Top 13 Cars For Road Trips 2024 | Comfort & Performance
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Best cars for a Road Trip 2024

What are the best road trip cars for long distances?

Looking for the best cars for long road trips 2024 can be way trickier than it sounds. You’ve got adults and kids expecting a ton from their ride, day in, day out. Luckily, car companies are stepping up, giving families a ton to choose from.

Family hatchbacks are awesome because they save on gas and pack a lot of room into a small space. The top picks are super versatile, offering a bit of everything good. But if you’re all about that extra space, you might lean towards an SUV or estate. These give you more room for legs in the back, a bigger trunk, and better comfort for those long trips, though they’re a tad pricier and might guzzle more gas. If you’re after the most room you can get, go for an MPV with five or seven seats. Still, it seems like everyone’s all about SUVs and crossovers these days. They give you a higher seat and easy entry, thanks to being higher off the ground. Some even let you dabble in off-roading.

#1 2024 Jeep Grand Cherokee: $39,830

2024 Jeep Grand Cherokee
best car for road trip 2024

Is 2024 Jeep Grand Cherokee the best car for road trip? Let’s dive in and find out.

Designed for Comfort and Adventure

The two-row mid-size SUV is a comfortable and spacious option for any road trip. Unlike its three-row sibling, the Grand Cherokee L, this model is ideal for small groups or families who want ample room for passengers and cargo without feeling cramped. The interior is thoughtfully designed, offering plenty of legroom and a well-organized layout that makes long drives more enjoyable.

Performance that Excels on the Highway

The Grand Cherokee is built to handle paved highways with ease, making it perfect for long stretches of road. Most models are powered by a reliable V-6 engine that provides smooth and consistent performance. If you’re looking for something a bit more eco-friendly, the plug-in hybrid model, the Grand Cherokee 4xe, is available and offers impressive fuel efficiency without compromising on power.

Off-Road Capability for the Adventurous Spirit

While the Grand Cherokee shines on highways, it doesn’t shy away from off-road adventures. Jeep has engineered this SUV to maintain its off-road prowess, ensuring that those unexpected detours and scenic byways are well within reach. Whether you’re navigating through rugged terrain or simply pulling over for a quick photo op, the Grand Cherokee can handle it all.

Trim Levels for Every Traveler

Jeep understands that every road tripper has different needs and preferences. That’s why the Grand Cherokee comes in a wide range of trims, starting from the basic but sturdy Laredo to the ultra-luxurious Summit Reserve. The latter trim is so well-appointed it rivals the offerings from luxury brands like BMW and Mercedes-Benz. No matter your budget or taste, there’s a Grand Cherokee that fits the bill.

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Packing for the Journey

One of the biggest hassles of any road trip is packing. Fortunately, the Grand Cherokee offers ample cargo space, making it easy to bring along all your essentials and then some. The clever storage solutions and flexible seating arrangements mean you can pack everything from suitcases to camping gear without sacrificing comfort.

#2 Skoda Octavia

best cars for long road trips
best cars for long road trips 2024

So, imagine taking a stroll around the Skoda Octavia. First thing you’ll notice? It’s got this classy, sleek look that’s really easy on the eyes. Now, step inside, and you’re in for a treat. The inside feels fancy, like something you’d expect from those high-end brands, but guess what? It won’t burn a hole in your wallet. We’re talking less than £26,000 to get started. And it’s not just about looking good. This car is roomy! With a 600-litre trunk, you’re getting more space than you might have thought possible, making it feel like you’ve bumped up to a bigger class of car without actually doing so. Driving it is a breeze, too. It’s comfortable, sturdy, and just plain easy to drive every day. It’s like the car equivalent of that reliable friend who’s always there for you.

#3 Toyota Corolla Touring Sports

Best cars for a Road Trip 2024

 Toyota Corolla Touring Sports

Now, onto the Toyota Corolla Touring Sports. This one’s gotten a bit of a facelift recently. Besides just looking sharper, it’s gotten some serious upgrades under the hood and inside the cabin. The new hybrid system is slick, and the infotainment setup? Top-notch. It’s like they’ve cranked up the “cool factor” while making sure it still nails all the practical stuff.

You’ve got two choices for engines, but I’d lean towards the 1.8-litre petrol. Why? Well, it still packs plenty of punch, saves you a bunch on gas – we’re talking over 60mpg – and gives you a bit more trunk space. And driving this thing? It’s surprisingly fun. You might not expect it from a car that’s all about being eco-friendly and practical, but it delivers.

Speaking of practical, let’s talk trunk space. With up to 596 litres available even when you’ve got all the seats in use, you’re set for pretty much anything. Going on a family trip, moving some big items? This car’s got you covered. The loading area is low and square, making it super easy to fit in all sorts of stuff without a hassle.

#4 Hyundai Tucson

best cars for road trips and camping 2024

So, the Hyundai Tucson is pretty much like that underdog that came out swinging against the fancy players in the mid-size SUV league. It’s got this look that turns heads and comes packed with goodies that make you wonder if it’s really in the same price league. Hyundai wasn’t messing around; they loaded the Tucson with so much standard equipment, it’s like getting the premium experience without the premium price tag. It’s even snagged the Mid-size SUV of the Year title at the New Car Awards for three straight years, which is no small feat.

For families, this SUV is a dream. It’s spacious up front, comfy in the back, and the trunk? Huge. We’re talking 620 litres of space, so go ahead and pack that extra suitcase. Hyundai’s made the Tucson more appealing to folks looking for that upscale vibe without the need to break the bank. Starting at under £32,000, you get cool tech like collision-avoidance, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, climate control, and parking help right out of the gate.

#5 2024 Hyundai Palisade

2024 Hyundai Palisade
best road trip cars 2024

The Palisade is powered by a smooth-running 3.8-liter V-6 engine paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. You can opt for all-wheel drive, but even the standard front-wheel-drive setup offers a smooth and comfortable ride. Whether you’re cruising down highways or navigating winding country roads, the Palisade’s composed demeanor makes it a joy to drive on long trips.

Luxurious Comfort Inside

Step inside, and you’ll find a high-class cabin with upmarket finishes and three rows of comfortable seats. The spacious interior ensures that everyone, even those in the third row, travels in comfort. The high-end Limited and Calligraphy models take luxury up a notch with quilted leather upholstery, fancier trim, and second-row captain’s chairs. It’s the kind of interior that makes every journey feel special.

Staying Connected and Convenient

Hyundai has packed the Palisade with connectivity and convenience features to keep everyone happy on the road. With multiple USB ports, a premium sound system, and a large touchscreen display, passengers can stay connected and entertained throughout the trip. Plus, there are plenty of thoughtful storage solutions for all your travel essentials. The driver-assistance features also add an extra layer of safety and convenience, making those long drives a breeze.

Perfect Balance of Utility and Luxury

One of the best things about the Palisade is how it balances utility and luxury. There’s plenty of cargo space for all your gear, so you never have to leave anything behind. Yet, it doesn’t sacrifice style or comfort, offering a refined driving experience that makes every trip enjoyable. Its unique look and stylish design mean you’ll be turning heads, whether you’re exploring new places or just out for a drive.

#6 Best cars for road trips 2024 – 2024 Kia Telluride

2024 Kia Telluride
best cars for road trips 2024

When it comes to road trip travel cars for 2024, the Kia Telluride stands out as a top contender. This three-row SUV is designed to meet the needs of families and adventure seekers alike, combining handsome styling, a smooth-running V-6 engine, and a near-luxury cabin that makes it an ideal choice for long journeys.

Perfect for Families

The Telluride’s spacious three-row interior is one of its biggest selling points, making it perfect for family road trips. There’s plenty of room for passengers in all three rows, ensuring that everyone travels in comfort. The easy access to the third row is a notable advantage, especially when compared to other SUVs in its class. Plus, the high-quality materials and modern design of the cabin create a luxurious atmosphere that enhances the overall travel experience.

Smooth and Powerful

Under the hood, the Telluride is powered by a smooth-running V-6 engine. This engine strikes an excellent balance between power and efficiency, making it suitable for both city driving and long highway stretches. Whether you’re cruising down the interstate or navigating winding country roads, the Telluride delivers a driving experience that is both engaging and relaxing.

Ready for Adventure

For those who crave adventure, the Telluride has plenty to offer. It can tow up to 5500 pounds, making it easy to bring along trailers or boats for your trip. Additionally, the rugged X-Pro version is available for those who plan to tackle moderately challenging off-road trails. This variant provides the extra capability needed for exploring less-traveled paths, ensuring your road trip can include some exciting detours.

Comfort on Long Drives

One of the standout features of the Telluride is its ability to provide a quiet and smooth ride. The well-insulated cabin keeps road noise to a minimum, allowing for peaceful cruising that reduces fatigue on long drives. The comfortable seating and advanced suspension system further enhance ride quality, making every journey more enjoyable for both the driver and passengers.

Practical and Stylish

The Telluride is not just about performance and comfort; it’s also incredibly practical. With ample cargo space and flexible seating configurations, it can accommodate everything from luggage to camping gear without compromising passenger comfort. The stylish exterior design and modern interior features make it a vehicle you’ll be proud to drive, whether you’re on a road trip or just running errands around town.

#7 Nissan Qashqai

The Nissan Qashqai is kind of a legend in the SUV world. Sure, it wasn’t the first SUV ever, but it hit the scene in 2007 with just the right mix of features that sparked an SUV love affair for many. Fast forward, and the Qashqai is still a top pick for families. It’s spacious, built well, and comes packed with features that matter. You can get it as a mild hybrid or with this cool ‘e-Power’ setup – a 156bhp electric motor paired with a 1.5-litre petrol engine that gives you a smooth, EV-like ride with punchy acceleration and decent fuel efficiency, clocking in at 53.3mpg.

#8 BMW 3 Series

BMW 3 Series
best road trip car 2024

The BMW 3 Series is like the cool, sophisticated cousin in the car family. The latest model, part of the G20 generation, is bigger yet lighter and stiffer, making it even more fun to drive. Whether you’re in the base 320i or eyeing a more powerful model, the rear-drive setup and precise handling make every trip a joy. The switch to an eight-speed auto might have been sad for manual lovers, but it’s so smooth, you might not miss the old stick shift. While it’s a champ on efficiency and performance, the plug-in hybrid version could use a bit more EV range. And if you need more space, the Touring estate option is a cherry on top, offering versatility without sacrificing the 3 Series’ signature fun factor.

#9 VW T3 Syncro – Most comfortable road trip car

best road-trip car

Let’s be upfront: we’ve never actually done the whole ‘drive a van around Europe’ adventure. Our parents did it, and they’re still together, so it’s definitely doable. But for us, it’s always seemed a bit of a mixed bag. Driving a van can sometimes feel like a chore rather than a joy.

The Space Versus Comfort Dilemma

Vans are fantastic when it comes to space. You can fit almost everything you need for a road trip without much trouble. However, comfort can be a hit-or-miss affair. Unless your van was once a luxury shuttle for a high-end Las Vegas hotel, you might find the ride a bit rough. And when it comes to character, most vans are about as exciting as an airport lounge.

The Type 2 Kombi: Breaking the Mold

But then there’s the Type 2 Kombi. Yes, it’s a bit of an obvious choice, but there’s a good reason for its popularity. These vans are reliable, spacious, economical, and actually fun to be in. They’re also bursting with character, which is a rarity for vans. Not bad for a vehicle that’s often underpowered and boxy.

Our Favorite: The T3 Vanagon

If we had to pick, we’d go with the T3, also known as the Vanagon in the United States. Why the Vanagon? Well, despite the awkward name, it combines the best of a van and a wagon. Volkswagen’s naming skills might have been questionable long before the Arteon, but the Vanagon itself is impressive.

The Appeal of the T3

The T3 Vanagon offers more space and power than its predecessors while maintaining the classic Type 2 formula: the engine at the back, the driver at the front, and plenty of room in between. It’s perfect for those spontaneous road trip adventures where you might have a few friends in various states of merriment and Steely Dan playing on the stereo.

The Quirky Syncro Version

Now, if you’re a bit quirky like us, you might appreciate the oddball Syncro version. This all-wheel-drive model with a lifted ride height and a design reminiscent of Brutalist architecture speaks to a certain adventurous spirit. Sure, sleeping in a van might not be everyone’s idea of fun, but the Syncro’s off-road capabilities can take you to some pretty incredible places.

You might wonder, can the T3 Vanagon be the best road-trip car? Well, for those who value space, reliability, and a touch of character, it certainly makes a strong case. It’s not just about getting from point A to point B; it’s about the journey and the experiences along the way. And the T3 Vanagon makes those experiences memorable.

#10 Mercedes G-Wagen

Have you ever wondered why SUVs are often left out of the best road trip car lists? If so, you’re not alone. Many people have speculated that it’s because SUVs lack the enjoyment and character that make a road trip memorable. Plus, let’s not forget their less-than-stellar fuel economy. That’s three out of the six pillars of a good road-trip car crumbling right there.

A Blast from the Past: Purpose-Built Vehicles

Back in the day, cars were designed for specific purposes, not just to target specific markets. Remember when SUVs were called 4WDs or off-roaders? Those were the times when car journalists couldn’t poke fun at their lack of sportiness or utility because they were genuinely built for off-roading. So, taking an off-roader on a road trip might seem like a logical fallacy, right?

The Compromise Conundrum

Here’s another issue: SUVs that are designed to go off-road are often compromised when on-road, and vice versa. If they’ve been adapted for better on-road performance, their off-road capabilities suffer. It’s a lose-lose situation, making them not the best choice for a smooth and enjoyable road trip.

When the Roads Get Rough

But let’s not completely dismiss SUVs yet. Not all roads are in pristine condition. In places like Australia, where the roads can be as challenging as the surface of the moon, an SUV starts to make sense. Imagine navigating torturous potholes and corrugations; you’d want something built to withstand those hits.

The Ideal Choice: Rugged and Reliable

For those rough road trips, you need a vehicle with big wheels and tires that won’t get swallowed by potholes, something that oozes character without leaking oil or coolant. An old Land Rover Defender or a Jeep Wrangler fits this bill perfectly. These rugged beasts are built to handle the toughest terrains.

The Unexpected Pick: Old G-Wagen

Which side do you fall on? Your preference might be influenced by historical events (like the Boston Tea Party), but if we had to choose, we’d probably go with an old G-Wagen. Yes, we picked German. Does that mean we need to surrender our British passports? Maybe, but it’s a compromise we’re willing to make for the sake of a reliable and character-filled road trip companion.

#11 Peugeot 408

Peugeot 408

The Peugeot 408 is diving into the hot coupe-SUV mix, but it’s really more of a stylish, lifted fastback. It neatly fits between the smaller 308 and larger 508 in Peugeot’s lineup, offering a unique alternative to the usual SUV flair. The standout choice in the lineup is the turbocharged petrol engine because it offers solid performance without the higher cost of the plug-in hybrids. But don’t sleep on the 178bhp and 222bhp plug-in hybrids; they can cruise up to 40 miles on electric power alone and have plenty of zip. Plus, some sweet leasing deals are making the well-equipped GT models a steal.

Inside, the 408 impresses with a classy and roomy interior, plenty of tech, and a generous 536-litre boot. It has this quirky, smaller-than-average steering wheel and the Peugeot i-Cockpit setup that might take a bit of getting used to. It’s worth a test to see if it’s your cup of tea before making any decisions.

#12 Skoda Superb Estate

Skoda Superb Estate

The Skoda Superb Estate has been a favorite for a while, snagging the Estate of the Year award back in 2016 and still holding its ground as a top choice. It’s the kind of car that makes you wonder how Skoda can top it with the next generation. When discussing the best road trip cars 2024, the Estate version, especially, is a gem thanks to its massive 660-litre boot, making it a dream for family trips or hauling gear.

It’s a smooth ride, too, thanks to its soft suspension. The engines, like the 1.5-litre TSI petrol, offer a good mix of power and efficiency. If you’re often hitting the highway, the 197bhp 2.0-litre diesel is a solid pick, although the more powerful petrol engines provide a fun drive if you’re willing to splurge a bit.

#13 Dacia Jogger

Dacia Jogger

And then there’s the Dacia Jogger, our standout Family Car of the Year in 2023. It’s the budget-friendly, spacious, and efficient champion of the people. Don’t let the price fool you; the interior is well put together, and while there are some hard plastics around, they feel like they can withstand the rigors of family life.

The Jogger is in a league of its own when it comes to value, especially in the Essential petrol version. There’s also a hybrid option that boosts the fuel economy to an impressive 56.5mpg, all while sitting on Renault Clio foundations. But it’s no small car; it feels substantial and comfortable, especially at higher speeds.

Its design prioritizes function, leading to a boxy but surprisingly spacious interior, including the third-row seats. A recent facelift has sharpened its looks, and the clever modular roof bars add even more to its practical charm. It’s a car designed with real life in mind, making it a top pick for families on a budget.

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