Picture this: You’re sitting in the driver’s seat of a sun-drenched car, zooming down a two-lane highway with the windows down. Your favorite song is playing through the speakers, and you have nothing else to do that day than spot a roadside attraction that looks just curious enough to get you to pull over. Road trips have been an American ritual for generations, and the setting for where one takes place is only half the fun—the ride is what completes the experience.
Whether you’re hightailing it from L.A. to NYC, making your way from Minneapolis to New Orleans, or cruising from Boston to Miami, a long road trip needs a set of keys that can keep up with a long list of demands. You want something that’s comfortable and safe—like leather seats and rearview cameras—but you also wouldn’t mind luxurious details like a panoramic sunroof and a turbo-charged motor. We found all of those amenities in this list of the 10 best cars for road trips so that your getaway can be one to remember. And hey, even if you’re only heading to the next town over, it’ll be worth it, too.
For Affordable Comfort: Volkswagen Tiguan SE With 4Motion
When you’re packing everything you need for a road trip, every inch counts. This crossover makes for the ideal car of its kind to drive for the occasion because an extra foot of space was added to this year’s model. Not only that, but the car also has the option of a full-length sunroof, making those killer views all the more visible.
For Traveling to the Future: Tesla Model X
There’s a simple reason this car has been getting its fair share of buzz lately: It just seems like it would be a blast to drive. If you have your eye on it, then you know that it comes with 360-degree cameras for full visibility, the lowest drag coefficient on the market, and falcon wing doors. It also has a 100 kWh battery with a range of nearly 300 miles, plus a mobile app remote control.
For Eco-Friendly Bells and Whistles: Lexus NX Hybrid
So let’s say that you want some power behind your engine, but you also want a sustainable car, too. This Lexus may be the option for you. It combines a 2.5-liter engine with an electric motor—making it possible to get up to 31 miles per gallon together—and also comes complete with LED lights and Wi-Fi. There’s also a remote touchpad to control your dashboard.
For Ultimate Swag: Mercedes G550
This is the type of car you drive if you want to take the ultimate friends’ road trip. It has a handcrafted cabin with a top-stitched leather dashboard, coupled with multi-contour front seats and split-folding rear seats. You and your friends will also get a lot of use out of the HD radio and digital surround system while the driver will enjoy a rearview camera and parking assist.
For a Stylish Budget Ride: Mazda CX-9
This slick ride won the 2018 10Best award from Car and Driver since it’s everything you’d want when behind the wheel—from a fun turbo engine to a conveniently adaptive cruise control. A rear cross-traffic alert system comes standard, too, in case you need some extra help getting out of those pit-stop parking lots.
For Sports Mode With Groups: Porsche Panamera
If you’re heading out with a plus-one, this is the car you should choose. Why? Well, for starters, it’d be fun to roll up in it, tilt your sunglasses down, and say, “Get in.” This sleek Porsche comes with everything you’d expect from the brand, like a three-liter turbo engine and a high-gloss black interior, and there’s also rear-wheel drive if you really want to take this for a spin.
For Being Driven Around: Lincoln MKZ
If you feel the need for speed, then this car’s twin-turbocharged engine is capable of producing a 400 horsepower rating to really feel like the queen (or king) of the road. But since we don’t recommend speeding on your road trip, we also like the fact that this option comes with a retractable panoramic roof and Venetian leather to make you feel like royalty anyway.
For Cruising Down a Coastline: Maserati GranTurismo Convertible Sport
Say hello to the car you’ll need if you plan to cruise California’s Highway 1 before the end of summer. Not only can you ride with the top down—a fun detail when you’re under the Golden State sun—but this car also has a rearview camera, an advanced braking system, and adaptive light control. Last thing: This car was made for long distances, so you can take it the full length of the coast.
For Unbeatable Views: Audi Q5
This is the type of five-seater that makes cruising with a group ideal. Its luxury build, which can come with a “virtual cockpit” and a panoramic sunroof, also has up to 27 miles to the gallon on the highway and soft leather seating to make everyone in the back sing along to your playlist.
For Classic Sustainability: Cadillac Plug-In Hybrid
Here are just a few of the details that make this Cadillac live up to the brand’s classic reputation for luxury: It has 10-inch HD screens for the backseat, Bose surround sound, its own WiFi hotspot, and a handcrafted interior. Not impressed? There’s also infrared night vision and a panoramic sunroof, too, for getting the best vantage point of your surroundings any time you’re on the road.
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