The 10 Best Cars for Your Next Summer Road Trip

Image: courtesy of Infiniti

For many, road trips are a summer staple, with time spent cruising down winding roads with the windows down and enough snacks in tow to feed an army. As a kid I know I enjoyed my fair share: driving from Miami to West Virginia with my grandparents, to New Orleans with my best friend’s family, and to Orlando with my immediate family. They remain some of my most cherished memories.

Many families feel the same, I’m sure, which is why despite the continued rising gas prices—family road trips have not been cancelled. In fact, there seems to have been a resurgence. A survey by The Vacationer revealed that nearly 80 percent of Americans, which equates to nearly 206 million people, would take a road trip this summer and more than 18% of them would tackle the roads for a distance greater than 500 miles from their home.

If you are one of those road-tripping this summer too, consider a ride that accommodates your travel needs while making the miles between destinations actually enjoyable. These vehicles are top-rated for safety, include hybrid gas-saving options, work for rocky terrains or urban streets, and are suited for families or a smaller groups. Here are 10 options—sedans, convertibles, SUVs and minivans— that will do just that.


(From $47,350; Image: courtesy of Infiniti.

This SUV, which got a major upgrade this year, packs more than just sporty, good looks. From its teched-out cabin—Wi-Fi, in-car infotainment via Apple Car Play or Android Auto, and multiple USB charging ports— to major comfortability (think ergonomic leather seats with massage features and climate control and more hip-to-heel room for a more natural seating), driving this pick offers the perfect balance of luxury and practicality.

2022 Mitsubishi Mirage

(From $14,645; Image: courtesy of Mitsubishi.

This compact car comes with big benefits: chief among them is the ability to cruise for up to 39 miles before having to refuel. Suited best for smaller families (it seats five), the Mirage offers a bit more room for luggage thanks to the hatchback on this four-door model, and it’s easy to park. Pair it with your smartphone to put phone calls, navigation and music on the console’s monitor via Apple Car Play or Android Auto. 

2022 Acura MDX

(From $48,000; Image: courtesy of Acura.

One word comes to mind when we think of the MDX: roomy. The third row, which functions as extra seating or, when folded down, increased storage, is a great asset whether you are packing in your kids or the beach chairs, umbrellas, play wagons, and suitcases needed for your beach getaway. Plus the panoramic moonroof makes the car feel more open, and you, more connected to the great outdoors.

2022 Lexus NX350

(From $39,425; Image: courtesy of Lexus.

There is nothing worse than feeling every single bump or uneven surface on the road during a lengthy drive. Luckily, a trip in the NX350 offers a super smooth experience that feels like you’re cruising on a cloud. Though an additional cost, consider upgrading to the cooled seats feature. That blast of cold air hits right where you sweat the most for instant relief from the summer heat. (Thank us later.)

2022 Mazda MX-5 Miata 

(From $27,650; Image: courtesy of Mazda.

Sometimes the dog days of summer call for solo travel. What better way to cruise to you destination—whether it’s down the Pacific Coast Highway or Route 66—than in this two-seater convertible. Make sure to let down the manually folding soft-top so you can feel the wind in your hair. For nighttime drivers, the adaptive front-lighting system is welcome addition, as it tilts the headlights in the direction of the corner you’re taking to increase visibility and reduced potential hazards. And remember: It’s a compact car with a tiny trunk, so pack light.

2022 Hyundai Tuscon

(From $25,800;

This hybrid offers a lot of bang for your buck: brakes that convert energy into electric power to recharge the battery; cruise control that uses a radar to ensure you keep a safe distance from the car in front of you; all-wheel drive for off-road fun; and the option to use your smartphone as a digital key. What we love most about this compact SUV, though? When you’re roaming the roads this light driving vehicle won’t guzzle gas, making it perfect for traipsing across the country.

2022 Volvo XC90 Recharge

(From $64,800; Image: courtesy of Volvo.

When transporting precious cargo like your family across states, safety is key. The XC90 Recharge has plenty of protective measures: cameras that offer a 360-degree view of your surroundings; special blind spot technology that can adjust steering in case of collision risk; and in case you run into a flash summer rain storm, the rear electric motor will help improve all-wheel drive, making it easier to navigate those slippery roads. It goes without saying, you and your loved ones will be safeguarded while wheeling around in a pretty sweet looking ride too.

2022 Ford Bronco Sport

(From $28,565; Image: courtesy of Ford.

The Bronco Sport, which is essentially a “kid-sized” version of the traditional Bronco, has a rugged, outdoorsy appeal, not to mention four wheel drive, making it a great choice for trips through the mountains or traversing rocks and dirt on the way to the perfect campsite. A safari-style roof makes it easier to pile in gear (think bikes), while the roof rack can handle coolers, canoes, or any other cargo, up to 150 pounds you need to carry on your journey. If you aren’t the dirt road type, don’t worry, you can cruise just as effortlessly on paved roads to your next vacation spot.

2022 Kia Telluride

(From 33,390; Image: courtesy of Kia.

Summers by the lake sound great—and with 5500 pounds of towing power, you can haul things like a small boat or jet skis along for the ride with this stunner. Don’t let this mid-size car’s good looks fool you, though. The award-winning Telluride, which offers a powerful and precise ride, may give off a luxurious vibe, but is relatively inexpensive. Still, it has some great features (10.25-inch touchscreen display, Head-Up Display, which shows information related to driving performance such as speed and gas mileage, and four different driving modes)— all of which can make your days spent driving that much better.

2023 Honda Odyssey

(From $37,340; Image: courtesy of Honda.

Minivans have a mom-friendly rep, but they, especially the Odyssey, are a great companion for cross country road trips. With a host of features that make it easy to maneuver (steering and breaking assistance as well as collision risk prevention) along with a rear entertainment center to keep the kiddos occupied, this roomy eight-person SUV with Magic Slide 2nd-row seats that you can reconfigure in a myriad of ways has everything you need to travel well. 


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