Buying Advice

AutomotiveMap Picks: Best Car for a Road Trip

AutomotiveMap's team of writers has picked their favorite cars for road tripping.

Photo courtesy of Bentley Motors

If you're one of the type who just can't wait to get on the road again, you know that there are some vehicles that are better than others for making travel great. While some may argue that cars with pointed steering and agile handling make the best road trip warriors, there's a strong voice among consumers that says it's better to be in a balanced ride with plush seats.

The vehicles that AutomotiveMap's writers have chosen walk the line between the two preferences. Take a look.

2020 Hyundai Sonata

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motors America

Sue Mead: The Hyundai Sonata has been updated for 2020. The family-friendly five-seater features a stunning exterior presence; premium and comfortable cabin; upgrades to body structure, safety, and technology; and smooth ride. its nifty remote parking assist feature maneuvers the vehcile in/out of parking spaces and garages to load passengers or luggage hands-free.

​2019 Volvo V60 T5 R Design

Photo courtesy of Volvo Cars USA

Harvey Briggs: Long live the long roof! Wagons are the ultimate road trip cars, especially this one. Sedan-like handling and the room to take everything with you, including a few friends if you must. I love the 2019 Volvo V60's Scandinavian design ethos and the understated beauty of this car.

2020 Bentley Continental GT

Photo courtesy of Bentley Motors

Chad Kirchner: Though the 2020 Bentley Continental GT eats the miles as quickly as it'll eat the fuel, it has more tech and features than a comparable Aston Martin or Rolls-Royce two-door.

2019 Mazda Mazda6

Photo courtesy of Mazda North America

Jesus Garcia: The 2019 Mazda Mazda6 offers trunk space that could rival a Lincoln Town Car, and a stylish interior that makes miles fly by without fatigue. The Mazda6 was one of the most comfortable vehicles ever I've driven across Texas, a route I take often.

2020 Nissan Altima

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Perry Stern, AutoNXT: Nissan's Zero Gravity seats stay comfortable for the duration of the drive, while the new variable-combustion turbo engine delivers great power and fuel efficiency in the 2020 Nissan Altima.

2020 Nissan Maxima

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Nicole Wakelin: The 2020 Nissan Maxima delivers a smooth ride and it has a comfortable interior. It's fun to drive and has good cargo room in its trunk.

2020 Porsche Panamera

Photo courtesy of Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG

Eileen Falkenberg-Hull: The Porsche Panamera is the best of both worlds - precise Porsche drivability and a high-tech cabin. It has a PHEV variant, which can save gas money on a trip. The Panamera also has plenty of passenger and cargo space in most grades.

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New performance SUV

Hyundai announces pricing for 2022 Kona N

The Kona N is price right at $35,425.

Hyundai

Hyundai is hard at work developing new electric vehicles, and has released some truly interesting electric concepts in recent months. However, the automaker’s efforts in the electric world haven’t stopped it from rolling out fun-to-drive and affordable performance vehicles under its N brand. Today, Hyundai announced pricing for the latest vehicle in the series. The Kona N will go on sale soon with a reasonable starting price of $35,425, which includes a $1,225 destination charge.

2022 Hyundai Kona N One well-equipped model will be available.Hyundai

The Kona N joins Hyundai’s high-performance stable that also includes the Veloster N and Elantra N, though the latter hasn’t yet hit the streets. The hot crossover gets the same output numbers from its turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder as the Elantra N: 276 horsepower and 289 pound-feet of torque. The Veloster gets 275 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. That rowdy four-banger is paired with an eight-speed wet dual-clutch transmission.

Hyundai’s full-on N cars get plenty of other go-fast bits to keep them planted in corners and stable at higher speeds. The Kona N gets an electronic limited-slip differential, an active sport exhaust system, electronically controlled suspension, and 19-inch wheels with Pirelli P-Zero performance tires.

2022 Hyundai Kona N Aggressive wheels and tires help keep the Kona N planted in corners.Hyundai

Hyundai generally knocks it out of the park with value, and the Kona N is no exception. Its modest price tag buys a generous helping of advanced driver aids in addition to its exciting specs. Standard features include forward collision warnings, lane keep assist, lane following assist, driver attention warnings, automatic high beams, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts, and a safe exit warning system.

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Electric vehicle concepts

Nissan shows off new concepts and plans for future EVs

Nissan showed off a group of funky concept vehicles at the announcement.

Nissan

Nissan is approaching the release of Ariya, its brand-new EV, but there are plans for much more in the automaker’s near future. Today, the Japanese company announced Nissan Ambition 2030, its plan to develop electrified vehicles and become a more sustainable company. Beyond new vehicles, the roadmap includes investments in battery recycling and charging infrastructure, new battery tech, and more widespread safety technologies.

Nissan Ambition 2030 The automaker plans for 50 percent electrification by 2030.Nissan

Nissan’s plans include 23 new electrified models by 2030. The target covers 15 new EVs and a target of 50 percent electrification. The automaker says it plans to launch a proprietary solid-state battery by 2028, and notes that it will develop a pilot production facility in Yokohama, Japan by 2024. Solid state technologies are not yet commercially viable but will offer faster charging times and better energy densities than lithium ion battery packs.

Nissan Surf-Out Concept Surf-Out is a concept truck with super funky styling.Nissan

While the focus was on the news of its electrification plans, Nissan’s concept vehicles stole the show. The Surf-Out concept truck features a long, low cargo surface and unique all-terrain tires. Typical of concept cars, the Surf-Out’s styling and design are over-the-top. The cabin is surrounded on three sides by glass and open to the bed in the rear. Instead of a grille, there’s a glass panel with an illuminated Nissan logo. It's unlikely Surf-Out or the other concepts shown will make it to production unchanged, but they show that the automaker is looking to explore bold designs with its electrified vehicles.

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