You’ve got the maps out and you’re wondering just which are the best cars for road trips that you’ll always remember. You might be considering the North Coast 500 taking in the spectacular scenery of northern Scotland. Or perhaps it's the great roads of south Wales, navigating around sheep at dawn. A ferry across the Channel and a motor circuit journey takes in Reims, Spa and the Nurburgring. Handling is key, because there’s fun to be had out there. You’ll want to be snug and comfortable, with a driver-focused cabin and steering that connects you to the road and that next corner. Power should be sufficient and a little rorty noise wouldn’t go amiss either. From a roaring V8, to minimal French mid-engined panache and the ideal convertible, we’ve come up with five best cars for road trips that we believe meet those criteria. Final choice? Up to you.
5 Best cars for road trips
Aston Martin DB12
A big Aston is a must for any true aficionado on a road trip. Latest out of the venerable British marque’s Gaydon headquarters fairly demands to be on anyone's list of the very best cars for road trips, particularly if you’re planning a long distance trans-continental journey. Step forward, then, the DB12. Take a few moments to inhale those spectacular looks. Power, all 671 bhp of it, comes from a Mercedes-AMG sourced twin-turbo V8 upfront, benefitting from Aston Martin's modifications. Deep in the leather-lined cockpit, the driver becomes part of this formidable machine. Aston call the DB12 a “super-tourer”, emphasising near supercar credentials. The figures tell some of the story of how this new classic has to be one of the very best cars for road trips: 0 - 60 mph in 2.6 seconds, with a top speed of 202 mph. We’ll have ours in Aston Martin Racing Green, ready for a jaunt to see the company’s Formula One team in action.
Porsche 911 Carrera
The contemporary 911 really is the Porsche that is good for everything, including being one of the best cars for road trips of all kinds. With that famous flat-six wailing behind you, you won’t need the impeccable sound system that, like everything else that Porsche create, is of course of the highest quality. The 911’s been around since 1964 and while shape and format remains unchanged, just about everything else has. While, famously, you’d have to be just a little careful around demanding bends with earlier models because of the weight of the rear-mounted engine, latest electronics take care of all of that for you, allowing driver and passenger - rear seats are best used for an extra soft bag or two - to enjoy all that the 911 offers: sybaritic comfort, unbeatable road-holding and bulletproof build quality so you won’t break down in the Scottish highlands. Good for 180 mph on the autobahn, too.
Ford Mustang V8
Motoring across America? If that’s your dream journey, may we suggest that you include the original muscle car among your choices for the best cars for road trips on Route 66. Rumbling V8 makes the case all on its own, producing 444 bhp, more than twice the horses offered when the original Mustang V8 was introduced to a rapturous reception in March, 1964. Ford’s little coupé instantly became a favourite among the best cars for road trips across the US, a title it’s held ever since in the many and various guises that have followed. Seventh generation Ford Mustang is powered by Ford’s formidable Coyote V8 and available with a six-speed manual transmission which would be very much our choice. Just make sure when ordering at your local Ford dealer that you specify the V8 and not the Mustang Mach-E, which is a battery-powered crossover. This may be excellent in its own right, but no discerning petrolhead would include that machine among their best cars for road trips. The Mustang V8? Very much so.
Little French mid-engined wonder will steal your heart from the first moment you see it, resplendent in the Alpine Blue that really is the only choice. Colourway is a reminder of French racing colours and of the Alpine’s spiritual predecessor from the 1960s, which boasted a formidable rallying career. Heritage alone should be enough to add it to any list of the best cars for road trips. Not persuaded by history? Consider this: the A110’s 249 bhp engine is mid-mounted, driving the rear wheels, the perfect configuration for effortless handling. Minimalist interior is stripped-back and aimed at maximum driver focus. There’s room for a passenger, if you must, and not much else. Silhouette recalls the storied original A110, which famously won the Monte Carlo Rally. Avoid autoroutes with wallet-busting tolls and take to France’s beautifully-maintained N-roads, which curve and wind their way through the countryside. Naturally your destination, too, will be Monaco where the Alpine A110 will be right at home. Best cars for road trips? You’ll be telllng everyone in the casino that yours is just outside.
Jaguar F-Type Convertible
We’ve naturally had to include a convertible in our list of the best cars for road trips. Wind in your hair, that sharp country air as you set out from your overnight stop, what could be better? Putting the roof up quickly when rain’s on the way, that’s what. Luckily, your F-Type will have you in the warm and dry in just 12 seconds. Of course, Jaguar know more than a little about the very best cars for road trips. The F-Type has just enough long-nose echoes of its renowned 1960s alphabetical predecessor to tap the nostalgia button. Make no mistake though, this is drop-top for today’s roads. Four-wheel drive supercharged V8 would be our choice, so that whatever the conditions you’ll be bolted to the road. Construction, to a design by the legendary Ian Callum, is in aluminium for adding lightness and you’ll find yourself turning around to admire your ride in the car park after stopping for mid-morning coffee. Great road, great British convertible. Yes, please.