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Best Travel SUVs: Top Picks for a Comfortable Road Trip

As the world opens up and the desire to travel grows, choosing the right SUV for road trips can significantly impact the overall experience. From comfort and performance to fuel efficiency and cargo space, there are many factors to consider when looking for the best travel SUVs in 2023.

The top-rated SUVs of 2023 offer compelling features and capabilities that cater to families, adventure seekers, and road trip enthusiasts alike. Some standout options include the spacious and comfortable Mazda CX-30 and the luxurious BMW X1, which both excel in their respective categories. The Volkswagen Taos has been praised as a practical and versatile option for those seeking more value.

With the vast array of options available in the market, carefully considering your needs, budget, and preferences will lead you to the perfect SUV for your next adventure. As you delve further into the world of travel-ready SUVs, remember the importance of reliability, safety, and innovative features that will ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey for all.

Best Crossover SUVs for Travel

Happy Young Mixed Race Family In Front of Their Beautiful RV At The Campground
Andy Dean / Adobe Stock

Top Options

In 2023, some top options for the best crossover SUVs for travel are:

  • 2022 Honda Odyssey: A reliable and comfortable choice, perfect for road trips with a USN Safety Score of 9.8/10 and fuel efficiency of 19 city / 28 highway MPG.
  • 2023 Volkswagen Atlas: A spacious and stylish option with a U.S. News Interior Score of 8.5/10 and a 235-horsepower engine.
  • Chevrolet Traverse: A large three-row crossover with a 310-hp 3.6-liter V-6, providing plenty of power and space for long journeys.

Key Features

When considering the best crossover SUVs for travel, some key features to look for are:

  • Comfort: A comfortable interior with spacious seating, especially for long road trips.
  • Fuel Efficiency: To make the most of your travel budget, choose crossover SUVs with good gas mileage.
  • Safety: A high safety rating is crucial for peace of mind during your travels.
  • Performance: Powerful engines and capable handling ensure a smooth ride, even on rough terrain or during adverse weather conditions.
SUV ModelComfort RatingFuel EfficiencySafety RatingEngine Performance
2022 Honda OdysseyHigh19 city / 28 highway MPG9.8/10Smooth and reliable
2023 Volkswagen Atlas8.5/10ModerateNot specified235-horsepower engine
Chevrolet TraverseHighModerateNot specified310-hp 3.6-liter V-6

Remember these factors when choosing the best crossover SUV for your next road trip, and you’re sure to have a comfortable and enjoyable journey.

Most Comfortable SUVs for Long-Distance Driving

RV with puppy
anela47 / Adobe Stock

Interior Comfort

When it comes to long-distance driving, interior comfort is a crucial factor. The 2023 Volkswagen Atlas, with a U.S. News Interior Score of 8.5/10, features a spacious cabin and comfortable seating to accommodate passengers on extended road trips. The Kia Sorento is also a stylish SUV with a roomy interior that provides ample space for passengers and luggage, making it a popular choice for long-distance driving.

Ride and Handling

SUVs designed for long-distance driving should offer a smooth ride and easy handling. The Acura MDX is a midsize crossover that manages to drive smaller than it actually is while handling surprisingly well. This characteristic allows drivers to feel confident and in control during long road trips. Meanwhile, the Kia Sorento demonstrates good gas mileage with its powerful engine, ensuring that it can cover distances efficiently and save costs on fuel consumption.

To summarize, the most comfortable SUVs for long-distance driving are:

  • 2023 Volkswagen Atlas
  • Kia Sorento
  • Acura MDX

These vehicles embody a combination of spacious interiors, smooth rides, and easy handling to ensure an enjoyable journey on the open road.

Most Reliable SUVs for Travel

VW camper on a roadtrip

Top Choices

Regarding reliable SUVs for traveling, several options stand out in 2023. Here are a few top choices:

  • Honda CR-V: Known for its comfort, safety, and fuel efficiency, the Honda CR-V is an excellent choice for long-distance travel. With ample headroom and legroom, passengers can enjoy a relaxing journey.
  • Toyota RAV4: The Toyota RAV4 is a popular choice for reliability and features a fuel-efficient engine, making it perfect for extended trips. It also offers advanced safety features for peace of mind on the road.
  • Nissan Rogue: The Nissan Rogue is another great option for long-distance travels. It boasts a powerful engine, comfortable interior, and advanced safety features to ensure an enjoyable and secure driving experience.

These SUVs are recommended based on their performance, comfort, and safety features, making them ideal for long-distance driving.

Dependability Factors

When evaluating the reliability of SUVs for travel, consider the following factors:

  • Interior Comfort: Look for SUVs that provide plenty of headroom and legroom, ensuring a comfortable riding experience for all passengers.
  • Safety Features: Advanced safety features, such as adaptive cruise control, lane departure warnings, and collision avoidance systems, help provide a sense of security during long road trips.
  • Gas Mileage: Fuel efficiency is essential for longer drives. Choose an SUV that offers good miles per gallon (MPG) ratings to save on gas costs.
  • Engine Performance: Reliable SUVs for travel should have a dependable and powerful engine, ensuring they can handle any terrain and weather conditions encountered on extended journeys.

To conclude, the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, and Nissan Rogue are top choices for reliable SUVs in 2023. Keep in mind the factors that contribute to the dependability of a vehicle when making your decision. Happy travels!

Budget-Friendly SUVs for Travel

Keystone RV

When planning a road trip or looking for a reliable SUV for traveling purposes, finding a budget-friendly option is essential. This section will provide an overview of some of the best new SUVs under $20,000, ensuring affordability and practicality for the adventurous traveler.

Best New SUVs Under $20,000

  1. 2021 Hyundai Venue: With a starting price of around $18,750, the Hyundai Venue offers not only an affordable option but also a compact and fuel-efficient SUV with a 5-year cost to own rating of 4.4 from Kelley Blue Book. The Venue comes with standard safety features and a comfortable interior, making it an excellent choice for long-distance travel.
  2. 2023 Buick Encore GX: The Buick Encore GX has a starting price of $25,900, slightly above the $20,000 mark. However, its overall score of 8.0/10 and great fuel efficiency make it a strong contender for budget-conscious travelers. Though it shares some features with pricier models, the Encore GX still provides an excellent driving experience.

When considering the best new SUVs under $20,000, it’s crucial to balance affordability with practicality, ensuring that your chosen SUV will provide value for money and a comfortable travel experience. Both the 2021 Hyundai Venue and the 2023 Buick Encore GX are excellent examples of budget-friendly SUVs that offer quality amenities without breaking the bank.

Essential SUV Features for Long Road Trips

Camper van parked near a lake and picturesque mountain view

When planning a long road trip, choosing the right SUV can make all the difference. In this section, we’ll discuss the essential features that contribute to a comfortable and safe journey, focusing on safety technologies and infotainment systems.

Safety Technologies

Safety should always be a priority when selecting a vehicle for long road trips. Here are some advanced safety features to look for in an SUV:

  • Adaptive Cruise Control: This feature maintains a set speed while automatically adjusting the distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you, making cruising on highways both safer and more comfortable.
  • Blind Spot Monitoring: This system alerts you when other vehicles are in your blind spots, ensuring that you’re aware of them before making lane changes.
  • Lane Departure Warning and Lane-Keep Assist: These features detect if your vehicle is drifting out of its lane, alerting and steering your SUV accordingly.
  • Forward Collision Warning and Automatic Emergency Braking: This system detects potential front-end collisions and applies the brakes automatically if needed, helping to prevent or minimize crashes.

Infotainment Systems

A good infotainment system can make the trip more enjoyable by providing entertainment, navigation, and communication features. Here are some key aspects to consider:

  • Touchscreen Display: A user-friendly touchscreen enables you to easily access and control various features of the infotainment system.
  • Navigation System: Built-in GPS navigation with real-time traffic updates helps you find the most efficient route, avoid congestions, and save time.
  • Smartphone Integration: Compatibility with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto allows you to connect your smartphone to the infotainment system and access your favorite apps, messages, and music.
  • Voice Command: Hands-free control of various system functions ensures that you remain focused on the road while taking care of various tasks such as adjusting climate or volume.

Considering these safety technologies and infotainment system features is crucial when choosing the best SUV for long road trips. Vehicles such as the 2021 Honda Pilot and the Acura MDX are some examples of SUVs that meet these requirements, offering a secure and enjoyable experience for those embarking on extended journeys.

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