13 Best Road Trip Cars to Explore the Country

Whether you’re moving across the country or going on a road trip, the vehicle you drive has a significant impact on how comfortable, fun, and costly the trip will be.

What criteria make a car ideal for road trips? Below are 4 most important factors to consider:

  • Seating capacity and comfort: Seating is important, but you should also consider comfort on long rides and whether there is enough legroom for everyone.
  • Fuel Efficiency: Fuel is not cheap. When driving on the highway, it’s important to consider the miles per gallon (mpg) a car can get.
  • Cargo Space: A long drive also requires a good supply of clothing, food, and emergency supplies. Any vehicle that you use for a road trip has to be able to store all these things.
  • Modern safety features: Driving for hours on end will likely make you less focused than your regular commute. The best way to mitigate your risk of being involved in a collision is by driving a car with safety features like blind-spot detection and lane departure assist.

Whether you want to take a long weekend hike up in the mountains or travel to another city for a sightseeing adventure, Check out this list of the 13 best cars for road trips. It’s sure to have something to suit your needs.

13 Best Road Trip Cars to Explore the Country

1. 2021 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

The Highlander Hybrid is equipped with two electric motors and a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine for the maximum power output of 243 horsepower.

The hybrid SUV comes with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) that helps it accelerate quickly. EPA estimates Highlander Hybrid to achieve 36 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway.

If you’d like to pull a boat or sleeping trailer behind you, the Highlander Hybrid can handle up to 3,500 pounds. Highway power and fuel economy are only half of what makes a good road-trip vehicle.

Seating capacity and comfort

There is seating for eight in the Highlander Hybrid, although those in the third row might not want to stay there for too long due to the cramped seats. Despite this, the first and second rows are both comfortable and spacious. It comes with a heated steering wheel and heated seat

Fuel Efficiency

The 2021 Toyota Highlander Hybrid can achieve up to 36 city MPG, 35 highway MPG, and 36 combined MPG with FWD. For city, highway, and combined driving, the Highlander Hybrid will offer up to 35 MPG.

Cargo Space

Comparably to rivals in its class, the Highlander Hybrid offers an impressive amount of cargo space: 84.3 cubic feet with all three rear rows folded. 48.4 cubic feet can be found behind the second row, and 16 cubic feet with all three rows used.

The Best Choice for Safety

  • Safety Sense 2.5 (TSS 2.5+)
  • Includes a digital rearview mirror and blind-spot assistance
  • Multi-terrain select with all-wheel drive
  • With LED headlights and auto-leveling LED projector beams available

Experience the latest technology

  • This vehicle comes standard with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Amazon Alexa, a Wi-Fi hot spot, Bluetooth, and an 8-inch touch screen.
  • A total of five USB ports are standard, so the whole family can charge their phones simultaneously.

2. 2022 Honda Odyssey

Honda Odyssey model year ’22 continues to deliver comfort and performance, which makes it one of the most practical and comfortable road trip vehicles for families of all sizes, for trips of any distance.

Odyssey comes standard with a 280-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 engine producing 262 pound-feet of torque. There is enough power in the engine to run the Odyssey for everyday tasks, and the 10-speed automatic transmission makes smooth shifts.

Honda’s Odyssey can tow a maximum of 3,500 pounds, similar to the Highlander Hybrid.

Seating Capacity and Comfort

The Odyssey offers spacious and comfortable seating for up to eight people. Honda’s Magic Slide feature lets you slide the second-row seats forward, backward, or sideways; you can even remove the middle seat and slide the outboard seats together to make a path to the third row.

Fuel Efficiency

In its LX, EX, EX-L, Touring, and Elite trim levels, the 2022 Odyssey gets an EPA-estimated 19 MPG city and 28 MPG highway. Additionally to make every gallon of gas last, the Honda Odyssey can hold a lot of fuel in its tank. Each time you fill up, you can put 19.5 gallons of gas in your Odyssey.

Cargo Space

The 2022 Honda Odyssey can hold up to 38.6* cubic feet of cargo in the back when all the seats are upright. The 2022 Odyssey can fit up to 92 cubic feet behind the second row of seats. A 2022 Honda Odyssey can carry up to 158* cubic feet of cargo behind the first row of seats

In-Cabin camera Feature

The in-cabin camera is another innovative feature of the new Honda Odyssey 2022. This camera enables the driver to monitor what is happening in the second and third lanes, making the Odyssey a great vehicle for families with children.

Honda Odyssey Safety

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration rated the Honda Odyssey five out of five stars in terms of safety.

  • The Odyssey’s standard safety features include forward collision warning, lane departure warning, a rearview camera, and automatic emergency braking.
  • Optional features include forward and rear parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring, and rain-sensing windshield wipers.

Experience the latest technology

The vehicle includes two USB ports, Bluetooth, a 5-inch infotainment display, a seven-speaker stereo, and more.

If you want all the bells and whistles, the Odyssey Elite trim starts at $47,820 and includes a Wi-Fi hot spot, more USB ports, and Honda’s CabinWatch, CabinTalk, and Cabin Control systems.

3. 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime

The 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime is an all-new, plug-in hybrid model based on the RAV4 compact SUV.
A gasoline engine is combined with two electric motors for a total of 302 horsepower. That’s plenty of oomph to get you up to speed on the highway.

Comfortable Seating

up to five people can sit comfortably in the RAV4 Prime. The legroom is good in both rows of seats, so no matter where you sit, you’ll have plenty of space. The front seats come standard with heated bottoms, but you can upgrade to include them in the rear seats as well.

Incredibly Fuel-Efficient

Thanks to its plug-in technology (and 18.1 kWh battery), the RAV4 Prime can run up to 40 miles on electricity alone before its gasoline engine takes over and is rated at 94 MPGe (38 mpg combined). The Prime’s onboard charger takes about 12 hours to fully charge the SUV from a standard 120-volt outlet.

RAV4 Prime can travel about 600 miles between fill-ups on the open road – perfect for long road trips.

It’s an Extremely Safe Vehicle

All RAV4 Prime models come with Toyota Safety Sense 2.0, a comprehensive set of standard safety features.
You’ll feel safe as you drive in a 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime SXE thanks to the blind spot monitor and cross-traffic alert, and enjoy ultimate comfort with SofTex-trimmed seats.

Experience the latest technology

In terms of technology, the RAV4 Prime features an 8-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Amazon Alexa integrated into the infotainment system. You can also use our Wi-Fi hotspot to work while on your road trip.

It’s Fast as a Sports Car

That’s not to say the RAV4 Prime is a speed demon, it takes up to six seconds to reach 60 mph from a stop. Standard all-wheel drive should allow you to take all the back roads you find along the way.

Are you looking for a used car? Here are the best-used car websites to find one.

4. 2021 Subaru Outback

Subaru’s Outback is the perfect combination of a crossover SUV and wagon. Unlike the sporty BRZ, the Outback also features a standard all-wheel-drive to help ease your mind in inclement weather conditions.

The base model is powered by a 182-horsepower four-cylinder engine. However, attempting to reach passing speeds on the highway could take longer than expected. You can choose a turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 260 horsepower to handle any situation.

Despite its lack of off-road capability, the Outback isn’t a slouch when the pavement ends. With a ground clearance of 8.7 inches and an off-road mode, you’ll be able to conquer almost every trail.

Comfortable Seating

You’ll find a roomy cabin with lots of standard features in the Outback. Up to five passengers can sit comfortably in two rows. There is not only ample head- and legroom for passengers in both rows, but also plenty of comfort for the passengers.

Cargo Space

There’s plenty of room inside the Outback if you want to stretch out and spend a night if you feel inclined, thanks to its 75.7 cubic feet maximum and completely flat back row.

Fuel Efficiency

Despite the lack of hybrid or electrified options, the Subaru Outback still scores excellent EPA ratings. The EPA rates the base flat-4 Outback at 26 mpg city, 33 mpg highway, and 29 mpg combined. That’s a 5 out of 5. Using the turbo-4, the mpg rating is 23/30/26.

Safety Features

The Outback’s safety ratings make it even better for road trips. In addition to receiving a five-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Outback was named a Top Safety Pick+ by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

There are many advanced safety features included in the wagon, including forwarding collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and lane departure warning.

Standard Features

Two 7-inch touchscreens, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, two USB ports, and Bluetooth are among the standard features. If you’re concerned about the technology in your car, upgrade to the Limited trim ($33,595). The model adds numerous active safety features, two rear USB ports (for the kids), and a 12-speaker Harman Kardon audio system.

5. 2021 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited

If your road trip requires you to go off the beaten track and onto unpaved roads, the Jeep Wrangler is the right vehicle for you. The 2021 Jeep Wrangler comes with a variety of engine options.

You should choose the Rubicon trim if you plan to spend more time off-road than on it. This model is equipped with locking differentials in the front and rear, a four-wheel-drive transmission, and a sway bar.

Fuel Efficiency

If you’re looking for the most efficient vehicle, Jeep offers a 260-horsepower turbodiesel and a 375-horsepower plug-in hybrid. It is important to note that Wranglers without turbo diesel or plug-in hybrids are not very fuel-efficient. Jeep’s ride on the pavement is also rougher than many rivals.

Comfortable Seating and Cargo Space

In addition to seating five people, the Wrangler has one of the highest cargo capacities of all compact SUVs. Sadly, this 2nd row does not have a lot of legroom, so adults may feel a bit squished.

The interior of the Jeep provides durability and water-resistance materials for those who live an adventurous lifestyle.

2021 Jeep Wrangler Advanced Safety Features

Jeep’s Wrangler comes standard with a number of standard safety features, including driver and passenger front-impact airbags, driver and passenger side-impact airbags, and pedestrian airbags. In addition, the vehicle has standard electronic stability control, Blind Spot Monitoring, and Rear Cross Path Detection

Standard Features

Wrangler features a USB port, an eight-speaker audio system, Bluetooth, and a five-inch touch screen. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are available on the 8.4-inch or 7-inch touch-screen infotainment systems.

6. 2021 Honda Ridgeline

Ridgeline is a compact pickup truck with an upscale interior and SUV-like handling. On long rides, the Ridgeline’s five passengers will enjoy supportive seating and plenty of room to stretch out.

The Ridgeline comes with leather upholstery, heated front seats, and plenty of interior and cargo space. With the Ridgeline, you can tow a small boat or trailer up to 5,000 pounds.

With 280 horsepower, this engine is perfect for driving around town or cruising on the highway. It can even handle most off-road trails.

Fuel Economy

Fuel economy is a weak point for the Ridgeline. When compared to rivals with V6 engines, it gets 18 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway, which is about average. In contrast to the Ridgeline, most compact pickup trucks have more fuel-efficient four-cylinder engines.

Seating Capacity and Comfort

In terms of interior features, safety, and reliability, the Ridgeline excels. The truck’s only body style accommodates five people, a Crew Cab with a 5-foot-4-inch bed.

There are few trucks with a bed as impressive and capable for road trips as the Ridgeline. Open the tailgate in the usual way, or swing it wide like a car door.

Cargo Space

There is even a 7.3 cubic foot trunk underneath the bed that can hold more gear.

Ridgeline Safety Features

  • Advanced body structure
  • Side curtain airbags with rollover sensor
  • Advanced front airbags
  • Side airbags
  • Brake assist, electronic brake distribution, and anti-lock braking system (ABS)
  • Seat belt reminders for the driver and front passenger
  • Wide-angle rearview camera

Standard features

The Ridgeline comes standard with an 8-inch touch screen, a seven-speaker audio system, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, and two USB ports. Upgrades include two more USB ports, an in-bed audio system, and navigation, among others.

Are you looking for a used car? Here are the best-used car websites to find one.

7. 2021 BMW X3

2021 BMW X3 is praised for its spacious interior, powerful engine lineup, and intuitive infotainment system. The X3 is equipped with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 248 horsepower.

It will satisfy nearly every driver. However, if you want a quick road trip, you should opt for the 473-horsepower twin-turbo inline-six.

Fuel Efficiency

Despite its powerful twin-turbocharged engine, if fuel economy is your top priority, stick with the base engine, which gets an EPA-estimated 25 mpg in the city and 29 on the highway, a number among the best in class.

Plug-in hybrids are available, but the fuel economy isn’t much better than the base turbo-four.

Seating Capacity and Comfort

When you step inside the X3, you’ll find spacious seating for up to five people in synthetic leather upholstery. Having rear sunshades is an optional feature you should consider if you have young kids who want to nap in the back.

Cargo Space

As one of the class’s largest carrying capacities, the X3 has 62.7 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats folded down and 28.7 cubic feet with them in use.

Safety Features

In addition to LED headlights and rear parking sensors, BMW X3 30i models come with relatively basic safety equipment. As part of the Active Driving Assistant package ($500), you get a lane departure warning and forward collision warning/mitigation.

Standard Features

The X3 has standard features such as a Wi-Fi hot spot to keep you connected on the road, a user-friendly 10.2-inch touch-screen infotainment system, two USB ports to keep your devices charged, and navigation to make it easy to find your way.

8. 2021 Ford Mustang Convertible

It has long been a favorite of American drivers everywhere. The Ford Mustang is a great road trip vehicle. If you have a convertible top, you can enjoy the sun while cruising country roads.

An engine with 310 horsepower comes standard and is capable of passing caravans of trucks on the highway. A 5.2-liter supercharged V8 with 760 horsepower is available in the GT500 trim as one of four optional engines.

Fuel Economy

With a fuel economy of 21 miles per gallon in the city and 32 on the highway, the base four-cylinder is impressive among muscle cars.

Seating Capacity and Comfort

Despite its good road-trip potential, the Mustang would only be suitable for two people. The back seat is quite small and would be uncomfortable for adults on nearly all trips.

Cargo Space

The convertible trim offers 11.4 cubic feet of cargo space, which is on par with other sports cars in its class. That’s enough space for two suitcases or two golf bags. If you’re just traveling with one other person, the backseat can also hold cargo for your trip.

It’s an Extremely Safe Vehicle

Ford’s Co-Pilot 360 safety tech suite is now available for the 2021 Mustang. It features automatic high beams and blind-spot monitoring along with a lane-keeping assist, pre-collision braking with automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, forward collision warning, dynamic brake support, and rain-sensing wipers.

Other Useful Feature

The Mustang comes standard with a Wi-Fi hot spot, so you’ll stay connected on the road. Additionally, if you happen to leave your keys in the car, you can lock and unlock them using the FordPass Connect app. Rear-wheel drive is standard on every trim level.

9. 2021 Mazda MX-5 Miata

Mazda’s 2021 MX-5 Miata is a two-seat convertible that comes with either a soft-top or hardtop. When it comes to driving, it’s one of the best vehicles on the market.

Miata comes with a single-engine, spry 181-horsepower four-cylinder mated to a standard six-speed manual transmission. Although it may not be the most powerful engine in the sports car category, it still makes the Miata a pleasure to drive.

Fuel Efficiency

Despite requiring premium fuel, the Mazda earns some of the best fuel economy figures in the sports car class.

Seating Capacity and Comfort

Although the Miata may not have the most spacious interior in the world, it is still good for two people on a road trip. In the base model, the upholstery is cloth, but leather is available when you upgrade to the Grand Touring trim.

Those of average height should have plenty of head- and legroom, though their knees and shoulders may get bumped around a bit. It can be difficult for some people to enter and exit the Miata due to its low ride height.

Space for cargo

The trunk space of the MX-5 Miata is 4.59 cubic feet. While you can fit a few shopping bags in there, most sports cars have more space.

MX-5 Miata Safety Features

Advanced safety features include:

  • Warning of lane departure
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Low-speed forward-collision warning
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Rearview camera

The following advanced safety features are available:

  • Traffic sign recognition
  • Adaptive headlights
  • Automatic rain-sensing windshield wipers
  • Auto-high-beam headlights

Standard Features

A 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system, a six-speaker audio system, Bluetooth, and two USB ports are standard. A navigation system, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, satellite radio, and an upgraded nine-speaker audio system make your road trip more enjoyable.

10. Hyundai Sonata

The Sonata is a midsize sedan that can handle long road trips. Three engines are available. The performance-enhancing N Line trim features a turbocharged 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine that delivers 290 horsepower – ideal for passing slower-moving cars on the highway.

Fuel Efficiency

A Hyundai Sonata SE’s standard fuel economy rating of 28 cities and 38 highway mpg combined with its 14.8-gallon fuel tank allows for a maximum driving range of around 414.4 city miles and around 562.4 highway miles.

Seating Capacity and Comfort

A five-seater Sonata is upholstered in comfortable cloth, but leather is also available. The seats are comfortable and provide adequate support for long drives. In both rows, there is ample head- and legroom, and tall adults can sit in the back even if there is another tall person upfront. Yet, a few competitors offer slightly more rear legroom.

Space for Cargo

In addition to navigation, HD Radio, and a 10.25-inch touchscreen, the Sonata’s trunk measures 16 cubic feet, which is adequate for coolers, luggage, and other supplies. Its square shape makes it easy to organize cargo, but the liftover height is a little higher than some people might prefer.

Safety Features

Hyundai Sonata offers an impressive list of advanced safety features and driver-assist systems including forwarding Collision-Avoidance Assist with Pedestrian Detection (FCA-PED), Driver Attention Warning, Blind-Spot Collision Warning, and Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Warning.

11. 2022 Range Rover Westminster Edition

This 2022 Range Rover is one of the best road trip cars because it has a sliding panoramic roof, a front console refrigerator, 20-way heated front seats, power reclining heated rear seats, and auto high beam assist for a pleasant night driving.

You can even adjust the climate in four distinct zones and set ambient interior lighting to your preferences.

Fuel Efficiency

The new Range Rover is equipped with incredible amenities and plenty of fuel efficiency. So what is the Range Rover’s fuel efficiency? When equipped with its MHEV option*, the 2022 Range Rover can deliver up to 20 combined MPG (miles per gallon of gasoline-equivalent).

Seating Capacity and Comfort

Westminster Edition seats have perforated Windsor leather. This vehicle comes standard with Executive Class Power Recline Heated and Cooled Rear Seats, which means it has a seating capacity of four passengers! Featuring a power-reclining heated rear bench seat, the Westminster Edition seats up to five people.

Cargo Space

Range Rover has 34.5 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats and 70.9 cubic feet when the rear seats are folded.

2020 Range Rover Westminster Edition Safety and Driver Assistance

As with the base-level Range Rover, the Westminster Edition features stability control, lane assistance, hill, terrain, and front/rear parking aids.

With this price tag ($103,500), you also get some of the latest technologies in the auto industry, including Range Rover Drive Pack and Park Pack, containing traffic sign recognition, adaptive speed limiter, 360-degree parking aid, rear traffic monitor, and more.

Are you looking for a used car? Here are the best-used car websites to find one.

12. 2021 Kia Telluride

With three rows of spacey seating, a powerful V6 engine, and an oversized cargo hold, the Telluride is an ideal SUV for road trips. Kia’s largest vehicle accelerates quickly, enabling it to merge into traffic and pass slower-moving cars with ease

Kia only offers a V6 engine with 291 horsepower, and it’s the only engine available. Whether passing on the highway or doing tight turns to get to a campground, the Telluride responds eagerly.

Fuel Economy

It gets 20 miles per gallon in the city and 26 miles per gallon on the highway, which is slightly above average for the class. These figures will decrease to 19 mpg city and 24 mpg highway if all-wheel drive is added.

Seating Capacity and Comfort

An attractive eight-passenger cabin is lined with premium materials and comes with a user-friendly infotainment system. Depending on the configuration, the Telluride can seat eight, while others can seat seven.

Cargo Space

When the second and third rows are folded, there is 87 cubic feet of cargo space, which is above average for the class. It drops to 46 cubic feet when the second row is occupied and to 21 cubic feet if all the seats are occupied. That should be enough room for a cooler, a small grill, or lots of toys.

Experience the Latest Technology

It features remote start, an 8-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto connectivity, five USB ports, and a number of driver assistance features to keep you and your family safe on the road.

2021 Kia Telluride Safety Features

Kia’s 2021 Telluride has a lot of safety features. Car shoppers should consider a number of advanced safety features recommended by Consumer Reports. Among them are forward-collision warnings, automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assistance, and lane departure warnings

13. 2021 Lincoln Navigator

Lincoln Navigator comes with a spacious interior and a powerful engine in the 2021 model. It also has intuitive technology features and a luxurious interior.

A 3.5-liter V6 engine produces 450 horsepower in the Navigator. It’s enough power to haul your family, friends, and anything else along with you on your road trip.

Fuel Economy

Unlike most other SUVs, the four-wheel drive does not negatively affect fuel economy. With rear- or four-wheel drive, the Navigator and long-wheelbase Navigator L deliver 16 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway.

Seating Capacity and Comfort

When it comes to the interior, the Navigator truly shines. If you’re riding without a tent, you’ll still have plenty of room to sleep in the cabin.

With its three rows of seating, the Navigator can seat seven or eight, depending on whether a bench seat is substituted for the second-row captain’s chairs.

It comes with leather upholstery for the first two rows, heated and ventilated front seats, power-adjustable front seats, and heated second-row seats.

Cargo Space

The Navigator’s 103 cubic feet of cargo space may even be large enough for you to set up a tent. By upgrading to the Navigator L, the cargo capacity increases to 120.2 cubic feet.

Safety Features

For Reserve trim, a safety package includes forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, lane-departure warning, active parking assist, and a head-up display. These features are standard on Black Label trim. All Navigators come with a rearview camera.

Standard Features

The luxury SUV is packed with technology. Standard features include Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, satellite radio, a Wi-Fi hot spot, six USB ports, and a 10-inch touch screen. A dual-screen rear-seat entertainment system and massaging front seats are also available to enhance your road trip.

Which Is The Best Car For Road Trips?

You should consider the features that are most important to you before buying a long-distance vehicle. Does fuel efficiency matter most to you, or is comfort your top priority? Would you like your vehicle to be able to go off-road, or would you prefer something quiet and smooth on the highway?

Regardless of your preferences, there’s a vehicle out there that can take you wherever you want to go at a price you’re willing to pay.

Want your car shipped instead? You can contact us today if you would like to work with a professional auto transport company that works with every customer to find the best solution!

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Salam Team

Salam Team is made up of auto transport industry professionals. Their combined experience with the industry expands to decades. Knowledge sharing makes the team grow even faster and more effectively and they are rightly proud of strong team spirit. When they are not talking about auto transport, you can find them exploring new routes and exotic destinations like Anaconda, MT around the nation.
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