Photo by Steven Pahel

The Best Cars For Road Tripping This Summer

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Spring is here and most of us are looking forward to summertime trips, adventures and vacations. If you and your family are the types who enjoy the scenic route, road tripping cross country to take in the views and charms of our nation, you’ll surely need a trusty steed to usher you along. Here are the best cars for road trips in 2021:

Best SUV: Kia Telluride

The biggest SUV yet from Kia, the Telluride is cavernous and comfortable, offering as much interior space as a minivan. Three cushy rows fit up to eight passengers, each packed with high-tech entertainment options like an 8-inch touchscreen display, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and Bluetooth connectivity to keep the entire family happy. While the Telluride has an impressive infotainment system, it’s more notably known for its advanced safety equipment, a top priority for drivers with families in tow. This SUV has even been described by critics as “serene” due to its super quiet cabin, making it a very attractive option for long road trips. 

Best Pickup Truck: Chevy Silverado

Boasting as “the most dependable, longest-lasting full-size pickup on the road,” this four door, four wheel drive truck is perfect for a big trip with the family. Surprisingly very spacious for a pick up, there’s room for adults and kids alike to stretch their legs in the back seats. The step-up running board makes it very accessible for the little ones to get in and out of this high truck, and there is plenty of tech like WiFi connection capabilities for up to seven devices to keep the teens happy. The Silverado offers 420 horse power and can haul up to 12,500 pounds, perfect for hauling a camper or other adventure equipment on your road trip. And finally, the safety features are plentiful, including forward collision alert, lane keep assist, rear vision camera, low-speed auto braking, and a high strength steel safety cage to keep your family safe.

Best Minivan: Honda Odyssey

Named the best minivan for families in 2020, the Odyssey continues to deliver a year later. Perfect for large families, this spacious minivan is like a condo on wheels, keeping everybody comfortable on those longer treks. Without the middle seat, the second row seats slide easily from side to side and forward and back to your desired position, keeping feuding siblings at bay and offering ample leg room. Tech-wise, the Odyssey is loaded with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a wifi hotspot powerful enough for streaming video. Plus, with CabinWatch and CabinTalk, parents can easily check in on (and reprimand…) kids in the far back. Other perks like a built-in vacuum and rear seat controls make this car practically built for road tripping.

Best Sedan: Toyota Prius

The Prius is known to be tough to beat when it comes to fuel economy, and it’s true at 50 miles per gallon. For families who may not need as much cabin space, the Prius is the way to go. The newest model of the Prius is available in all wheel drive, and comes with lots of trunk storage space for your luggage. Toyota has a reputation for being extremely reliable, and the Prius holds up to that standard no matter how many miles you cover. Importantly, the Prius is equipped with a variety of safety tools like a back-up camera, automatic braking, lane departure alerts, blind spot monitoring, and more, earning the car a five-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

What to consider when buying a vehicle for road trips:

  • How often you plan to travel.

Are you and your family constantly hitting the road? Or is this a one-time endeavor? Your travel frequency will no doubt impact what you need as far as reliability and longevity in a vehicle.

  • Where you plan to travel.

Some families take the highway cross-country, stopping only at their planned destinations. Others love adventuring off-road, which requires some more rugged features. You’ll need to consider this when it comes time to choose your dream road trip car.

  • Space. 

Whether you have a large family to fit, a heap of luggage to pack in, or both, space is super important for long trips. Not only will you want room for all your road trip essentials, but you’ll want to still have space for comfortability.


  • Fuel efficiency.

Get more bang for your buck. The less money you spend on fuel, the more you’ll have to spend on food, activities and souvenirs for the family!

  • Towing capacity.

If you’re hauling a caravan or a trailer, don’t forget to consider the tow power of your new car.

  • Running costs.

What kind of car you get will undoubtably impact maintenance and running costs from fuel to repairs to insurance premiums. The more off-road you go, the more expensive your car will be to repair and insure.

  • Features.

The more comfortable the car, the happier you and your passengers will be. The less “are we there yet’s?!” you hear from the back seat, the happier you will be. 

Stay safe, stay comfortable, and stay happy out on the road with your family this summer vacation season. With these top picks of 2021, you will be able to hit the road with your loved ones and make memories to last a lifetime.

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