Winter may still be here - though spring is beginning to break through - but many of us are already pining for a long, hot summer.
It’s a while off, but that means there’s plenty of time to plan some mega road trips to take on — and ultimately find the right set of wheels to do them in. We’ve picked out our road trip picks for 2020…
Mazda’s MX-5 has long been a favourite amongst roadster buyers in the UK, and we couldn’t miss it off this list.
It blends together excellent driving dynamics, the wonders of top-down motoring and decent efficiency in a sleek-looking package. Those on a road trip for two, or even just yourself, this is a serious option to consider.
Audi RS 6 Avant
Though road trips throw up some amazing memories, there are occasions you just want to cover a lot of distance in as little time as possible.
That’s where the new Audi RS 6 Avant comes in handy. Though it may be a supremely practical estate car, it packs a powerhouse of a twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 engine delivering an astonishing and 592bhp and 800Nm of torque. We can’t think of anything better for the de-restricted German autobahns.
Not all road trips have to be cross-continent behemoths, some can just be a little jaunt out into the country for those who otherwise spend their lives living in the city.
That’s where the Mini Electric comes into play. This eco-friendly machine blends electric power seamlessly with trademark Mini driving fun and quality, while its 145-mile range is allows for the occasional trip further afield.
Dacia’s Duster is the most affordable new SUV on the market and boasts an impressive amount of practicality.
Those two things make it a compelling contender for any road trip, while the ability to specify the model with an all-wheel-drive drivetrain throws up the possibility of some off the beaten path road-tripping too.
We’ll admit the Citroen Berlingo is far from the last word in motoring excitement, but it does have a major trick up its sleeve that makes it perfect for road tripping.
That is its immense practicality. This van-turned-MPV can seat five in exceptional comfort in M form and seven in larger XL, with each offering 597 and 850 litres of boot space respectively with all seats in place. For big groups, there’s little more to ask for.
Honda Civic Type R
Fancy making a cross-country road trip a little more exciting? Opt for a Honda Civic Type R and otherwise boring country lanes suddenly seem much, much more enticing.
Widely regarded as the benchmark of family-sized hot hatches, the Type R combines brutal performance with a seriously characterful chassis. We’d be considering hopping to mainland Europe and taking on the Nurburgring with this.
Ford Mustang GT
Hop behind the wheel of a Ford Mustang for your road trips this year and suddenly the M1 Northbound looks a lot more like the Pacific Coast Highway.
Okay, so Watford Gap services may not have the visual appeal of Los Angeles, but the ultimate American muscle car at least adds some spice to the journey. Its beefy 5.0-litre V8 is at home cruising along huge distances, while a comfortably set chassis is perfect for chewing up miles.
Take your road trip, well, off-road with a Jeep Wrangler this year. This 4x4 icon is one of the toughest mudders money can buy, and is a hugely appealing car for exploring the countryside in.
The ability to remove the roof, doors and even the windscreen if you’re handy enough with tools is perfect for soaking in the sun on a bright summer’s day too.
Ford Focus ST Estate
In a similar vein to the Type R only with the added bonus of more practicality, the new Ford Focus ST Estate combines all of the fun of a hot hatch with the benefit of a large boot.
Its compelling chassis and characterful engine makes it one of the most exciting cars on the market, while a 575 litre boot space means it can swallow enough cargo for a family week away.
There are many reasons to consider a Mini Countryman as your next road trip, but one stands above all else — roof tent.
That’s right, your new Mini Countryman can be had with a tent that fits squarely on the roof of the car. Need to stop in a layby for a nap? Roof tent. Fancy taking in a night of the stars? Roof tent. Need a night out of the house away from the kids? Roof tent.