News Column

Top 10 Road Trip Vehicles at Detroit Auto Show

January 17, 2014

Ellen Creager, Detroit Free Press

ford flex limited
Ford Flex Limited (Ford Motor)

Jan. 17--What are the coolest road-trip vehicles at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit this year? Step aside, flashy Corvettes and mega pickups. Here are my favorites:

Kia K900 V8: Cool "VIP Rear Seat Package" features power reclining seats for backseat passengers that tilt so far back you can doze for miles. This rear-wheel drive car oozes comfort for solidly built adults headed cross-country ($60,000; on sale in spring.)

Fiat 500L Thalassa: Like a Creamsicle on wheels. Nobody will fail to see you in this tricked-out Chrysler Mopar customized Fiat. With its white roof, orange body and teak floor mats, it's a playful car for sports travelers. ($50,000 customized.)

Range Rover Autobiography Black Edition: I can dream, can't I? Long wheelbase Rover features footrests, bottle chiller and a panoramic roof. It also has 2 flip-down desks for business travelers being whisked across the state when the jet is on the fritz. ($99,500.)

MX-5 Miata: One of the greatest inexpensive sports cars ever made. It makes solo travel on paved country roads more fun than should be legal. Just don't bring a lot of luggage; its trunk is only big enough for a couple of packed duffel bags. ($29,500.)

Ford Flex Limited: I have a soft spot for this boxy family SUV; the one I saw had an impractical but luscious white interior and a ruby red exterior. Multipanel vista roof, 12-speaker Sony radio, optional V6 Ecoboost engine. Who's up for a trip west? ($50,000.)

Honda Odyssey Touring Elite: Yep, this is the one with the built-in vacuum cleaner. This briskly practical, slightly ordinary passenger van has plenty of seating flexibility and entertainment options to make sure the kids don't kill each other on long trips. ($44,000.)

Subaru Forester 2.0 XT Touring: The Forester got a jazzy styling makeover for this year, but this sturdy all-wheel drive vehicle still appeals to solid outdoorsy types headed to muddy valleys and distant snowy peaks -- or those who wish they were. ($32,995.)

Buick LaCrosse: Very fine car for long road trips, with cocoon-like refined interior. Its new "driver confidence package" includes lane departure warnings, adaptive cruise control and other safety features; I also like the available power rear sunshades, zzzz. ($38,000.)

Ford Focus Titanium Hatchback: Peppy, comfortable and so sturdy on the freeway. It's a trustworthy trip companion, with 37 miles per gallon highway. Hatchback opening helps when packing the fairly wimpy-size trunk ($24,400.)

1965 Ford Mustang: Mint-condition convertible on loan from the Henry Ford in Dearborn, may just be part of Ford's Mustang exhibit. But its clean lines promise a wind-in-your-hair road trip transporting you all the way back to the '60s. (Priceless.)


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Original headline: Top 10 coolest road trip vehicles you'll see at the Detroit Auto Show

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