A Girls Guide to Cars

USED: 2019 Toyota Highlander: Why it Makes the Best Travel Car EVER (and is Just Plain Awesome)

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A Girls Guide To Cars | Used: 2019 Toyota Highlander: Why It Makes The Best Travel Car Ever (And Is Just Plain Awesome) - Untitled Design 1

When you meet a Toyota owner, you’ll learn one thing fast: these people love their cars.

Like love, love,  love . When it’s time for a Toyota owner to get a new car (which isn’t very often because every Toyota owner I know hangs on to their car because of the superior quality) they get…wait for it…another Toyota.

And this should surprise exactly no one. I’ve never owned a Toyota, even though my dad and stepmom have been die-hard Toyota people for years. But, after driving the 2019 Toyota Highlander for two weeks, I get why Toyota owners love their Toyotas so much. If your driveway needs that SUV with third-row seating or you’re looking for an everyday car that transitions seamlessly into an awesome travel car, you and the 2019 Toyota Highlander might be meant to be.

The Toyota Highlander In The Sunlight

Is it important to love the color of your car? We say YES. Photo: Jill Robbins

Best Travel Car EVER.  And Other Reasons Why the Toyota Highlander is Awesome

My family and I took the 2019 Toyota Highlander on a trip through Texas, Oklahoma, and Missouri. Since we travel together so frequently, our litmus test for whether a car is right for us is whether or not it’s a good travel car. If it’s uncomfortable or doesn’t hold our stuff, then it’s not going to be a good vehicle for us in the long run.

And, it’s safe, and safety really matters for the long haul. Toyota has made its Toyota Safety Sense group of active safety features standard on all models. This includes adaptive cruise control (set it and forget it, and the car adjusts its speed with traffic on the road–how great is that?), lane departure assist with steering assist (which points you back into your lane if you drift out), automatic high beams and pre-crash braking with pedestrian detection. The model we drove also had blind spot monitors, rear cross traffic alert (which lets you know if someone or something is about to cross behind you while you’re backing up) and rear park assist sonar, which will beep at you if you’re about to back into something – really helpful when driving and parking in unfamiliar places.

Spoiler alert: The Toyota Highlander is an AWESOME travel car (did I say that before?? ). I even shed a little tear when the Toyota rep came to take it back.

Related: 10 Reasons the 2019 Toyota Avalon Might Be the Best Value Luxury Sedan on the Road

One Of The Things That Makes The Toyota Highlander Such A Great Travel Car Is The Roomy Second Row Of Seating.

The extra roomy second row is great for kids who are still in a car seat or booster seat. Photo: Jill Robbins

Who This Car is For:

  • Families with 2-3 kids (larger families need a larger SUV or a minivan)
  • Parents who have kids who sit in car seats/booster seats. There’s so much room in the rear seat that buckling is super-easy.
  • That busy parent who occasionally needs third-row seating for her kids’ friends/teammates
  • Families who travel or regularly haul around sports bags, soccer wagons, etc.
  • Young families or just-starting-out couples who want a car they can grow into that will hold its value
  • Someone with long legs who doesn’t like feeling like a human pretzel in their car
  • Adventurers regardless of family status (lots of room for hiking and camping gear)

How Much Does a Toyota Highlander Cost?

  • The base price of the LE model, which comes with a third row and Toyota Safety sense and is $31,680;
  • The LE Plus model adds SofTex faux leather trim to the seats and is $36,610;
  • The XLE model adds a moonroof, hands free lift gate and customizable driver information display and is $39,570;
  • The SE model adds sport tuned suspension and sport wheels, and is $40,790
  • The Limited Model adds second row captains chairs, premium sound and heated and vented seats, and is $42,790
  • The Limited Platinum we drove is $45,900, delivered and has all the premium features such as a panoramic sun roof, leather upholstery, heated and vented front seats, heated second row captains chairs, 5 USB ports, a household power outlet, telescoping steering wheel, ambient interior lighting, a smart key, a center console big enough for a handbag, an upgraded infotainment system and premium JBL audio– all of which is important to me. With delivery and a few small extras, the price of the model we drove was about $48,000.

Considering Toyota’s stellar reputation for making cars that last, a buyer might consider the price to be long-term investment.

Balancing the Travel Budget by Investing in a Good Travel Car

The 2019 Toyota Highlander is a great family road trip car for several different reasons. First, it’s comfortable. The front and second-row seating are very comfortable for sitting for long periods of time. I don’t love long road trips. I know getting there is part of the adventure but if there are more than three or so hours on the road, we look hard at flying. We can’t always afford it (airfare x4 can be painful) so we road trip.

My kids drive me nuts in the car, my legs get stiff and my behind gets numb. Oh, and my kids drive me nuts in the car. I know I said that already but it bears repeating because they’re two nine-year-old boys. We did two eight hour legs in the 2019 Toyota Highlander and it was comfortable. The driver’s’ seat has plenty of legroom – and I am a tall lady. The seats are comfortable and are heated and vented. When you’re taking a summer driving trip, cooling seats are golden.

There’s plenty of room in the rear for our bags and assorted gear. We travel fairly lightly but there are four of us and some mid-size SUVs don’t have enough rear space to efficiently hold our belongings. The Toyota Highlander has room and then some.

Oh, and my kids still drove me nuts, which probably surprises exactly no one. I’m not sure if Toyota can find a solution for that issue but I’ll keep hoping.

Toyota Highlander

The Toyota Highlander is a great car for active families. Photo: Jill Robbins

The Spacious Backseat Means My Kids are Further Away from Me (and that Doesn’t Bother Me)

I like my kids to be as far away from me as possible when I’m driving and I’m not ashamed to admit it. They pick at each other. And talk loud. They play games and play music on their electronic devices at a decibel level that doesn’t agree with my ears. I love them and they’re really good little travel buddies but having them sit behind me for several hours while I’m trying to focus on the road or the traffic or even just listen to music that I like, well…it’s not the most fun part of a trip for me.

The second-row bucket seats sit further back in the car than most mid-size SUV or crossover vehicles. They’re more comfortable and we’ve got an extra room on the floor for backpacks or sports equipment. This row of seating is also perfect for adults with long legs so if you’re carpooling or the designated driver for girls (or parents) night out, the Toyota Highlander is a great choice.

I usually feel cramped if I have to sit in the back seat but not in the Highlander. There’s plenty of room back there!

The Toyota Highlander Was A Great Travel Car For Our Trip To Camp No Limits Missouri

We drove the Toyota Highlander from San Antonio to Pitosi Missouri (in the Mark Twain National Forest) to take my son Zack to Camp No Limits, a camp geared toward limb different kids. Photo: Jill Robbins

Three Little Words: Third Row Seating

When I talk to people about their wish list of features for their dream car, third-row seating is often mentioned.  We have two kids at home, so unless we’re taking an extra passenger somewhere, the third row seat will stay down, giving us more room for groceries, gym bags, suitcases, and all the other stuff we cart around on a daily basis.

As my kids get older, we’re taking other kids along with us more often and I need a vehicle that accommodates that without a lot of fuss. The Highlander’s third row isn’t designed for the larger family to use on a regular basis. The third row is pretty small and it’s fine for smaller kids or for the occasional guest passenger but if you’re regularly transporting more than four or five people, you probably want something with a roomier third row. I know third-row seating is a must-have for a lot of moms who are buying cars and this one deserves a serious look.

Related: The Performance Family 3-Row SUV – 2019 Acura MDX A-Spec

The Toyota Highlander Is A Great Travel Car For Parents (And Everyone Else!)

The Highlander is a great car for busy moms and dads. Photo: Jill Robbins

So. Much. Rear. Space.

What that folded down third row DOES give you is more space. There is plenty of room for four suitcases plus some. It can handle a major Costco haul, a soccer wagon and pretty much anything else an active family needs to cart around. This would be a great car to take on a camping trip. And, if your idea of adventure is a trip to the outlet malls (no shame in that, either) you’re not going to run out of space in the trunk.

The Rear Space In The Toyota Highlander Is What Makes It Such A Great Travel Car

We have room for everything we need when we travel. Photo: Jill Robbins

This Dreamy Color Makes Me Happy – and That’s Important.

Yes, if you buy a Highlander in a different color your car will still be cool. Just not as cool as this one, but I realize that’s subjective and that everyone’s taste is different. The 2019 model comes in nine colors. This is called Toasted Walnut Pearl – so you can definitely find one that’s “you.” I think being happy with the color of your car is important. You spend a lot of time in your car…at least  I  spend a lot of time in my car…and I like a color that makes me happy.

Full disclosure: I wasn’t in love with this color at first. In a certain light, it appears to be a metallic beige color, which I think is boring. But, the Toasted Walnut Pearl is a coffee color. I thought the name would be something like “Espresso Magic.” Maybe that’s why I like the color so much. Espresso is indeed a beautiful thing. I also love the uniqueness of this color and that fact that is different from other cars on the road (or in the Costco parking lot…let’s be real, that is my life.)

Toyota always has such great paint colors and this year’s options for the Highlander don’t disappoint. The “Ooh La La Rouge Mica” is also a favorite, but that might be because the name is just so darn fun.

Related: Surprising Style and Grace in the 2019 Toyota Avalon

A Girls Guide To Cars | Used: 2019 Toyota Highlander: Why It Makes The Best Travel Car Ever (And Is Just Plain Awesome) - Best Travel Car Toyota Highlander Girls Guide To Cars 4

Fully loaded with all the bells and whistles: about $48K. Photo: Jill Robbins

What We Loved About the Toyota Highlander

In a nutshell, we loved the space, appearance, and flexibility. We didn’t feel cramped, we had plenty of room for all our belongings and we were just comfortable all the way around. The car is good looking and not at all boxy. It can transition between your family vacation mobile to a night on the town easily. I think the color options go a long way toward giving the Highlander that little bit of extra pizzazz. One of the main selling points for us was the third-row seating. We love having the option to say yes to questions like “Can Thomas ride home with us after soccer practice and play for a while?” without having to worry about space or safety.

What Else Do You Need to Know?

I’m a mom who drives her kids around and a very frequent traveler, so the lens through which I look at a car is whether it’s going to be a good fit with the things I do with my kids on a daily basis. Whether we’re taking a trip or just going to the grocery store, I want a car that’s a good fit for #momlife. However, the Highlander isn’t exclusively a “mom car” at all. It’s a great car for all types of people.

  • Gas mileage : No one likes a gas guzzler. According to Toyota, the Highlander gets an average of 22 MPG in the city, 26 highway and 20 in town. We did a lot of highway driving during the two-week period we had this car. We found we consistently got about 26 MPG, so their facts are spot on.
  • Safety features : They might not be sexy or exciting, but they’re important. We’re in our car a lot. We often cover a lot of miles. As much as I like to talk about my kids being a pain in my booty when I’m driving around, they really are wonderful children. Their safety is important to me. In addition to the TSS safety system and blind spot alert, the Highlander has an overall five-star vehicle safety rating. It has a four-star safety rating for driver’s side frontal crash, five stars for a passenger side frontal crash and five stars for both front seat and rear seat side crashes
  • Comfort : Overall, this is an insanely comfortable vehicle for a family of four or five that can seat more people on an occasional basis.

The 2019 Toyota Highlander Is The Best Travel Car Ever.

Disclosure: Toyota provided the Highlander for our test drive. All opinions are my own.

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Jill is the oldest mom with the youngest kids pretty much everywhere she goes. She has a 29-year-old daughter... More about Jill Robbins


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10 Best Road-Trip Vehicles That You Can Buy Right Now

CR's tests show that these are the best road-trip models across popular categories

Laughing young people in a car.

Finding the perfect road-trip vehicle means striking a balance among many factors, such as front and rear seat comfort, space, fuel economy, ride quality, and noise. It also should be a vehicle that’s easy to live with when you’re not traveling, and with strong safety and reliability. That is a lot to ask of a single vehicle, but our analysts have scrutinized our test and survey data to find the best road-trip vehicles in 10 popular categories.

To find the standouts, we considered all those factors among models that meet the stringent criteria to be recommended by Consumer Reports . Each vehicle below scores at least average in those factors, plus they provide 500 miles or more of highway cruising range, based on our fuel-economy tests. They also have a sizable trunk or cargo area, based on our measurements. Because of the qualification needed to make a great long-distance runner, we omitted subcompact SUVs and small cars. We also list suitable alternatives, where possible.

All the vehicles featured here, except the Buick, come standard with forward collision warning (FCW) and automatic emergency braking (AEB) with pedestrian detection. (The advanced safety systems are optional on the Buick.)

The 10 models below are road-trip warriors, based on CR data. You can assemble your own list with CR ratings by using our A-to-Z guide . If you’re a Consumer Reports member, the full list is available to you here.

If you haven’t signed up yet, click below and become a member to access this full article and all our exclusive ratings and reviews for each vehicle we buy and test. Joining also gives you full access to exclusive ratings for the other products our experts evaluate in several categories, including electronics and appliances.

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The Best Road Trip Cars for Exploring Solo, Sightseeing with Family, and More

By Kym Allison Backer

Jaguar Car Rental

We’re still working out where to safely travel in the immediate future, but what’s certain is that after months of staying close to home, we couldn’t be more ready to make a move—which means we're officially on the hunt for the best road trip cars. With gas prices holding steady, there’s no better time to load up your favorite playlists and hit the road, company optional. We’ve gone ahead and done the research for you, assembling a list of some of the best road trip cars to pick up at your local rental agencies to help ensure a seamless and safe trip, whether you’re traveling with your kids, going solo, or looking for an off-road adventure.

For packing in the whole family

Chrysler pacifica.

It’s only fitting that the brand that first put minivans on American roads is behind the award-winning Chrysler Pacifica (named Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, and Family Car of the Year by Cars.com). The sleek styling of the eight-seater will firmly put to rest any reservations about maintaining cool cred, while the spacious interior’s in-floor access bins and stow-and-go second- and third-row seats allow for a variety of configurations, no matter your family’s size . Opt for a model with all-wheel drive that automatically engages if you hit adverse weather.

The glossy, streamlined fourth-generation A8 is a stunner, from the sporty new grille to the interior’s ambient lighting. Once in motion, check out the drive select system; the comfort setting, which softens the steering and acceleration, will let you smoothly take precious cargo down rough roads. Warning: your kids will compete for the rear seats, thanks to the excess legroom, panoramic sunroof, and futuristic, neatly stowed console that controls all the rear amenities, like heated and massaging seats. Parking sensors and lane departure warning come standard.

Chevy Suburban

Don’t let the outsize proportions scare you off. The newly revamped Chevy Suburban ranks high when it comes to second-row legroom and cargo space, and now has an expanded third row that can comfortably accommodate long-legged teens. Standard safety features include automatic emergency braking, forward collision alert, and multiple cameras (up to nine) for 360-degree exterior views. For added security, there’s also hidden storage so that you can secure your valuables anytime you leave the vehicle. Opt for a model with dual rear screens to keep the kids endlessly entertained.

Mazda 6

The Mazda6 has a quiet cabin that can block out road noise on long drives.

For trekking 2,500 miles across the country

Toyota camry.

The Toyota Camry has consistently ranked as one of the most reliable midsize vehicles for the past three decades, making it one of the best picks for any trip. It offers incredible fuel economy, getting 29 miles per gallon in the city, and 41 miles per gallon on the highway (which also means fewer stops!) and has a notably quiet cabin where you can blast tunes and keep up with directions on the standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Pedestrian detection, lane departure, brake assist, and lane tracing assist from Toyota’s Star Safety System also keep the Camry centered in its lane.

Genesis G70

The refined Genesis G70 has been named a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, one of many accolades for this polished, comfortable sedan. It’s a pleasure to sit in the top-notch driver’s seat, with its well-padded diamond quilted Nappa leather. The cockpit feel is enhanced by aluminum accents, a short, stylish gear box, and the G70’s agile and responsive handling, which makes short work of the miles ahead. Added bonus: the trunk can fit multiple carry-ons or larger suitcases, and the rear seat folds for extra cargo space.

The Mazda6 is a good-looking sport sedan with a stylish interior designed for maximum comfort, a necessity when you’re spending days on the road. The Mazda6 gives you a peppy, smooth drive and a quiet cabin that blocks out exterior noise. There are convenient wheel-mounted controls, easy-access sound controls, and a solid navigation system that’s also a breeze to program. Standard features include folding rear seats, blind spot monitoring, automated emergency braking, and low-speed forward-collision warning.

For exploring solo, safely

Toyota rav4.

When you’re on your own, reliability takes on a whole new level of importance. That’s where the RAV4 comes in: after more than 25 years on the road, the model remains a winner for its manageable size, dependable performance, and commendable fuel economy, getting 27 miles per gallon in the city, and 35 miles per gallon on the open road. You’ll appreciate the car's many safety touches, which include interior lights that illuminate as you approach and driver assistance features such as an integrated backup camera, folding and fully reclining rear seats, lane-tracing assist, and Bluetooth connectivity.

Ford Mustang

America’s love affair with the Mustang began over 50 years ago and it’s still going strong. The allure is obvious, from those legendary lines to the sound of the high-powered engine—but what lies at the heart of the Mustang’s enduring popularity is that once you slide into those bucket seats, it’s an unbeatably fun, and fast, ride. Standard models come with a rearview camera, six-speed manual transmission, and a complimentary dose of nostalgia.

Honda Accord

Ten generations in, the Accord has solidified its spot as one of the most durable and nimble vehicles on the road, a winning combination for a swift, problem-free drive. The distinctive sedan’s spacious interior provides ample legroom and comfort for even the tallest of drivers and the stellar fuel economy (30 miles per gallon in the city, and 38 miles per gallon on the highway) make it a no-brainer for any trip. Driver assist technology, including traffic sign recognition and an automatic braking system that kicks in to help prevent collisions, come standard.

Land Rover Autohome Roof Tent

The Land Rover Defender's roof can support up to 600 pounds, perfect for a roof tent.

For navigating the backroads

Land rover defender.

Land Rover has long perfected the marriage of form and function, making the Defender one of the best off-roading vehicles out there. Tackling muddy or rocky ground? The quick turn of a dial will let you select a suitable suspension and traction mode for the terrain you’re on and, if you approach water, the 3D-surround camera and wade-sensing system will gauge the depth and allow you to navigate through up to 35 inches. When parked, the rear seats fold down with the touch of a button, and the roof supports a tent and occupants up to a combined 600 pounds.

Subaru Ascent

The Ascent is Subaru’s largest SUV, and it puts that size to good use with a towing capacity of up to 5,000 pounds (enough to haul a small trailer). The generously sized cabin seats up to eight passengers, and the rear seats fold flat to haul extra cargo or to pinch hit as a makeshift bed. Traveling with a group? The Ascent’s roof rail capacity of 700 pounds nicely accommodates a sturdy rooftop tent. Standard features include all-wheel drive, driver assist technology, and a rear-seat reminder alert that sounds when anything is left behind as you prepare to exit the vehicle.

Volkswagen Atlas

VW’s seven-seater Atlas has already seen a few changes since its relaunch three years ago. It’s one of the largest crossover SUVs, has unmatched cargo and passenger space, folding second- and third-rows, and roof rails that you can use to secure anything from kayaks to boxes of gear. The Atlas is also capable of towing up to 5,000 pounds, has four adjustable all-wheel drive modes, stability enhancing systems, a hands-free liftgate, and park distance control.

Washington Pass Along the North Cascades Highway

For going greener

Ford fusion hybrid.

This attractive midsize gas-electric hybrid lets you keep track of energy output on customizable dashboard screens. Along with a roomy interior and 10-way power driver seat for maximum comfort, standard features include an eight-inch touchscreen and voice command for easy access to directions and entertainment, blind spot monitoring, forward automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, and a rearview camera.

Toyota Prius

The Prius has spent the last two decades accumulating industry accolades, and it’s still going strong. The gas-electric hatchback comes with stellar stats: consistently top-ranked on safety lists, excellent fuel economy (it averages 50 miles per gallon in the city, and 54 miles per gallon on the highway) and a reliable history. The company has also upped the model’s standard features, which now include a mammoth 11.6-inch screen, Apple CarPlay, Amazon Alexa, an integrated backup camera, and a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection. (And you’d be surprised how much you can fit in the trunk.)

Jaguar I-Pace

Be prepared to throw any preconceived notions about “boring” electric vehicles out the window when you encounter Jaguar's I-Pace. In the plush and surprisingly spacious cabin, take a minute to check out the detailed instrument panel, then select dynamic mode for a sporty, full-throttle ride. Before you zoom off, download an app like ChargePoint so that you’ll be able to quickly pinpoint fast-charging stations along your route—though with a 253-mile range, you'll have enough juice to get from, say, Washington D.C. to New York .

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Home > Auto Shows & Events  >  SEMA 2020

Toyota Unveils Ultimate Overlanding Rig: The TRD-Sport Trailer

Toyota Unveils Ultimate Overlanding Rig: The TRD-Sport Trailer

When in Tow Behind Your Favorite Toyota Truck or SUV, This Concept Trailer Packs Just About Everything You’ll Ever Need

PLANO, Texas (December 21, 2020) – Toyota, a brand known for its deep off-roading roots and rugged reliability, today unveiled the TRD-Sport Trailer, a creative ‘basecamp’ solution concept vehicle allowing overlanding explorers to quickly set up camp and then continue on their remote adventure.

In a challenging 2020, Toyota opted for a two-wave strategy to celebrate pure performance, both on and off road, and the TRD-Sport Trailer helps anchor the company’s second wave of SEMA builds. Toyota previously unveiled four builds in its wave one presentation at SEMA360, held Nov. 2, 2020.

“Overlanding has been picking up steam for quite some time, but 2020 just put it over the top,” said Ed Laukes, group vice president – Toyota Division Marketing. “Given Toyota’s solid off-road credentials and reputation, we thought it would be really cool to create the ultimate overlanding companion to our pickup and SUV lineup.”

Overlanding is an extremely popular and growing trend, providing adventures in a year when many have faced challenges taking traditional vacations. The TRD-Sport Trailer’s inspiration began when Bob Kupina, Senior Program Manager, Toyota Motor North America Research and Development, saw a trailer made from a Toyota Tacoma at the Overland Expo WEST in Flagstaff, Arizona. Kupina and team got the ball rolling with a cool base concept, but then Toyota turned to Marty Schwerter and the team at Motorsports Garage to take the concept to the next level… and beyond.

Toyota really saw the Tacoma bed as a perfect overlanding platform. It’s well built and offers a lot of space, giving the ability to take things to the extreme. All the while, the plan was to make the best use of the available space, adding all the creature comforts while maintaining a low center of gravity and a great approach angle.

The TRD-Sport Trailer features a scissor-lift that raises an innovative rigid platform several feet out of the bed. There’s a Yakima four-person tent with an awning and fly fishing-pole holders, a custom-built toilet and trash can, a refrigerator, a hot water heater, a shower with curtain, a generator, an Optima Yellow Top battery, a 16-gallon fresh water reservoir tank, a 15-gallon grey water holding tank, and a slide-out sink and stove. And that’s just for starters!

Schwerter worked closely with partners Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s to make sure the TRD-Sport Trailer was properly equipped with important outdoor gear like fishing poles, tackle and nets; waders and wading boots; coffee mugs, cookware, and other essentials. When fully deployed, the TRD-Sport Trailer creates a campsite with ample room, and to illuminate the surroundings the team added multiple RIGID A-Series Accessory LED Lights that pack a powerful punch while drawing an extremely low amount of power. When lower light is needed, say for star gazing, explorers can switch to lower-level lighting thanks to multiple Yakima SunBelt light strips.

The package rolls on TRD Pro wheels fitted with General Grabber X3 285/70/17 rubber. Cripwerx Engineering assisted with the build, and KC’s Paint Shop painted the creation using BASF paint mixed to match the Tacoma’s OEM Cement Gray color and added custom graphics provided by The Decal Source.

All the TRD-Sport Trailer’s conveniences allow explorers to extend their adventures in comfort. The end result is an overlanding multi-tool that pairs perfectly with Toyota’s pickup and SUV lineup.

Related Media

Related images.

Toyota (NYSE:TM) has been a part of the cultural fabric in the U.S. for more than 60 years, and is committed to advancing sustainable, next-generation mobility through our Toyota and Lexus brands, plus our nearly 1,500 dealerships. 

Toyota has created a tremendous value chain and directly employs more than 36,000 in the U.S. The company has contributed world-class design, engineering, and assembly of more than 30 million cars and trucks at our 9 manufacturing plants, 10 including our joint venture in Alabama that is scheduled to begin production in 2021.

To help inspire the next generation for a career in STEM-based fields, including mobility, Toyota launched its virtual education hub at  www.TourToyota.com  with an immersive experience and chance to visit many of our U.S. manufacturing facilities. The hub also includes a series of free STEM-based lessons and curriculum through Toyota USA Foundation partners, virtual field trips and more. For more information about Toyota, visit  www.toyotanewsroom.com .

Zachary Reed 214-316-1128 [email protected]

Joshua Burns 469-292-6449 [email protected]

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Best Road Trip Cars in 2024 and 2025

We compiled a list of vehicles that are great for road trips. These vehicles are fuel-efficient, reliable, and comfortable, which will help you out on all of your highway adventures.

2024 Kia Carnival

Kia Motors America |

The Best Cars, Minivans and SUVs for Road Trips

Summer is prime road trip season, whether that means hitting up a national park or getting together with family at a lakeside cabin. Choosing the right new car for an epic road trip can make your vacation more comfortable, more fuel efficient, and even safer, thanks to the new technologies found in many new vehicles. It can also mean less arguing, thanks to USB ports that keep devices charged, Wi-Fi hotspots that keep everyone entertained, and roomy back seats that keep siblings from touching.


We've rounded up the best road trip vehicles available this summer, with everything from sports cars to pickups, with plenty of family-friendly SUVs on the list. As new information becomes available, we update our reviews, so the data found in these slides might not match those reviews exactly.

2024 Honda CR-V Hybrid

American Honda Motor Co., Inc. |

2024 Honda CR-V Hybrid

$34,050 | usn overall score: 8.0/10.

The 2024 Honda CR-V Hybrid is a more fuel-efficient version of the popular compact SUV, with up to 43 mpg in the city. A 7-inch touch screen, smartphone connectivity, a Wi-Fi hotspot and four USB ports come standard to keep everyone powered up and entertained.

The interior is one of the nicest in the class, and the standard upholstery is stain-resistant. The seats are comfy in both rows, with room for adults to stretch out even on road trips. The rear seats recline, so whoever is off driving duty can take a nap. Standard adaptive cruise control and lane-keep assist help reduce the fatigue that can come with hours of driving.

More on the 2024 Honda CR-V Hybrid

  • See 2024 Honda CR-V Hybrid Photos  »
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  • Read the 2024 Honda CR-V Hybrid Full Review  »
  • See Hybrid SUV Rankings  »

2024 Volkswagen Atlas

Volkswagen of America, Inc. |

2024 Volkswagen Atlas

$36,985 | usn overall score: 8.1/10.

The 2024 Volkswagen Atlas has enough room to bring along everybody and all their gear. It's available with either three rows of seating or two rows in the Cross Sport configuration. The third row is comfy for kids and adults on shorter trips. The Atlas has more cargo space behind the third row than most in its class.

Refreshed for 2024, in either configuration, a 12-inch touch screen with smartphone connectivity and a Wi-Fi hot spot are standard, along with wireless device charging and four USB ports. The Atlas can also tow up to 5,000 pounds when properly configured if you plan to bring a small camper or want to tow some toys for your vacation.

More on the 2024 Volkswagen Atlas

  • See 2024 Volkswagen Atlas Photos  »
  • Find the best price on the 2024 Volkswagen Atlas »
  • Read the 2024 Volkswagen Atlas Full Review  »
  • See Midsize SUV Rankings  »

toyota traveller car

Ford Motor Company |

2024 Ford Mustang

$30,920 | usn overall score: 8.1/10.

Sometimes you want to live the American road trip dream in an impractical sports car. But guess what – the redesigned 2024 Ford Mustang is a rather practical sports car. It's as exciting to drive as you could hope, and it still manages to turn in great fuel economy numbers that won't put a damper on your budget.

The Mustang's interior has been updated with a more modern, tech-forward look. Its standard infotainment system has a large 13.2-inch touch screen and a Wi-Fi hot spot. Standard safety tech includes automatic emergency braking and lane-keep assist. But maybe most importantly, for purposes of the dream, the Mustang is available as a convertible.

More on the 2024 Ford Mustang

  • See 2024 Ford Mustang Photos  »
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  • Read the 2024 Ford Mustang Full Review  »
  • See Sports Car Rankings  »

2024 Chevrolet Suburban

General Motors |

2024 Chevrolet Suburban

$59,200 | overall score: 8.2/10.

The 2024 Chevrolet Suburban is the classic family road trip SUV, and it's the winner of our 2024 Best Large SUV for Families award. It's huge, with more cargo space than almost any SUV out there. It can be configured to seat up to nine people, though that means someone has to sit in the middle of the front bench seat. In any case, the third row provides enough legroom for adults.

The interior is sturdy enough for epic journeys, and it comes with an 8-inch touch screen, wireless smartphone connectivity and six USB ports. Depending on how you configure it, the Suburban can tow up to 8,300 pounds, enough for the average camper. It also comes with driver-assistance features like lane-departure warning and lane-keep assist.

More on the 2024 Chevrolet Suburban

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  • Read the 2024 Chevrolet Suburban Full Review  »
  • See Large SUV Rankings  »

2024 Kia Carnival

2024 Kia Carnival

$33,600 | overall score: 8.2/10.

The 2024 Kia Carnival makes a strong case for the classic family minivan as the ultimate road-trip vehicle, especially with pricing that's among the most affordable on this list. It comes with a good list of standard safety features for long drives, including lane-keep assist and blind-spot monitoring.

The interior is upholstered with easy-to-clean materials, and all three rows have enough room for adults, though the third row has a bit less legroom than the first two. It also has lots of cargo space, even with all three rows in use. If you don't need the last row for passengers, it folds flat into the floor for even more cargo space. An 8-inch touch screen, smartphone compatibility and a whopping seven USB ports come standard.

More on the 2024 Kia Carnival

  • See 2024 Kia Carnival Photos  »
  • Find the best price on the 2024 Kia Carnival »
  • Read the 2024 Kia Carnival Full Review  »
  • See Minivan Rankings  »

2024 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

Stellantis |

2024 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

$53,425 | usn overall score: 8.3/10.

The plug-in hybrid 2024 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid achieves up to 30 mpg in combined driving when operating in hybrid mode, which is great for any minivan. Once you reach your destination, plug this family hauler in overnight to be able to drive about 32 miles on electric power.

There's also a ton of tech included, like a 10.1-inch touch screen, wireless smartphone connectivity and Amazon Alexa compatibility. All three rows of seating have lots of head- and legroom, and there's plenty of storage space. Standard safety features include stop-and-go adaptive cruise control and rain-sensing windshield wipers.

More on the 2024 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

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  • Read the 2024 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Full Review  »

2024 Lincoln Navigator Angular Front

John M. Vincent | U.S. News & World Report

2024 Lincoln Navigator

$82,765 | usn overall score: 8.6/10.

Wherever your road trip takes you, the 2024 Lincoln Navigator will make sure you arrive in comfort and style. It's one of the best luxury large SUVs, with a well-built and high-quality interior. Standard features include a 13.2-inch touch screen, wireless smartphone connectivity, a Wi-Fi hotspot and five USB ports.

Every seat in all three rows is comfortable, and the available L model adds extra space to an already roomy cargo area. Though the Navigator is large, its powerful engine easily gets it up to speed on the highway. Standard safety features like lane-keep assist and stop-and-go adaptive cruise control can help reduce driver fatigue too.

More on the 2024 Lincoln Navigator

  • See 2024 Lincoln Navigator Photos  »
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  • Read the 2024 Lincoln Navigator Full Review  »
  • See Luxury Large SUV Rankings  »

2024 Hyundai Tucson Hybrid

Hyundai Motor America |

2024 Hyundai Tucson Hybrid

$32,575 | usn overall score: 8.6/10.

The 2024 Hyundai Tucson Hybrid is among the best in its class and was a finalist for our Best Hybrid SUV for the Money and Best Hybrid SUV for Families awards this year. The regular hybrid is the best for road tripping, with up to 38 mpg on the highway. But it doesn't sacrifice power for efficiency, with enough get-up-and-go for passing on the highway. All-wheel drive is standard for a sure-footed feel.

Inside, there's tons of room for adults in both rows of seating and a huge cargo area. A 10.25-inch touch screen is standard, along with Apple CarPlay , Android Auto , four USB ports and wireless device charging.

More on the 2024 Hyundai Tucson Hybrid

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  • Read the 2024 Hyundai Tucson Hybrid Full Review  »

2024 Genesis G90


2024 Genesis G90

$89,200 | usn overall score: 8.7/10.

If your road-trip budget allows for a little luxury. the 2024 Genesis G90 delivers. It has a capable V6 and an optional mild-hybrid powertrain that improves acceleration when passing on the highway. The available air suspension makes long drives a dream, and the extensive list of standard safety features–including adaptive cruise control and a head-up display–eases the tedium of driving.

The Nappa leather interior wraps the road tripper in luxury, and both rows of seating are comfortable for adults. The trunk is large enough for several suitcases, and it opens automatically as you approach. The G90 also has one of the longest powertrain warranties in the business.

More on the 2024 Genesis G90

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  • See Luxury Large Car Rankings  »

2025 Ram 1500 Tungsten

2025 Ram 1500

$40,275 | usn overall score: 8.7/10.

If your road trip plan involves a camper or boat, you'll want to look into the 2025 Ram 1500 . When properly equipped, it can tow up to 11,580 pounds. As with most pickups, you can configure the 1500 in whatever way works for you, with bed, cab and powertrain options in addition to trim levels and packages to add on.

All of the available body styles have a spacious, high-quality interior. Quite a few safety features are standard, including stop-and-go adaptive cruise control and rear cross-traffic alert. The infotainment system got an upgrade for the 2025 model year, which means even more available features, including three screen sizes, three sound systems, and a long list of available tech features.

More on the 2025 Ram 1500

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  • Read the 2025 Ram 1500 Full Review  »
  • See Full Size Pickup Truck Rankings  »

2024 Honda Civic Hatchback

2024 Honda Civic

$23,950 | usn overall score: 8.7/10.

You probably need one car to handle both the daily commute and the road trip vacation, and you need it to be affordable. Enter the 2024 Honda Civic . It's one of the best compact cars in its class, and we named it the 2024 Best Compact Car for the Money . All of its scores are high, especially when it comes to safety. It has the lowest MSRP on our list yet comes standard with desirable amenities like adaptive cruise control and traffic-sign recognition. It's also thrifty, with up to 42 mpg on the highway.

A 7-inch touch screen and smartphone connectivity come standard. The front seats in particular are supportive over the long haul, and the Civic has more overall interior space than most rivals.

More on the 2024 Honda Civic

  • See 2024 Honda Civic Photos  »
  • Find the best price on the 2024 Honda Civic »
  • Read the 2024 Honda Civic Full Review  »
  • See Compact Car Rankings  »

2023 Kia Carnival Interior

Road Trip Car Characteristics

Passenger space: People turn cranky when they aren't comfortable after hours on the road. There needs to be space for everyone to stretch out.

Cargo space: At the very minimum, you'll be bringing luggage along and maybe also camping gear or tubes for floating the river. Make sure there's space for your gear.

Fuel economy: Stopping for gas on a road trip can get expensive. Fuel efficiency, particularly from hybrid powertrains, can ease the pain of stopping at the pump.

Infotainment: An AM/FM radio is no longer sufficient for most people. An infotainment system that's easy to use while driving and can connect to smartphones is key.

Safety tech: Driving long distances causes fatigue, and fatigue causes accidents. Modern driver-assistance features can help you stay alert and in your lane.

Reliability: No one wants to be the car in the breakdown lane while on their road trip. A good predicted reliability score shows that a particular model has on average been a solid performer over time.

2024 Genesis G90

Genesis Motor America |

Road Trip Car FAQs

What is the best car for road trips.

The best car for road trips is the one that fits your budget and your needs, so there's no one vehicle that will work for everybody. That said, the 2024 Honda Civic is a strong pick. It provides comfort, features, safety and reliability, and all for one of the lowest price tags on this list.

What is the best SUV for road trips?

The 2024 Hyundai Tucson Hybrid combines a long list of standard features with great fuel economy, and it has one of the most spacious interiors in its class.

What is the best luxury car for road trips?

The 2024 Genesis G90 will take you anywhere in comfort and style. Most of its best features are standard, including leather upholstery.

What is the most comfortable car for long trips?

On a list of very comfortable vehicles, the 2024 Honda CR-V Hybrid is probably the most comfortable, especially for back-seat passengers who can take advantage of the reclining seats. If comfort is your priority, take a look at our list of most comfortable cars for more options.

U.S. News Best Price Program Graphic

U.S. News and World Report |

More Shopping Tools From U.S. News & World Report

Plenty of families take road trips, so you might want to check out the winners of our 2023 Best Cars for Families awards too. Maybe you've been left stranded on an unfamiliar road by your former car and are looking for the most reliable cars available. If you know you need to bring along a lot of gear, see our roundup of compact SUVs with the most cargo space .

When you're ready to buy a new car, use our Best Price Program to pre-negotiate a great price with a local dealership. You can arrange for online buying and even vehicle delivery through the program.

U.S. News Best Cars Badge

U.S. News & World Report |

Best Cars for Road Trips in 2024 and 2025

  • 2024 Honda CR-V Hybrid: $34,050 | USN Overall Score: 8.0/10
  • 2024 Volkswagen Atlas: $36,985 | USN Overall Score: 8.1/10
  • 2024 Ford Mustang: $30,920 | USN Overall Score: 8.1/10
  • 2024 Chevrolet Suburban: $59,200 | Overall Score: 8.2/10
  • 2024 Kia Carnival: $33,600 | Overall Score: 8.2/10
  • 2024 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid: $53,425 | USN Overall Score: 8.3/10
  • 2024 Lincoln Navigator: $82,765 | USN Overall Score: 8.6/10
  • 2024 Hyundai Tucson Hybrid: $32,575 | USN Overall Score: 8.6/10
  • 2024 Genesis G90: $89,200 | USN Overall Score: 8.7/10
  • 2025 Ram 1500: $40,275 | USN Overall Score: 8.7/10
  • 2024 Honda Civic: $23,950 | USN Overall Score: 8.7/10

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toyota traveller car

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A New Dawnn

5 Reasons the Toyota Highlander is the Perfect Road Trip Vehicle

5 Reasons the Toyota Highlander is the Perfect Road Trip Vehicle

When you’re hitting the road on a road trip, your vehicle plays an important part in that journey. Here are 5 reasons the Toyota Highlander is the perfect road trip vehicle to travel safely and comfortably.

toyota highlander with mountains in background

With so many trips that were cancelled or rescheduled due to the pandemic, it’s safe to say I’ve been overly excited to get back on the road and explore. Even before the the world shut down, road trips were still one of my favorite ways to travel. Sure flying is easier at times but in my opinion nothing beats a good old fashioned road trip. When Toyota reached out about hitting the road in the 2019 Toyota Highlander for some fun, I knew I couldn’t say no. I spent plenty of time researching the perfect spot to not only get out and enjoy nature but somewhere we could  really get a feel for this mid-size SUV.

So where did we end up? The beautiful state of New Hampshire where we went glamping at Huttopia. 

Tent at Huttopia

While I  love being outdoors, camping isn’t really all that appealing to me. I did it once when my son was in Cub Scouts and it wasn’t something I ever wanted to do again. 

But glamping on the other hand, I’ll never turn down. If you’re not familiar with glamping, summed up in a few words it’s where nature and the idea of camping meet modern luxury. Or as luxurious as you can get in the middle of the woods. 

White Mountains in NH

I had a few qualifications for this Toyota road trip. It had to be somewhere I knew we’d all have fun. Somewhere we could still be around people but safely distance as well and most of all somewhere that would put the Toyota Highlander to the test.

The moment I came across Hutttopia, situated in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, I knew I found it. I fell in love with the photos and even if I never left the campground, I’d be pretty happy. 

girl standing next to toyota highlander in the white mountains

Since it was a 7+ hour drive from New Jersey I knew it would be the perfect chance to really get a feel for the Toyota Highlander and what long haul trips would be like in this mid-sized SUV. 

Well, I can confidently say this SUV exceeded my expectations and then some.  Even the kids loved it more than most cars we’ve road tripped in. In fact the five year scream Toyota every single time she sees a Highlander on the road. It made than much of an impression on her. 

Whether you’re in the market for a comfortable mid-sized SUV or the perfect one for all your family road trips, the Toyota Highlander is top notch.

So let’s talk about why it’s so great.


That’s right 8 people. With the 3rd row this mid-sized SUV can play with the big dogs when it comes to seating. If you have a larger family and don’t want the expensive price tag of a full sized SUV then this is the perfect vehicle for you.

2nd row seats in Toyota Highlander

Now let me make clear, my son is 6ft and growing and I’m 5’8 (with a bad back) and there is no way we were getting in that third row.  That might be my only bad thing I could say about this SUV. And let’s be honest, it’s not a bad thing. It’s a mid-sized SUV there just isn’t going to be that much space back there but for kids, it’s perfect. 

3rd row seating Toyota Highlander

And to be sure, I took my nephews out for ice cream to test my theory. They’re 10 & 13 and fit back there perfectly.

With the 3rd row in use, it does diminish the trunk space as expected so if you’re hitting the road in one, you’re going to need a cargo top carrier or you’ll just have to pack light.  


No matter what type of vehicle you’re looking at, safety is a top priority in most shopper’s minds. In fact, it tops the list in mind. Hitting the road for a  long  road trip, I felt extremely comfortable at all times in the Toyota Highlander.

Toyota Highlander with mountains in background


Toyota Safety Sense™, a bundle of active safety features designed to help protect all the passengers from harm comes standard on the Highlander (and other models). These innovative features were designed to help protect you and your passengers from harm and include:

  • Pre-collision system with pedestrian detection
  • Dynamic Radar Cruise Control
  • Lane Departure Alert
  • Automatic High Beams
  • Lane Tracing Assist
  • Road Sign Assist

These features are all included at no extra cost. Learn more about Toyota Safety Sense here . 

Trunk of Toyota Highlander


With an array of options, the Toyota Highlander is one of the most comfortable and convenient, vehicles I’ve traveled in in a long time and I don’t say that lightly. I can’t drive to the Target around the corner in my luxury SUV without my back aching when I get there. No lie. It’s one of my biggest complaints to my husband. That and just how overwhelmingly big it feels to drive.

Not with the Toyota Highlander. 7 hours in a vehicle is a long time and I expected my back to pretty painful when we arrived so imagine my surprise when I stepped out of the car feeling perfectly fine.  

First there’s the power and heated seats, I mean can you even buy a car without these nowadays? I don’t recommend it. Front and 2nd row heated seats were perfect for those chilly New Hampshire mornings and nights. 

Then theres the eight (8), yes eight , cupholders and four (4) bottle holders to keep those coffee and drinks neatly stored to avoid any messes from accidental spills. If you have kids and they drink in the car, you know all about this. Now there’s a cupholder for everyone.

And on the chance that the kids do spill something the two 12 volt outlets can power a handle vacuum to quickly clean it up.

If the kids get sleepy, and we all know they eventually will, the Highlander comes equipped with second-row sunshades and optimized sound-dampening/ soundproofing materials that can almost guarantee and nap and a break from all the “are we there yet” comments from the back seat.


 The Highlander has plenty of features to stay connected and entertained. The large touch display on the dash lets you easily move from the road 

Stay charged and connected four USB ports and Qi wireless charger no matter how many hours you’re on the road. 

dash of Toyota Highlander


With seating for 8, numerous safety features and a level of comfort I haven’t experienced in a vehicle in a long time, it’s a great bargain with a starting price of $34,600. The model we test drove comes in at $44,498.00 significantly less than what we paid for my SUV and honestly, I loved the Highlander 100x more. 

Toyota Highlander in NH


Summed up the Toyota Highlander makes you feel like you’re driving a luxury SUV without that expensive price tag that comes along with it. The stylish interior, latest options, leather seats and seating for 8 gives you everything you’ll need. 

Learn all about the Toyota Highlander online or visit your local Toyota Highlander dealer.

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More From Forbes

Discover the features of the all-new 2025 toyota 4runner.

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After almost 15 years, Toyota has finally unveiled the next generation of the 4Runner SUV. The 2025 Toyota 4Runner marks the sixth generation of the legendary midsize off-roader. The new 4Runner is built on the TNGA-F global truck platform which also underpins the Tacoma, Land Cruiser, Tundra, and Sequoia. From the outside, Toyota has nailed the design. It looks solid, muscular, and well-equipped to handle any terrain with ease. Now let’s look at the prominent features and new additions Toyota has endowed their latest and greatest 4Runner with.

2025 Toyota 4Runner

Turbo And Turbo-Hybrid Powertrains To Choose From

The new 2025 Toyota 4Runner is offered with two powertrain options. The base engine, dubbed iForce, is a 2.4-liter turbocharged inline-4 motor capable of generating 279 horsepower and 317 lb-ft of torque. This motor will power the SR5, TRD Sport, TRD Off-Road, and Limited trims as standard. For more vigor, buyers can opt for the stronger i-FORCE MAX hybrid powertrain, comprising a turbocharged 2.4-liter engine paired to a 48-hp electric motor. This setup is capable of producing up to 326 horsepower and 465 lb-ft of torque. The hybrid power plant is optional for the TRD Off-Road and Limited trims and standard in the TRD Pro, Trailhunter, and Platinum grades.

2025 Toyota 4Runner Trailhunter — An All-New Factory-Built Overlanding Trim

While the 4Runner has always been rugged and exceptionally capable off the beaten path, this time around it also comes packed with some factory-built overlanding gear. The all-new Trailhunter trim is loaded to the brim with overlanding-centric features. These include ARB’s Old Man Emu (OME) 2.5-inch forged shocks with more travel, which comes paired with 33-inch Toyo Open Country all-terrain tires, immensely boosting the overall ruggedness of the 4Runner. On top of that, the Trailhunter also gets a high-mount air intake, rock rails, and high-strength skid plates as standard equipment. The 2025 Toyota 4Runner Trailhunter grade offers the perfect overlander that isn’t just capable, but also protected by manufacturer warranty.

Lots Of Tech And An All-New, High-End, Platinum Trim

The outgoing generation Toyota 4Runner is clearly showing its age. It isn't able to keep up with its direct competitors, whether it be the Ford Bronco or the Jeep Wrangler, in terms of tech features. However, the 2025 4Runner arrives as a groundbreaking product in terms of technology and infotainment features. The central infotainment touchscreen is either a standard 8-inch unit or a massive 14-inch optional setup. Both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are supported, while there are USB-C charging ports supplied all around the cabin. The instrument cluster is a 7-inch unit in the lower trims and a larger 12.3-inch digital screen in the higher grades. Along with all the tech upgrades, Toyota has also enhanced the interior quality of the upcoming 4Runner, especially in the newly introduced Platinum trim. This top-of-the-line trim comes equipped with features including heated second-row seats.

An Innately Rugged, Immensely Capable, And Exceptionally Loaded Midsize SUV

From the revealed spec sheet and information, the upcoming 2025 Toyota 4Runner is a force to be reckoned with (or should I say an “iForce”?!). The new 4Runner gets much stronger engines and much more equipment compared to the outgoing generation. It also promises a more versatile lineup consisting of the usual low-end grades followed by the TRD Off-Road, Limited and TRD PRO trims and the newly introduced Trailhunter and Platinum grades. The interior looks modern and well-built, featuring quality materials and appreciable practicality features. Overall, it seems that the 2025 Toyota 4Runner will take the market by storm. This rugged beast is sure to give its opponents some true competition and will potentially reign over them as the segment champion.

Kyle Edward

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The 16 Best Travel Trailers for Camping and Road-Tripping Adventures

Vehicles that will allow you to feel right at home, no matter where you are..

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The 15 Best Travel Trailers for 2024

Traveling doesn’t mean having to step foot in a frenzied airport. In fact, there’s never been a better time to go camping. With the right travel trailer, you can easily leave the city behind without having to deal with anyone other than your nearest and dearest. Today’s featured-packed luxury caravans are nothing like those you were ferried around in as a kid, either. Not only do they look good, but they’re packed with enough premium features that you’ll feel right at home, no matter where you are.

We’re also at the point where there’s a trailer for practically every kind of camper, regardless of what vehicle they drive (including the most notorious EV out there, the Tesla Cybertruck ). If you’re the kind of person who likes the classics, there are multiple aluminum-sided Airstream and Bowlus models to choose from. Want to bring as much of your home on the road with you? How about Living Vehicle or Land Ark’s mammoth condos on wheels? There are also caravans you can take off-road with your 4×4 and ultra-light and compact models you can tow with even a crossover SUV. Some can even be turned into a mobile office if you want to mix work and play. Below are 16 travel trailers that will allow you to take to the road in just about any way you can imagine.

Our Best Travel Trailer Picks

Best overall: living vehicle hd24, best for luxury lovers: bowlus endless highways performance edition, best for off-road enthusiasts: mammoth overland extinction level event, best to live in: airstream globetrotter, best for entertaining: w2 romotow t8, best for going off-the-grid: escapod topo2, best for tech obsessives: retreat cabin and ozxcorp’s erv, best for stylish trips: eriba touring 820, best for families: land ark drake, best for ev owners: pebble flow, best for cybertruck owners: living vehicle cybertrailer, best for beginners: colorado teardrops boulder, best for couples: hunter nature raptor xc.

  • Best for Design Obessives: X-Cabin300

Best for Roughing It: Taxa Mantis

Best under 5,000 pounds: happier camper hc1.

A rear 3/4 view of the Living Vehicle HD24

If you want a better understanding of how far travel trailers have come over the decades, just look at the Living Vehicle lineup. The Santa Barbara-based company’s boxy trailers are basically mini apartments you can take with you on the road. Our favorite might be the new HD24, which is far from the company’s biggest offering, but comes with all the amenities you could need at the campground—and then some.

The all-electric model, which starts at $299,995, may measure only 24 feet, but its minimalist interior still has more than enough for a bedroom, kitchen, entertainment area, and a bathroom with a dedicated shower. One particularly clutch feature is a five-by-eight-foot multi-purpose space that can be used as an office, guest room, or laundry room. If that wasn’t enough, the top-of-the-line Pro variant has a solar-assisted power system that can keep the trailer running for up to a month off the grid.

The Living Vehicle HD24 entertainment area

Special Features:   —Trailer can be configured to include a laundry room, office, or guest room. —Interior has a clean minimalist look and comes packed with premium amenities. —Range-topping Pro version’s power system produces enough energy for 30 days of off-the-grid living,

The Bowlus Endless Highways Performance Edition from the side

It may not be the most famous shiny caravan maker—that would be Airstream—but Bowlus is the company that gave us the first riveted travel trailer. The company, which was revived in 2014, knows not to mess with a good thing, so its well-regarded trailers—like our favorite, the  Endless Highways Performance Edition —look just like those it produced in the 1930s, only bigger and with better materials (think: alclad aluminum for the exterior and birchwood for the interior).

Despite its classic look, the $225,000 trailer has all the conveniences you expect in 2022, including heat and air-conditioning systems, a WiFi modem and plenty of outlets for charging all your smart devices. Best of all, though, might be a lithium iron phosphate that gives you the ability to live off the grid for two peaceful weeks. If you’re an animal lover, there’s also the  Terra Firma , which features a bunch of Fido-friendly features like a built-in food bowl, pet bed and remote temperature control system.

Inside the Bowlus Volterra

Special Features:  —Thee’s a double-sided indoor galley and an outdoor cooking area with electric and propane outlets. —The hotel-style shower has teak flooring and seating. —Lithium iron phosphate power system can keep the entire trailer running for up to two weeks.

A front 3/4 view of the Mammoth Overland Extinction Level Event

Mammoth Overland’s latest model is a burly off-road trailer designed to withstand anything it encounters in nature. The appropriately named Extinction Level Event (ELE) rides on a set of chunky all-terrain tires and has an angular aluminum body reinforced with steel armor and skid plates. If that doesn’t sound like enough, you can upgrade to Level 3 bullet-proof armor. There’s also a built-in bear spray system too, for added security. The ELE, which starts at $67,000, is pretty compact since it’s a tear-drop trailer, but it can comfortably sleep two and has an integrated workstation inside its cabin. There’s also a swing-out kitchenette in the back for cooking.

The Mammoth Overland Extinction Level Event's swing-out kitchenette

Special Features:   —Comes with a built-in bear spray system and is available with bullet-proof armor. —Despite its compact size, the interior cabin still has room for a built-in workstation. —The swing-out kitchenette isn’t big, but has everything you need to cook a delicious meal.

Airstream Globetrotter

One brand leaps to mind when most of us think about travel trailers—Airstream. Its iconic aluminum-sided caravans have been instrumental in popularizing road trips and  camping  in the US for decades. One need only look at the company’s  Globetrotter  model to see why: In addition to looking beautiful, the silver-covered caravan is packed with creature comforts to keep you traveling comfortably. It’s not the brand’s largest model—that would be the flagship  Classic —but it’s available with one of six different floor plans, each of which has room for a spacious entertainment area (that can sleep up to four adults).

Inside you’ll find a full-featured kitchen, half-bathroom, shower and sizable bedroom with either a queen-sized bed or two twins. As you would expect from Airstream, the amenities are top-rate, too, like Franke faucets in the kitchen and bathroom, stainless steel appliances, Quietstream climate control system and multiple LG LED TVs. The Globetrotter starts at $120,000. If it doesn’t fit the bill, the brand has plenty of other models to choose from, including collaboration editions like the  extra-homey Pottery Barn Edition  or their  ultra-rare Supreme edition .

Airstream Globetrotter

Special Features: —There are different floor plans to choose from, each of which features a full kitchen, half bathroom and dedicated shower. —The Quietstream climate control system barely makes a peep, even when the heater or A/C is running. —A built-in canopy provides shade when you want to spend time outside.

The W2 Romotow T8

Good things come to those who wait. More than a decade after it was first announced, the Romotow T8 is finally available to order. The 30.5-foot caravan, which was designed by New Zealand-based architecture and design firm W2, has two main components—a fixed chassis and a smaller living space that fits just inside of it. When the $268,500 trailer is parked, the cabin slides out at the touch of a button and can be rotated 90 degrees like a swiveling USB stick. When rotated like this, the hydraulic-powered chassis can then be used as a patio. While this unique design may be the vehicle’s main selling point, its interior cabin comes with all the features you need and has enough room for six adults.

Inside the W2 Romotow T8

Special Features:   —Unique rotating design is unlike anything else currently on the trailer market. —The living area is large enough to sleep up to six adults. — Hydraulic patio comes with an integrated deck set.

Escapod Topo2

The  Escapod Topo2  is a trailer for anyone looking to take their camping trip off road with minimal fuss. The brand’s update of the classic teardrop trailer is an off-road-friendly model without any of the bulk. Unlike most of the trailers on this list, Escapod’s bedroom and kitchen area are separated from one another. The dedicated sleeping area has room for a queen-size mattress and is equipped with a stargazer window so you can really take in the peace and quiet of the great outdoors. The galley, meanwhile, is only accessible from outside the $39,500 trailer, but has ample counter space for meal prep and cooking. Both sections get their power from a VPR 4EVER lithium ion battery with some solar panels to help keep things running smoothly and efficiently.

Escapod Topo2

Special Features: —Exterior is made from a single-piece of composite fiberglass that is rugged and weather-resistant. —Laser-cut tube steel frame should last for years. —Bedroom’s stargazer window offers up a beautiful view of your surroundings.

The Retreat Caravan and OzXcorp's ERV Electric Camper

It was only a matter of time until the  electric revolution  made its way to the world of trailers and campers.  Retreat Caravan and OzXcorp’s ERV  is a rugged trailer that also happens to run entirely on battery power. Roof-mounted solar panels provide juice for a 14.3-kWh lithium battery that keeps the trailer’s many appliances running. And while the trailer is perfectly equipped for some off-road fun, thanks to a specially tuned suspension and all-terrain tires, it also packs all of the comforts of a luxe hotel room inside, including a bathroom, spacious seating area and master bedroom suite with a king-sized bed and closets. But the true highlight may be the $75,000 caravan’s full-size kitchen, which features an induction cooktop, fridge and washing machine. There’s also a Weber electric barbecue and slow cooker for making your meals outdoors.

The interior of the ERV electric cabin

Special Features: —Solar panels and 14.3-kWh battery power the trailer and let you go off grid. —A specially tuned suspension and large all-terrain tires let you go off-road. —The primary bedroom has enough room for a king-size bed and its own closets.

Eriba Touring 820

Are you looking for an aluminum-sided trailer that looks like more than just another Airstream or Bowlus’s rip-off? If so, the  Eriba Touring 820  might fit the bill. The company’s top-of-the-line caravan updates the classic silver bullet look with a retro-futuristic shape and details. Even more impressive, though, is the 27-foot-trailer’s interior. The company has packed it full of luxury amenities like a sizable, leather-covered lounge area (that can be converted into a bed), customizable mood lighting and a surprisingly fashionable bathroom. The true highlight, though, is a bedroom with a large panoramic window that offers up a gorgeous views of your surroundings. That’s good, too, since you might not actually want to leave the $88,500 trailer.

Eriba Touring 820

Special Features: —The kitchen has a mini wine cellar for keeping your best bottles at the ready. —The leather-upholstered entertainment area can be converted into an additional sleeping area at night. —Adjustable mood lighting will help you feel at home no matter where you are.

The Land Ark Drake

Almost more of a portable house than a trailer, the  Land Ark Drake  basically lets you take all the comforts of home on the road. The gigantic, yet stylish, two-level, 357-square-feet trailer can comfortably sleep seven adults. Stark and modern on the outside, the trailer features an equally clean white-washed pine and black metal decorated interior. Across its two floors, it has room for a full-sized kitchen, living room and bathroom (which includes a bathtub), along with two loft bedrooms and an office which can also be converted to a sleeping area. Its $139,000 starting price may sound a lot for a trailer, but for a two-story house on wheels it’s not that bad.

Inside the The Land Ark Drake

Special Features: —The two-level design means you have 357-square-feet of space. —Downstairs bathroom includes a tub for when you need to take a relaxing soak. —It has a primary bedroom and two loft-style sleeping areas.

A front 3/4 view of the Pebble Flow

There are plenty of EV-friendly travel trailers on the market at this point, but none are nicer to an electric powertrain than the Pebble Flow, which starts at $109,000. The futuristic vehicle is available with an optional propulsion that includes two electric motors—one situated on each wheel—to help make sure its 6,200-pound weight isn’t eating up all your battery-powered vehicle’s range. That’s far from the Flow’s only forward-thinking feature though. The trailer also comes with an “Instacamp” system that can be used to park the vehicle and set up camp (which includes leveling out the vehicle, deploying its staircase, and turning on the lights). The unique feature can also be triggered remotely via Pebble’s smartphone app.

Inside the Pebble Flow

Special Features:   —An optional propulsion system means it can even be towed by EVs. —Unique “Instacamp” system allows you to park the vehicle remotely via the company’s smartphone app. — Solar-assisted battery pack produces enough power for a week of off-the-grid living.

A rear 3/4 view of the Living Vehicle CyberTrailer being towed by a Tesla Cybertruck

Elon Musk has been promising camping accessories for the Tesla Cybertruck since the get-go, but any official camper shell or trailer is likely years away at this point. Fortunately, Living Vehicle, the maker of our current favorite caravan, has stepped in to fill the void. The company has just unveiled the CyberTrailer, a new model with a design inspired by the battery-powered pickup. The caravan is almost certainly the most striking entry on this list, for better or for worse, but it also has a solar-assisted power system that produces more than enough juice to keep the entire vehicle running off the grid. More importantly, for Cybertruck (and other EV) owners, it also allows the trailer to be used as a mobile charging station for any battery-powered vehicle or plug-in hybrid.

The Living Vehicle CyberTrailer from the front

Special Features: —A bold design inspired by Tesla’s pickup that also offers excellent aerodynamic performance. —A solar-assisted system that will keep the trailer and all its features running off-the-grid. —Can be towed by pickups and SUVs other than the Cybertruck, including other EVs.

Colorado Teardrops Boulder travel trailer

There are EV-friendly trailers and then there’s  Colorado Teardrops’s Boulder . Not only is the company’s latest designed to be towed by a battery-powered SUV or truck, it can also charge your EV’s battery. That ability comes courtesy a 75-kWh lithium-ion battery pack with a built-in DC fast charger that will give you some much needed peace of mind out on the open road. At the very least, it gives you the freedom to come up with a route centered around sights instead of charging stations. Aside from this very vital feature, the compact caravan has everything two adults and two children need to live off the grid for a for a few days, including a comfortable queen-sized mattress, two bunk beds (for the kids), an enclosed kitchenette and an optional climate control system. The $55,000 trailer also comes in a variety of two-tone color schemes that all look pretty sharp.

Colorado Teardrops Boulder travel trailer

Special Features: —Doesn’t just ease the burden on your EV’s battery; it can charge it, too. —A unique bunk-bed design creates room for four people to sleep (two adults and two children). —The enclosed kitchenette has plenty of counter space.

Hunter Nature Raptor XC

A big trailer can be a godsend on the campground, especially if you’re traveling with family or friends. The problem, of course, is getting the hulking vehicle there. No matter how experienced the driver, maneuvering a large caravan can be very tricky. Luckily there are trailers like  Hunter Nature’s Raptor XC . The brand’s angular model looks compact but features a pull-out section that just about doubles the size of its interior. When it’s fully extended you’ll have more than enough room for a dedicated living area, kitchen and bedroom. This will come in handy if there’s more than two in your traveling party, too. That’s because the $44,000 trailer’s entertainment area can easily be converted into an additional sleeping area at night.

The Hunter Nature Raptor XC's main living area and slide-out bedroom

Special Features: —An expanding segment turns this trailer into a multi-room cabin. —The bedroom has a large skylight so you can see the stars at night. —A spacious lounge can be converted into an additional sleeping area if you need more room.

Best for Design Obsessives: X-Cabin300

The X-Cabin300 travel trailer

Silver trailers don’t all need to be bullet-shaped as nice as the classic Airstream may look. Just take a gander at the X-Cabin300. The all-aluminum vehicle has a boxy shape that looks both classic and modern. The Japanese-made caravan is compact, but comes with four different interior layouts designed to meet your varied needs (it can even be used as a food truck). The $50,000 trailer is smaller than most—it measures just seven feet tall, seven feet wide, and 15 feet long—and only tips the scales at 1,650 pounds, which means a compact SUV can even tow it. 

X-Cabin300 travel trailer with a canopy attached

Special Features:   —A refreshing spin on the classic all-aluminum travel trailer. —Available with four different interior layouts. —Small and light enough to be towed by a compact SUV.

The exterior of the Taxa Mantis

It can be hard to find a trailer that fits everyone’s needs, but the  Taxa Mantis  comes close. Its no-nonsense design means it fits with nearly anyone’s style. Thanks to a pop-up roof section, ingenious use of space and plenty of storage compartments, the Mantis has all the room you and your friends and family need to camp in comfort, which can be crucial on longer trips. It’s also got all the necessary features, including a bathroom with a built-in shower, water heater, kitchenette and 8,000 BTU air conditioner. The trailer, which starts at $46,000, is ideal for off-roading, but there’s a  special Overland edition  if you want something even more rugged.

Inside the Taxa Outdoor Mantis 5.1 Overland

Special Features: —A pop-up roof means you don’t have to sleep in the kitchen if you don’t want to. —There’s a built-in water heater and climate control system with a 8,000 BTU air conditioner. —It comes with a built-in canopy for outdoor hangouts.

The exterior of the Happier Camper HC1

Imagine if you didn’t need a truck or SUV to tow your trailer. You don’t if the caravan in question is Happier Camper’s compact  HC1 . The Los Angeles-based outfit’s smallest model is as light as they come, with a dry weight of just 1,100 pounds, meaning it can be towed by practically any car, even a modern-day Mini Cooper. It features a semi-modular interior designed by Adaptiv that can be customized to fit your camping style—components snap in like Legos—with either a full kitchen or enough sleeping room for up to five people. You can even add solar panels if you want to go off the grid. The $34,450 trailer’s old-school design is also sure to stand out on practically any campground. Even better, no pickups needed.

Inside the Happier Camper HC1

Special Features: —At only 1,100 pounds, it can be towed by just about any car. —The semi-modular floor plan allows you to arrange the interior to accommodate your camping style. —The larger rear hatch opens up space when you are entertaining.

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Toyota reveals lunar cruiser: Hydrogen-powered rover ready by 2032

T he Toyota Land Cruiser is one of the most recognizable off-road vehicles in the world. Toyota wants the hydrogen drive to be just as iconic. Therefore, they plan to send a vehicle powered by such fuel, called the Lunar Cruiser, into space.

The six-wheeled pressurized rover is designed to travel across the surface of the Moon. The project is a result of a cooperation agreement between NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). The development program began in 2019, and now we have some details about its construction. It is still in the early stages, with an expected completion date of 2031, and it is slated to fly into space in 2032.

Although the sketches might not fully convey this, the Toyota Lunar Cruiser—designed jointly with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and JAXA—weighs as much as 22,046 pounds and is intended to transport two people. In emergencies, it can accommodate two additional passengers. The vehicle's design allows the crew to remain inside without spacesuits. The interior will be pressurized to sustain life for extended periods.

The Lunar Cruiser's mission on the Moon is planned to last about 30 days, during which it will cover approximately 12 miles each day. During this time, information about the Moon's surface and its resources will be collected. The vehicle's construction is designed to ensure 10 years of operation.

The Lunar Cruiser will be equipped with an electric drive powered by hydrogen fuel cells and hydrogen generators powered by sunlight. The drive will use regenerative fuel cells (RFC) and will also be fitted with solar panels and tanks for hydrogen and water. Thanks to its design, the vehicle can operate both day and night. Hydrogen will be obtained through electrolysis. When sunlight is scarce, the system will use stored reserves, and water, a byproduct of generating electricity, will be collected in tanks for reuse during the day. The system is self-sufficient and operates in a closed loop.

Autonomous driving

The vehicle will be fully autonomous, thanks to LiDAR technology, which allows it to avoid obstacles. It will have a radio navigation system and a system that analyzes the position of the stars. However, the crew members will be able to take full control of the vehicle at any time.

The Lunar Cruiser is designed to navigate regolith, craters, sharp rocks, and steep inclines. Metal tires, capable of withstanding extremely harsh conditions, are being developed in collaboration with Bridgestone. Lessons from 70 years of designing and producing the Land Cruiser are expected to help achieve efficient driving in difficult and completely unknown terrain.

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San Francisco’s Hot Tourist Attraction: Driverless Cars

Cable cars are still trundling up the city’s hills, but robotaxis from Waymo are shaping up as the city’s latest must-do for visitors.

A white car, with sensors on its roof and hood, is parked in front of a Hard Rock Cafe. A man on the driver-side door is taking a photo into the car’s interior.

By Lauren Sloss

When David De Clercq traveled to San Francisco last year, he had a few musts on his itinerary: Go to Alcatraz. Try new restaurants. And ride in a self-driving car.

Self-driving cars, also known as autonomous vehicles or, colloquially, robotaxis, have been driving the streets of San Francisco in some form since 2009 and have been operating commercially since last August. The cars are also shaping up as the city’s latest tourist attraction.

Mr. De Clercq, 42, who splits his time between New Jersey and Sardinia, where he owns restaurants and bars and rents villas, is an avid traveler.

“I love exploring and doing new things,” he said. “I knew that I definitely wanted to get a ride while I was in town.”

What, where and how to ride

Conversations abound on Reddit and X , with visitors seeking advice on how to secure a ride while in San Francisco, or be well positioned to spot a driverless car on the go.

Some basics are necessary when plotting your own robotaxi ride. First, while A.V. companies like Cruise and Zoox have proliferated in recent years, Waymo , which is owned by Alphabet (Google’s parent company), is currently the only company offering rides for the public in San Francisco.

Waymo also operates in the Phoenix metro area, including offering rides to and from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, and is currently slowly rolling out rides in Los Angeles and testing rides on the San Francisco Peninsula and in Austin, Texas. In Phoenix, you can hail a Waymo using the Uber app; in all other locations, downloading the Waymo app is required. (The app is very similar to other ride-hailing services; pricing is comparable, too.) And in almost all service areas, there is a waiting list to be granted access.

Anjelica Price-Rocha, a public relations manager for Waymo, was not able to provide specific estimates for waiting list times in various cities, but she did say that the wait is shorter in San Francisco than in Los Angeles. (I signed up for the app in San Francisco in late April and was off the waiting list just over a week later.)

“For anyone visiting San Francisco, I would suggest that you get on the wait list as soon as you book your trip,” Ms. Price-Rocha said. Looking to spot a Waymo car on the go? According to Ms. Price-Rocha, popular pickup and drop-off locations include tourist attractions like the Ferry Building, Pier 39, Coit Tower and the Japantown Peace Plaza.

A futuristic attraction

Not able to get direct access in time? Try asking friends, family or colleagues if they’ll invite you on a ride. Jason Karsh, a 38-year-old San Francisco resident who works as a tech marketing executive and consultant, regularly “hails” Waymo cars and suggests riding in them as a tourist activity.

“San Francisco has gotten a bad rep for visitors recently,” Mr. Karsh said. “This is a reminder that San Francisco also is a place that’s living a few years into the future technologically.”

Waymo vehicles are all-electric Jaguar I-PACEs outfitted with radar, lidar, sensors, and internal and external cameras. You use the app to unlock the car when it arrives and to play music during your ride. Four seats are available to passengers — you can sit up front, but you’re not allowed to sit in the driver’s seat (if you try, the car will not move). A real-life customer support team remotely monitors your ride for unsafe activity and is available should you require assistance.

Mr. Karsh described a recent ride with a group of colleagues: “They immediately got out their phones and began filming, almost like they were taping a celebrity or a concert.”

Indeed, riding in a Waymo can turn you into the main attraction. On a recent trip through San Francisco with my visiting in-laws, we not only filmed much of our ride, but spotted a group of tourists who pointed and stared at our driverless vehicle, even pulling out phones to snap footage of their own.

Mr. De Clercq, visiting from New Jersey, described his ride home from a night out in Chinatown as “very interesting and futuristic. It was extremely cautious and quite slow.”

According to safety data from the company, Waymos are significantly safer than human drivers. That hasn’t prevented public backlash over A.V.s — California suspended Cruise vehicles from operating on the streets of San Francisco after an incident in which a pedestrian was hit and dragged under a vehicle. There have been regular complaints of Waymo cars blocking traffic and emergency vehicles Crashes, largely involving stationary objects, have led to a federal investigation of Waymo.

However, in Mr. Karsh’s experience, Waymo rides are sometimes less than seamless because they’re too cautious.

“If there’s a car stopped with the hood up on a two-lane street, a human driver will know to go around. A Waymo might just sit there,” he said.

From awe and delight to near normalcy

But perhaps the most noteworthy aspect of a first-time Waymo ride is how quickly it feels normal.

“For the first couple of minutes, there’s this giddiness,” Ms. Price-Rocha said. “But we see that, really quickly, people just ease into the experience.”

Mr. Karsh saw this shift happen firsthand on a recent trip to New York City, when his family opted for a ride in a yellow cab.

“My 3½-year-old son turns to me and my wife and says, ‘Look, Daddy, a driver!’ He was kind of shocked.”

Follow New York Times Travel on Instagram and sign up for our weekly Travel Dispatch newsletter to get expert tips on traveling smarter and inspiration for your next vacation. Dreaming up a future getaway or just armchair traveling? Check out our 52 Places to Go in 2024 .

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An Appetite for Destruction: A wave of lawsuits argue that Tesla’s Autopilot software is dangerously overhyped. What can its blind spots teach us about Elon Musk, the company’s erratic chief executive ?

Along for the Ride: Here’s what New York Times reporters experienced during test rides in driverless cars operated by Tesla , Waymo  and Cruise .

The Future of Transportation?: Driverless cars, once a Silicon Valley fantasy, have become a 24-hour-a-day reality in San Francisco . “The Daily” looked at the unique challenges of coexisting with cars that drive themselves .

Stressing Cities: In San Francisco and Austin, Texas, where passengers can hail autonomous taxis, the vehicles are starting to take a toll on city services , even slowing down emergency response times.

A Fast Rise and Fall: Cruise, a subsidiary of General Motors, wanted to grow fast. Now, the company faces safety concerns  as it contends with angry regulators, anxious employees and skepticism about the viability of the business .

Car Dog Safety: How to Travel with a Dog in a Car

Car Dog Safety: How to Travel with a Dog in a Car

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Whether it’s a holiday trip to visit relatives, take a family vacation, or just out and about doing errands, taking pets along requires a little advance planning and adherence to a few safety guidelines to ensure a safe journey for all. These tips can provide not only peace of mind, but also make the trip with pets a more enjoyable experience.

What is the safest way for a dog to ride in a car?

Dogs, and all pets, are safest if they’re in a container that’s suitable for their needs and properly secured within the vehicle. Secure pets properly. Dogs, cats, parrots, rabbits, snakes or what have you, if the family pets are accompanying you in the car, be sure to secure them in an appropriate carrier. Remember that unrestrained pets can serve as flying projectiles in the event of a crash or sudden breaking, potentially injuring the animal and passengers in the vehicle.

Is a dog car harness better than a crate?

No. Crates are generally safer, but they're more expensive and take up more room. Harnesses are an acceptable choice that can work well for smaller vehicles, though they don't offer as much protection in the event of a collision.

Are dogs safer in the front or back of a car?

Dogs are safer riding in the back of the car, much like a child. The back seat offers better impact protection from crashes, and it’s less likely that a rear-row passenger, whether animal or human, will make impact with the windshield.

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What should I pack in my car for my dog?

Pet safety experts recommend not feeding pets during a drive, even if it is a long one, and instead, feed pets a light meal a few hours before your departure. That said, plan to give pets plenty of water before the trip. Bring your own bottled or filtered water to avoid the possibility of upsetting your pet’s stomach by feeding water from unfamiliar sources. Look for a spill-proof water bowl to protect your car.

Bring your pet’s travel kit. Items your pet feels secure with, toys, blankets, dog chew bones, waste scoop, plastic bags, medication, food and water should be part of the kit. The last thing you want is to get underway and discover you’ve forgotten Fido or Fluffy’s favorite item.

Finally, ensure your pet’s identification, including your name and phone number, are with your pet, whether that’s on a tag on your pet’s collar or on a microchip. Ideally, both. While this applies mostly for dogs, owners of cats may also wish to have ID tags or microchips on their pets. If the trip will be lengthy, include a temporary ID tag that has your cell phone, destination phone or other means of contacting you if the animal runs off or accidentally gets left at a rest stop or other location.

Should you tether a dog in a car?

The only two ways you should consider securing your dog in a car are within a crate or with a travel-appropriate harness. If you’re using a harness, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions to properly tether the harness to the car’s hardware. You should not tether a dog in a car using the dog’s normal collar and leash, or any other restraint or accessory that is not specifically designed for this purpose.

How do I know if my dog has car anxiety?

Your dog might have car anxiety from a past bad experience in a car, or from a generalized fear that is not associated with a specific incident. If your dog exhibits any of a number of signs, that could indicate car anxiety. These signs include a reluctance to get in the car or struggling against being places in the car, whining, barking, pacing, shaking, trembling, drooling, and other similar behaviors that are atypical of the pet. That said, some of these symptoms may indicate motion sickness, which can exist separately from car anxiety.

If your dog has car anxiety, it’s helpful to get your dog more accustomed to short car rides to places that are fun — that is, you can’t take your dog only to the vet and then be surprised when he or she is anxious during a longer trip. If your dog has motion sickness, it’s essential to make the car trip as smooth and comfortable as possible by providing a familiar and comfortable environment, with a calming temperature and a favorite blanket or toy. Also ensure food intake is limited before the trip.

What else should I know about traveling with my pet?

Do not permit pets to ride with their heads out the window. Dirt, debris, flying objects and low-hanging branches are only a few of the dangers when pets ride with their heads out the window. Simple solution: don’t allow this habit. Make sure the pet is secured in the back seat in his crate or with a harness attached to a seat buckle.

Stop for a break every few hours. On long trips, you likely need a pit stop every few hours, even if it's just to stretch your legs. You might not think that your dog needs a break that often, especially if she's older and well housebroken, but it's not a bad idea to give her the chance to sniff around a bit.

Never leave your pet alone in the car. No matter what the weather, leaving a pet in a locked car is never a wise idea. On a hot day, the car’s interior can quickly become a furnace, setting up the potentially tragic result of heatstroke. In frigid weather, your pet can literally freeze to death, say pet safety experts, as the car acts like a refrigerator.

Bottom line: Traveling with your pet in the car needn’t be a stressful situation – for you or your pet. Along with packing your suitcase and poring over your itinerary, make sure to take the time to ensure your pet will travel safely with the family.

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