Although summer is winding down, there are still a few weeks left to squeeze in at least one or two more camping trips. To really get the most of the experience, picking the automobile that can fit all the people and equipment needed, and in a comfortable manner, is obviously important. Whether it’s the 5,200-pound max towing capacity of the 2015 GMC Acadia, or the ability to ferry eight passengers in the 2016 Honda Pilot, these are the vehicles you’ll want to take on your trip.
FCA officially entered into the subcompact crossover race by releasing the Jeep Renegade in 2015. If you’re camping for two or have another vehicle in your party hauling the bulk of the gear, this scrappy small SUV can make the trip to the site a heck of a lot more fun. Unlike many other entries in the segment, the Renegade is a truly capable off-roader with available full-time four-wheel drive, fully independent suspension and over 8.5 inches of ground clearance. Encountering a creek on the way is no problem either since nearly 20 inches of water can be forded.
While the second-generation Acadia debuted just this year, buyers can still easily find used first gen (2007 to 2016) examples at a great price. The prior offering is every bit as versatile having optional all-wheel drive, a unique body design that allows a low step-in height for easy occupant ingress/egress, and over 116 cubic feet of cargo space behind the front seats when the rear two benches are folded down (roughly 24 cubic feet normally). All trims include a smooth 3.6-liter V6 engine full of low-end grunt, able to tow a sizeable 5,200 pounds.
North Americans love their SUVs, especially for things like getting somewhere to enjoy the great outdoors. Honda recognized this and created the Pilot way back in 2002 for the western market, built first in Canada and now the United States. Last year, an all-new model was launched undergoing changes in virtually all departments. The vehicle has always had the capability of carrying eight, but the current version is about 3.5 inches longer than before, creating more third row space than either of its predecessors. There’s also plenty of room for gear of the electronic variety too, as the center console storage compartment can accommodate a full-size iPad.
For an activity such as camping, the venerable wagon cannot be left out since its long and lean form factor makes it a natural choice for the job. Volkswagen’s sporty Golf SportWagen makes an evening under the stars even more enjoyable featuring one-touch 60:40 split rear seats and a panoramic sunroof that stretches across a large portion of the roof. Going out for a late drive on a windy stretch? Light up the night using the Bi-Xenon headlights with the Adaptive Front-Lighting System, which automatically swivels to illuminate bends in the road (part of the Driver Assistance and Lighting Package).