Best Road Trip Cars?

MoustachekaiMoustachekai Member Posts: 1
edited April 2019 in General
I am looking for a car to do road trips in but also for everyday life. So I’m looking for a car with good MPG, good storage, and under $15k. I know everyone’s opinion on what “good mpg” and “good storage” will be different but I want to get a few ideas for cars. Thanks!


  • stickguystickguy Member Posts: 46,060
    used I assume at that price range. so first question is, how used (years and miles) are you willing to go? And how long are the road trips?

    a mid-sized sedan should work fine, and you can get good deals these days on lightly used ones. Any of the usual suspects will do (camry, malibu, Sonata, Altima,). Passats are nice cruising cars, and enormous inside. Depending on which one, and how fancy a trim level you want, will determine how old. But you can probably get a nicely equipped 2 YO Malibu, maybe a CPO, for your budget. Camry will tend to cost more, because of the Toyota name. Sonatas are great for what you want (I had a 2015) and get really be a steal of a deal.

    if you want boxier storage, so some sort of CUV, consider the same brands, just expect to pay more for the same years/miles, and give up a fair amount of MPG. A bit more utility, but generally noisier and not as good a ride.

    so in terms of a nice relaxing ride with lots of room for people, lots of features (goodies and safety) and a good sized trunk, while still getting mid-30's+ MPG, can't beat a mid sized sedan. With those I mentioned probably being skewed the most toward the relaxing side. Try them all and see what feels right.

    jsut a few random ones I grabbed quick. More basic levels. Can always get something more loaded (like a Sonata Limited) but for same money will either have more miles or be a year older.

    2020 Acura RDX tech SH-AWD , 2022 Ford Maverick Lariat Ecoboost FWD.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    For road trips, one thing to pay close attention to is how "buzzy" the engine is at 65-70 mph. There are lots of very nice compact CUVs that have room and get decent MPG, but their engines and gearing might prove a bit tedious on long trips. If your tachometer shows say 3,000 rpm at 60 mph, this car probably isn't for you. You'd want an engine that offered torque rather than fast acceleration. So a very small turbo motor might not cut it, whereas a 2L to 2.5L normally aspirated one might be better---even if the little turbo is faster 0-60.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Member Posts: 31,176
    need to know what and who you are taking on these road trips. Our minivan is our road trip vehicle. 23-24 mpg, entertainment screens for the kids, and room for 2 weeks of luggage, equipment, and food.

    '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '13 Fiat 500c, '21 WRX, '20 S90 T6, '22 4xE, '92 Nissan Gloria 3.0. 63-car history and counting! MB Sprinter, '94 Pajero 2.8TD, and '97 Suzuki R Wagon on the way; in queue for Lucid Air Pure, Blazer EV, and Fisker Ocean.

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