10 of the best cars for a road trip
From the sturdy and practical to the ridiculous and EXCITING
We all have different requirements when it comes to a road trip. Some people just want to hit the open road and don't care about dragging excessive luggage along with them. Other people want the height of luxury, lots of leg room and that wow factor. There are also people who only care about space for the dog and their hiking boots. I think I've covered all the bases with these 10 cars.
Most people's vision of a road trip involves some kind of muscle car and my choice would have to be the new Mustang. It might lack some of the charm of a classic but you get the reliability and space that comes with the updated shape. The hard choice comes when we start to talk about engines.
Muscle car purists say the 2.0-litre version of the new Mustang doesn't count, V8 all the way. While I don't disagree, I love a turbo and the money you'll save on fuel definitely plays a role when thinking about road trips. The sensible, practical road tripper in me says 2.0-litre EcoBoost all the way. Every other part of me says V8.
Not as chunky as the Porsche SUVs but still with plenty of space for all your stuff - while keeping hold of those classic Porsche good looks. I'll admit, while they handle well, I'm not keen on the Macan or Cayenne. Maybe I'm a Porsche purist, who knew? The Panamera speaks to me because of its practicality but given the choice, I'd probably ask for a classic 911 or 944.
Volkswagen Golf R Estate
This is the car for those of you who want the fun of a hot hatch but can't exactly be trusted to pack light. This performance estate comes with Volkswagen's brilliant DSG gear box and the handling is just as good as its hatchback brother. It's one of those cars that endures as a great all-rounder for petrol-heads.
Land Rover Defender
This is an off-road trip car for anyone who wants to get muddy. Defenders are robust, iconic British 4x4s and your dog will be more than happy to get his muddy paws all over the interior.
The 7-series is a luxury car full of the latest tech that'll make any road trip a doddle. You can park at the touch of a button, answer calls with a wave of your hand and it'll lift your mood with all sorts of other little luxuries. The best thing is, this car has a carbon core that gives it an agility that'll rival a sports car. It's the perfect mix of fun, luxury and economy.
This AWD tourer has plenty of luggage space meaning you can take it on the long road trip of your dreams. Not only do you have space for all your luggage but you can take some friends along for the ride too. The AWD gives you the confidence to tackle any terrain but this is a sports tourer, which means it has that tasty mix of comfort and handling.
Tesla Model S
Electric cars are capable of long road trips. I quite happily made my way around the UK and Ireland in one last year to promote Route 57 but if I were to do it again, I'd go for a car with a bit more oomph. In an EV, you soon realise that you have to change your driving style but once you get used to it, it's easy to appreciate the freedom all those charging stops give you.
The aforementioned Route 57 car.
If you can avoid service station after service station and opt for more interesting charging locations, you unlock a whole new kind of joy. You know you have to stop in a certain place so why not explore, you can unearth some amazing walks, views, cafes and restaurants this way.
Plus the instant torque of an electric car is always fun, even if it's not a powerful Tesla.
Corvette Stingray Z51
I'm biased here because I had the pleasure of driving one of these around Texas (did I mention?). The boot space was surprisingly large but one of the best parts - although it did limit said storage space - was the targa-style roof that just lifted out and could be hidden away in the boot.
The V8 engine with a manual gear box and rear wheel drive was all the fun I could ask for.
This elegant convertible is strikingly beautiful. It's the kind of car that turns heads and not just because of its looks. It has a throaty, deep exhaust sound that is perfectly juxtaposed to those sleek looks. As far a road trips go, this needs to be driven with the top down somewhere sunny such as the French Riviera. Just imagine it. I'll wait.
Mercedes-Benz GLA 250 Sport
To be honest, any of the big Mercedes SUVs will hit the spot if you're looking for something pretty with good performance and decent MPG. Get the panoramic sliding roof on the GLA 250 Sport and you won't be disappointed.
I think a road trip car is a very personal thing. I'd love to hear what cars you'd choose.