If you ask the internet what the best car for adventure is, there's no one solid answer, as it depends on your definition of adventure. But, when you're talking about adventure that comes with four wheels, most of us want the same thing: a vehicle that goes the distance and is rugged enough for whatever comes its way. Plus, it doesn't hurt to look stylish while we're having fun.
Defining Adventure Vehicles
Adventure means something different to everybody. To some, it's climbing rugged forest roads and mountain driving. Others never take their tires off the pavement as they wind along leisurely coast roads. Some people just need to get to the local fishing hole or campground, and others take their cars through harsh, snowy weather conditions. Whatever adventure means to you, make sure you have the right vehicle for the task at hand.
A quick study of "best cars for adventure" reveals that there are many choices from many automakers that fit the bill. Over the past few years a few have stood out from the crowd, coming up again and again. These brands have something for everybody, both new and used.
Our top picks:
- Subaru – Outback, Crosstrek (2019 model pictured), Forester
- Honda – Odyssey, HR-V, Ridgeline
- Toyota – Tacoma, Sienna, Prius Prime
- Jeep – Renegade, Wrangler, Grand Cherokee
Going the Distance: Best Cars for Road Trips
- The Subaru Crosstrek comes in with high marks for both fuel economy and safety. The Crosstrek has had a five-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for six years running. This rugged crossover sports 8.7 inches of ground clearance, making it a good off-road choice as well. Its fuel economy shines for long distance road trips – depending on year, trim level, and powertrain, the Crosstrek gets between 25 and 31 miles per gallon combined, according to the EPA. You can pick up a used 2016 model for an average price of $17,995, or a new 2019 model for a starting price of $22,870.
- The Honda HR-V boasts an EPA-estimated 28 to 31 mpg combined, again depending on year, trim level, and powertrain. As Honda's smallest crossover, it has 6.7 inches of ground clearance, and the 2019 model has an impressive interior layout that allows five different cabin configurations. All four model years of the HR-V have earned an NHTSA five-star safety rating. New 2019 models start at $21,565, while used 2016 models can typically be found for around $16,000.
- The Toyota Prius Prime, a hybrid that sports a gas and electric powertrain, earns a whopping 54 mpg combined, or 133 miles per gallon combined of gasoline equivalent. The 2017 model was named a Top Safety Pick Plus by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), while the 2018 model earned a Top Safety Pick designation. A used 2017 model starts around $21,500, while a new 2018 model starts at $28,230.
Off the Beaten Path: Best Cars for Off-Road Driving
Jeep is synonymous with off-road capabilities, so it's no wonder several Jeep models made the list in this category. Although some models, like Jeep's smallest in the lineup Renegade or the smooth-riding Grand Cherokee, aren't strictly the off-road types, their Trailhawk editions live up to the true off-road capabilities that Jeep is known for. Joining the Renegade and Grand Cherokee, the Wrangler is another great choice if you're heading to the back country to do some camping. Let's take a closer look:
- Jeep Renegade
New 2018 model starting price: $20,245; NHTSA safety rating: 4/5 stars
Used 2016 model average price: around $15,000; NHTSA safety rating: 4/5 stars
Fuel economy (four-wheel drive): 24/31/27 mpg (city/highway/combined)
- Jeep Grand Cherokee
New 2018 model starting price: $32,390; NHTSA safety rating: 4/5 stars
Used 2016 model average price: around $15,000; NHTSA safety rating: 5/5 stars
Fuel economy (4WD): 18/25/21 mpg
- Jeep Wrangler
New 2018 model starting price: $29,440; NHTSA safety rating: N/A
Used 2016 model average price: around $23,000; NHTSA safety rating: N/A
Fuel economy (4WD): 17/21/18 mpg
Adventure is Calling: Find Your Answer
No matter what your idea of adventure is, there's a vehicle out there to meet your needs – you just have to know where to look. If you have bad credit, it can be even more challenging to find the right lenders to get you into the car you need, but not impossible. Here at Auto Credit Express, we want to help you meet the challenge head on.
We work with a network of special finance dealerships all across the country, and we want to connect you to one in your area. Fill out our easy, free, and no-obligation auto loan request form, and we'll help you get the process of finding a dealer started!