Best Cars to Take on Your Summer Road Trip

Car driving on road best car for road trips

Summertime and road trips go together like peanut butter and jelly. Especially when you’ve been feeling a little cooped up for the past few months. As the weather heats up, it’s prime time to hit the open road and explore something new. Whether you’re traveling down the street or across the state, you’ll want a car with everything you need to maximize your fun.

Here are the best road trip cars you can rent, no matter where your journey is taking you.

The Best Rental Cars for a Road Trip

If you’re going to a mountain retreat:

If you plan on trekking to a nice cabin rental for your summer getaway, an SUV or 4-wheel drive vehicle are the optimal rental cars for your road trip. While you’re taking in fresh air and scenic surroundings, you need a car built for a cross-county road trip with all the trimmings.

Ford Escape: Over-packers, don’t fret. This compact SUV has plenty of interior room, as well as ample cargo space, for whatever you like to bring on your trip. Although the standard models of Ford Escape are 2-wheel drive there are upgraded packages that offer 4-wheel drive, just in case your getaway gets a little too rustic. Other possible features include reverse sensing systems and infotainment packages to really help you enjoy your drive.

Toyota RAV4: When you’re looking to get outdoorsy, this is another one of the best road trip cars. This compact SUV is perfect for dirt road driving and can handle it when the going gets rough. It also comes in both 2WD and all-wheel-drive models. If you’re worried about getting lost in the great outdoors, the limited edition of the RAV4 has a navigation with a touch-screen display.

Ready for your rustic getaway? Check out cabin and SUV car rentals to make the most of your road trip.


If you’re getting romantic:

Have a cozy getaway at a bed and breakfast planned? Vacation with your sweetie in style by checking out fuel-efficient luxury cars for your weekend away. Pack your bags, leave your cares at home, and hit the road in a high-end vehicle built for romance.

BMW X1: This small, luxury SUV enables you to have abundant amenities and features with all the comforts and space of a larger vehicle, making it an extremely comfortable car for long trips. The interior features include 8-way power-adjustable leatherette seats and glossy finishes. It also provides a smooth ride thanks to gas-powered shock absorbers and its xDrive all-wheel-drive system. If you’re looking for something classy and special but still practical for your trip, renting a BMW X1 will check all of your boxes.

Get ready for ultimate romance with the one you love and check out these charming bed and breakfasts and luxury car rentals for your sweet getaway.


If you’re going for some R&R at the beach or lake:

Lovers of the shoreline need two things when making a break for a much-needed vacation: a waterside apartment rental and the perfect convertible rental to cruise in. No matter if you want to relax lakeside or oceanside, you can have the wind blowing through your hair in no time. When you’re looking for a good road trip car, nothing is more fun than a vacation ride in a convertible.

Ford Mustang Convertible: When renting a car for a road trip, a flashy convertible is a must-have for beach or lake roadway cruising. While not best suited for cross-country road trips, the Mustang is the best-selling sports coupe in the world and has plenty of get-up-and-go to give some power to your coastal drives. If you’re looking for the latest and greatest in your ride, upgraded models also come with high-tech additions like all-digital instrument clusters.

Unwind on your getaway and check out these waterfront apartment rentals perfectly complemented with convertible car rentals.


If you’re doing something adventurous:

You’re ready to get off the beaten path and try something a little different on your next road trip, like a stay at a hostel. Uncommon trips deserve a unique ride, and renting a crossover vehicle is the perfect answer. A crossover vehicle is one of the best full-size cars you can rent for a getaway filled with the unexpected, giving you the comfort of a car and the additional space of an SUV.

Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport: This crossover vehicle is a solid choice to get you and all of your adventure gear anywhere you want to go. You can count on plenty of interior room and a comfortable ride, making it one of the most comfortable road trip cars around. And techies will love that all recent Atlas models have a touch-screen infotainment display with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. If you need help with directions, navigation is available on some models. Tough terrain ahead? Know that front-wheel drive is standard, but all-wheel drive is optional.

Brave anything you want to take on by booking a hostel and renting a crossover vehicle for your upcoming trip.


If you just want to get away:

Sometimes, you’re just ready to get on the road and not worry about a ton of details and planning. If you’re on a budget and prefer to save your funds for other things, heading to a motel and getting there in a nice economy car rental is the perfect recipe for cheap summer fun. But that doesn’t mean you have to give up comfort and a dash of style on the journey.

Hyundai Accent: If you’re looking for roomy and comfortable seats and good gas mileage when renting a car for a road trip, the Accent is a great option. The subcompact car isn’t the largest in its class, so take that into consideration when packing for your trip. When it comes to interior features, you can expect all models to come with Bluetooth, a USB port, and a 5-inch touch screen, but navigation won’t be included. And you won’t have to stop for gas too often on your trip, because it gets 33 mpg in the city and 41 mpg on the highway. When it comes to good road trip cars, the Accent covers all of your bases and then some. And your wallet won’t complain too much, either.

Check out these motel options and economy car rentals when you’re ready for your next quick and easy road trip.

When it comes to summer vacations this year, there’s a lot to think about. If you’re ready to hop on the highway and get some miles under your belt, finding the perfect rental car is half of the journey. There can be a lot of boxes to tick when you’re looking for the best road trip cars, but these options can help you get started on your search for the perfect vessel for your summertime getaway.

Ready to roll the windows down, feel the summer breeze, and get going? Book your road trip destination with the perfect accommodations, then complement the ride by renting one of the most comfortable road trip cars.

Header image via MUNGKHOOD STUDIO/shutterstock

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