5 Vehicle Suggestions for a Fun Family Road Trip
Road tripping is basically an American past time. More people travel by automobile than any other mode of transportation, and with the holidays in full swing, there will be even more cars on the road in the coming weeks.
The average distance of a road trip is 284 miles one way, and 91 percent of travelers will choose to drive. If you’re planning a road trip, it’s important that you have a great car that can handle your storage and comfort needs.
According to Jack R. Nerad of Kelley Blue Book, families are opting for larger vehicles with more cargo space versus smaller sedans with great gas mileage. “Looking at sales trends, soccer field parking lots and school drop-off lines, it’s clear that families have moved on from the family sedan, and now the modern family car is an SUV,” Nerad says. “As SUVs have grown more comfortable and fuel efficient over the years, car shoppers have demonstrated an increasing preference for the elevated driving position, superior cargo versatility and higher profile of SUVs, which make them more functional as family cars than traditional sedans.”
If you agree that larger, more comfortable vehicles are best for your road trip, consider these options.
- Kia Sedona
The minivan might not be everyone’s favorite, but it makes for a good road-tripping car. Not only does this family-friendly vehicle offer up to eight seats, but it also has plenty of cargo space for eight people’s luggage. If you aren’t filled to capacity, the Slide-n-Stow seats easily make room for more.
There’s also a 4.3-inch touchscreen display, 12 cup holders, a hidden rear-seat entertainment screen, and more features to keep your kids busy and happy during the ride.
“The front-wheel-drive Sedona offers a smooth ride for its seven or eight passengers and is exceptionally quiet,” says an article from Carmax, highlighting some of the best features of the ride. “It’s also powerful thanks to its standard 276 horsepower, 3.3L V6 direct fuel injection engine. Overall, this 2017 minivan delivers high performance without a big price tag.”
- Jeep Grand Cherokee
Families that enjoy venturing off the beaten path need a car that can handle non-traditional terrain. The latest models of the Jeep Grand Cherokee are not only sleek and stylish with fuel economy up to 30 mpg, but they’re also smooth riding and quiet.
The Grand Cherokee can also tow as much as 7,400 pounds, about a thousand pounds more than a typical SUV. This means that you can bring along a camper trailer, jet skis, snowmobiles, or any other addition without a problem.
- Chrysler Pacifica
If you want all the benefits of a spacious, smooth-riding minivan with a more streamlined appearance, the Chrysler Pacifica is your road-tripping car. It’s sleek and comfortable with strong acceleration and smooth braking. Owners have also praised its simple handling, which makes it easy to park anywhere or flip a u-turn when you go the wrong way, as you’re bound to do on your travels.
“Chrysler’s minivan offers plenty of storage space for a family on the go thanks to the company’s Stow ‘n Go seating system, which stores the second row seats in the floor when they’re not needed and provides extra storage space when the seats are in use,” explains Eileen Falkenberg-Hull of US News. “It even has an optional rear seat entertainment system that will keep kids from asking you, ‘Are we there yet?’”
- Honda CR-V
Although the older CR-V models were relatively unattractive and not so spacious, the newer versions have undergone a hefty remodel. We’re looking at spacious seating, generous legroom, folding second-row seats, and excellent rear cargo space.
Although the CR-V isn’t designed for towing, the engine is powerful enough to tow small loads. However, if you’re simply looking for a great trip with good gas mileage, you can turn on the eco-boost feature to reduce the engine output and decrease fuel use. It’s a comfortable, quiet model for all your road trip needs.
- Kia Sorento
Here’s another mid-size SUV with all the features you need for a family road trip.
“This is a great SUV hiding in plain sight,” says Jon Linkov of Consumer Reports. “Most midsized crossovers often feel like uninspiring errand runners. But the Kia Sorento offers class-above elegance at mainstream prices. It’s a shade smaller than its midsized competitors, but that allows the Sorento to be city-friendly while still offering the space and features of a larger vehicle—including an optional-but-tiny third-row seat.”
All of that space mixed with the contoured seats makes for an incredibly comfortable ride. There’s also top-of-the-line suspension technology to absorb as many bumps as possible. With the smooth-riding V6 engine, you’ll have a very comfortable road trip no matter your destination.