What is the best (durable) roadtrip vehicle?



Here’s what I’m looking for…

(1) A Durable vehicle that can travel from coast to coast with little to no trouble.

(2) A Vehicle that can transport cargo and people. Something like music instruments and such.

(3) A vehicle which could easily navigate AND park on busy city streets.

My Friends have reccomended the Honda CR-V, the Subaru Outback and the Toyota Fav4. Based off their size and utility, and what I’m looking for.

I currently drive a 6 cylander 1989 Toyota Camry that just made it to the 200,000 mile mark, and will soon need to be put to rest (Not cause of the engine mind you, but it’s sedan shell is falling apart due to time and weather (I live in Seattle where the sun rarely shines.)) But I’ve driven her back and forth from one corner of the nation to the other. so I love her power and strength in such a small body. Somethign like that I would also like.

Ok, enough talk, What are my options? :slight_smile:


You didn’t mention a price range or if you’re looking at used or new.

The vehicles you’ve mentioned are all SUV’s-- is high-clearance or AWD also a requirement? Really pretty much any car if you’re looking at new to fairly new will meet your reliability requirements.

If you don’t need to haul passengers and a lot of stuff simultaneously, I’d say a Scion xB would probably be good, or a Matrix/Vibe or any of the small hatchbacks on the market. If you do have to do both a station wagon would be good. Suburu sort of has the market cornered on them, but they don’t realy get the mileage that a 2wd one would. A friend of mine has a newish Suzuki station wagon that has equivelant roomyness to a Subaru, better mileage and about half the cost-- there’s just the stigmas of buying Korean in the form of heavy depreciation and questionable reliability (although in the last 5 years they seem to have gotten much better).


The CR-V and Rav-4 are too small, unless you use a trailer for the gear. You need a mid to large size SUV or a van. I’d go with the van. How much do you want to spend?


“there’s just the stigmas of buying Korean”

Actually, Suzuki is a Japanese brand. Now, of course, it is possible that some Suzuki models are manufactured in Korea, but for that matter, so is the Chevy Aveo.

Anyway, for the record, the Korean auto brands that are marketed in this country are Hyundai and Kia (which is now owned by Hyundai). Previously, the Korean-made Daewoo vehicles were marketed in this country, until that company went belly-up. Daewoo was bought out by GM, and some of those Daewoo models are now marketed as GM vehicles–for example, the Chevy Aveo.


Many Suzuki models are also rebadged Daewoos, including the Reno, Verona and the Forenza.


Now that I think about it, I guess I did equate earlier Suzuki vehicles and the motorcycles as being Japanese! I guess the Suzukis just occupy the same sort of market position as the Koreans. My mistake!


Maybe one of those SUV/minivan/station wagon crossover thingamabobs.


The vehicles your friends suggested are too small, and you don’t really need AWD unless you insist on going coast to coast during a January snowstorm. As others pointed out, most vehicles are reliable enough for what you have in mind. I would go for the cheapest box on wheels that can be serviced coast to coast. A Pontiac Vibe, Dodge Minivan (basic model), a Taurus station wagon, or, if you can find a used one, a Honda Element, or Scion (made by Toyota); both are roomy square boxes with 4 cylinder engines, and are extremely reliable. I’d stay away from Ford minivans. Gas prices are going to keep climbing in the long run, so stay away from haevy vehicles, or large engines.


And, that is because of Suzuki’s “relationship” with GM. The new Suzuki XL-7 is essentially a Chevy Equinox, with the exception of the engine. The Equinox uses GM’s 3.4 liter engine, whereas the XL-7 uses GM’s far superior 3.6 liter engine.

But, to get back to the original point, there is a fairly incestuous relationship taking place that includes GM, Suzuki, and the former Daewoo models, and this arrangement only helps to blur the issue of the origin of some of these vehicles. Personally, I would avoid any of the models that originated as Daewoos.


Check out a Ford “Panther” platform car, Crown Vic, Grand Marquis, Town Car. There is NOTHING like one on the open road, and they deliver decent mileage. The trunk can hold most of Western Civilization. If that’s not enough, they have a real frame under them so a decent trailer hitch can be installed…Properly maintained, they are 100% reliable.


I can second that, though I think 100% is a little optimistic. If your load is going to be heavy, find one with rear air suspension. You can buy a lightly used one from grandpa or grandpa for very little money.


Nobody ever bought a car because of what I said, except once and I have tried plenty of times. Oh, well, buy something made in the US. Your balance of trade number needs you.


Hyundai Accent. I say this because I’ve driven across Canada in my 02 Accent. Very durable, tons of cargo room with the hatchback, easy to maneuver and park. Not to mention great gas mileage - I averaged over 40 mpg during my trip. And it’s a cheap car to buy - a one or two year old version will cost under $10,000 easily.