Road trips are a fun and easy way to take a summer vacation, but some cars are better than others for long trips. In fact, an important factor is fuel economy because gas costs add up on long hauls. Here’s a look at three of the best road trip cars in terms of gas mileage, and Toyota makes two of them.
2021 Toyota Prius Prime
CarGurus recently tweeted about the three best cars for road trips, and Toyota was the big winner. The smallest of the three vehicles is the 2021 Toyota Prius Prime, a midsize hatchback. Because the Prime is a plug-in hybrid, it gets excellent fuel economy. On highways, it gets about 53 mpg, CarGurus reports.
That said, the Toyota Prius Prime is still a relatively small car, so it’s not the best option for large families or groups. But because it’s a hatchback, at least it has a bit more cargo room than a midsize sedan. However, it’s relatively affordable, starting at about $28,000. That purchase price also pays for some tech features, such as a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system and a host of smart safety features.
2021 Audi Q5 PHEV
Like the Toyota Prius Prime, the 2021 Audi Q5 PHEV made CarGurus’ list thanks to its fuel-efficient powertrain. The Q5 PHEV gets about 64 MPGe on highways and 50 MPGe combined, but this luxury crossover isn’t cheap. Because it’s an Audi and a plug-in hybrid, this Q5 starts at about $53,000. That said, not only is this PHEV larger than the Prius Prime, but it’s also probably more fun to drive.
The Audi Q5 PHEV produces 362 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque, which allows this compact SUV to go pretty fast. In fact, it can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in about 5 seconds. That means it’s actually faster than the regular Q5 and SQ5 in addition to being more fuel-efficient.
Furthermore, it’s an Audi, so the Q5 PHEV has a luxurious interior. It also has a more spacious cabin than the Toyota Prius Prime, so the Q5 PHEV is big enough for most families on a road trip. Plus, it’s supremely comfortable thanks to its heated leather seats and quiet cabin. It also has a 10-inch touchscreen display and myriad smart safety features.
2021 Toyota Sienna
One of the best cars for road trips is the 2021 Toyota Sienna, CarGurus reports. This makes sense because the Sienna is a hybrid. In fact, the 2021 Sienna is available only as a hybrid. That said, this minivan isn’t a plug-in hybrid but rather a regular hybrid. That means it doesn’t need to be plugged in to recharge its battery because it has regenerative braking.
Regardless, for about $51,000, families can take road trips and go plenty of other places in a Sienna. CarGurus says it gets about 36 mpg — that’s a great fuel economy for a vehicle of this size. And because it’s a minivan, the Toyota Sienna can seat up to eight people comfortably. So for some families, a minivan like the Sienna is an ideal option for road trips.
More important, though, the Sienna provides plenty of cargo space, too. It offers 33.5 cubic feet of cargo capacity without folding a single seat, and that’s great for a road trip. And, of course, like other Toyota models, the Sienna is safe and reliable, making it even worthier as a road trip vehicle.
RELATED: Can All Cars Use Premium Gas?