CROSS-COUNTRY CARS : The Ultimate Road Trip

Story By
Kyle Gregorio

There's nothing more iconic than a summer cross-country road trip, whether it's to visit another city or just see friends on the coast. You might not be sure what car would be best for the journey and, while most cars can make the trip, you want to ensure you have the right one for the task.

Maybe you need to haul your entire family? Maybe you just want a sporty car for when you get there? For car lovers, families, and businessmen alike, the road trip is one of the greatest experiences one can embark upon, so long as it’s done right. A major part of what makes any road trip successful is the vehicle in which you do it. Sure, you can pack 5 full-grown adults into a mid-sized sedan and drive thousands of kilometers and have a memorable time – but ‘memorable’ doesn’t necessarily mean enjoyable, efficient, or comfortable.

As such, here is a list of the best 4-wheelers to get the job done. Whether you’re driving home for the holidays, taking the kids on their first trip to a National Park, opting to drive for a business meeting or just seeing how long it takes for you and your closest friends to drive from coast to coast – each and every one of these vehicles are excellent in their own way.


Subaru Outback


An SUV alternative for the non-conformist, the Subaru Outback is roomy, functional, and appeals to the practical-minded buyer. It rides very comfortably, with secure handling and the all-wheel drive, part of the basic package, delivers reassuring traction in unfavorable conditions. The four-cylinder option returns 9.8 liters per kilometer overall, and drives through a standard, continuously variable transmission. Opting for the six-cylinder makes the car quicker, quieter and thirstier. The controls are all easy to use, including the touch-screen infotainment system. And the wagon's generous rear seat is roomy enough for three adults. The bountiful cargo area has more room and a lower loading height than the comparable Forester, and the Outback's interior is quieter and plusher to boot. Visibility is good and blind-spot warning is readily available. Crash-test results are top-notch.


Audi Q7


The redesign of the Audi Q7 luxury three-row SUV has resulted in a lighter-weight family transporter that sits lower than the previous generation. It employs Audi's supercharged V6, which is mated to a super-smooth eight-speed automatic with the result being effortless acceleration, and fuel economy of 14 liters per 100 kilometers overall in tests.

The new Q7 is very quiet, instilling a sense of calm and tranquility meaning ride comfort is commendable enhanced by a plushness and control befitting a luxury car. Handling is responsive and confidence-inspiring and three adults can fit comfortably in the second-row seat, with plenty of head room. The beautifully finished interior exudes luxury, with excellent seats and a vivid, high-tech digital instrument cluster.


Mini Countryman


Equipped with a ruggedly handsome design, the MINI Countryman is the ultimate all-rounder, ready to take you places other vehicles can't reach. Whether it's a winding coastal road or the bustle of the city, it gives you a driving experience you’ll always look forward to.

It has several peppy optional engines and better handling than many in its class plus the Countryman has an upscale interior and agreeable standard and optional features. It boasts one of the best predicted reliability ratings in this segment and its second row offers comfort to the passengers. The drawback? This SUV suffers from below-average cargo space. 


Toyota Fortuner


The Toyota Fortuner is among those vehicles that carry a great road presence and Toyota nailed it when it comes to the design and styling. The most important features that Toyota made are the safety, like the Vehicle Stability Control, Brake Assist, Hill-start Assist Control and Active Traction Control (A-TRC), standard on all variants of the Fortuner.

There are two engine options - 2.4-litre with 148 hp and 2.7-litre with 164 hp and both of them come with a 6-speed automatic transmission. The generous space of the Fortuner accommodates a total of 7 occupants at a time and the backseat is a nice place to spend time in, too as the rake is better and your hips rest a little higher than before. The quality of the leather upholstery is also top-notch.