QOTD: Road Trip Wheels

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy
qotd road trip wheels

Today marks the start of that nebulous week in which the Fourth of July lands on a Thursday. A good many people will pretend to do some semblance of work today. Goof off on the second, then pack it in early on the third. Friday? Just make sure not to buy a car with a build date of 7/5/2019 is all I’m saying.

We’re giving you a fictional budget of $30,000 with which to buy a new rig to take on this weekend’s road trip. Be sure to consider fuel mileage, fun, and family before signing on the imaginary dotted line, mmmkay?

Know this about today’s question as well: you can miss the mark a little bit if you’re confident in your negotiating skills or there’s proof if significant cash on the hood. My pick, for example, is the 2019 Dodge Durango SXT, a machine which retails for just over thirty grand yet is advertised by FCA itself as under $30,000. Alert readers will remember this pick from a different QOTD last year.

It can carry the whole family and their gear, plus it looks aggro enough for my annoyingly extroverted tastes (yet I chose the color purple; go figure). The base Durango and has a raft of snazzy standard features like tri-zone climate control, so let’s all give a shout out to big-business economies of scale. That Pentastar V6 engine and rear-drive architecture will serve well into the next epoch, as well.

How about it? What’s your $30,000-ish pick for this weekend’s road trip?

[Images: FCA]

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2 of 42 comments
  • Gearhead77 Gearhead77 on Jul 02, 2019

    The Durango is an interesting idea, but for me, there is no better (new) distance cruiser than a minivan. More room, easier to get in and out of. Even the old "classic" Grand Caravan isn't terrible at long distance hauling, though the vocal rasp of the Pentastar is noticeable in the old vans, not so much the Pacifica. Put your phone in hotspot mode or buy a hotspot so everyone can use their devices and roll on. Or, if you're like me and have one child (or adult) who cannot look at screens heads down, buy a portable DVD or Blu Ray system. I use to rail against those systems, but the factory Blu Ray player in our Sienna helps to eliminate the "are we there yet" question. I don't know how my folks did it. My kids still notice things out the window too. Runner up would be the big FCA cars, the nod going to the more plush 300 series. But I've put miles on an SXT Charger rental and it excelled at it, even in V6 form. The V8 could be dangerous for me (and not found less than 30k) because I had a Ram V8 rental and it was effortless at moving, even into extra-legal speeds.

  • Teddyc73 Teddyc73 on Jul 08, 2019

    "aggro"? Good lord.

  • Bd2 Other way around.Giorgetto Giugiaro penned the Pony Coupe during the early 1970s and later used its wedge shape as the basis for the M1 and then the DMC-12.The 3G Supra was just one of many Japanese coupes to adopt the wedge shape (actually was one of the later ones).The Mitsubishi Starion, Nissan 300ZX, etc.
  • Tassos I also want one of the idiots who support the ban to explain to me how it will work.Suppose sometime (2035 or later) you cannot buy a new ICE vehicle in the UK.Q1: Will this lead to a ICE fleet resembling that of CUBA, with 100 year old '56 Chevys eventually? (in that case, just calculate the horrible extra pollution due to keeping 100 year old cars on the road)Q2: Will people be able to buy PARTS for their old cars FOREVER?Q3: Will people be allowed to jump across the Channel and buy a nice ICE in France, Germany (who makes the best cars anyway), or any place else that still sells them, and then use it in the UK?
  • Tassos Bans are ridiculous and undemocratic and smell of Middle Ages and the Inquisition. Even 2035 is hardly any better than 2030.The ALMIGHTY CONSUMER should decide, not... CARB, preferably WITHOUT the Government messing with the playing field.And if the usual clueless idiots read this and offer the tired "But Government subsidizes the oil industry too", will they EVER learn that those MINISCULE (compared to the TRILLIONS of $ size of this industry) subsidies were designed to help the SMALL Oil producers defend themselves against the "Big Oil" multinationals. Ask ANY major Oil co CEO and he will gladly tell you that you can take those tiny subsidies and shove them.
  • Dusterdude The suppliers can ask for concessions, but I wouldn’t hold my breath . With the UAW they are ultimately bound to negotiate with them. However, with suppliers , they could always find another supplier ( which in some cases would be difficult, but not impossible)
  • AMcA Phoenix. Awful. The roads are huge and wide, with dedicated lanes for turning, always. Requires no attention to what you're doing. The roads are idiot proofed, so all the idiots drive - they have no choice, because everything is so spread out.