Best vehicle for a cross country road trip?

bcorig

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The best deals in used cars are the 3 year old lease returns. Generally under 40K miles and about 1/3 to 1/2 off orig. sticker price.
Having driven about 1.25M miles in my career, I like the ride of a sedan but the convenience of a mid size SUV. Some of the newer small and mid size SUVs have a ride nearly as good as a sedan, and nearly as good of gas mileage. As for exact choices, that is a personal thing. Ask 100 people and get 98 different answers. But I will say that something to keep in mind is maintenance on the trip. A cross country trip will almost always need at least an oil change. Pick a make/model that will be able to be serviced along the way without those dreaded delays waiting for parts to come from who knows where.
He’s correct, mid sized SUV.
 

DuckDodgers

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Last year I decided to replace my Ford Focus, which was my everyday and travel car, and my ancient Honda Element, which was my camping and hauling vehicle, with a new Subaru Outback. It turns out to be a good all-around vehicle for both everyday errands and long trips in all sorts of weather, and gets highway milage in the high 30s. Hauls a lot of luggage, too. I wouldn’t hesitate to drive it across the continent.
 

fathand

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I have a 2013 VW Diesel Golf/Jetta Sportwagen. I am 6ft and with seat folded, I can lay out corner to corner in the back to sleep. I get about 60 mpg in Imperial gallons, nor sure what that is in American gallons maybe 48 mpg or 4.5 litres per 100 km. Fun to drive with the 6 speed manual.
I also have a Dodge Caravan that can sleep 2 comfortable that gets about half that mileage on hwy. still not bad. Drives like a car but not a sports car.
Both will save you a bunch on motels.
 

CharlieO

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He’s correct, mid sized SUV.

I am not really familiar with what my options are in the mid sized SUV market, although I breezed through most of them at the Tampa auto show several months ago. At the time I thought I might want a compact SUV and almost went for a Cadillac XT4. I like those, and the size would be big enough for one person. It is over my expected budget for a third vehicle to be used primarily on this trip, though. As I am thinking about this now, I would prefer a wagon like the TourX or a BMW 3 Series to a compact SUV.

Or maybe a wagon like this. It's beyond my budget, but...

43679822693.561712402.IM1.MAIN.1600x1200_A.1600x1200.jpg
 
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wrathfuldeity

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Not yet mentioned, Honda Element which is based on a honda crv power and frame. Plenty of room to sleep and carry a cooler. The other thing, going to PNW...cause of the cost of housing...most any cargo sprinter type van is in high demand. They are the 70's version of the VW bus. Also VW vans are pretty hot ticket. Personally if the budget fits, I'd do a long term, unlimited mile rental Honda Element rental. Oh and another idea, check around and see if somebody needs their vehicle driven to Portland/Seattle area...and get paid to drive it out.
 

swervinbob

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Unless I’m paid to do it, I’m not doing the cross-country drive anymore. Done it too many times in my life. Never coast to coast, but plenty of 1000 to 2000 mile trips somewhere and then drive back. Especially if I’m alone with no one to share driving, it’s fly and rent a car when i get there.
 
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Steerforth

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A late model, low mileage CPO (Certified Pre-Owned) is a good way to go. You get whatever is left of the new car warranty, plus they usually throw on another year because they’ve certified it.

It’s like getting a new car, but without driving off a cliff (value-wise) when you drive off the dealer’s lot.
 

CharlieO

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Not yet mentioned, Honda Element which is based on a honda crv power and frame. Plenty of room to sleep and carry a cooler. The other thing, going to PNW...cause of the cost of housing...most any cargo sprinter type van is in high demand. They are the 70's version of the VW bus. Also VW vans are pretty hot ticket. Personally if the budget fits, I'd do a long term, unlimited mile rental Honda Element rental. Oh and another idea, check around and see if somebody needs their vehicle driven to Portland/Seattle area...and get paid to drive it out.

A friend has an Element, and it is a very practical vehicle. I am looking for something that is a little more luxurious. I had originally thought that a Sprinter camper would be a good idea, but I am guessing that I won't be sleeping in the vehicle frequently, so the investment in a camper setup really is not necessary. And as mentioned earlier, a driveaway car isn't going to work for me. I want to have an open-ended schedule, anywhere from a month to six weeks. I might also get stuck with a vehicle that does not work for me.

Bentley Continental.

I had that idea a couple of weeks ago when watching YouTube videos of this guy who bought a salvage 2006 Bentley Flying Spur at auction and repaired it. I am sure that he has paid for the car with his income from YouTube. What if I could buy one at the right price and add value to it with a few repairs? It shouldn't bee too much of a risk to drive it across the country. It's just a fancy VW/Audi.





Unless I’m paid to do it, I’m not doing the cross-country drive anymore. Done it too many times in my life. Never coast to coast, but plenty of 1000 to 2000 mile trips somewhere and then drive back. Especially if I’m alone with no one to share driving, it’s fly and rent a car when i get there.

If you have already done it, I understand. I have not, and there are definitely places that I want to see. In some of these places I might want to stay for a week. I won't know until i get there.
 

Nick Fanis

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From June 1987 till October 1987 I have Criss crossed the magnificent US in this

upload_2020-9-12_15-29-39.png


Definitely the best car for this kind of trip.

(Ok these where the best years of my life so maybe I am biased :) )
 

bcorig

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I am not really familiar with what my options are in the mid sized SUV market, although I breezed through most of them at the Tampa auto show several months ago. At the time I thought I might want a compact SUV and almost went for a Cadillac XT4. I like those, and the size would be big enough for one person. It is over my expected budget for a third vehicle to be used primarily on this trip, though. As I am thinking about this now, I would prefer a wagon like the TourX or a BMW 3 Series to a compact SUV.

Or maybe a wagon like this. It's beyond my budget, but...

43679822693.561712402.IM1.MAIN.1600x1200_A.1600x1200.jpg
Then look at the Honda Crosstour. Not manufactured any longer so used should be at a good price.
 

mkdaws32

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I just came into a 2019 Santa Fe Ultimate for less than 30k in USD. Very comfortable and incredible highway gas mileage with a 2.0l turbo 4 cylinder. Very peppy passing on the highway. Leather seats, air conditioned front seats, heated seats all the way around, panoramic sunroof, wireless phone charging pad, lots of storage, roomy rear seats, Nav system with free map updates, Apple car play, 360 degree cameras with aerial view and every safety feature you can imagine.

Never had a Hyundai before - May never have anything else in the future. Have had it for multiple 3-hour+ mini road trips so far.
 

CharlieO

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Then look at the Honda Crosstour. Not manufactured any longer so used should be at a good price.

The Honda Crosstour is one of the ugliest vehicles that Honda ever made. No thanks. I owned three great Hondas and loved all of them, but you would never see me in a Crosstour.

I'd drive what I drive now.....a Honda Fit....small on the outside, huge on the inside, gets great mpg, and is pretty f'ing fun with the manual transmission

That would be fun, but not what I am looking for. In 1990 my girlfriend and I drove a brand new Civic from Amsterdam down through Belgium, France, Spain and then smuggled it across the border into Portugal to deliver it to her friend and avoid the astronomical sales tax. It was a perfect car for that trip.

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url
 




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