KBB Names Ten Best New Road Trip Vehicles, Family Truckster Suspiciously Absent

Illustration for article titled KBB Names Ten Best New Road Trip Vehicles, Family Truckster Suspiciously Absent

There's no set definition of what is and what isn't a road trip. Do you have to cross state lines? Is there a minimum mileage? Should it be measured in years? We don't have answers to these questions and neither do the people at Kelly Blue Book who put together an interesting mix of vehicles to meet the task, ranging from the obvious choices like the Dodge Grand Caravan and Toyota Prius to surprises like the Audi S5 and Bugatti Veyron. And then there's the VW Eos, which we'd rather not be packed into for a long journey. The full list and press release below.



IRVINE, Calif., May 20, 2008 - The expert editors of Kelley Blue Book's kbb.com (www.kbb.com), the leading provider of new- and used-vehicle information, today announce their picks for Kelley Blue Book's 2008 Top 10 Best New Road Trip Vehicles. Memorial Day weekend ushers in the beginning of the summer driving season, and record gas prices will play a large role in trip-planning this year. But even with gas prices reaching $4 per gallon, Americans are still expected to hit the road in droves for summer road trips. From the two-person weekend getaway to the full-family excursion, this year's Best New Road Trip Vehicles list is certain to accommodate any road trip.

In choosing this year's Best New Road Trip Vehicles, the kbb.com editors evaluated all tangible and intangible attributes that would enhance any long drive, such as driving enjoyment, passenger comfort, cargo space and of course, fuel economy. Because not all road trips are the same, Kelley Blue Book's 2008 Best New Road Trip Vehicles provide a potential perfect ride or two for every type of driver and every type of journey. Each vehicle offers different perks such as entertainment options, interior accommodations and driving performance to keep road-trippers satisfied. Depending on the type of trip and the number of companions the right vehicle could be a coupe, sedan, crossover, SUV or minivan.

Kbb.com Editorial Comments: 2008 Best New Road Trip Vehicles

Audi S5

Combining a silky 354-horsepower V8 engine, impeccably tuned suspension and quattro all-wheel drive, the Audi S5 delivers high levels of both performance and comfort, along with the elegance to arrive in grand fashion.

Bugatti Veyron

If the price of fuel has impacted your yacht time more than your driving habits, you might find the $1.5-million, 1,001-horsepower, 16-cylinder, quad-turbo, 250-mph Bugatti Veyron an ideal alternative the next time the jet is in the shop. Just keep in mind that at full speed, the Veyron burns through its 26-gallon fuel tank in about 12 minutes.

Chevrolet Malibu

We recently drove six top-selling mid-size sedans in a back-to-back comparison test, and the remarkably quiet and comfortable Chevy Malibu handily outshined the competition on the highway. The first car in the category to combine a flexible six-speed automatic transmission with a gas-sipping four-cylinder engine, the Malibu is capable of an impressive 32 highway miles per gallon.

Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid

While the Tahoe Hybrid's highway fuel economy rating of 22 mpg is only 2 mpg better than that of its gas-only counterpart (the hybrid's bigger advantage is in city driving), it's nevertheless the most fuel-friendly full-size SUV on the road and provides seating for eight, plenty of cargo solutions and the ability to tow your boat to the lake.

Dodge Grand Caravan

They say that getting there is half the fun. In the Dodge Grand Caravan, getting there can easily be all the fun. The Grand Caravan's wide variety of entertainment options includes multiple DVD players, video game inputs, two overhead video screens, SIRIUS Satellite TV and radio as well as rearward-swiveling second row seats, all helping to transform the once humble minivan into a virtual party on wheels.

Ford Flex

Due in dealerships this summer, Ford's new full-size, three-row crossover will be turning heads from coast to coast all year, while treating occupants to cold drinks with its class-exclusive refrigerated console.

Infiniti EX35

In addition to a plush, flexible interior, the EX35 offers a Lane Departure Prevention System that can help keep any driver — quite literally — in line. A small camera detects lane markers in front of the vehicle and, when inadvertent lane departure is detected, the system applies a small amount of left or right brake force to nudge the vehicle back on course.

MINI Cooper Clubman

With excellent fuel economy and a fun-loving attitude, the MINI Cooper has earned its way onto our list of top road trip cars for the second year in a row. The new Clubman offers more passenger and luggage space than the standard Cooper, making the largest member of the MINI family an even more ideal long-haul companion.

Toyota Prius

The iconic Prius doesn't just deliver the best highway mileage of virtually anything on four wheels, it also features a flexible hatchback design and enough interior volume to qualify as a mid-size vehicle.

Volkswagen Eos

The Volkswagen Eos is a sporty coupe that's also a sexy convertible, thanks to a sleek, sophisticated retractable hardtop. This chameleon also has an exceptionally wide glass sunroof for when you want the open-air experience without getting that wind-swept look.

[Source: KBB Road Trip 2008]



What the hell? Don't these people know that you don't road trip in a new car? Part of the fun of a road trip is not knowing whether or not you'll make it.

I think my best road trip came when a fiend of mine came with me to pick up a car I had purchased online.

The ad said that it runs.

750 miles in a 20 year old Jeep that would misfire when the wipers were on.

To pick up a 25 year old Checker that he had idling when I showed up. (never a good sign)

3 hours later we had made it 20 miles, whilst pissing off many fellow motorists. We limped the Checker to a small town that happened to have a parts store open on Sunday.

Full ignition swap in an empty parking lot later, and we were off.

But the charging system wasn't working.

Every 2 hours, we would stop, and idle the Jeep with jumper cables run to the Checker to charge the Checker's battery.

A few times of this, and the Jeep's alternator had had enough.

Neither vehicle was charging now, and eventually, we had two vehicles dead on the side of I-90 in New York.

A tow to the nearest parts store, and repairs began. A new alternator in the Checker (after a broken bolt), a new battery for each vehicle, and we could drive to the parts store down the road which had an alternator for the Jeep.

Tow bills, roadside repairs, taking 3 days to make the 750 mile journey home. That's a road trip.