Looking for a long-distance trip vehicle. Suggestions?

Zuman

Active Member
Feb 25, 2023
85
107
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71
Problem:
-I'm looking for a comfortable, safe, roomy, stress-free vehicle for trips from Indiana to Pennsylvania that my wife and I take eight-to-ten times each year. It's just over 700 miles each way, and we do it straight through in one day, with stops for restrooms, fuel, and food. It wouldn't be our at-home, around-town vehicle.
Considerations:
-I'm a life-long car guy. I've owned Lotus, BMW, Porsche, and a range of other driver-focused vehicles. I currently have a 2006 Aston Martin DB9 and a Mazda CX-9 SUV.
-We often haul our dog and her crate, along with bags for a week or so. At least three times a year we also take our two adult daughters and their stuff, too.
-I'm 71 now. I haven't had an accident in 40 years, but there's no way I'm as "good" as I used to be. So I want a good technology package to help keep me out of trouble and - if that doesn't work - to help bail me out if I or the "other idiot" make a mistake.
-While most of my fun cars haven't always been the most comfortable, I want a car for these trips that won't stress my mind or my body. That means controlled but compliant suspension, good-to-excellent noise insulation, good seats, etc. This is very important.
-I'd prefer a vehicle with very good reliability and as-good-as-possible fuel economy. I also think that AWD is probably important as we travel through a wide range of weather and road conditions.
-I'd also prefer a vehicle that feels "planted." You serious drivers know what I mean: a vehicle that doesn't float around, that feels connected and responsive.
I know, this feels like it's one of those situations where I can have some of what I want, but those strengths bring other opposing weaknesses with them...the "choose three out of four" dilemma.
I think the solution is likely an SUV or (horrors!) a high-end minivan. I am definitely willing to buy a pre-owned vehicle if it allows me to move into the solution I want within my budget, as long as it has the safety systems that have become prevalent over the past four or so years (adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, etc.).
My budget is $50-$75k.
Any suggestions? Thanks!
 

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
Problem:
-I'm looking for a comfortable, safe, roomy, stress-free vehicle for trips from Indiana to Pennsylvania that my wife and I take eight-to-ten times each year. It's just over 700 miles each way, and we do it straight through in one day, with stops for restrooms, fuel, and food. It wouldn't be our at-home, around-town vehicle.
Considerations:
-I'm a life-long car guy. I've owned Lotus, BMW, Porsche, and a range of other driver-focused vehicles. I currently have a 2006 Aston Martin DB9 and a Mazda CX-9 SUV.
-We often haul our dog and her crate, along with bags for a week or so. At least three times a year we also take our two adult daughters and their stuff, too.
-I'm 71 now. I haven't had an accident in 40 years, but there's no way I'm as "good" as I used to be. So I want a good technology package to help keep me out of trouble and - if that doesn't work - to help bail me out if I or the "other idiot" make a mistake.
-While most of my fun cars haven't always been the most comfortable, I want a car for these trips that won't stress my mind or my body. That means controlled but compliant suspension, good-to-excellent noise insulation, good seats, etc. This is very important.
-I'd prefer a vehicle with very good reliability and as-good-as-possible fuel economy. I also think that AWD is probably important as we travel through a wide range of weather and road conditions.
-I'd also prefer a vehicle that feels "planted." You serious drivers know what I mean: a vehicle that doesn't float around, that feels connected and responsive.
I know, this feels like it's one of those situations where I can have some of what I want, but those strengths bring other opposing weaknesses with them...the "choose three out of four" dilemma.
I think the solution is likely an SUV or (horrors!) a high-end minivan. I am definitely willing to buy a pre-owned vehicle if it allows me to move into the solution I want within my budget, as long as it has the safety systems that have become prevalent over the past four or so years (adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, etc.).
My budget is $50-$75k.
Any suggestions? Thanks!
Time to go electric. I too have owned all of the fancy and uber expensive sports cars but I am all EV/solar at home with 3 EV's in the family now. Im sure there will be no scarcity of charging stations along the 700 mile trip
 

Holli82

Well-Known Member
Jun 6, 2010
319
331
1,620
Volvo XC -60.
 

JackD201

WBF Founding Member
Apr 20, 2010
12,319
1,428
1,820
Manila, Philippines
What immediately comes to mind are the Mercedes GLE or 6 cyl Cayenne
 

djsina2

Well-Known Member
May 30, 2019
1,173
1,016
243
Tesla Model X

5 star safety rating (highest SUV rating ever)
0-60 in 3.5s
Silent operation
Most advanced software
#3 “most made in the USA” (Tesla also #1 and #2)

You’ll be amazed how less fatigued you are after a long drive without listening to engine noise.
 
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Long Live Analog

Well-Known Member
Aug 8, 2022
154
130
50
62
West Tn. Mid South
Our granddaughter just bought the Grand Wagoneer Jeep. It’s got all the bells and whistles including the McIntosh audio system. Super quiet, comfortable, lots of room and power.
 

shakti

Well-Known Member
May 9, 2015
1,444
2,409
480
Cologne, Germany
my personal favorite for long distance family luxury traveling is a used

Mercedes S- 500L, long wheelbase, 4matic AWD

The double windows, the airmatic suspension, the comfortable seats, combined with a good working Distronic
makes the journey likes traveling in a luxury train.


( I love my personal Mercedes S)
 

Holmz

Active Member
Apr 19, 2022
136
47
33
63
I'm a life-long car guy. I've owned Lotus, BMW, Porsche, and a range of other driver-focused vehicles. I currently have a 2006 Aston Martin DB9 and a Mazda CX-9 SUV.
-We often haul our dog and her crate, along with bags for a week or so. At least three times a year we also take our two adult daughters and their stuff, too.

The best one I had for distance work was a SAAB 900.
That was before GM took over.

We used to do door to door trips averaging 70 mph. That is 840 miles in 12 hours, so fuel, breakfast, etc.
And it was bonkers at how well it handled snow and ice.
And pretty good with the Yokohama A008 on it in summer and Pirelli Blizzaks in the winter.
it was engaging enough not to feel disconnected.

The lotus is also comfortable enough, but noisy and not fit for a dog and luggage.
But they are engaging.

Been looking at Tesla lately.
A Volvo station wagon might be a decent choice???
But there are probably a lot of good choices these days.
 
Jan 18, 2012
2,371
2,472
1,475
Drobak Norway
I´ve had an Volvo XC40 Recharge since march 21 and is extremely happy.....Volvo are known for their comfy seats too....the charging breaks are just healthy and you might as well get a coffee
If you want diesel one of the most sought after second hand cars in Norway is Volvo V70 crosscountry stastionwagon....a real workhorse with plenty of space
 

Tangram

Well-Known Member
Nov 10, 2022
211
281
70
60
Best vehicle we ever owned meeting your criteria is the Honda Odyssey in second-from-the-top trim. Very planted (got better with speed!), not bad on fuel, reliable, comfortable. For a decade we used it for a 400 mile round trip on weekends with two kids and a dog to our country place. We eventually replaced it with a Honda Pilot, which was supposed to be the SUV version of the Odyssey but it was the worst vehicle I ever owned. Go figure.
 
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Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
12,589
11,667
4,410
I just retired from 50 years managing a car dealership. I'm 72 years old. my wife and I like to drive, not fly.

just spent around $50k for a new 2024 Honda Passport SUV. full disclosure; this is what I drove as a demo of choice managing the Honda dealership. it's not a sexy choice. but its Bulletproof, safe, and I can depend on fuel delivery any time, any where......which is where I want to go. I can take it on the AlCan hi way if I want, I can travel anywhere. the AWD system is second to none. big enough to be a great hi way vehicle, and we are comfortable.

I live in the mountains east of Seattle, and we get big snow sometimes. I own a snow blower if that tells you anything. the Passport is a mountain goat.

I prefer the size of the Passport with it's 2 rows of seating, to larger SUV's with 3 rows. fit's easier in the garage, turns on a tighter radius, fits in parking spaces easier. all the space I need.

just right for my life. we don't go anywhere most of the time, just stay at home, so gas milage and electric cars are just not anything for me to think about. daily commuting is a different equation I'm not concerned with.
 

gleeds

Industry Expert
May 29, 2018
776
1,266
235
A decked out Toyota Sienna hybrid checks most of the boxes. Yes a minivan but a long wheelbase for a smooth and effortless highway ride, safety features, tons and tons of room for your dogs crate etc. Me, I would simply go with a BMW X5 new or certified pre-owned, not worry about its moderate mileage and call it a day. Nothing beats it for safety, ride, and comfort.

As far as electric goes forget it. My son and I each drove to Tucson from Southern California over the holidays, He was in his Audi e-Tron and we were in my wife's Audi Q7. When stopping to charge there was inevitably a wait (one time of an hour) or the charging stations were broken. BMW has some great lease rates now so maybe go that route and go electric in three years when the infrastructure and battery range catch up to the technologies promise.

Enjoy the ride:)
 

KeithR

VIP/Donor
May 7, 2010
5,157
2,824
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Encino, CA
I don't consider Teslas comfortable for numerous 700 mile trips per year, nor convenient for such use.

I would look to something like a 5-series with X-drive option. The newer editions are super comfortable (and fairly large), but are "planted" as you prefer unlike most SUVs. They also have great trunk space.
 
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Macattack

VIP/Donor
Aug 21, 2014
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SC Low country
The extra time to recharge an electric vehicle will lengthen your trip time to a VERY long day.

A good friend of mine just drove his Tesla Model Y (?) from Baltimore to Hilton Head SC down I-95. It took him 13.5 hours with little traffic congestion. That’s a 10ish hour trip with stops on a typical day in a gasoline powered car. Google says it’s 9 hours - without stops.

Flame suit on
 
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Tangram

Well-Known Member
Nov 10, 2022
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The extra time to recharge an electric vehicle will lengthen your trip time to a VERY long day.

A good friend of mine just drove his Tesla Model Y (?) from Baltimore to Hilton Head SC down I-95. It took him 13.5 hours with little traffic congestion. That’s a 10ish hour trip with stops on a typical day in a gasoline powered car. Google says it’s 9 hours - without stops.

Flame suit on
In the OP’s detailed original comment he doesn’t mention EVs so I suspect that isn’t a consideration even in the slightest. I own a Model Y - replaced a Honda Pilot - which I absolutely love for OUR road trips. I recommend he buy an Odyssey.
 
Jan 18, 2012
2,371
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Drobak Norway
BMW X-5 hybrid is a great alternative
driven back and forth 1350km each way to ETF in NL two years and we averaged 120km/h and the returns to Norway we did in one stretch
 

andromedaaudio

VIP/Donor
Jan 23, 2011
8,481
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Amsterdam holland
OK lets take the level up a notch as this is WBF .

Private driver is the best
This is how they pick me up from the airport in istanbul , the boss his car , they know comfort / luxury in turkey

1704640489947.png
 

Tangram

Well-Known Member
Nov 10, 2022
211
281
70
60
BMW X-5 hybrid is a great alternative
driven back and forth 1350km each way to ETF in NL two years and we averaged 120km/h and the returns to Norway we did in one stretch
My brother-in-law owns two X-3s. Bricked the motor on one. Only fix? New motor, which costs $30,000, more than the SUV is worth even with the new motor. I would avoid “luxury” brands for this application. For one, he’s putting a lot of miles on and depreciation in absolute terms is more for more expensive vehicles.
 
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Macattack

VIP/Donor
Aug 21, 2014
222
144
395
SC Low country
In the OP’s detailed original comment he doesn’t mention EVs so I suspect that isn’t a consideration even in the slightest. I own a Model Y - replaced a Honda Pilot - which I absolutely love for OUR road trips. I recommend he buy an Odyssey.
Have you read all the recommendations here to consider an EV?

I am happy your EV works for you. No doubt it can serve an efficient purpose in certain circumstances. Just not sure it is in taking 700 mile drives. My buddy lives his for 98% of what he needs it for and he is willing to accept his annual trips to Hilton Head are going to be ‘a bit of a chore’ in his words.
 

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