Once upon a time, the perfect getaway was leaping on the first plane out of your hometown and enjoying the vibrancy of some city you had never before considered; lazy mornings spent in bed and late nights spent at a plethora of restaurants and bars. But the moment you birth kids that all changes, and fit changes for the better because the moment you become a parent the family road trip becomes a rite of passage you simply cannot get enough of.
Life is not about the destination, it’s about the journey, remember. That’s what you get from a road trip; you get the chance to bond and laugh and smile and sing and create memories that will stand the test of time. However, that all depends on one thing: your noble steed, or as we call it today, your car.
Too cramped, uncomfortable or bored and your hopes of an adventure through the wilds of wherever becomes a nightmare you wished you had quashed at its inception because the whole thing will be a misery.
Of course, no one goes out to purchase a new car simply because they enjoy a few road trips a year. That would be insane (albeit slightly cool). That said, if you are in the market for a new motor and you do get a thrill from hitting the tarmac with your significant lover, your kids and a boot full of tidbits, then you should absolutely consider the road trip worthiness of your choices. Luckily for you, we’ve done the legwork.
Read on to see our list of cars that will make your next road trip and all those that follow absolutely magical:
Since the moment you first discovered Gran Turismo, the urge to own your own Subaru has been niggling away at the back of your heart. If that rings true to you, then the Subaru XV is the reboot you have been waiting for. In no uncertain terms, this car sits at the top of our list for three reasons: its plethora of features, the joy it is to drive and its in-car entertainment. It has everything you need. It has voice command functions to keep your eyes on the road, all-seeing headlights that adapt to the conditions, the latest in ISOFIX child seat anchor points, USB connectivity that allow you and your kids to choose the soundtrack for every mile, sensors that allow you to keep your keys in your pockets at all times, a seven-speed gearbox that is controlled through paddle shifters and a 6.3 inch screen for all your infotainment needs. Oh, and plenty of space. Plenty. Of Space. It’s the perfect companion in no uncertain terms.
As a niche, the midsize crossover market is about as uninspired as a Donald Trump speech, but this is something the Kia Sorento is almost hellbent on changing - even if it has to do it alone. It is elegant like no other in this class and that is something that carries a long, long way when it comes to road-tripping. Trust us, your kids are going to be more comfy in the back than a dog in his basket after a long beach walk. That is because the seats are a) are contoured, b) padded, c) spacious and d) they recline. Basically, you will hear no whining from the middle third from start to finish. The next reason this car graces our list is that of the driving experience. This is not a car for running errands; this is a car made to hit the road with a smile no matter how many miles you put on it. The V6 engine is smooth and responsive, the fuel economy is more than just pleasing, it moves when you want it to, the suspension lets you ride out the bumps and juds with your dignity intact and it hugs the corners like your mum used to hug you. But the cherry on top is its interior. It is beautiful. The controls are easy, the infotainment is simple to use, the finish is delightful and the features - especially the safety features - are enough to make you weep with joy.
In the two previous cars, we covered everything we believed to be important in the eyes of the wanderlust family, except that of luxury, which is where the Audi Q7 steps into the arena wearing a tailor-made Tux, a cane, and a monocle. For anyone that has ever sat in the redesigned Q7 will know what we are talking about because it is about as luxurious as a big - but lightweight - SUV could ever hope to be. Of course, there is one giant elephant in the room; the price. You can expect to pay well in excess of $60,000 as standard, but that is the price you pay for excellence. What are we talking about? Well, for starters, the V6-supercharged engine that harmonizes with an eight-speed, automatic gearbox to produce frighteningly fast but smooth ride, and all without compromising too much on the economy. Mmm hmmmm. This car is special. It is fast and furious, massive and spacious, and yet so quiet and tranquil that you can close your eyes and almost imagine yourself in the comfy waiting room at a five-star spa. It is comfortable to be in and comfortable to drive, the headspace is a dream, the infotainment is great (once you get used to the slightly tricky controls), the tech is state of the art and the luxury is second-to-none. But, like we said, it comes at a price, which is why the Subaru remains the top of our list.
While these three easily make up our top three (and the only friends you should ever need to make when it comes to hitting the road, Jack), we should give a shout out to a few other options. The Subaru Outback, the Dodge Durango, the Ford Taurus, Chevrolet Impala and, yes, even the Toyota Sienna, as frumpy as it looks.