Best Road Trip Cars in 2023

2024 Kia Carnival

Looking for Adventure? Head Out on the Highway!

People have a lot of pent-up travel lust after years of pandemic restrictions and uncertainty. Air travel in particular has seen a huge rise this summer, with the busiest day in the industry’s history occurring in June. Rather than fight those busy flights, hit the road in a new vehicle that can fit all your luggage and maybe even help you keep your cool.

No single car is the perfect road trip vehicle for everyone, but great road trip cars have some features in common. We looked for vehicles that have good gas mileage for fewer stops at gas stations, enough USB ports to keep everyone’s devices charged up and comfortable seats in all rows. Driver assistance features are important too, as they can help reduce fatigue during long days on the road.

When new information becomes available, we update our reviews, so the information in these slides might not match the reviews exactly.

Let’s take a look at the best road trip cars so we can – finally – get out of town.

Next:2023 Hyundai Tucson Hybrid

2023 Hyundai Tucson Hybrid Exterior

Hyundai Motor America

2023 Hyundai Tucson Hybrid

$31,350 | USN Overall Score: 8.7/10

The 2023 Hyundai Tucson Hybrid is among the best in its class. Its long list of features was refreshed for the new model year, and it was a finalist for our Best Hybrid SUV for the Money and Best Hybrid SUV for Families awards. The regular hybrid is the best for road tripping, with up to 38 mpg on the highway. The available plug-in hybrid shines brightest when you can take full advantage of its 33 miles of electric-only power around town.

Inside, there’s tons of room for adults in both rows of seating and a huge cargo area. An 8-inch touch screen, wireless Apple CarPlay, wireless Android Auto, four USB ports and wireless device charging come standard.

Next:2023 Volkswagen Atlas

2023 Volkswagen Atlas

Volkswagen of America, Inc.

2023 Volkswagen Atlas

$34,460 | USN Overall Score: 8.0/10

The 2023 Volkswagen Atlas has enough room to bring along everybody and all their gear. It’s available with two or three rows of seating, and even the optional third row has enough room for shorter adults or squirmy kids. It has more cargo space behind the third row than most in its class. A 6.5-inch touch screen and smartphone compatibility come standard.

Despite being a 3-row SUV, the Atlas is easy to maneuver, even when you leave the highway for city streets. It can also tow up to 5,000 pounds when properly configured if you plan to bring a small camper or want to tow some toys for your vacation.

Next:2023 Lincoln Navigator

2023 Lincoln Navigator

2023 Lincoln Navigator

$77,635 | USN Overall Score: 8.8/10

Wherever your road trip takes you, the 2023 Lincoln Navigator will make sure you arrive in comfort and style. It’s one of the best luxury large SUVs, with a well-built and high-quality interior. Standard features include a 13.2-inch touch screen, wireless smartphone connectivity, a Wi-Fi hotspot and five USB ports.

Every seat in all three rows is comfortable, and the available L model adds extra space to an already roomy cargo area. And though it is large, the Navigator turns in decent fuel economy estimates for its class, with up to 23 mpg on the highway. Standard safety features like lane-keep assist can help reduce driver fatigue too.

Next:2023 Chevrolet Suburban

2023 Chevrolet Suburban

2023 Chevrolet Suburban

$57,200 | Overall Score: 8.2/10

The 2023 Chevrolet Suburban is the classic family road trip SUV. It’s huge, with more cargo space than almost any SUV out there. It can be configured to seat up to nine people (though it’s a tight fit). With seven or eight seats, even the third row provides enough legroom for adults. The interior is sturdy enough for epic journeys, and it comes with an 8-inch touch screen, wireless smartphone connectivity and six USB ports.

Depending on how you configure it, the Suburban can tow up to 8,300 pounds, enough for the average camper. It also comes with driver-assistance features like lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist and automatic emergency braking.

Next:2023 Genesis G90

2023 Genesis G90

Hyundai Motor America

2023 Genesis G90

$88,400 | USN Overall Score: 9.3/10

The 2023 Genesis G90 was completely redesigned this year, and it added an optional mild-hybrid powertrain that improves acceleration when passing on the highway. The available air suspension makes long drives a dream, and the long list of standard safety features-including adaptive cruise control-eases the tedium of driving.

The Nappa leather interior wraps the road tripper in luxury, and both rows of seating are comfortable for adults. The trunk is large enough for several suitcases, and it opens automatically as you approach. The G90 also has one of the longest warranties in the business.

Next:2023 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

2023 Toyota rav4 hybrid

Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

2023 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

$30,725 | USN Overall Score: 8.2/10

The 2023 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid takes everything that has made this compact SUV popular over the years, like a comfortable ride and plenty of standard high-tech features, and added a fuel-efficient and quick-accelerating hybrid powertrain. It can get up to 41 mpg on the highway, which helps cut road trip costs. It was also a finalist for our Best Hybrid SUV for the Money award.

The interior is solidly built, and both rows of seating are comfy. There’s also great visibility for everyone, so games of “I Spy” may get competitive. An 8-inch touch screen, wireless smartphone compatibility and a Wi-Fi hotspot come standard. Adaptive cruise control and traffic-sign recognition (both standard) help you when driving in unfamiliar locations.

Next:2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid

2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid

American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid

$32,950 | USN Overall Score: 8.3/10

The 2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid is a more fuel-efficient version of the popular compact SUV, with up to 43 mpg on the highway. It’s been completely redesigned this year, with more standard tech features and an improved infotainment system. A 7-inch touch screen, smartphone connectivity, a Wi-Fi hotspot and four USB ports come standard.

The seats are comfy in both rows, with room for adults to stretch out even on road trips. The rear seats recline, so whoever is off driving duty can take a nap. Standard adaptive cruise control and lane-keep assist help reduce the fatigue that can come with hours of driving.

Next:2024 Kia Carnival

2023 Kia Carnival Exterior

2024 Kia Carnival

$33,200 | Overall Score: 8.5/10

The 2024 Kia Carnival basically begs you to get the show on the road, and it comes standard with several advanced safety features, including driver-attention monitoring.

The interior is upholstered with easy-to-clean materials, and all three rows have enough room for adults, though the third row is short on headroom. It also has lots of cargo space, even with all three rows in use. An 8-inch touch screen, smartphone compatibility and seven USB ports come standard.

Next:2023 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

2023 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

2023 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

$50,795 | USN Overall Score: 8.6/10

The 2023 Chrysler Pacific Hybrid is a plug-in hybrid, so when you reach your destination and charge up, you can drive about 32 miles on electric power alone. Under electric power, this Chrysler gets 82 MPG-equivalent, and gasoline-only driving returns up to 30 mpg on the highway. These are great numbers for a minivan.

There’s also a ton of tech included, like a 10.1-inch touch screen, wireless smartphone connectivity and Amazon Alexa compatibility. All three rows of seating have lots of head- and legroom, and there’s plenty of storage space. Standard safety features include adaptive cruise control and a surround-view parking camera system.

Next:2023 Ram 1500

2023 Ram 1500

2023 Ram 1500

$31,270 | USN Overall Score: 9.0/10

If your road trip plan involves a camper or boat, you’ll want to look into the 2023 Ram 1500. When properly equipped, it can tow up to 12,750 pounds. As with most pickups, you can configure the 1500 in whatever way works for you.

There are a lot of options and body styles to choose from too, but they all have a spacious, high-quality interior. The availability of safety features and infotainment tech depends on the trim you choose and the options you select, so you can custom-build the road-tripping pickup of your dreams – or the one that fits your budget.

Next:2023 Honda Civic

2023 Honda Civic Hatchback Exterior

American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

2023 Honda Civic

$23,750 | USN Overall Score: 8.7/10

It’s not just safe, it’s also thrifty, with up to 42 mpg on the highway. A 7-inch touch screen and smartphone connectivity come standard. It also comes with adaptive cruise control and traffic-sign recognition, which make driving in unfamiliar areas a bit easier.

Next:2023 Ford Mustang

2023 Ford Mustang GT

2023 Ford Mustang

$27,770 | USN Overall Score: 9.2/10

Sometimes you want to live the American road trip dream in an impractical sports car. But guess what – the 2023 Ford Mustang is a rather practical sports car with one of the highest overall U.S. News scores. There are several available engines, but sticking with the base turbo-four means an estimated 32 mpg on the highway.

Living the American muscle car fantasy on the open road is best for two people, since the Mustang’s rear seats are pretty small. Its standard infotainment system has a 4.2-inch display – not a touch screen – and a Wi-Fi hot spot. Standard safety tech includes automatic emergency braking and lane-keep assist. But maybe most importantly, for purposes of the dream, the Mustang is available as a convertible.

Next:Road Trip Car Characteristics

2023 Kia Carnival Interior

Road Trip Car Characteristics

Passenger space: People turn cranky when they aren’t comfortable after hours on the road. There needs to be space for everyone to stretch out.

Cargo space: At the very minimum, you’ll be bringing luggage along and maybe also camping gear or tubes for floating the river. Make sure there’s space for your gear.

Fuel economy: Stopping for gas on a road trip can get expensive. Fuel efficiency, particularly from hybrid powertrains, can ease the pain of stopping at the pump.

Infotainment: An AM/FM radio is no longer sufficient for most people. An infotainment system that’s easy to use while driving and can connect to smartphones is key.

Safety tech: Driving long distances causes fatigue, and fatigue causes accidents. Modern driver-assistance features can help you stay alert and in your lane.

Reliability: No one wants to be the car in the breakdown lane while on their road trip. A good predicted reliability score shows that a particular model has on average been a solid performer over time.

Next:Road Trip Car FAQs

2023 Genesis G90

John M. Vincent / U.S. News & World Report

Road Trip Car FAQs

What is the best car for road trips?

The best car for road trips is the one that fits your budget and your needs, so there’s no one vehicle that will work for everybody. That said, the 2023 Honda Civic is a strong pick. It provides comfort, features, safety and reliability, and all for one of the lowest price tags on this list.

What is the best SUV for road trips?

The 2023 Hyundai Tucson Hybrid combines a long list of standard features with great fuel economy, and it has one of the most spacious interiors in its class.

What is the best luxury car for road trips?

The redesigned 2023 Genesis G90 will take you anywhere in comfort and style. Most of its best features are standard, including leather upholstery.

What is the most comfortable car for long trips?

On a list of very comfortable vehicles, the 2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid is probably the most comfortable, especially for back-seat passengers who can take advantage of those reclining seats. If comfort is your priority, take a look at our list of most comfortable cars for more options.

Next:More Shopping Tools From U.S. News & World Report

U.S. News Best Price Program Graphic

U.S. News and World Report

More Shopping Tools From U.S. News & World Report

When you’re ready to buy a new car, use our Best Price Program to pre-negotiate a great price with a local dealership. You can arrange for online buying and even vehicle delivery through the program.

Next:Best Cars for Road Trips

U.S. News Best Cars Badge

U.S. News & World Report

Best Cars for Road Trips

  • 2023 Hyundai Tucson Hybrid – $31,350 | Overall Score: 8.7/10
  • 2023 Volkswagen Atlas – $34,460 | Overall Score: 8.0/10
  • 2023 Lincoln Navigator – $77,635| Overall Score: 8.8/10
  • 2023 Chevrolet Suburban – $57,200 | Overall Score: 8.2/10
  • 2023 Genesis G90 – $88,400 | Overall Score: 9.3/10
  • 2023 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid – $31,225 | Overall Score: 8.2/10
  • 2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid – $32,950 | Overall Score: 8.3/10
  • 2024 Kia Carnival – $33,200 | Overall Score: 8.5/10
  • 2023 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid – $50,795 | Overall Score: 8.6/10
  • 2023 Ram 1500 – $31,270 | Overall Score: 9.0/10
  • 2023 Honda Civic – $23,750 | Overall Score: 8.7/10
  • 2023 Ford Mustang – $27,770 | Overall Score: 9.2/10


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