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2022’s Best Cars For Road Trips

Before you pack your bags for your next adventure, here’s some food for thought: Some vehicles are better suited to a cross-country adventure than others. Whether you’re planning for a quick weekend jaunt, a cross-country adventure, or a few hours away lapping up the good life at a secluded beach, there’s a vehicle out there that’s perfectly suited for your adventure.

Here are five of the best vehicles that can open up the possibilities for enjoyment when the open road is calling you.

Photo: Shutterstock.com/Prostock-studio

2022 Volvo V90 | Best for: Those who remember why station wagons were great |from $56,200

Volvo still calls this the V90 Cross Country, but really it’s one of the classiest station wagons available today. The sole powertrain offering is the 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder with a turbo AND a supercharger, plus a mild-hybrid 48-volt system with a 13-hp Integrated Starter Generator motor. A sophisticated means of getting a vehicle that can swallow up to 69 cubic feet of cargo to provide up to 29 mpg on the highway, this Volvo
boasts an interior that’s undeniably classy without being busy. You can’t help but notice that the Blond upholstery and Linear Walnut accents have a rich museum quality to them. Worth noting: The Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality are all there, but he V90 still requires plugging it in.

Photo: Stephen Edelstein/Digital Trends

2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E | Best for: Electric adventures | from $43,850

It’s not an exaggeration to say this vehicle can go the distance: With at least 260 miles of range, and up to 300 miles with the optional range extender, the Ford Mustang Mach-E is just the thing if you’re planning an extended road trip. Like all electric vehicles, the Mustang Mach-E is capable of running silently; one of the first things you’ll notice is just how supremely quiet it is. What’s more, there’s a decent amount of space for all of your gear: With all the seats in place, the Mach-E offers 29.7 cubic feet of cargo space, and with the rear seats stowed the space increases to 59.7 cubic feet. As for charging, a rear-wheel drive (RWD) Mustang Mach-E with an extended range battery can add 59 miles of range in just 10 minutes at a DC Fast Charging station. If you’ve got 45 minutes to spare, you can charge from 10% to 80% with the same Level 3 charger. Once you’re charged up, rely on the Power My Trip function on the FordPass app to easily map out your road trip, including planning charging stops all along the way.

Photo: caranddriver.com/MICHAEL SIMARI

2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness | Best for: All-around touring | from $36,995

The base-level Outback combines the agility and fuel efficiency of a sedan with the convenient storage capacity of an early crossover SUV. The 2022 model year marked the debut of the Subaru Outback Wilderness trim level, which is well-suited to all-around touring, even if you have some light off-roading on your itinerary. Bear in mind that the Outback Wilderness has a numerically lower final drive ratio, which means you can expect a slight decrease in highway fuel economy, but it uses the boxer engine’s torque more effectively off-road and it also offers a bit more get-up-and-go in the throttle. It’s worth noting, too, that Subaru has recalibrated its EyeSight advanced safety features specifically for the Outback Wilderness. In addition, the Wilderness is the only Outback trim level that boasts a roof rack designed to hold a 700-pound static load, suitable for a tent and its occupants. What a way to enjoy the wilderness.

Photo: Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience

2022 Kia Carnival | Best for: Family road trips | from $32,300

The Kia Carnival is one of the newest entries in the minivan space. OK, so it doesn’t have all-wheel drive or hybrid technology, but it does feature the most pleasant interior space of any minivan in today’s market. In SX Premium trim, the second row boasts fully reclining chairs (with leg support, no less), and a pleasing selection of innovative interior colors (we’re looking at you, “Tuscan Lumber” orange upholstery). Unlike most crossover SUVs, the third row in a Kia Carnival offers 38.6 inches of third-row headroom, 35.6 inches of third-row legroom, and a seat back that doesn’t force you to sit ramrod straight. And if all that weren’t enough, the Kia Carnival looks cool, sleek, and wonderfully modern. Some of the exterior details just can’t be found on any other crossover SUVs.

Photo: Jdpower.com/Christian Wardlaw

2022 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 4xe | Best for: Off-road adventures | from $57,495

The Unlimited Rubicon 4xe offers a second set of doors plus 27.7 cubic feet of cargo space, making getting your stuff in and out easy peasy. The Rubicon in the name signifies that this trim is the most suitable for your off-road travels. While all Wranglers are designed for mastering mud holes or conquering rocky hills, the Rubicon includes features like a pushbutton sway bar that disconnects, along with Dana 44 axles front and rear, that make this vehicle much more than just a pretty package. The 4xe (pronounced four-by-e) has plug-in hybrid technology, but with the added ability to run solely on electric power by means of a dash-mounted switch. All of which means you can run this Wrangler in low range, on silent electric power, while enjoying the torque afforded by an electric motor. In most cases, you can run on electric power for about 20 miles.