Whether you’re a weekend warrior or a first time traveler, there is a lot to consider when picking the best car for a road trip. Being comfortable is the main goal, especially if you’re traveling solo. Other factors to consider include how much you plan to spend and how much you want to bring. By following these tips, solo travelers can find the vehicle that crosses off everything on their list.

Fuel Efficiency

Nothing kills the fun of a road trip like watching the numbers go up and up at the gas pump. Gas prices vary widely throughout the country as well, from an average $4.30 a gallon in Los Angeles to $2.50 in Wilmington, Delaware. However, the right vehicle can help reduce sticker shock.

The Honda Civic has a very wallet-friendly gas mileage. It gets on average 32 miles per gallon in the city and 42 miles per gallon on the highway. Even though the Ford Escape Hybrid is larger, it also has great gas mileage. This car reaches up to 34 miles per gallon in the city and 31 miles per gallon on the highway.

AAA has several recommendations for drivers to save gas while on the road. One tip is accelerating gradually instead of flooring it every time the light turns green. If possible, drivers should hit the road during the cooler parts of the day. Air conditioning helps save gas because they create less drag than driving with the windows open.

Drivers can download an app to help find the cheapest pump in the area. Google Maps usually shows the results when typing in “gas” in the search field. Gas Buddy relies on user input, and it shows gas station reviews and other money saving tips.

Cargo Space to Fit Your Gear

It’s important to make sure your vehicle of choice can fit you and all your gear. Depending on the trip, it may be necessary to fold down seats. Other people may need a roof rack system for sports gear. The Honda CR-V is an ideal choice because its cargo space is among the largest in its class. The car is roomy for five passengers, let alone a person going on a solo trip.

Other people may need a car that hauls heavy items. In this case, look for a vehicle that has solid pulling power such as the Ram EcoDiesel. This vehicle has whopping 9,050-lbs of towing capacity. It also has 420-pound-feet of torque to help items such as a boat or an ATV get from point A to point B.

Comfort Along the Road

Drivers should not sacrifice comfort, especially for a long road trip. Shorter people for example should check to make sure they see clearly over the car’s dashboard. And taller people should give a vehicle a test run to make sure their head isn’t touching the ceiling.

The vehicle’s interior plays a large role in comfort as well. Leather seats may work in most cases, but the material gets painful to touch if it’s been sitting in the hot sun. Drivers should avoid dark colored interiors, as they just absorb the sun. The Acura TLX is one of the top rated vehicles for comfort, as it has perforated leather seats with four levels of heating and ventilation.   

Safety Features

Vehicles built today are the safest that they have ever been. Many offer front row side and curtain airbags that act as a ring around the passengers in case of a crash. Other important safety features include seat belt alerts, automatic lights and backup cameras. Carmakers are starting to introduce new safety technology as well.

The Infiniti EX will use the brakes to help keep drivers from shifting from their lanes. Other vehicles have automatic emergency braking that act when the system detects an oncoming forward crash. Dynamic brake support comes in when a driver brakes, but not hard enough to avoid a crash.

Some Extra Considerations

Depending on where the road trip goes, you may need a car with off-road capabilities. First, check to make sure the vehicle has either all-wheel drive or true four-wheel drive. Next, consider the amount of lift needed if the trail gets rocky. Steel bumpers are important too, as they help protect the vehicle from damage. They also help provide extra room for spare tires, tool storage and extra fuel.

Last but not least, a good road trip car should have a quality sound system. For those looking to avoid flipping the dial, consider a vehicle with satellite radio. Vehicles with AUX and Bluetooth capabilities are good options as well. Bluetooth helps drivers go hands free and play music or answer phone calls without taking their eyes off the road.

Cruise control is another helpful electronic feature. The standard option gives drivers a chance to give their foot a rest. The advanced option, adaptive cruise control, automatically slows down so drivers can keep a safe distance between the vehicles ahead of them. The Infiniti QX56 has this safety feature and a 13-speaker Bose audio system for top-notch entertainment during the long car ride.

Author: Haley Kieser, https://www.clippings.me/haleyk