Summer has officially arrived, and that means it’s time to leave everyday life behind for a little while.
Unlike the winter, when you really just want to hop on a plane for warmer destinations, the summer presents the perfect opportunity to return to our travelling roots — the road trip. You don’t have to be confined to a cramped camper van, washing dishes and worrying about whether your Westfalia can wobble its way over the next mountain pass.
Why not pound the pavement in speed and style instead? Many of today’s luxury cars are built for more than just good looks and power; they also afford plenty of storage space, as well as the latest in safety technology.
Now, let’s look at the top-five luxury cars for your summer road trip.
BMW 5 Series
If you want style and power, need some space, but don’t want to buy something bigger like a van, the BMW 5 Series beckons.
The cabin itself isn’t exactly huge, and it lacks some of the nooks and compartments that you’ll find in bigger vehicles. However, with 18.7 cubic feet of trunk space, it’s one of the roomiest luxury sedans out there. That’s about enough space to stow six pieces of carry-on luggage (22 x 14 x 9 inches per piece), so you’ll have the room to bring everything you need for your trip.
This is not the vehicle you want to take your family across America with, but for a pair of people, it’s in incredible road tripper.
The sleek and smooth ride remains flawless regardless of where you’re driving. Thanks to BMW’s Dynamic Damper Control systems and heavy horsepower, the 5 Series can easily handle any terrain and not spill your coffee.
It does all this while hitting mileage between 24 to 34 miles per gallon (10 to 14 kilometres per litre) and a reasonable base price of $52,195.
This is may not a vehicle you’d want to take all the way across the country, but for shorter trips through tricky terrain, there are fewer vehicles that are more fun.
With a 460 horsepower, V8 engine that can rocket from 0 to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds, and a flowing carbon cockpit that looks like something from the future, the Corvette Stingray spoils whoever is behind the wheel. The passenger probably won’t mind the GT bucket seats, nine-speaker audio system, or eight-inch colour touchscreen either.
Make no mistake, this is a car for drivers, and powering around a sweeping corner with the Corvette low to the ground gripping the road like glue, you’ll soon find out why.
You’re not buying a Corvette for its storage capacity, but the car is surprisingly spacious. The trunk has enough room for five pieces of carry-on luggage, just a little less than the BMW 5 Series.
The Stingray starts at a base price of $61,045, going up to $65,045 for the convertible model. Alternatively, if you are looking to get rid of a less-than-perfect version of this car, visit CarBrain.com.
If you need a little more space to pack the family along, the Volvo V60 provides performance, storage, safety, and comfort.
The crossover wagon isn’t as big as some of the competition in its class, but it still provides plenty of storage space. The 28 cubic feet of cargo room is enough to fit seven pieces of carry-on luggage — 19 pieces with the rear seats folded down.
The fuel economy is also notable, considering we’re getting into wagon territory here. The V60 rivals many sedans in that department, getting 25 miles per gallon in the city and 36 mpg on the highways (10.6 to 15.3 km per litre)
Volvo has earned a reputation for safety, and this vehicle lives up to the brand name. The V60 features a long list of safety components, including driver alert, lane-departure warning, collision warning with auto brake, and adaptive cruise control, among others.
It’s a van that allows you to take the whole family wherever you want to go with complete peace of mind. And starting at $27,145, it won’t blow the bank, either.
Have a bigger road trip crew than any of these vehicles can handle? The Buick Enclave might be the perfect solution.
This vehicle is built for versatility, with three rows of seats providing enough room for up to eight passengers to fit comfortably. Don’t have that many passengers to carry? Flip down one or more rows and you suddenly have a massive 115 cubic feet to work with — enough space to store 30 pieces of carry-on luggage. Heck, you could probably pitch a tent back there if you wanted to. The interior also features plenty of handy compartments to store day-to-day items like phones and snacks.
With features like Intellilink Entertainment and a Wifi hotspot, your crew can entertain themselves while you navigate the road with a V6, 288-horsepower engine that has enough juice to get you anywhere you want to go quickly and in style.
It’s no slouch in the safety department either, with features such as forward collision alert, Surround Vision, and automatic braking to keep you and your travel mates protected.
Despite the fact that it’s the biggest vehicle on our list, you don’t have to sacrifice too much in fuel economy. The Enclave gets 18 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway. (7.7 to 11 km per litre). However, it still packs some power, with the 266 pounds of torque getting you from 0 to 60mph in 6.6 seconds.
At a starting price of $39,990, the Buick Enclave offers luxury, style and safety at an affordable price point.