Hooniverse Asks: What Would Be Your Ultimate Road Trip Ride?

I don’t know about you, but when bad weather has me stuck indoors and suffering from cabin fever my thoughts invariably turn to clear skies and the open roads beneath them.
The road trip is a cultural icon that goes back centuries. After all, it was just such a wanderlust that brought Marco Polo to Asia, and Lewis and Clark to the Pacific. Today the road trip is an important rite of passage for many a family and a way for bros to find hijinks outside of their home town where the cops already know their names. Plus, today we have actual roads upon which to take trips.
Seeing as roads and trips require cars, what we want to know today is what would be your ultimate road trip ride? Once you’ve decided, where would it take you?
Image: IMCDB


  1. I’ve been so lucky to have experienced one excellent roadtrip vehicle in its habitat. It was…
    a) spacious – no problem to stretch your legs in the driver’s or passenger seat, or to sleep in the back
    b) offered great views through big, non-toned, little pillar windows
    c) easy to drive
    d) offroadable to a certain degree
    e) easy to find in a parking lot or a forest
    f) drivable with an ok fuel consumption of about 30 mpg
    g) hidden compartment for valuable stuff under the trunk floor
    Where would I take it? To infinity and beyond, of course!

    1. The long-travel suspension helps keep the impact of bumps to a minimum, but the ground clearance is only 6″. Not bad for a car, but bettered by almost any crossover. Dirt roads, sure, but that’s about all I’d want to do.
      Oh, and the only thing to not love is the abominable fuel mileage. Even with over 20 gallons behind the rear seats, you’re never going to see 400 miles on a tank… unless you roll the diesel.

      1. On a road trip, stops make the memories, haha. And yeah, the 6″ ground clearance was the reason for “soft” in the soft roader. Dirt roads are no fear, but I’m not going to take it crawling, haha.

  2. If I want to be able to go anywhere I please, I think a thoughtfully-modded FJ80 would be perfect. Go anywhere, still decent road manners. Only downside is abominable gas mileage, which limits range.
    If I’m not going off-road, or nothing more than dirt roads, an Odyssey cannot be beat. Room for all of your people and stuff without tacking anything onto the outside. If you haven’t filled all seats, room for anyone not driving at the time to stretch out and take a nap. Mid-20s mpg, even when you’re blasting across the desert at [redacted] mph, and is rock solid stable at superlegal speeds thanks to a wind-cheating shape and long wheelbase. An HVAC that can keep up with all conditions is excellent, too.

    1. Any minivan is a road-eater, they are ridiculously good for it.
      Even the Aerostar I had growing up was awesome on the open road (not great for cross-winds)
      Current vehicle for my wife is the Town and Country and I am constantly amazed at the 28 MPG hwy that we get on trips to the midwest, despite 70+ mph. In quiet comfort, with a DVD player and the ability to fold seats into a floor for flat-floor sleeping if needed.

  3. This is a discussion the kid and I have on occasion.
    He’s there with Alex Roy and the CL55.
    Mine would be a Panther with a GT500 5.8L.

    1. First I thought: “Yes, of course!”, then it evolved to “Ew, no”, and now I’m left confused not really knowing what to think. It’s like a transcontinental business meeting; probably not my kind of road trip. But I’d be willing to try and find out.

        1. Like I said- I know nothing about bikes.
          The Patrol about my speed… slow and doesn’t fall over often.

    1. Solid choice. I’m in love with the idea of an engine with a seat and seem to have a farkle allergy. I have an idea of getting some panniers and doing some road tripping with a minimalist kit, but for right now, it’s for bombing around the Bay Area. So, I don’t really have a favorite two wheel answer.

    2. Jeepster’s road tripper … the only reason I do not have a 1000RR is they are soo small, I think I could put one on my shoulder and amble off with it. Well almost – I did lift and walk to the teardown table with a 1985 R80GS in my arms at the local airhead rally a few years ago ( with a campsite of witnesses ). Waiting for the XR demo to show up.

  4. For JUST a road trip (I sure don’t want this as my daily driver) I’d have a couple of wants/needs:
    1 – Luxurious. I want supple leather. Heated/cooled comfortable seats. etc. etc
    2 – Spacious. Way back when we had our Miata, we did quite a few weekend road trips. It’s too small. I need to be able to stretch the legs out a little bit
    3 – Comfortable ride. Limited road noise, limited engine noise, just smoooooooth sailing
    4 – Off-roadable. My ideal road trips involve a least a little bit of back woods logging roads and getting even further away from civilization than I am now
    5 – Open air motoring. I want to feel the sun glaring down on my thinning hair
    So, it looks like my choices come down to Wrangler, Murano Cross Cabriolet or the one I’d actually choose, the new Evoque Convertible

  5. ZZR1200 has replaced my car as road trip vehicle of choice. Here we are on Wyoming 296 (Chief Joseph Scenic Byway), during a 3,500 mile tour from Calgary to Utah and back. My GTI is really good but a bit too sedate.

    1. You know, that’s not a bad shout, actually. Get the 3.5 V6 version for when the right stretch of blacktop hoves into view, enjoy the elevated driving position and those widescreen windows for panoramic vista intake.
      Might choose the same myself.

  6. For paved roads only, RS7.
    For roads both paved and unpaved, likely a slightly lifted Land Cruiser or solid-front-axle converted GMT800 Tahoe/Yukon.

  7. With other people: Chrysler Town & Country. (I speak from experience; this is the best roadtrip car in existence if you’re driving to another state with other people to shoot a movie.)
    By myself: Dodge Challenger. (Maybe even a base model with a V6.)
    On two wheels: Honda Goldwing.

    1. With lots of road trip experience and roughing it under my belt, I’ve reached the age where my idea of camping out is the following…

  8. Wish I could find the picture I took of it at Autorama – a 1957 Chevy Wagon grafted on to a late model 4×4 chassis at stock ride height for the donor truck. LT tires and a useful and attractive chrome luggage rack. Stylish, clean and spacious – built from components that should be available at any auto parts store anywhere in the country. I’d mate it with a vintage Airstream and a couple of mountain bikes and head for the relatively small number of National Parks that the wife and I have not visited over the last 20 years. We’d take in Denali and swing through Banff on the way home, revisiting the site of our honeymoon.

    1. Abandoned by the previous owner, in a no-registration required area, it’s available to whoever wants to pick it up. Ran when parked!

    1. I love it when the modifying brigade provide a shopping list of aspirational brand names writ large on a car which will never, ever come close to receiving them.

  9. For 4+ people, the vehicle doesn’t matter much, it just has to be spacious, reasonably comfortable, and quiet enough to converse without shouting. A friend has a Kia Sportage which is utterly appalling at everything BUT road trips.
    For 1-2 people, R8 Spyder. I’ve raved about this car in comments before, but hear me out. It’s fast but not too fast, loud when you want and quiet the rest of the time, absurdly comfortable, and AWD. It gets 20ish mpg, which would be a problem except that it has a TWENTY-THREE gallon fuel tank…

  10. While hitch-hiking home from Italy we got a ride in a Citroen CX Turbo. Beautyfull summer afternoon, driver didn’t speak any language but Italian and was very proud with us enjoying his car. It’s around 140km, it took him less than an hour.

  11. Sentimental fool that I am, it’s still the Faithful Mule, my 1991 Ford Econoline van, seen here at the Alvord Desert in SE Oregon some years ago. A veteran of more road trips than I can count.
    Where would it take me? Most anywhere I want to go, same as always.
    Bonus: I can live down by the river, any time I like.

  12. Surprisingly, the best road trip vehicle I’ve ever driven, is my 1997 SAAB 900s convertible. My girlfriend and I have driven that car all over the northeast corner of the United States, and every one of those trips has been enjoyable. That’s even with a top that doesn’t go down. Who knew?

      1. 53 actually. 🙂 have to admit I don’t know what that picture is, assume a scene from a movie? My solo preference is a C4 ‘Vette, but for an epic road trip, I’m all about cruisin’ in comfort!

        1. Stripes, buddy, Stripes. Of course, this is from the 2nd half of the flick, when the wheels fell off – no pun intended.

  13. The all-road choice would be a Mitsubishi Fuso FG based adventure wagon of some kind. I don’t know why Fuso FG, except it was the first 4WD box truck platform I ever heard of and I’ve always kinda wanted one. The Dakar trucks probably blow it away. Older FGs are exempt from some diesel regulations, so there’s a plus.

  14. My main requirements for a road trip car are comfortable seats, a manual transmission and plenty of usable torque. The latter two points are well understood, but I’ve got a different definition than most for the former. The two vehicles I’ve driven that have the best seats for long distance travel are my Jeep and the Ranchero. I don’t need lots of padding or nice materials. I need good back and neck position. Most racing seats have the perfect shape. The modern seats that have the headrests that jut forward are horrible. I end up with an aching thoracic spine when driving or riding in those seats for even modest stints.
    So, by that criteria, my Jeep is my favorite road trip vehicle thus far. I’ve put a lot of highway miles on it, and one extended, multi-state trip. I can imaging liking other vehicles for pure-pavement road-tripping better, but not many.
    EDIT: Oh, right, no roof. Gotta be able to get some air.

  15. Later model Volvo C70. Hardtop when you want quiet cruising, topless when you need some air, decent road manners, and those seats. My achy body loves the best seats out there. Of course only if its me and the missus.

  16. 2 years ago I took my C6 from STL to NYC – it was a great car for it.
    Got great gas mileage – the ride home I was able to do with only 1 stop, getting 502 miles from a single tank – and making it back in 14 1/2 hours (1,000 miles). I avg’d about 28.5mpg for the round trip, mostly cruising at 10 over the limit (75-85mph) with the cruise control on. Had 1 tank over 30mpg.
    The a/c system kept me very cool, the upgraded stereo made the trip nice.

  17. Used to be this:
    Yes, that’s an additional three gallon fuel tank under the tail trunk…and those two sets of additional lights are PIAAs. I miss that bike.
    However, we’re older and rather beat-up…and being one vehicle can’t do everything, we roll a combo:
    The 5.9L ZJ manages only marginally better MPGs than the portable apartment.

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