When summer rolls around, thoughts of Cannonball Run and National Lampoon's Vacation remind us how adventurous, entertaining and memorable a road trip can be. Pack some suitcases, snacks and music: here are eight vehicles that will get you on the road again.
20 City / 30 Hwy
With the length of a 7-Series and headroom of an X5, BMW has brought together space and luxury in this sedan. Rear passengers will love the panoramic glass roof, rear video screens, sunshades and rear seats that recline like those in the front. These seats can also fold down for extra cargo space. All seats are heated and cooled, which will be appreciated if you drive in colder climes at night or hot temps during the day.
18 City / 27 Hwy
The luxury American wagon has come a long way from the Griswold's station wagon. Not only will the 556 horsepower CTS-V wagon get you there speedily, it's full of creature comfort features such as dual zone climate control, heated driver and passenger seats with lumbar support, optional DVD player, optional panoramic sunroof and sunshield, and it includes one year of OnStar, which is great for navigating when you decide to veer off course and explore the countryside.
16 City / 24 Hwy
You will have fun in this car. Although the convertible, which launched this spring, is best for two passengers, a child will enjoy the ride from a booster seat in the back (just be sure to apply plenty of sunscreen). The 6.2L, 426-hp V8 engine is nothing to scoff at; this car has plenty of muscle to flex on the open road. The convenient heads-up display puts key instruments right on the windshield, and lets you know when you should probably slow things down. If you get in a dusty area and put the top up, the interior pollen air filter will come into play. The six months of free OnStar (useful for navigation and crash response) is a nice perk as well.
41 City / 36 Hwy
The major bonus of driving this car on a road trip? You won't have to stop for $4/gallon gas as often thanks to its 36-mpg highway fuel economy. One of the most lauded Ford models in recent years, this five-passenger sedan offers high quality as well as premium comforts, such as dual-zone climate control, sunroof and the excellent Sync voice-controlled infotainment system. The trunk space suffers a bit because of the battery pack, but still boasts more cargo room than the Camry or Altima hybrids.
19 City / 28 Hwy
Pack up the family and head out on the road in this minivan. The legroom in all three rows is great, even for adults and older kids. Fold down the third row of this 8-passenger vehicle if you need a place to crash for the night or the cargo room. Perks of this vehicle include the rear entertainment system, a flip-up trash bag and a cool box that keeps snacks and drinks chilled. The safety of the Odyssey, which has received great marks when it comes to crash testing, includes a blind-spot information system to alert the driver when a nearby car may not be seen.
15 City / 20 Hwy
If you're more concerned with grandeur than gas mileage, the GX 460 should be near the top of your list. This beautiful eight-passenger car boasts a dual-screen rear entertainment system, XM radio and navigation, and heated and cooled seats. Plus, the third row folds down automatically so you can pull out your 500-thread count travel sheets and sleep in the back should you so desire.
18 City / 24 Hwy
The first thing you notice in the back of the R-Class is how roomy it feels. The spacious design, including two captains' chairs in the second row and a panoramic sunroof, make the seven-passenger ride seem like a lounge. The V6 clean diesel engine also provides for an economic drive, even though there are plenty of luxuries to offset that, such as navigation with Zagat restaurant ratings to help decide where to stop for dinner and a rear entertainment system. The seats also fold down in case you want to stop and rest out on the road.
25 City / 30 Hwy
This screams graduation road trip. The Cube has the most legroom in its class, which the three rear passengers will appreciate, along with the six standard air bags and reclining rear seats. The wraparound window offers excellent visibility and the height of this car makes you feel like you're in a raised sedan, making it easier to see what's ahead. The 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine makes the Cube decently peppy, so you'll make it to the musical festival in plenty of time.
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