Lockdown has lifted and the open road is calling. While life hasn’t exactly returned to normal, at least we’re allowed to get driving again, which means you can start thinking about taking a road trip.
Of course, choosing the perfect car for a post-lockdown road trip requires some serious thought, and the right choice for you entirely depends on your situation. It’s no good selecting a two-seater roadster if you need to fit a family of five, is it?
Don’t worry, we’ve come up with some suggestions for you, so pack the sunscreen and hand sanitiser and plan your route.
You can keep your Ferraris and Lamborghinis, in the UK the most fun you can have behind the wheel without losing your licence is something relatively punchy, lightweight and rear wheel drive. The Porsche Cayman is a great option, but we would recommend the 252bhp Alpine A110 because, well, it’s a bit different and also one of the most fun cars we have ever had the pleasure of driving. It’s more than powerful enough and gloriously lightweight, and even has two (small) boots for luggage: one at the front and one at the back.
All the exciting driving dynamics of the 3 Series saloon but with added space in the boot for the family’s junk, the 3 Series Touring is the perfect blend of practicality and fun. While there’s no such thing as a full fat M3 Touring yet, the M340i Touring offers one hell of a wallop – 369bhp to be precise – and will catapult you, the kids and the family labrador from 0-62mph in just 4.5 seconds. While it comes with Beamer’s xDrive AWD system as standard, the M340i knows when you’re in a playful mood and will send most of the power to the back wheels.
Okay, a £150K-plus Bentley is fantasy land for most people, but it’s okay to dream. In terms of luxury and comfort, it doesn’t really get much better than the Continental GT, yet Bentley has somehow also endowed this car with a level of athleticism which would make Porsche owners jealous. The interior is an expanse of the finest wood and leather, and there’s a 358-litre boot for your luggage, but there’s also a 626bhp 6-litre W12 engine waiting to be exploited on quiet stretches of road. There’s surely no better car for a weekend waft through the Cotswolds.
If you’re looking for affordable driving fun, the Suzuki Swift Sport is one of the best cars on the market. For just a touch over £20,000 you’ll get a lightweight (970kg) hatchback with a gutsy 1.4-litre turbocharged engine, and a car which constantly feels like it’s doing its absolute best to please you. The best thing about the Swift Sport is the fact you have to work the engine to get the most out of it, so if you enjoy driving for driving’s sake (which we imagine you do if you’re like taking road trips) then you’ll have tons of fun making the most of the Swift Sport.
Sun’s out, tops down. We love convertibles in the UK more than any other country in Europe, which is odd considering our gloomy weather, but we would point you in the direction of the Mazda MX-5 if you’re looking for something to make the most out of the short spells of sunshine on a road trip. Rear-wheel drive, lightweight and a choice of two rev-happy engines, the MX-5 can both attack a corner like a sportscar or cruise comfortably with its top retracted for some al fresco relaxation. A true driver’s car.