-powered engine. A sports car may seem like a particularly stylish choice for a road trip but track-tuned suspension and sports seats can make them uncomfortable for long drives.  Couple that with a luggage space only large enough to pack a radio and you’ve got a pretty poor choice for a road trip.

2016 Porsche 718 Boxster; Photo credit: Porsche

Our Choice: Porsche 718 Boxster

If you MUST take a sports car on a road trip you may as well choose one that lets you put down the top and enjoy total wind-in-your-hair freedom.  Porsche builds some of the best interiors in the business but the cost to spec it out with all the desirable options is more than some small countries’ budgets. Despite all the creature comforts the 718 Boxster is a masterclass in how to build a driver’s car but that makes it more suitable for a jaunt up and down the mountains than a traditional road trip.

Station Wagon

Wagons are probably best described as a sedan with a longer body and extended roofline and a rear hatch-style door for easy loading and unloading. Storage space is superior to sedans without sacrificing any of the features or interior space.

2021 Subaru Outback; Photo credit: Subaru

Our Choice: Subaru Outback

Like sedans, the sale of wagons has been steadily declining recently – but the range of wagons on offer is exceptional, which made it hard to choose the best example. The reason we like the Outback over more expensive offerings from Audi and Mercedes is simply how reliable they are. Additionally, the Outback is a pretty capable off-roader with enough ground clearance to take you off the beaten track.

Hatchback

A hatchback is hard to define but can be thought of as a sleeker, more compact wagon. They offer less storage than a wagon but because of their smaller size and lighter weight are more fuel-efficient. If you’re not hauling a car full of passengers, some extra cargo space can be had by folding down the rear seat to turn your hatchback into a mini-SUV.

2021 Hyundai Veloster; Photo credit: Hyundai

Our Choice: Hyundai Veloster

The Hyundai Veloster is our pick due to its cheap cost of ownership, engaging driving experience, and zippy handling. It loses points for only having 3 doors but is packed with safety tech and one of the most intuitive infotainment systems in any car on the market. It comes in a 4-seat configuration but Hyundai has used the space to make rear passengers extra comfortable with plenty of amenities at their fingertips.

SUV

Lately, the SUV seems to be the car that everybody wants. The higher seating position makes it easier to spot road hazards and dangerous situations and they seem to cope well with all kinds of road conditions. Modern SUVs are a mixture of styling and everyday practicality. They are an excellent choice for a road trip due to their utility and size.

2021 Toyota RAV4; Photo credit: Toyota

Our Choice: Toyota RAV4

Toyota has been accused of building some rather dull vehicles to drive and the RAV4 is no exception. However, it comes with some pretty impressive safety tech like road sign recognition and a camera-based warning system for road traffic and pedestrians, including cyclists. Interior space is generous and the passenger spaces feel homely. Five USB ports through the vehicle and a large charge pad prove that Toyota does utility on the inside as well as they do on the outside of their vehicles.

Pickup Truck

Pickup trucks are designed to haul and tow – so it’s a breeze to throw that kayak or fishing rods in the back. Taking a pickup truck on a road trip gives you options that other cars don’t. Want to take an RV to do away with the hassle of finding a place to sleep? With a pickup truck, the option for adventure is only limited to your imagination. Modern trucks have all the room and comfort of a luxury vehicle so your entire family can travel in style.

2021 Ford F-150; Photo credit: Ford

Our Choice: Ford F150

The blue oval snags a spot on our list, but you can’t go wrong with its competitors either. The F150 has the advantage in the luxury stakes if considering one of the upscale models. Center console and even seats can fold down flat, giving endless configuration options. The 12-inch infotainment screen that also acts as a WiFi hotspot seals the deal.

Minivan

Minivans are typically used as family haulers. However, you won’t find a better vehicle for road tripping at a relaxed pace in total comfort. The abundance of storage space and flexible seating configurations make packing and organizing a breeze, even for the largest families. Large, wide-opening doors allow for easy loading, unloading, and cleaning out the minivan once you’ve returned home.

2021 Honda Odyssey; Photo credit: Honda

Our Choice: Honda Odyssey

Honda has recognized one key drawback of minivans – their pedestrian performance. Fortunately, they’ve addressed it with a 280 horsepower V6 mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission. Parents will love the Cabinwatch feature which allows for viewing of all seating positions at any time via the in-dash monitor. Honda has packed the Odyssey with entertainment features as well including a WiFi hotspot and CabinControl. CabinControl allows control of the entertainment system by anyone who has a smartphone.