There’s two words that can spur excitement in anyone looking for adventure: road trip.

With spring beginning and summer close behind, there’s nothing like planning that next big trek across the country to take in the various sights and sounds at your own leisure. But if there’s one thing that can make or break a road trip — aside from arguably the people that you’re taking it with — it’s the car you’re taking this journey in.

Three things to find in the ideal road-trip car:

  1. Space – you don’t want to be crammed into an area you’re sure to be spending a lot of time in.
  2. Comfort/Reliability – leave your beater car at home and make sure you’re in a vehicle that’s not only comfortable, but reliable.
  3. Efficiency – with all the driving you’re sure to be doing, you certainly don’t want to be stopping every few hours to refuel.

Here’s a look at some of the best cars to take a trek across the country in:

BMW 3-Series

We know what you’re thinking – why would you want to take a high-quality car across the country? It goes back to that second element of the ideal road-trip car – comfort and reliability. According to, a design site where the bloggers took the BMW 3-Series for a 2,000 mile road trip, its cabin is extremely comfortable, equipped with plush seating and a built-in infotainment system that can make sure you’re on time and on the right route to your destination. According to Chapman BMW, the 3-Series can get up to 33 mpg highway. We should also mention that this car is just flat out fun to drive, no matter if you’re cruising up and down hills, on windy paths or on narrow city streets.

Chevy Equinox rated this as the number one road trip car. As a five seater, the Chevy Equinox is big on space and also on comfort and reliability and gets 26 mpg highway. Although it qualifies more as a compact crossover than an SUV, space is at a premium, states For instance, the rear seat backs actually recline into the back storage compartment of the car, making it easy for rear passengers to lay back and catch a nap on the road. The Equinox rides so smoothly you won’t even feel a bump, allowing you to power nap in peace when the road trip starts to inevitably take its toll.

Ford Flex

Space, space and more space. Unlike the Equinox, the Flex can seat up to seven and gets 24 mpg highway, states And if you don’t quite have seven passengers, just remove the second-row bench seat and use it for extra storage. Neat idea – leave the bench seat at home and spread out a couple of sleeping bags on the floor for weary travelers to catch some z’s.

VW Jetta Sportwagen

The Jetta Sportswagen hits a couple of points on the “essential road trip cars” list. For one, it has plenty of space in its station-wagon like body for your luggage. Secondly, it gets roughly 40 mpg highway, allowing you to travel further between gas stops, something that gives it a bit of a competitive advantage over our previous two options. Essentially, it’s somewhat like an SUV in terms of the amount of space, but better on the gas allowance.

Road trips are no doubt an exciting experience. Select a car to drive on your adventure that adds to it – not takes away from it. Do you have a favorite car for road trips? We’d love to hear about it in the comments!

Author Bio: Kyle was born to sail the seas on a cruise liner. He wishes he could live on one, but alas, your feet have to find land eventually, especially since his laptop doesn’t get a good signal onboard.