So you want to take a drive through the desert, get your kicks along Route 66 or forge your own path through the desolate forgotten lands of America. Luckily for you, the U.S. is full of road trip opportunities. Adventures await throughout America’s 48 contiguous states. Each is a unique match to the changing typography from north to south, east to west. Once you’ve decided where go, you just need to decide what car you want to take you there. We can help with that.
Choosing a car to fit your individual needs on a road trip is about as easy as choosing a destination itself – meaning that with so many great options out there, deciding on the right car for your family road trip can take some research, time and consideration. When choosing a perfect road trip vehicle, there are a lot of factors to consider first such as the distance to your destination (gas mileage), who’s coming along with you (size and seating), and what your going to do once you get there.
To help answer these questions and more, I boarded a plane ( I know, ironic) and headed out to West Virginia to put some of the Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Fiat vehicles to my own little family road trip test. Then after driving many of these vehicles through the three different scenarios of on the road, track and off road – I picked my top choice in each category.
Road Test Top Pick: 2016 Chrysler Town & Country
If you’re looking for space and comfort or a great choice for long distance travel – the Chrysler Town & Country is a top road trip pick. With spacious seating for up to 7, the Chrysler Town & Country pulls out all of the luxury punches in comfort and has 55 available safety and tech features including trailer sway damping & SafetyTec. Another great road trip feature of the Chrysler Town & Country is the Stow ‘n Go Seating with One Touch Fold Down which makes adding extra cargo room a breeze. Plus, if staying connected to home and the internet is important to you on the road the Town & Country also offers UConnect – a mobile hot spot capability.
Things to consider:
- Gas Mileage: 17/25 (city/hwy)
- Size and Seating: Van – Up to 7
- Best Qualities: Space and Comfort
- Road Blocks: Size/Maneuverability
Track Test Top Pick: 2016 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat
The Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat would make for a very fun road trip drive – with every turn or acceleration it hugged the road and
made me feel in control. Even though the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat is a muscle car with a a supercharged 6.2 liter Hemi that produces 707 horsepower and 650 ft. of torque, it is also a four door sedan with comfortable seating for up to 5 and 80 available safety features – so for this reason I think that it can qualify as an optional family road trip vehicle in my book. Along with the vehicles top speed of 204 mph (which I don’t recommend testing) the available safety features include Full Speed Forward Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning with Lane Keep Assist and a Backup Camera. I also loved the style of the vehicle both on the interior and exterior. I could easily see myself cruising Route 66 in this ride.
Things to consider:
- Gas Mileage: 16/25 (city/hwy)
- Size and Seating: Sedan – Up to 5
- Best Qualities: Fun and Good Control
- Road Blocks: Space and Comfort
Off Road Top Pick: 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4×4
The Jeep Grand Cherokee 4×4 took me through water, mud, up steep inclines and over rocks with no problems at all – all while making me feel in control and safe. The Jeep Grand Cherokee is versatile for both highway driving and has off road capabilities with Selec-Terrain controls for Auto, Snow, Sport, Sand/Mud and Rock – it’s practically road trip ready for any adventure! While being a off road force to be reckoned with, the Jeep Grand Cherokee also has seating for up to 5, luxury interior settings and 70 available safety features such as ParkSense Parallel and Perpendicular Park Assist, Forward Collision Warning-Plus, and Blind Spot Monitoring. Also, along with its off road versatility that the other vehicle choices don’t have – it should be noted that the Jeep Grand Cherokee has the best gas mileage out of the three.
Things to consider:
- Gas Mileage: 31 mpg highway
- Size and Seating: SUV – Up to 5
- Best Qualities: Agility
- Road Blocks: Speed
What type of car and adventure would you choose – a historic drive down Route 66, a road trip to Las Vegas, or have an outdoor adventure in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho? Tell me your thoughts in the comments below.