Cruising Vehicles For Your Summer Road Trips

On summer road trips, your wheels can make a world of difference.

Now that the long, languid days of summer have arrived, there’s plenty to see, experience, and discover—and a road trip is the perfect way to do it all. These five vehicles are all suited to a multiday adventure across America’s bustling highways and rural backroads.

More Than Meets the Eye

Sedans may be a sensible choice for a road trip, but too many of them fail to deliver an exhilarating driving experience. The 2021 Porsche Panamera Turbo S (starting at $177,700) doesn’t suffer from that shortcoming. Propelled by a twin-turbocharged V8 that can deliver as much as 620 horsepower, this stately, four-door German automobile conceals track-busting performance underneath its sedate outer shell.

After setting a then-record lap time on the Nordschleife circuit at Nürburgring in the fall, the new Panamera Turbo S set another production sedan benchmark at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta. “The engineers found a perfect balance,” professional driver Leh Keen said after the record-setting lap. “They really made it feel small and sporty. The stability gave me a ton of confidence to use every bit of the asphalt …. Yet, the car has a completely different and more refined and relaxed character on the highway.”

Best of Both Worlds

Road-trippers who feel conflicted about choosing the practicality of an SUV over the sportiness of an exotic supercar can get the best of both worlds behind the wheel of the Lamborghini Urus (starting at $218,009). Named after one of the large, wild ancestors of modern-day domestic cattle, the Urus brings its own heft to Lamborghini’s stable of vehicles, albeit with low-line coupe styling.

As you might expect, this SUV, crafted by an Italian marque known for its supercars, is not wanting for power or performance. Capable of sprinting from zero to 62 mph in only 3.6 seconds, the Urus can reach a top speed of 189 mph and features six distinctive driving modes. Best of all, the Urus provides 22 cubic feet of rear storage space—56 cubic feet when the rear bench seat is lowered—which allows you to do the unimaginable: road trip in a Lamborghini and bring your luggage with you.

Charging Ahead

The rising cost of gasoline in recent decades cannot only mar a long road trip, but it can also dissuade someone from taking one in the first place. The 2022 Audi RS e-tron GT (starting at $99,900) wipes those costly gas station visits from your itinerary—a notable achievement, even if it requires occasional stops at charging stations instead.

Of course, the RS e-tron GT’s performance is no less impressive. With launch control and overboost, the plug-in coupe produces as much as 637 horsepower, evenly distributed to all four wheels. Additionally, the sportster can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in a mere 3.1 seconds, equaling the acceleration of Audi’s flagship supercar, the V10-powered R8.

The RS e-tron GT is even quick when at a standstill. Built around 800-volt electrical architecture, the GT charges at an industry-leading 270 kW using DC fast-chargers, which means it can replenish 75% of its battery power in less than 23 minutes. On a full charge, the RS e-tron GT boasts a range of 232 miles.

Cruisin’ in Style

Cadillacs have long been known for their opulence and driver-focused comforts, and the 2021 Cadillac Escalade (starting at $76,195) furthers the brand’s reputation in that regard. Most notably, the new Escalade is the first full-size SUV to offer super-cruise driver-assistance technology. Supported by Lidar map data, high-precision GPS, a sophisticated driver attention system, and the vehicle’s network of cameras and radar sensors, the super-cruise feature offers hands-free driving on more than 200,000 miles of compatible highways throughout the United States and Canada.

The Escalade’s network of cameras and sensors also supports a night vision feature, which utilizes infrared technology to produce an enhanced forward-looking view that is projected onto the vehicle’s central display. And while those technologically advanced features provide added comfort, the SUV also introduces comfort the old-fashioned way: Thanks to a new architecture and chassis design, the 2021 Escalade delivers significantly roomier interiors, including 40% more leg room for third-row passengers.

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