The UK hosts a stunning landscape of ancient cities and mythical forests – you’d be crazy not to check them out at least once! Taking a road trip is the best way to do this as it’s only a tiny island after all… Whether you’re going with your partner or family, your car needs to be just as keen on a road trip as you are. If you want to get into the roundtrip lifestyle or are tired of your old car’s stubbornness, then check out our best cars for road trips below!
Our desire to zip around country lanes and motorways in a luxury sports car might not be as far out of reach as we think. Enter the MX-5. As a testament to affordable sports cars, each generation of the MX-5 has continued to deliver in terms of looks, driving feel and attitude. Recent models take this a step further with slick geometrical features and a punchy, well-handled engine.
If you want a day out in style with a friend or partner, the MX-5 will chauffer you there in comfort and boastful economy - a convertible top too is just icing on the cake for those long summer’s day drives. After winning multiple awards that can stretch to the bottom of this page, it’s hard to find fault in the MX-5. With a lower seating position, smooth gearbox and luxury cabin of heated leather seats and more, you’ve got to give the MX-5 all the praise it deserves.
Of course, an EV will naturally find its way onto the list of best cars for road tripping, and we had no doubt it would be the IONIQ 5. EV charging infrastructure is growing fast in the UK and paired with the IONIQ 5’s incredible performance, you will struggle to run out of charge even if you tried. A rapid 10-80% charge time in just 18 minutes means you can take a quick coffee break on your way to your next destination. With a range of up to 315 miles, the IONIQ 5 can eat the UK roads for breakfast.
Space and practicality are tied in strongly too, providing you with the same desired features of a regular ICE but with much more. A 527L boot space, automatic parking, and a zen cabin will make you struggle to part with the IONIQ 5. Additionally, the IONIQ 5 hosts a Vehicle-to-load (V2L) function, which features a 3.6kW port so that you can charge other devices such as camping equipment or electric scooters. If you’ve already fallen in love and would like to see the IONIQ 5 take a surf road trip, check out our blog here.
Sports cars and SUVs might be perfect for some, but what about our loved hatchbacks? If you are on a budget but still want a sporty and spacious feel, look no further than the Suzuki Swift Sport. This car is so well-balanced you truly are getting the best of all worlds. It has a responsive performance that balances a welcoming attitude for those long drives with a hot hatch punch that allows you to turn up the notch when you see fit.
A clever interior and supple handling mean you could spend all day in the Swift Sport, and its turbocharged petrol engine provides you with an incredibly nippy and solid driving experience. If you’re worried about the economy, don’t be. The Suzuki Swift Sport can return up to 50mpg, making it the perfect affordable hatchback for road trips.
After an SUV but prefer a more classic engine? The Vauxhall Mokka is your answer. If you’re after reliability, the Mokka will surpass your expectations and then some. With the newer models playing a very stylish and crisp hand, you will struggle to find fault here. After winning multiple awards in “Most Reliable Family SUV”, you may think the Mokka might be sacrificing some other aspects that make it perfect for a road trip – certainly not.
Forward-thinking technologies, electric alternatives and a relaxed driving attitude mean the Mokka can handle long or frequent drives with ease. You can also choose between an incredibly smooth 8-speed automatic or a more affordable 6-speed manual alternative. While the ‘compact-crossover’ descriptor may have you worried about space, the Mokka clears these doubts away with ample head and leg room for all – it even generously provides you with up to 350L boot space.
Mazda’s central efforts around affordability, style and superb performance might be what has stuck in your head all this time, but maybe it’s an SUV, not a sports car, that you’re looking for. This is where the CX-5 steps into the spotlight. There is a plethora of models available to meet your desires, but no matter the choice, you will be met with a forgiving drive and attractively intuitive design.
Mazda has scaled up the same tactile and responsive performance found in their smaller cars without failure. From an environmentally friendly and economical engine to a roomy and luxurious interior making this one of the best cars for road trips. A keen focus has been placed on technology as well, with the i-Activ AWD assisting in all-wheel drive mode and the i-Activsense monitoring road safety, you really can take the CX-5 anywhere.
Hybrid cars are indeed good for long-distance driving due to their unique blend of internal combustion engines and electric motors. They offer benefits like excellent fuel efficiency, making them cost-effective for covering extended distances. The electric motor can assist the engine during highway cruising, conserving fuel. Regenerative braking recharges the battery while descending slopes, increasing the overall range. Additionally, hybrids often have spacious, comfortable interiors, making them ideal for road trips. However, charging infrastructure and the availability of electric power may vary in remote areas, so it's essential to plan routes carefully. Overall, hybrid cars are a viable choice for long-distance journeys, offering economic and eco-friendly solutions.
Need some road trip inspiration? Then check out Yorkshire! If you are coming from the south, head up the M1 or M11, or if you’re coming from the north, take the A1 or A19 down. There’s plenty to see and do - we’ve even got a list of must-see places below. There’s no need to worry about charging stations if you have an EV as there are hundreds in the county.
York and the surrounding country are blessed with unspoiled rugged beauty, featuring Roman and Viking heritage in the form of castles, abbeys, and national parks. Here are a few ideas on places to see: