Planning a driving holiday any time soon? It isn’t just the way points and destinations which make a road trip, the car you choose is vitally important. Would you rather outright comfort or thrilling performance? Would you like to sit in hushed refinement, or have the sun beating down on you as the wind flows through your hair?
We’ve picked out 10 of the best road-trippers, catering for almost any budget. If any of these great cars takes your fancy, put them in our car configurator to see how much carwow could help you save.
For many, the French Riviera is the ideal destination after a long continental cruise, and there are few cars that’ll look more at home there than the Maserati GranCabrio. It looks stunning, yet oozes the sort of class to make a British secret agent envious.
There’s genuine room for four people in the gloriously appointed cabin, and the ability to drop the roof brings one major benefit over the GranTurismo coupe – the noise of that thunderous V8 can be enjoyed whenever you please.
Spec up a Maserati GranCabrio in our car configurator to see what savings can be made.
For those looking for a four-seater drop-top experience at a much more reasonable price than the Maserati, the Vauxhall Cascada could fit the bill perfectly. Designed to be a relaxing cruiser, the ride is supple and refinement is great. The choice of petrol and diesel engines are well suited to its laid-back character – we’d recommend the 195hp twin-turbo diesel as the most capable continent crosser.
It pulls off a rare trick for cabriolets, too – even with the fabric roof up, we think it still manages to look handsome and well-proportioned. It’s nice to know that your style won’t be dampened even when the weather is.
Pick your perfect Vauxhall Cascada in our car configurator to see how much you could save.
Skoda Superb Estate
We appreciate that not every road tripper wants to mess up their hair – some would prefer to stretch their legs and relax. There are few places better suited for lounging about than the back seats of the Skoda Superb Estate – it’s Rolls Royce-levels of huge back there. It’s comfortable and easy to drive, too, so it’s a very relaxing companion over long distances.
Equally, if you can’t decide what to wear when you arrive at your destination, that’s no problem – the gigantic 660-litre boot allows you to cart every item of clothing you own along for the ride, too.
Choose your ideal Skoda Superb Estate in our car configurator to see the reductions on offer.
You might be looking through many of the cars featured here in disappointment – say you have precisely five friends, they won’t all be able to fit into any of the other cars on this list. That’s where the Mercedes V-Class steps in.
Not only is it comfortable, well-built and as luxuriously appointed as many other Mercedes models – the six seats cater for more than any other choice here. Their arrangement makes it ideal for chinwags as long as the journey, too – the four rear chairs can be arranged to face each other while on the move. For those who find six seats inadequate, there is even the option of an eight-seat arrangement.
Choose your perfect Mercedes V-Class in our car configurator to see what discounts are available.
Ferrari 488 Spider
Taking an entourage with you may be fun, but what if you only intend to share the trip with just one companion – ideally with stops at Monza or Spa Circuit along the way? The two seat Ferrari 488 Spider allows all the joys of open top motoring, without sacrificing the incredible chassis balance and composure of the coupe-bodied 488 GTB. This car is just as capable on track as it is cruising a Mediterranean boulevard.
Performance is staggering – it’ll reach 62mph from rest in barely three seconds, and continue beyond 200mph. When you’re finishing scaring your passenger witless, switch the 488 into “bumpy road” mode, and it settles down to an uncannily smooth ride. Very few cars can cover such a wide breadth of abilities with this level of drama.
If you’re going to be travelling a huge distance, it makes sense to cover the ground in the most refined, comfortable way possible. The Range Rover makes a very strong case for being the perfect vehicle for the job.
Paired with the 330hp V8 turbodiesel engine, progress is both serene and rapid, while impressive range between fuel stops is possible thanks to a huge 105-litre tank. Pick a long-wheelbase model, and not only is rear legroom more than ample enough for the gangliest of passengers, but those in the back seats can remain entertained courtesy of a pair of 10.2-inch screens mounted in front of them.
Pick your ideal Range Rover in our car configurator to see how much you could save.
Honda Civic Type R
Not all road trips have to be about cruising over long distances. What if you want to go for a blast along a B-road? There are few better choices than the Honda Civic Type R. Thanks to a 306hp turbocharged 2.0-litre engine, it’ll smash through the 0-62mph dash in just 5.7 seconds. An aggressive engine note and a wonderfully slick six-speed manual gearbox helps to make it fun to drive and strong brakes help to heave it back to sensible speeds when a corner approaches.
Not that you’ll need to slow down too much – the Type R can call upon huge reserves of grip that you won’t get anywhere near exploring on public roads. All of this in a car with five doors and a very generous boot. It’s undoubtedly a modern-day performance bargain.
Pick your perfect Honda Civic Type R in our car configurator to see the discounts on offer.
Citroen C4 Cactus
Sometimes your choice of car makes the trip feel like an event in itself. The wacky Citroen C4 Cactus is fun to look at – inside and out – a feeling that’s sure to brush off on the occupants. Talking of brushing, if you’re sat three abreast in the back, the cosy rear bench means that you’ll probably be touching shoulders with your co-passengers.
Besides the cheery nature, there are other reasons to recommend the Cactus for a long journey. The ride is impressively comfortable for a small car, while the frugal diesel engines achieve a claimed 83.1mpg, so you can spend more time driving and less topping up the tank.
Choose your ideal Citroen C4 Cactus in our car configurator to see the deals on offer.
The Porsche Panamera may boast four doors and four seats but, make no mistake, it still delivers supercar-baiting performance. A range of powerful engines are available, the most potent of which is the one shoehorned beneath the bonnet of the Turbo S. The 4.8-litre V8 produces 562hp, which when deployed to the ground via all-four wheels helps the Panamera cover 0-62mph in just 3.8 seconds.
Head out towards the unrestricted German Autobahns, and it’ll hit 192mph flat out. It’s the perfect car if you and three friends need to be in another country, as fast as physically possible.
It’s all well and good choosing a car purely for the purposes of a road trip, but it’s nice to have a car that can cope with the daily stuff, too. The Renault Kadjar boasts the refinement, comfort and economy to lend itself well to motorway journeys but, thanks to low running costs, a competitive purchase price and a practical interior, it’ll cope just as well on the daily commute or school run.
Factor in the fact that, aside from the Citroen, it’s the cheapest car on our list and it makes a fine choice regardless of the situation. If you need a comfy family car that doesn’t feel out of place wherever you drive it, the Kadjar might be for you.
Pick your favourite Renault Kadjar in our car configurator to see the savings offered.
Save money on your new road trip car
Put any of the cars featured here in our car configurator to see how much carwow could help you save. For more options, head over to our deals page or, if you’re still struggling to pick your next car, check out our car chooser.