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10 Best Vehicles for a Cross Country Road Trip

Chad Kirchner
by Chad Kirchner
July 2, 2017
4 min. Reading Time
2017 Chevrolet Suburban exterior profile on road ・  Photo by Chevrolet

2017 Chevrolet Suburban exterior profile on road ・ Photo by Chevrolet

There's nothing more iconic than a summer cross-country road trip. Whether it's to visit a national park or just see friends on the other coast, you might not be sure what car would be best for the journey. While most cars can make the trip across the country, you want to ensure you have the right one for the task.

Maybe you need to haul your entire family? Maybe you just want a sporty car for when you get there? If it's a great road trip car, it's on the list!

Now let's top up the tank, load up on snacks, and hit the road!

2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

Minivans make sense on road trips, and the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid rises to the road trip challenge by offering copious amounts of room, lots of storage, and Uconnect theater to keep the kids entertained.

Uconnect theater even supports multi-player games, so each passenger can play against each other instead of just playing against the computer. Plus, there's even an app to tell your kids if you're there yet or not.

The plug-in hybrid's fuel economy of 84 MPGe on the EPA cycle makes it the smart choice for spending the money you would've spent on fuel on fun activities for the family.

 Photo by Chrysler

Photo by Chrysler

2017 Nissan Rogue Hybrid

The Nissan Rogue is one of the most popular cars on sale in the United States and makes an excellent cross-country cruiser. For added fuel economy savings, a hybrid version of the Rogue is also available, making it a smart choice.

What draws us to this popular crossover is safety. Nissan's SafetyShield technology helps prevent crashes, while an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ rating means you're protected in the event of a collision.

Fuel economy and safety matter on cross country trips and the Rogue has you and your family covered.

 Photo by Nissan

Photo by Nissan

2017 Chevrolet Suburban

If you need to carry a large family or a lot of stuff on your road trip, there are not many vehicles bigger than the Chevrolet Suburban. A rear seat entertainment option is available to help keep the kids entertained.

The real selling point aside from the size of the Suburban is the onboard OnStar 4G LTE support. For $20/month, you can get an unlimited WiFi plan for the Suburban so kids can stream Netflix and adults can get work done. Connectivity makes this behemoth a compelling road trip companion.

 Photo by General Motors

Photo by General Motors

2017 Genesis G80

luxury cars are always great road trip cars, but the Genesis G80 is special for a few reasons. For starters, it has all the safety and entertainment features that you'd expect from the German competition. Many of the options on a Mercedes-Benz E-Class are available on the Genesis. 

The G80 has a lot of value to offer for the money. It's built like, and behaves like, a luxury German sedan. However, it's priced less than the rivals. If you aren't so concerned with the badge on the hood, head out this summer in a G80 and arrive in comfort.

 Photo by Genesis

Photo by Genesis

2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata

You're probably wondering why an MX-5 Miata is on this list. The trunk on the small Mazda is hardly enough for a cross-country road trip. But, there's an optional trunk rack that many aftermarket companies sell just for the Miata. Attach that, and you suddenly have plenty of luggage space for your trip!

But why take a Miata? If there are good roads on the way (and there almost always are), you're going to have much more fun in a small convertible sports car than a big luxury suv.

Maybe we're crazy, but we want to take a Miata on the big summer road trip.

 Photo by Mazda

Photo by Mazda

2017 Mercedes-Benz S550

Semi-autonomous driving features plus the most luxurious interior of nearly any car in production, the 2017 Mercedes-Benz S550 is the perfect road trip machine. Skip the AMG version for a more comfortable ride but still have plenty of power to overtake on the highway and leave some sports cars behind at the traffic light. There's no more comfortable way to travel.

 Photo by Mercedes-Benz

Photo by Mercedes-Benz

2017 Aston Martin DB11

The Aston Martin DB11 is the company's Grand Tourer. Heck, one could argue that the British invented Grand Touring. So it makes absolute sense to include it on a list of the best road trip machines to eat up miles crossing a continent.

Sure it's expensive, but you get what you pay for. The DB11 makes you feel like James Bond. You might not end up in the south of France on your road trip, but few cars will get you there with as much class.

A new Mercedes V8 engine gives you engine options, too. We'd still go for the V12.

 Photo by Aston Martin

Photo by Aston Martin

2017 Dodge Charger

While some may say it's dated, the Dodge Charger is comfortable and well-equipped. All the safety features you expect are there, and for 2017 the infotainment includes Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support.

The Charger is also versatile. If you need an all-wheel drive, they make one. If you want to go fast, there's a 707 horsepower, 204 mile-per-hour Hellcat version.

It has a roomy trunk and great back seats that don't sacrifice comfort. Plus, good fuel economy is easy to achieve, even with the big V8 versions.

Of all the cars on the list, the Charger is the closest to being all things for all people.

 Photo by Dodge

Photo by Dodge

2017 Chevrolet Camaro

The Chevrolet Camaro is a modern-day muscle car that's great on a long journey. There's plenty of trunk space, and the rear seat is usable. However, the tech available in the SS model makes it our favorite for a road trip.

MagneRide magnetorheological ride control dampers allow the car to be Bentley smooth when you want it to be, or supercar-esque when the road gets twisty. It's one of the best riding cars in the class, which you'll appreciate on a long trip.

Also, as a General Motors product, you get the safety of OnStar, which now includes the 4G LTE support. You'll also get Android Auto and Apple Car Play which helps to expand your media library so you have all your road trip tunes.

Make sure you opt for the blind spot monitoring though, because rearward visibility isn't great on the Camaro.

 Photo by Chevrolet

Photo by Chevrolet

2017 Tesla Model S

The Tesla Model S makes the cut because it has decent electric range, and thanks to the Supercharger fast charging network, it can be recharged in a short period.

You're going to want to stop and check out places on your journey. The mandatory recharge time lets you do just that. And if your Tesla supports the free Supercharging, your road trip expenses are lower.

Plus the Model S doesn't have the finicky doors of the Model X, so you should have a reliable and comfortable journey.

 Photo by Tesla

Photo by Tesla


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