What Are The Best Road Trip Cars?

Rental car companies offer a wide variety of vehicles, so you can enjoy your road trip in a new car without buying one for yourself. 

Depending on your rental car purposes, you will need to consider different vehicle types. 

Types of vehicles to consider for your trip 

Here are the 5 basic vehicle types to consider for your rental car, when to consider them for your trip, and the best car for that type.

1 – Standard Car

If you’re hitting the road solo or traveling for a short road trip with one other person, you may want to consider using a standard car. Cars typically get good gas mileage, and if you don’t have a need for excessive space, they make the best choice for your road trip. 

You may also choose to go for the most economical choice available to save money. Economy options are almost always a standard car. The best standard car for a road trip is the Toyota Corolla. 

Best Standard Car: Toyota Corolla

If you’re old enough to rent a car, you’ve probably known someone who has an older Toyota Corolla. Why is that? It’s because the Toyota Corolla is known for being an excellent choice for college students living away from home. There are very few times in your life that you will take as many road trips as you do in college because you’re constantly going home and going to see the world. 

The Toyota Corolla tends to transition well for people into the first car of their career as well. College life didn’t kill your Corolla, so you keep driving it. If the Toyota Corolla is reliable enough to see you through the first decade of your life as an adult, you can bet that it’s an excellent choice for a road trip. 

What makes the Toyota Corolla the best standard car choice for your road trip?

  • Gentle ride – A smooth ride can make or break your experience when you need to be in the car for long periods.
  • Good gas mileage – The Corolla averages 30 mpg for the city and 37 mpg for highways.
  • Good ride for the money – Another plus is their value in comparison to their affordability. They’re widely available for road trips because they do offer so much value for a good price.

2 – Luxury Car

When you’re traveling for business, you may not only be worried about your comfort. Often, you will need to transport a client in the vehicle with you. A luxury car for your road trip will help make your guest comfortable and leave them with a good impression. 

It’s hard to keep a sales pitch going to your client when you both feel cramped. Conversely, it’s easier to convince them that you’re going to go above and beyond the competition when they’re surrounded by luxury and comfort while they’re with you. 

Even if you’re not on a business trip, you may want to consider a luxury car for your next trip. Luxury vehicles offer comfort, assistive features, and luxurious features and design. If you’re going to be in the car for a considerably long time or you’re used to riding in a luxury vehicle, you’ll want to opt for a luxury car. 

Best Luxury Car: Mercedes-Benz GLE

There are few brands more synonymous in the minds of consumers with luxury than Mercedes-Benz. Any Mercedes-Benz promises to give you a taste of the good life. For your next road trip, though, you should take a Mercedes-Benz GLE if you can. 

What does the Mercedes-Benz GLE have to offer you on your road trip?

  • Balanced handling – When you’re driving for long periods, you want a car that handles easily. 
  • Spacious cabin – Luxury requires a feeling of serenity, and the GLE cabin puts you at peace.
  • State-of-the-art technology – One of the main reasons you choose luxury is for the cutting-edge features. From the infotainment system to the safety features, the GLE is bringing the best and newest technology.

3 – Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV)

Some road trips require the functionality of a minivan but are a little too rugged for a minivan, and if we’re being honest, sometimes you just don’t want to pull up in a minivan. If you have the passenger or cargo capacity needs that relate to this, a sports utility vehicle (SUV) is the answer to your dilemma. 

Suppose you’re planning to take in the wintery views on the Million Dollar Highway before you set up camp, go skiing, or detour through a national park. For that, you’re going to want to be in a vehicle that can haul your gear and handle the steep grades and wintery road conditions. 

Whatever your road trip holds, a sports utility vehicle is a wise consideration if you need increased seating capacity or the cargo space beyond a classic sedan. Obviously, the gas mileage of an SUV will be lower than a car’s gas mileage. But when you need power and space, you have to weigh your options.

Best SUV: Kia Telluride

If you need an SUV for your road trip, you should consider the Kia Telluride. The Telluride is named after the town of Telluride, Colorado. It’s a midsize SUV that offers third-row seating and has been surprising consumers since its debut in 2019 for the 2020 season.

For the price, the Telluride offers so much that it’s been outpacing its competition, and dealers have had a hard time keeping them in stock.

Why is the Telluride so popular and perfect for your next road trip?

  • Gentle ride – Just because your route is rugged doesn’t mean you should arrive at your destination feeling the ruggedness from your ride. 
  • Plenty of safety features – Safety is paramount when you’re on the road, especially if you’re headed to a remote destination.
  • Four-wheel drive – One of the reasons you might opt for an SUV is the terrain of your road trip. Four-wheel drive gives you the ability to handle the terrain and various road conditions easily.

4 – Minivan

A minivan is the best choice for your road trip when you have a fair amount of passengers, and when you’re on a road trip, you want a safe ride while you’re away from home. 

When you’re embarking on a family vacation, you will want more room than you may have in your everyday family vehicle for passengers and luggage. 

Reliability is also a big part of choosing the right vehicle for a family road trip. The last thing you want is to feel like you’ve stepped into a nightmare scene of the typical family vacation road trip movie because you’ve broken down on the side of the road.

Additionally, keeping your littlest passengers entertained and comfortable may be more of a priority when you’re on a road trip. In order to make sure that everyone is ready to enjoy your destination when you arrive, a minivan is a good choice for transporting your crew on a road trip.

Best Minivan: Honda Odyssey

The Honda Odyssey is one of the most popular minivans on the market. It makes a great family vehicle. The seats are supportive, and the cargo area offers a lot of space for luggage and gear for your trip.

Customers who purchase the Honda Odyssey are so loyal and love their vehicle so much that when it is time to purchase another vehicle, they return to the Odyssey again and again. 

Why do they love it so much, and why is it the best minivan for your road trip?

  • Roomy and comfortable seating – Plenty of space and comfort to go around can really cut down on pain from the ride and sibling arguments from being too cramped.
  • Premium infotainment system – Keeping the kids entertained while you navigate your route is a parental dream come true.
  • Strong engine – For a solid driving experience, you’ll need a strong engine to make the most of your trip and get you where you want to go safely.

5 – Special Car

You might wonder when and why you would want a special car on your road trip. Isn’t renting a car special enough? 

Not for every occasion. You want to make the most of the whole experience when you’re taking that dream vacation you’ve talked about for years.

For special occasions and trips where you want to do a lot of sightseeing from the car, it’s a good choice to opt for a convertible. Whether you’re riding the Pacific Coast Highway, cruising the Blue Ridge Parkway for the beautiful fall foliage, or doing some soul searching on the Loneliest Highway, the views and the experience in a convertible will make the kind of memories you cherish.

Special Car: Ford Mustang Convertible

The Ford Mustang convertible may be a classic, but it also stays competitive in the market. Use the Ford Mustang if you’re planning a special road trip experience and you need a special car for the trip.

What makes the Ford Mustang unique for your next road trip?

  • Potent engine – When you’re ready to take off on your road trip, the Mustang is ready with the horsepower you need. 
  • Dynamic handling – Part of the fun of a special car and your road trip is the actual drive. Driving the Mustang is an experience of its own to add value to your trip.
  • Ample room in the trunk – If you’re on a road trip, you likely have some luggage with you. A fun car isn’t very fun if you don’t have room for your things. The Mustang takes away the worry and lets you just have fun.


Whatever kind of road trip you’re taking, there’s a vehicle that’s just right to meet your needs and your expectations. Ask your rental car company what they have available in the category you need. Maybe you’ll luck up and get one of these great road trip vehicles on your next trip.

2021 Toyota Corolla Prices, Reviews, & Pictures | US News & World Report | US News
Colorado Kia Telluride | The Denver Post
Honda Odyssey Safety Rating: Everything You Need to Know | Car and Driver

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