Buying Advice

AutomotiveMap Picks: Best SUV for a Road Trip

The Ford Expedition is just one of the vehicles suited for a road trip.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Packing your family and a week's worth of belongs into a SUV is an art usually reserved for one particular person in a household. (You know who you are.) Perhaps then, you want to make their lives a little easier and buy a new SUV that fits all of the luggage and people easily while providing the kind of comfort and convenience factors that make life on the road a little easier.

The models that have made this list are well-rounded enough to make travel easy with features that make life on the road easier, according to AutomotiveMap writers.

2020 Lincoln Corsair

2020 Lincoln Corsair

Photo courtesy of Lincoln Motor Company

Sue Mead: The 2020 Lincoln Corsair is a retooled luxury midsized SUV that carries five. It is quiet, providing a sanctuary- on-wheels effect. It also delivers a zippy ride with available AWD and the Co-Pilot360 and 360 Plus suite of safety and driver assistance technology. It has impressive stowage capability, including under-floor space. Its Phone-As-A Key technology makes getting in and out a breeze.

​2020 Ford Expedition

2020 Ford Expedition

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Jesus Garcia: The 2020 Ford Expedition is the closest you'll get to a Family Truckster with a surplus of cupholders. Whatever the cargo, wherever the destination, the Ford Expedition lives up to its name.

2020 BMW X7

2020 BMW X7

Photo courtesy of BMW

Perry Stern, AutoNXT: The BMW X7 offers up an elegant, comfortable interior with excellent power and impressive handling, making the journey as enjoyable as the destination.

2020 Subaru Ascent

2020 Subaru Ascent
Photo courtesy of Subaru of America Inc.

Nicole Wakelin: The 2020 Subaru Ascent is roomy, fun to drive, and up for impromptu off-road adventure.

2020 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

2020 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

Chad Kircher: The best SUV for a family road trip is not actually an SUV. The 2020 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid has tons of features to keep everyone entertained on long drives and now even has a built-in wifi hotspot to keep all the devices connected.

​2020 Ford Explorer Hybrid

\u200b2020 Ford Explorer Hybrid

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Harvey Briggs: Start with 504 miles of range, throw in a 12.3 inch touchscreen, WiFi for up to 10 devices and plenty of room for six and you have a recipe for family harmony. Ford Copilot 360 adds the safety you need. No matter where the road takes you or ends, 2020 Ford Explorer can get you there.

2020 Nissan Rogue

2020 Nissan Rogue

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Eileen Falkenberg-Hull: The 2020 Nissan Rogue is a bit long in the tooth, but it does have two components that are vital on the perfect road trip: ProPilot Assist and Zero Gravity seats. The Rogue is big enough for a family of four and comfortable as all get out. Its available ProPilot Assist driver assistance system reduces driver fatigue.

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The Sakura is Nissan's newest EV.

Nissan

It's no secret that the Japanese get all manner of quirky, cool cars that we don't see here in the States. Sure, there's the Nissan Skyline and Mitsubishi Delica van, but tiny vehicles like kei cars and "minivehicles" are popular imports for Americans looking to diversify their drives. Pint-sized kei cars are ripe for electrification, and Nissan did just that with its new Sakura EV, which comes almost a year after the automaker announced it was working with Mitsubishi to develop tiny electric models. It's one of dozens of new EVs slated to come from the Mitsubishi-Nissan-Renaul Alliance this decade.

Though tiny, the Sakura offers a decent top speed of 80 mph, and its range of around 112 miles could make it an ideal urban runabout for many. That said, there's little chance the car will come to the United States. Japan's minivehicles and kei cars are far smaller than anything currently on sale here. For example, the Sakura's 133.6-inch length makes it almost 18 inches shorter than a Mitsubishi Mirage hatchback, a car that Americans would consider minuscule.

Nissan SakuraThe Sakura borrows features from the Nissan Leaf, including its battery.Nissan

Nissan borrowed the Sakura's 20-kWh battery from the Leaf and says it can be used to provide power for external devices or even power a home for up to a day. The car comes with three driving modes to change the behavior of things like regenerative braking and throttle response, and Nissan says it took further guidance from the Leaf to give the Sakura the quietest cabin in its class.

The Sakura's upright shape likely helps with headroom, but it certainly doesn't increase cargo space, as Nissan claims just 107 liters (4 cubic feet) of room. That said, the car features small-item storage spaces for gear like a smartphone or wallet. Buyers can opt for black, beige, or blue-grey interior colors, and an upgrade package is available that brings a leather-wrapped steering wheel.

There are a surprising number of features packed into the minute Nissan's cabin. A 7-inch digital gauge cluster comes standard, and a 9-inch infotainment touchscreen with navigation. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also standard. Nissan says the car's displays are oriented to reduce distraction and keep the driver's eyes on the road, and ProPilot safety systems are standard, including a new parking assist feature. ProPilot is a stepping stone toward Nissan's goal of debuting autonomous driving tech by 2030.

Nissan SakuraThe Sakura isn't destined for the U.S. - yet, anyway. Nissan

The Sakura goes on sale in Japan this summer. It's priced at 1.78 million yen, or around $14,000. The car will be available for purchase online, and Nissan says it will offer video chats and other resources to help buyers with the process. Buyers will be able to opt for a full in-person buying experience, a completely virtual experience, or anything in between.

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The new Z starts at under $40,000.

Nissan

The new Nissan Z is finally here, and the 400-horsepower sports car is hitting the market with a reasonable price. The car starts at just $39,990 before a $1,025 destination charge. That's significantly cheaper than the least expensive Toyota Supra for a car with impressive specs and great style.

2023 Nissan ZThe Z gets a 400-horsepower V6 from Infiniti.Nissan

The 2023 Z comes with a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 that makes 400 horsepower. It's paired with either a six-speed manual or nine-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive. That's the enthusiast's dream setup, and it's one of few cars available in the U.S. with a manual gearbox. The body is stiffer and features more reinforcements from prior cars, and the steering system now features electric assistance instead of hydraulics. 18-inch wheels are standard and 19-inchers are available.

When it announced the car, Nissan made a point to talk about its retro-inspired styling and classic proportions. The coupe features a sweeping roofline, a distinct front fascia, and is unmistakeably a Z car, through and through. Inside, the car features a three anlog gauges for a classic look, 12.3-inch configurable digital gauge cluster and a 9-inch touchscreen display. The cabin looks upscale and tech-forward, with deep bucket seats.

2023 Nissan ZThe 2023 Z lands this summer. Nissan

Nissan says the new Z will go on sale in summer 2022. Pricing starts at $39,990 for the base Sport trim, $49,990 for the mid-range Performance trim, and $52,990 for the limited-edition range-topping Proto Spec trim.

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