5 best family road trip cars under $35,000
Pick the right car for a driving vacation
An American institution, the successful family driving vacation has always relied on the ideal road-trip car.
In the iconic driving-vacation movie "National Lampoon's Vacation," Clark loads the entire Griswold family into a monstrosity called the Wagon Queen Family Truckster, resembling a cross between a "Mad Max" transport and a Pontiac Aztek. Things rapidly deteriorate from there.
Happily, today's road-trip planners have a far better selection of family cars, sports utility vehicles, minivans and crossover SUVs.
Basic requirements for an ideal road-trip car include good fuel economy, a roomy interior and an affordable price. Here are five vehicles that fulfill our core requirements and then some.
To appear on this list, a road-trip car must:
- Retail for less than $35,000 (MSRP and delivery fees).
- Achieve an Environmental Protection Agency-estimated 24 mpg or more on the highway.
- Seat up to five passengers comfortably in front- and second-row seats.
- Accommodate at least 30 cubic feet of cargo with its second-row seat in place.
Take your pick, pack a bag, load up the kids and hit the road.