5 Best Cars for Long Family Holiday Road Trips

November 16, 2009
When you are looking for transportation to that dysfunction-fest known as holiday time with your family it is important to have the right vehicle. Never before have car buyers had such a wealth of options not only having to do with style but also fuel economy, power and handling. Yes, you can have a fun to drive family car and some of the cars on this list are proof. (And yes, you can cram them all full of those Kleenex box cozies your Aunt Norma loves to make you each year.)

Honda CR-V: While it may not boast the sexiest styling or the fastest engine in the cute-ute segment, the Honda CR-V has one of the best road trip interiors on Earth. Why? Because its simple and there is nothing an errant 8 year old can break after the 18th round of are we there yet? Better yet, why not equip it with rear seat entertainment screens so you dont have to hear from your offspring the entire trip. Now wouldnt that make it a truly peaceful holidayfor you?

VW GTI 4-Door : This four door German hatchback oozes style, class and sex appeal all with a trunk big enough to hide the bodies of the in-laws. The interior is built to such a high new standard you may decide to sleep in here instead of Aunt Glendas hideaway sofa. The seats are covered in a sturdy tartan fabric that makes the leather option seem wholly unnecessary. Then there is the instant torque from the 2.0 liter direct injected/turbocharged engine which exists merely to carry out your demands in the manner most aurally pleasing to you. This car, plain and simple, is magic. It can also get over 30 miles per gallon on the highway.

Hyundai Elantra Touring : With a recent $1800 price drop, this already bargain priced Hyundai wagon is now the best value on the market. You really cant get more space, economy and utility for less. Thankfully the Elantra Touring was designed and engineered in Europe so it is fun to drive especially with the manual transmission option. And just because you blew all your money on presents doesnt mean you cant have something fun to drive, right?

BMW 3-Series : Is there a better way to arrive home and announce to that snooty brother of yours that Ive arrived? No, there really isnt a way without coming across as tacky and showy. So cancel the Lamborghini Murcielago. Whats even better about the 3-series is that it is the best drivers sedan on the market today with trunk and cabin space on par with far more boring vehicles. But does that matter when you are having this much fun behind the wheel?

Toyota Highlander : The Highlander may be as innocuous as a loaf of Wonder Bread in a Supermarket but that doesnt mean it is without virtues. Most importantly, the Highlander seats seven (with second row seats that can even be separated in case the kids decide to have a war) yet is not the size of a medium sized Humpback Whale. Offered with four cylinder, six cylinder and hybrid power there is a Highlander for every purse and purpose.

And while the styling makes no bold statement, it is clean and nice. People dont take enough time now to appreciate nice. Do be careful before specifying the Limited model over the lesser Sport as this adds wood-trim which one can only describe as appearing not from this world. Stick with the silver trim in the Sport as it suits the utilitarian nature of the vehicle far better.

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