Picture yourself leaned back, relaxing in the sunshine. The windows are down, the music is up, and the people you love are in the car with you, ready for whatever the road brings. It’s no wonder road trips are a quintessential American activity.
Each year, between 22 and 40 percent of vacations taken by Americans are road trips. Many of those happen during the summer months. People pile in with their partners, kids, parents, and friends, criss-crossing the nation to visit family, National Parks, beaches, or colleges.
At their best, road trips are a chance to reconnect and see new places. However, pulling off the perfect road trip begins with planning and choosing the right vehicle. After all, no one wants to spend vacation too crowded, too hot, or listening to too many refrains of “Are we there yet?”
Here are the perfect vehicles for different types of road trips you might be planning this summer.
For A Group Of Friends — If you’re hitting the road with your buddies, you want plenty of space and durability. A large SUV like the Chevy Suburban or Ford Expedition is big enough to fit your friends, and powerful enough to tow all your toys. Both the Suburban and Expedition have seating for at least eight and a huge cargo hold. Despite their size, both vehicles perform well off-road, so you can get off the beaten path with ease.
For Couples — If you’re taking off with your sweetheart, you want a car that is sexy and comfortable. A convertible like the Ford Mustang or Mazda MX-5 Miata is a thrilling ride that will get you fired up for a weekend away. The Mustang is a classic American muscle car that lets loose an engine roar every time you put your foot down. It’s perfect for long drives on open roads. If you’ll be cruising through the tight turns of mountain roads or seashore drives, choose the Mazda MX-5 Miata, which is a stand-out sports car with excellent handling.
For Families — A road trip with kids can be magical or it can be downright torturous. To load the odds for success, you’ll want a vehicle with space and amenities (hello, TV time) like the Dodge Grand Caravan or the Chrysler Pacifica. Both of these minivans have multiple LATCH options, so you can separate car seats when siblings need a break from each other. The Grand Caravan’s Stow ‘n Go seats make it easy to pack all the kids’ accessories, while the Pacifica’s great fuel economy and many standard features make road tripping easy.
For The Trip To College — There’s no road trip that is as significant as the drive to college. If you’re looking for a car that will complete the journey in comfort and be reliable throughout the year, choose a large sedan like the Toyota Avalon, or a sub-compact SUV like the Kia Sorento. Both of these vehicles have great reliability ratings. The Avalon has a spacious and comfortable interior that will give drivers and passengers (and cargo) plenty of space. Students will love its styling, while parents will appreciate its great safety rating. The Sorento, by comparison, gives a bit of extra passenger space with a third row, while delivering the peace-of-mind with Kia’s 10-year warranty.