Car Buyers Pick Best Road Trip Vehicle

Editors of Kelley Blue Book Choose 10 Great New Cars for Summer Road Trip and Drivers Rank Them

IRVINE, Calif.

Memorial Day weekend kicks off the summer vacation season and AAA is expecting an increase in road trips this year despite record high gas prices. With that in mind, the road savvy editors at Kelley Blue Book picked 10 great new vehicles for a summer road trip and then asked nearly 6,000 new car buyers which of the 10 they would most like to take a road trip in this summer. Here is what they said:

   Kelley Blue Book Editor's Picks for Great Road Trip Vehicles Ranked
                              by Car Buyers

  Rank               Choice                          Percentage
   1             2004 Chevy Tahoe                        22%
   2             2004 Lincoln Navigator                  21%
   3             2004 Lexus LS430                        17%
   4             2004 Mercedes E-Class                   11%
   5             2004 Dodge Magnum                        8%
   6             2004 Toyota Sienna                       6%
   7             2004 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Wagon          5%
   8             2004 Hyundai XG350L                      4%
   9             2004 Subaru Outback                      4%
   10            2004 Mazda 3 5-door                      3%

Regardless of gas prices, car buyers may be looking for size and comfort for their 2004 summer road trip as they overwhelmingly pick large SUVs. The Chevy Tahoe and the Lincoln Navigator top the list garnering almost half of the votes. Just below large SUVs, summer travelers look to ride in the lap of luxury picking the Lexus LS 430 and the Mercedes E-Class as other top choices for the road this summer.

Kelley Blue Book Editor's Comments on Each Vehicle:

Chevrolet Tahoe -- This workhorse has a third row seat, available 4-wheel drive and big towing capacity. The OnStar system and XM Satellite Radio will keep you secure and constantly entertained. Bring all the toys and the kids too.

Dodge Magnum -- This is not your mom's station wagon. It's a family hauler and muscle car all in one. 340 horsepower and satellite radio means everyone can be happy, if not all at the same time. Be prepared for crowds of the curious at every stop along the way.

Hyundai XG 350L -- Comfort for four with a nice amount of trunk space. This car has a lot of luxury, convenience and travel features in an affordable package.

Lexus LS 430 -- 10 and 14 way adjustable climate controlled seats means this car will fit you like a glove. Add in laser cruise control, navigation system and a Mark Levinson audio and this luxury car could take your family of four a trip you'll never want to end.

Lincoln Navigator -- With room for six and features such as heated and cooled seats, rear air, DVD entertainment and navigation systems, its perfect for keeping a large family comfortable and occupied during long and short road trips.

Mazda3 5-door -- Stylish European looks and handling. This car is available with a navigation system and MP3 player. Lots of bang for the buck makes this a great car for the young family of four with small children.

Mercedes Benz E-class -- Elegance and fuel economy (if you opt for the diesel engine). With the available navigation system and all wheel drive, you won't get stuck or lost when you and three others hot the road this summer.

Subaru Outback -- This newly designed Outback is a combination of rugged Subaru design and attractive interior. Combine the all wheel drive with stability control and you get a vehicle that is capable of handling any road condition. Hedge your bets with the available OnStar and go anywhere with confidence. Every trip is an adventure in this car.

Toyota Sienna -- Fresh design and Toyota reliability. Dual power sliding doors, room for seven, available navigation and DVD entertainment systems makes this an excellent choice for loading the troops in and out quickly and keeping them occupied along the way.

VW Jetta TDI Wagon -- Fuel economy and enough power to haul four people and lots of luggage in comfort. A decent stereo and available OnStar keeps you connected to the outside world.

Criteria for the 10 Great Road Trip Vehicles include models currently on the road and available at local dealerships, priced under $75,000 and have the ability to carry a minimum of four passengers. Most of the features mentioned in the above vehicle descriptions are optional equipment offered by the manufacturer and can enhance the driving experience. The Volkswagen Jetta TDI Wagon is not available in all 50 states. For more information on these vehicles, optional equipment, dealer invoice pricing and transaction pricing, please visit

About Kelley Blue Book (

Kelley Blue Book is the most trusted vehicle information resource by both consumers and the auto industry, providing research tools and up-to-date pricing on thousands of new and used vehicles, including the company's New Car Blue Book Value, which reveals what a new car is actually selling for. Since 1926, car buyers and sellers have relied upon Kelley Blue Book for authoritative and unbiased information to make well-informed automotive decisions. The company reports vehicle prices and values via products and services including the famous Blue Book Official Guide™, software and Internet site, has been rated the No. 1 automotive information site by Nielsen//NetRatings and No. 1 and first visited automotive site by J.D. Power and Associates five years running. No other medium reaches more in-market car-buyers than; one in every four American car-buyers complete their research on

SOURCE: Kelley Blue Book

CONTACT: Robyn Eckard of Kelley Blue Book, +1-949-268-3049,

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