6 Best SUVs for Road Trips

Whether you're bound for grandma's house or the family adventure of a lifetime, the best SUVs for road trips add next-level enjoyment to your journey.


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Whether you're headed to grandma's house for the holidays or you're embarking on the family adventure of a lifetime, the best SUVs for road trips can make your journey more enjoyable, while the wrong SUV can make your road trip less than bearable.

In compiling the below list, we took several factors into consideration, including:

4WD/AWD: Each of the vehicles below includes either four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive to help ensure your road trip won't be impeded by rough roads or weather

Entertainment: Many of the best SUVs for road trips have either Apple CarPlay compatibility and/or advanced entertainment systems such as Fire TV

Driver assistance: To be included in the list below, the SUV must have an advanced driver safety suite featuring lane departure warning, lane keep assist, and adaptive cruise control

Read on to explore some of the best SUVs for road trips.


Mazda CX-9

The Mazda CX-9 is a family favorite for road trips, both long and short. With three rows of seating, all-wheel drive, and Wi-Fi capability, the CX-9 can handle your crew's trip with aplomb. The radar cruise control with stop and go technology will help to alleviate exhaustion for the driver, and the foot-activated liftgate eases loading and unloading. Despite its large size and room for seven seats, the AWD CX-9 gets an EPA-estimated 20/26 mpg city/highway. With a five-Star overall safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick+, the CX-9 has your safety in mind.


Bronco Sport

If your road trip involves more gravel than pavement, consider the Bronco Sport. As the smaller of the two 4x4 Bronco SUVs, the Bronco Sport offers excellent ground clearance, a front off-road camera for help navigating rough terrain, and the ability to wade through water up to 23.6 inches deep. That's not to say the Bronco Sport isn't civilized. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto power the 8-inch touchscreen, while Ford's Amazon Alexa integration and SiriusXM satellite radio should keep you rocking wherever you are. Road trips like this are bound to get dirty, so the Bronco Sport includes washable rubber floor mats and a wet-cargo storage area under the rear passenger seat. The EcoBoost engine helps the Bronco Sport achieve its EPA-estimated 25/28 mpg city/highway.


Lincoln Navigator

The Lincoln Navigator is rated to be one of the most desirable road trip cars, according to Esquire, due to its combination of upscale comfort and sophisticated technology. The Navigator features ActiveGlide, which is Lincoln's driver-assistance system that's loaded with features. It includes adaptive cruise control with stop and go, lane centering, and speed sign recognition—but where it shines is on the 130,000 miles included in Lincoln's blue zone. This is where the hands-free technology can take over while an in-car camera monitors the driver's eye and head position to ensure the drive is still getting human attention.

Up to eight passengers can enjoy Fire TV and Prime Video, or they can plug in their entertainment using the HDMI, USB Type C, or SD outlets. The Navigator can also tow up to 8,300 lbs., though it has a bit less fuel efficiency than others on this list, at an EPA-estimated 17 mpg combined.


Kia Telluride

If value is on your road trip checklist, the Kia Telluride is a great option, with an EPA-estimated 21 mpg. Named the "Best 3-Row SUV for Families" by U.S. News & World Report, the Telluride stands out for comfort, technology, and reliability ratings. The Telluride can make for a harmonious ride for up to eight people on the road with in-car wireless entertainment, automatic braking, and teen driver controls. With 46 cu.-ft. of cargo room and hands-free cargo doors, you can load in everything you need or tow it along using the Telluride's 5,000-lb standard towing capacity. Features like Downhill Brake Control (DBC), Snow and AWD Lock drive settings make all conditions perfect for a road trip.


Lamborghini Urus

If making a statement is a part of the plan, consider the Lamborghini Urus. Flashy on the outside, comfy and impressive on the inside, an Urus road trip will undoubtedly be Instagram-worthy. Powered by a twin-turbocharged V8, the Urus goes from 0-60 mph in 3.6 seconds. Though it sacrifices fuel efficiency for performance, at an EPA-estimated 14 mpg, permanent AWD and active torque vectoring keep you perfectly grounded. The Urus' cockpit may look more like a flight deck than an automobile, but the word is that a luxury SUV can't fly just yet. But it can tow up to 7,000 lbs., and you can even pop it into track mode to thrill your occupants. Whatever you do, make sure you say it correctly. It's Ou-Russ.


Volkswagen ID.4

Road tripping in an electric vehicle (EV) can be satisfying, not to mention cost-effective, but careful planning, active monitoring, and often a healthy dose of patience are EV road trip prerequisites. If you have what it takes, consider the ID.4. With a spacious, comfortable, light-flooded cabin, the ID.4 seats four occupants comfortably. The all-wheel-drive models have a range of 249 miles per charge, and 99 miles per gallon-equivalent (MPGe). VW also provides three years of fast-charging with Electrify America for free. Rear-seat passengers have two USB-C charging ports, and the panoramic glass roof stretches over the entire length of the cabin. Nighttime driving can be fun with ambient lighting featuring 10-color flexibility.

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Amelia Dalgaard
From reading my dad’s car magazines under the covers to writing in the automotive space, my job is a dream come true. I am the woman who took her toddlers to car shows and married the man that thought a test drive was the perfect first date. I love nothing more than helping all consumers find a vehicle that will enhance their lives.