While attending the North American International Auto Show’s Press Preview last week in Detroit, I couldn’t help but imagine all the road trips I could take in the vehicles I saw. I could picture myself weaving through busy urban streets in a hot pink Smartcar or cruising California’s Pacific Coast Highway in an ocean blue Audi convertible.
As I explored the Detroit Auto Show, I realized there are many road trip transportation options on the market. But, they aren’t all necessarily for the same kind of traveler. In this post, I’ll share six of these vehicles and which of their features make them fit for how you travel.
Disclosure: This post is part of a campaign sponsored by A Girls Guide to Cars. It also contains some sponsored and affiliate links. When you click on or make a purchase from an affiliate link, I may earn a commission. Of course, this is at no extra cost to you.
2018 Chevrolet Traverse — For The Not-So-Light Packers
If, like me, you tend to overpack for a road trip, then you are going to love all the storage space in the brand new 2018 Chevy Traverse. You’ll find cubbies for devices, pockets for maps and guidebooks, and even additional storage in a “secret compartment” under the floor in the rear.
Here are some of the all-new 2018 Chevy Traverse’s best features for road trips:
- Seats up to 8 passengers with comfortable third-row legroom for group travel
- Available wireless phone charging cradle that fits an iPhone 7 within driver’s reach
- Up to 7 USB ports to charge devices
- Available OnStar 4G LTE Wi-Fi
- Can tow up to 5,000 pounds
- Safety features: Seven air bags, forward collision alert, front pedestrian breaking, low-speed and full-speed forward automatic braking, adaptive cruise control, blind spot alert, surround vision, Intellibeam® headlamps, and lane keeping assist.
Hyundai Santa Fe — For The Tech-Savvy Traveler
Today’s traveler often relies upon technology for updated traffic and weather alerts. In the Hyundai Santa Fe, you’ll find multiple ways to have information at your fingertips.
Here are the technology features I like for traveling in the Hyundai Santa Fe:
- Spacious interior seats up to 7 passengers with USB port for third-row passengers
- Available 8-inch touchscreen and voice-recognition navigation system with real-time traffic alerts, alternate routes, and rear-view camera
- Standard 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system, USB ports and rear-view camera
- Add SiriusXM Travel Link® for updates on traffic, weather, and even movie times
- Compatible with Android Auto for hands-free text messaging
- Hyundai’s Blue Link app for smartphones and smartwatches allows drivers to remotely lock vehicle, adjust climate, and defrost windows. It also automatically calls for help when the vehicle has been in a collision.
- Safety features: Automatic emergency braking, smart cruise control with start and stop capability, Dynamic Bending Light that directs the headlight’s beam to follow the steering wheel, and 360-degree-view camera
Chrysler Pacifica — For The Safety-Conscious Family Road Trippers
With your precious cargo on board, you don’t want to take any risks when you are driving a long-haul road trip to Disney World.
These are some of the features most beneficial to family road trippers:
- Light yet stiff body of advanced high-strength steel for optimal safety and performance like a sedan
- Top safety features: blind spot monitors, lane departure warning, cross traffic alert, surround view camera, and adaptive cruise control
- Flexible second- and third-row seating
- Plenty of cargo and storage space for luggage, purses, sunglasses, and phones
- Front console has three USB ports and a 12-volt outlet for charging devices
- Vacuum to clean up those snack-time spills!
Chrysler’s family minivan was named the North American Utility Vehicle of the Year at the 2017 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, and given the technology, entertainment, performance and safety features I can see why. Can’t you?
Genesis G90 — For The Luxury Jet-setters
Travelers seeking the ultimate luxury, comfort, style, and safety will find it all in the Genesis G90.
Some of the Genesis G90’s luxurious comforts and advanced technology and safety features that make it ideal for jet-setters are:
- Standard safety features: Automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, driver attention alert, lane keeping assist, multi-view camera with front and rear parking sensors, smart blind spot detection with lane change assist and rear cross-traffic alert, smart cruise control, front pre-collision warning, electronic stability and traction control systems, Dynamic Bending Light, automatic collision notification, full color heads-up display, rain-sensing windshield wipers, auto-defogging windshield, nine airbags, and anti-whiplash front head restraints
- Luxury service: standard 3-years complimentary scheduled maintenance, SiriusXM Traffic & Travel Link, 24/7 roadside assistance, valet service, Genesis connected services, and navigation map care & annual map updates
- Wireless smartphone charging pad
- Heated and ventilated front seats AND heated back seats
- Power rear windshield and rear-side window shades
- Hands-free smart trunk with auto open
Jeep Wrangler — For The Outdoor Adventure Seekers
For the outdoorsy adventure travelers, Jeep is still the brand for you. In particular, the Jeep Wrangler can tackle rugged terrain with its off-road capabilities.
Here are some features that make the Jeep Wrangler fit for adventure travel:
- Standard hill-start assist and available hill-descent control
- Electronic stability control for traction control
- Driver and front-passenger advanced multistage airbags
- 12-volt outlet and USB port in center console for charging mobile devices
- 115-volt outlet to power laptops and other household items — comes standard on Sahara and Rubicon models, optional package in 2-door and 4-door sport models
Cadillac Escalade — For The Epicurean Traveler
With ample cargo space, a luxurious and comfortable cabin, three TV screens to keep back-seat passengers entertained, and many of the advanced safety features available in the other vehicles on this list, the Cadillac Escalade is ideal for for foodie travelers like me.
There are many features of the Cadillac Escalade that I love including:
- Wireless smartphone charger for Android devices and compatible for iPhones with a special case
- Three rows of seating for an epicurean family
- Extra 20 inches of rear cargo space in ESV model
- Three TV screens, and back-seat passengers can each be watching a different movie or playing a different video game on each monitor
- Second- and third-row seats easily collapse at the push of a button to create more cargo space
- Rear-view camera while driving so you can stack luggage to ceiling and still see what’s behind you
- Most important for an epicurean traveler — a mini fridge in the front-seat center console!
With any of these vehicles, you are road-trip ready. But, don’t forget about your tires!
Since I started this blog, I’ve been logging a lot of mileage on my 2015 Ford Escape. That’s why I’m glad I have Michelin tires on my vehicle.
While at the Detroit Auto Show, I spoke with a Michelin representative about the best tires for road trip travelers. We talked about tires that provide efficient fuel economy and have long-lasting treads. Overall, Michelin’s all-season tires would be optimal for most of the vehicles I’ve highlighted in this post.
However, Colorado ski resort visitors and other winter travelers should consider switching to one of Michelin’s winter tires for more traction and control on snow and ice.
Shop Features, Not Brands
To wrap up this post, I want to leave you with one piece of advice I received from Scotty Reiss, of A Girls Guide to Cars. If you are in the market for a new car, shop for the features you want rather than by the brand.
With a base price tag of $73,395, the Cadillac Escalade will have to remain the luxury road trip vehicle of my dreams for now. However, if you are shopping for a new vehicle — whether it’s that dreamy Cadillac Escalade or your own favorite road-trip car — you can earn money to put toward that dream purchase by selling your old vehicle — even if its wrecked, damaged or won’t start!
A great way to comparison shop the best vehicle features for road trips is by attending an auto show like the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The Detroit Auto Show is annually held at Cobo Center. Before you head to this year’s show, check out my guide for visiting the Motor City for where to eat, drink, explore, and stay during the annual Detroit Auto Show.
Which features do you want in your road-trip vehicle?
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