What Cars Are Best for Road Trips?

When we think of road trips, pictures of long stretches of an open two-lane highway with the summer sun beaming down come to mind. While this is certainly the romantic look and feel of a road trip, many of us take these journeys for more than the drive. You might venture out during the warmer months, but you’ll want to know your car is good for winter travel as well. With that in mind, here are some of the best road trip cars in the market today.

How can you have the romance of the road during your road trip?

This 2022 Ford Mustang Convertible could be one of the best road trip cars for you to drive.
2022 Ford Mustang Convertible | Ford

The right car to offer you the feeling of romance and connectivity with the road during your road trip is the Ford Mustang. This car screams Americana and delivers on the promise of performance and power while being relatively comfortable. The Mustang might not be the best car for your winter adventures, but it sure makes those summer drives in the sunshine a lot of fun. Even the base model returns 310 horsepower, making it easy to fall in love with the Ford Mustang as the best road trip car for you to drive, especially if it’s a convertible.

Which car is best for long drives and off-roading?

A 2022 Subaru Outback, the best and cheapest midsize SUV from Consumer Reports.
2022 Subaru Outback | Subaru

If you’re searching for a vehicle that does well while on the road and then again when you take it out on the trails, the Subaru Outback is the right SUV for you to drive. This impressive Subaru offers a good balance of everything you need. According to iSeeCars, the Outback delivers plenty of room for cargo and passengers while also offering good fuel economy. The standard AWD system gives you the off-road equipment you need for your summer adventures and when faced with snow during your holiday road trip.

Taking the family along? What is the best road trip car for comfort?

A silver 2022 Toyota Highlander
2022 Toyota Highlander | Toyota

When you need more seats, and you want spacious comfort for your family, it’s hard to be the Toyota Highlander Hybrid. This is an excellent SUV for your family’s time out on the road. According to U. S. News and World Report, the hybrid version delivers excellent fuel economy at 36 city/35 hwy mpg. This Toyota SUV can tow up to 3,500 pounds in a trailer when needed.  The Hybrid Highlander is also among the highest-rated vehicles for safety.

Add versatility to your adventure with the right truck

White Honda Ridgeline, a truck that's loved and hated, parked in front of a sand dune
2022 Honda Ridgeline | Honda

The right truck to drive during a cross-country road trip can be tricky. On the one hand, you want a truck that carries a heavy load and handles off-road challenges, while on the other hand, you want comfort during your long drive. The Honda Ridgeline delivers the most comfort in the midsize truck class while offering 5,000 pounds of towing and an AWD system that makes it easy to handle some light trails. Using this truck, you’ll have one of the most versatile road trip cars you can drive.

Which car is best for an electrified road trip?

Tesla 3 could shock you with its resale value
Tesla Model 3 and Model S in a showroom | Sjoerd van der Wal, Getty Images

Do you want to take your ride across the country and never expel a single ounce of noxious gas into the air? If so, you’ll want to drive the Tesla Model 3. Depending on the model selected, you’ll have between 272 and 358 miles of driving on a full charge and can add some distance to the ride at a Supercharging station. Your time away from home will be a bit longer than if you drive a gas-powered car, but if planned right, you can stay at some very cool places along the way.

Pack light and find the best roads with this car

2017 Mazda MX-5 RF Sport
2017 Mazda MX-5 RF Sport | Getty Images

There isn’t much room for luggage or extra gear in the Mazda MX-5 Miata, but that doesn’t stop it from being a great car for your road trips. Granted, you’ll probably avoid driving the Miata during a winter journey through the snow, but the rest of the year is wide open for this fun machine. The Miata has the perfect balance to make it extremely fun to drive on some of the most scenic drives in the country.

What will you choose to be your road trip car?

Are you looking for a vehicle that handles every drive during your week while also delivering during your vacations? If so, the Outback, Highlander, and Ridgeline are likely at the top of your list. Do you want a car that brings you more romance on the road by engaging with it? That means you’ll probably lean toward the Mustang or Miata. On the other hand, if you want to take an EV road trip, the Model 3 has what you desire.

Regardless of what you select, there’s a vehicle and a journey waiting for you to head out on the open road and just drive.

RELATED: Best 2022 SUVs for Family Summer Road Trips