The weekend is fast approaching, but this weekend won’t be just any old weekend. It’s Memorial Day weekend! For some people that may mean nothing at all, but for the majority of families and people living in this country Memorial Day is a weekend full of barbecue, relaxation and the memory of all those brave souls who fought and died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. Not only that, but Memorial Day weekend comes with an extra day off for most American workers, and anytime you have a three-day weekend there will be tons of travelers on the road as well.
A three-day weekend is usually an excuse to pack your family into the car and head towards the nearest getaway location. Those that reside in Chicago may head to Wisconsin or Michigan for a long-weekend escape. New York City dwellers may head upstate to get out of the hustle and bustle of the big apple. No matter where you live, Memorial Day weekend is often a great chance to travel with your family or friends.
Of course, that means there will be tons of other cars on the highways. Americans all across the country can expect the cost of fuel to increase because of this. For many, this can be more than a drag. However, families that have fuel efficient cars that also go the distance, Memorial Day travels are a breeze.
In light of that fact, let’s take a look at some of the best road trip vehicles on the streets. It’s important to mention that these vehicles may not be the most fuel efficient cars out, but are the best to take on a road trip. Consumer Reports created this list based on which vehicles have the longest cruising range, meaning these vehicles get the most miles to the tank. Though they’re not the most efficient, they’re certainly rock stars when it comes to road trip cruising.
The Top 3 Road-Trip Friendly Vehicles
Volkswagen Passat TDI SE
This is the vehicle that tested best in the “family vehicle” classification. It is not an SUV, but it’s not exactly your everyday sedan either. This Passat gets a 690 mile cruise range according to Consumer Reports and Volkswagon advertising actually states that it “goes the extra mile.” With close to 700 miles to cruise, we’d say they are probably right! Part of the reason this vehicle gets so many miles to the gallon is because it runs on a clean diesel engine. The car gets about 37 miles per gallon (mpg) city driving and 51 mpg on the highway.
Toyota Camry Hybrid XLE
Coming in right behind the Passat is this Toyota model. From the name alone you can tell the vehicle is a hybrid, and with a cruising range of 650 miles it is certainly living up to its expectations. This car gets about 38 mpg on city driving and 43 mpg on the highway. Where the Passat has the advantage in a diesel engine, this Camry can owe its place in second to its hybrid origins.
Nissan Altima 2.5 S (4-cyl.)
This vehicle may be the third best road-trip friendly car, but it almost doesn’t even match up to the first two. This Nissan Altima reaches a cruising range of 560 miles- more than 100 miles less than the Passat. It also gets about 31 mpg on city driving and 44 mpg on the highway. However, it is important to note that the Nissan is neither a hybrid nor has a diesel engine, so we can cut it a bit of slack when it comes to its cruising range. Considering its competition, this car fares pretty well and would be a great car to drive on any road trip.
Although it may be too late to take advantage of any of these cars for Memorial Day weekend, they’re certainly vehicles you should keep on your radar if you and your family are in the market for a new car. Especially if you are a high-traveling family. Any car that can reach up to 700 miles- or close to it- in just one tank of gas is good in our books, and hopefully yours too!
What do you think about these cars? Would you spend a little more upfront to take advantage of these cruising ranges? Tell us what you think in the comments section below!
IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by mainsail