Top Ten Summer Road Trip Cars for 2010

by By William Sprecher
It’s summer time! So pack up those scarves, build up a base tan and start planning that family road trip. Need space? Oh, what about comfort? Don’t worry, we’ve got your vehicle covered from the luxurious to the spacious and even the economical. No matter the distance and no matter the type of trip, there’s a set of wheels perfect for your long distance haul. These are our top ten picks for a summer road trip. 

2010 BMW 3-Series Wagon

2010 BMW 3 Series Wagon
An ‘Ultimate Driving Machine’ that doubles as an ultimate hauling machine pretty much speaks for itself. Not only can you carry the family to the lake house this summer with the 3-Series Wagon, the 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder puts 230 horses to the ground through the rear wheels, so you just might want to take the long way there. 

MSRP: $35,700

2010 Chevrolet Equinox

2010 Chevy Equinox
As a crossover, the Equinox has plenty of space to swallow up the entire family and everyone’s beach game of choice. Chevy has done seriously good work in the second generation with a high-quality interior, more refined driving dynamic and an optional four-cylinder engine for some of the best in-class fuel economy. 

MSRP: $22,615

2010 Audi A6 Avant

2010 Audi A6 Avant
Everything on the A6 Avant – from the opera house-inspired LED running lights to the bold front fascia – drips with style and presence. But the A6 Avant is far from just a pretty face; 265 horses have been employed through the powerful 3.5-liter V-6 engine to ensure that long stints on the highway are anything but hypnotizing.

MSRP: $45,200

2010 Porsche Panamera

2010 Porsche Panamera
With any road trip comes the incessant cries of “are we there yet?” from the backseat. Finally, you can answer with a definitive, yes! With 300 horsepower at your disposal from the 3.6-liter engine, the Porsche Panamera will get you to your in-laws’ house a lot faster than you might want. But seriously, what’s not to love about a road trip capable Porsche?

MSRP: $74,400

2011 Kia Sorento

2011 Kia Sorento
Don’t be fooled by the name on the grille; the Kia Sorento takes everything you thought you knew about Kia’s once questionable brand and turns it on its head. Kia has kept the good—low starting price, plus a 10-year/100,000-mile warranty—and scrapped the bad to make the Sorento one of the best deals in its class. The fully redesigned exterior, high quality interior and a broad choice of engine options show just how much Kia has stepped up its game.

MSRP: $22,395

2010 Chrysler Town & Country

2010 Chrysler Town & Country
If you’re surprised to see a Chrysler gracing this top ten, you shouldn’t be. The Town & Country is still one of the company’s best-selling models and can be dressed up with some of the most versatile options on the market. With Stow ‘n’ Go folding seats, automatic sliding doors and lift gate and even an available table, your kids will be disappointed when the drive ends. 

MSRP: $25,995

2010 Cadillac CTS Sports Wagon

2010 Cadillac CTS Sports Wagon
GM has been putting its full weight behind the Cadillac CTS Wagon, and it shows. This car has made it on more of our top tens than we care to count. Not only do we love the sharp exterior lines that cut from front to rear, but the elegantly wrapped interior will turn the coat of even the most loyal German luxury shopper. Check out the upcoming 556 horsepower supercharged V model if you really want to get to the beach house in a hurry.

MSRP: $48,665

2010 Ford Escape Hybrid

2010 Ford Escape Hybrid
At 32 miles per gallon, the Ford Escape is the most fuel-efficient SUV on the market, period. That alone is enough to warrant it a place on our list, not to mention its capacity to haul the entire family, plenty of sunscreen, and more than a few water noodles. With a price tag under $30K, it just makes good economic sense, plain and simple. 

MSRP: $29,860

2010 Toyota Prius

2010 Toyota Prius
Road trips are the greatest test of a car’s comfort and efficiency – as well as your bladder control. We have no doubt that, with nearly 600 miles to a gas tank, the Prius will outlast any occupant. In its third generation, the Toyota Prius continues to be the best-selling, most efficient hybrid on the market, but it can also be optioned out to include leather seats, adaptive cruise control and intelligent park assist, making it more Lexus than Toyota.

MSRP: $22,800

2010 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Wagon

2010 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Wagon
The Jetta TDI Wagon provides the most bang for your road-tripping buck with 42 miles per gallon on the highway, gobs of storage space and VW’s immaculate attention to quality and detail. Each and every seat provides plenty of comfort during those extra-long drives, and the massive 236 lb-ft of torque from the 2.0 TDI engine means you don’t have pack light, either. 

MSRP: $24,615

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