Planning a road trip requires selecting an appropriate car. An SUV that comfortably seats you and your passengers with entertainment features and advanced safety features will be ideal.
If comfort is at the top of your priority list, the Buick Enclave makes an ideal choice. Its suspension system absorbs road bumps effortlessly to make long drives feel buttery smooth.
1. Buick Enclave
The 2023 Buick Enclave stands out from its three-row family hauler competition with its fresh design and extensive safety features, such as its hands-free power liftgate. Its dynamic exterior styling stands out against competitors while the standard hands-free power liftgate makes loading gear and groceries effortless.
Buick has not altered anything under its 3.6-liter V6 to power their Enclave SUV, yet its powerful engine still delivers plenty of power when combined with its responsive nine-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive with torque vectoring capability that allows for towing up to 5,000 pounds.
Its quiet cabin and modern safety features provide a relaxing driving experience; only minor disappointment exists that the Enclave wasn’t recognized as a Top Safety Pick by IIHS.
2. Subaru Outback
Subaru transformed their traditional family station wagon, the Outback, into something far more exciting – making it an instant hit among families who prioritize outdoor adventures. Subaru further solidifies this success with the 2023 Outback Onyx Edition by introducing two engine options – either 182-hp naturally aspirated engine or 260-hp direct injection turbocharged BOXER engine – for this 2023 Outback edition and also including standard dual function X-MODE to optimize Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system driving on snow or mud terrain.
It’s an effortless drive through parking lots and around corners, offering excellent handling in tight spots; its steering feels light at center and lacks feedback to create an engaging driving experience. A smooth CVT with eight gear steps also contributes to impressive fuel economy.
On long journeys, the Outback provides cozy armchair-like front seats that feature ample adjustment, while its rear seat provides enough head- and legroom for children. Furthermore, its tall windows and classic wagon window line ensure excellent visibility all around.
3. Jeep Gladiator
The Jeep Gladiator is the only open-air pickup truck on the market and boasts many advantages. Its off-road capabilities include impressive approach and departure angles, an outstanding crawl ratio, a large cargo bed with power locking tailgate capabilities and impressive approach/departure angles.
Its impressive on-road capabilities include a solid safety cage, steel skid plates, and an extensive list of driver assistance features. Furthermore, the infotainment system’s intuitive mix of fixed buttons and knobs make navigation simple.
Front-seat occupants enjoy supportive, well-cushioned seats with plenty of legroom. However, an upright driving position might not suit taller drivers. There’s limited storage – only a small center console and some places for smartphones – while in the back seat space enough for two adults or three kids can fit.
4. Mercedes-Benz GLE 450
The GLE 450 stands out among luxury SUVs as one of the finest. It provides its passengers with a comfortable ride, precise steering feel and an intuitive nine-speed automatic transmission – not forgetting powerful acceleration that helps make long trips go by quickly.
Even the standard turbo-4 makes 255 horsepower, plenty of power to propel this 5,000-pound SUV at highway speeds with ease. Acceleration from zero to 60 is rapid at just 7.1 seconds; brake modulation can also be adjusted easily.
Most models feature a 48-volt mild hybrid system, filling in when necessary when the combustion engine isn’t exerting as much force. This helps it achieve an EPA rating of 21 miles per gallon city driving, 27 highway driving, and 23 combined mpg rating; plus it can tow 7,700 pounds!
5. Toyota Land Cruiser
When it comes to large SUVs that provide comfort on both road trips and off-road excursions, few options surpass the Toyota Land Cruiser in terms of cost and capability. Although costly to buy and run, no other SUV can match this icon of off-road performance like it.
The Toyota can climb 40-degree gradients and wade through water up to 700mm deep. Equipped with four-wheel drive and capable four-wheel drive systems, it has the capacity to tow 3,000kg.
Toyotas may not offer as refined or enjoyable driving experience compared to Mercedes G-Wagons or Land Rover Defenders; their infotainment systems don’t respond as quickly and can feel vague when taking tight bends. Only Invincible models feature active cruise control that takes care of steering and braking for you; otherwise you must opt for more basic models if this feature is desired.
6. Nissan Pathfinder
No matter where your travels take you, the 2023 Nissan Pathfinder provides serious capability with modern features. Competing against vehicles such as Ford Explorer, Kia Telluride and Honda Pilot for buyers seeking an off-roader that’s also convenient and comfortable commuting vehicle is something this midsize three-row SUV excels at doing.
The Pathfinder boasts an impressive 284 horsepower 3.5-liter V-6, capable of towing up to 6,000 pounds when properly equipped. This engine sends power directly to either front wheels or all four through its nine-speed automatic transmission system.
Standard features of the 2018 Ford Fusion include an intuitive infotainment system with either an 8- or 9-inch touchscreen display, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (no Google Play in Platinum trim), navigation, an integrated Wi-Fi hotspot, a surround view camera and Bose premium audio – as well as other convenient features.
7. Volkswagen Touareg
Volkswagen’s flagship SUV is an exceptional technological powerhouse. Although not intended for the masses, and definitely more snobbish than its mainstream VW sibling offerings, when fully equipped it can compete against some luxury rivals such as Audi or BMW.
Built on the same impressive platform as Audi Q7, Porsche Cayenne and Mercedes GLE vehicles, Touareg provides impressive capabilities. Notably its TDI diesel engines offer efficient performance around town while at motorway speeds it remains quiet and unobtrusive.
There’s plenty of adjustability available on both front seats and rear bench benches to provide people of all sizes with maximum comfort on longer journeys. A panoramic sunroof adds to its everyday appeal, as does its refined interior finish and five-year warranty with three years’ of roadside assistance from Touareg Motors.