This has been the year for road trips and if the surge in domestic travel is any indication, more people are opting for cars over any other type of transportation. It could be the freedom that's found in being able to drive to whichever destination a person has in mind or the comfort in knowing that the driver is in control. Or, perhaps, it's the money that's saved over choosing a flight, combined with the idea of a rustic cabin or chic chalet as the endpoint.


Whatever the reason is, there's always one major question: Which vehicle is the best for the job? From family road trips to rugged solo travels, there's a car out there for every type of drive - and these are the best of 2021.

Related: Road Trip USA: Answering All The FAQs On How To Drive Across The Country

Best Cars For Long-Distance Road Trips

When packing the car for a long-distance haul to reach a destination, it's good to know that vehicle will last with no issues. The ability to run with high mileage, fuel-efficient features, and a comfortable ride all make these the top choices.

Toyota Camry

It's a no-brainer that Toyota has some of the best vehicles out there when it comes to durability and great gas mileage. The Camry has consistently been voted one of the best for decades now; both comfort and great gas mileage make this the top choice for long-distance drives.

The Camry can get up to 29 miles per gallon, making stops for gas more infrequent than that of other midsize vehicles. The new Camry models are designed for comfort and luxury, and knowing that passengers are safe and won't need to stop for gas every two hours is a big reassurance.


When it comes to the ultimate in comfort, there's no going wrong with the Mazda6. The beautiful thing about this car is that the drive is unbelievably smooth with an interior cabin that's designed to block outside noise.

That means it's smooth sailing for the passengers inside, complete with a navigation system, wheel-mounted controls, blind-spot monitoring, and automated emergency braking.

Best Cars For Family-Friendly Road Trips

It can be stressful finding a car that's perfect for the entire family but in 2021, there are multiple vehicles competing for the title of the best family option. Comfortability, safety, and space are top priorities when it comes to finding a car that's going to get a family from point A to point B.

Chrysler Pacifica

When it comes to finding a vehicle that's large enough to keep up with the size of any family, the Chrysler Pacific is well in the lead. While the new Chevy Suburban does give it some competition, the Chrysler Pacifica has just enough features to edge it out a tiny bit.

It was also picked as the Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Insititute, for Highway Safety, and already has a reputation for being the best family car. Road trips will make the best use of all eight of its seats, and the storage hidden around the car will prove its use rather quickly. It's also a safe ride during inclement weather, so parents can rest assured if it's not all sunny skies the entire way.

Audi A8

Who says that luxury can't be part of a family road trip? While most people turn to minivans and large-scale SUVs, the Audi A8 provides enough space and comfort while also holding an impressive safety rating.

The vehicle is known for its leg space, as well as hidden storage compartments so that valuables will be concealed from prying eyes. Some models come with dual rear screens so that kids will be entertained during long drives, and most models feature emergency braking, nine cameras around the exterior of the car, and collision alerts.

Best Cars For Backroad Adventures

Sometimes, the fun of taking a road trip comes in the form of taking the road less traveled. In some instances, this can mean literally taking the road less traveled and indulging in some off-roading. When it comes to cars that hold up, these are the best picks for 2021.

Land Rover Defender

According to Condé Nast Traveler, the Defender is the best car out there for off-roading, in general - which makes it the best for rugged road trips, as well.

The Defender's customizable settings when it comes to different types of terrain and 3D water-wading system make it convenient and safe. That's not all this vehicle has to offer, though: its design fully caters to camping, and the roof can support a tent, plus occupants, up to 600 pounds.

Subaru Ascent

Subaru has had a long reputation for being some of the most reliable and long-lasting cars out there, and the Ascent is only the largest of the SUVs this manufacturer offers. The Ascent has the towing capacity to handle up to 5,000 pounds and has seating for eight.

The backseat can be folded down and instantly becomes a spare bed while the roof holds a whopping 700 pounds, which is perfect for the rooftop tent you've had your eye on. All-wheel-drive, an emergency backup alert, and a rear-seat reminder.

Next: How You Can Estimate The Cost Of A Road Trip (And Save Some Bucks In The Process)