Shoppers Choose Best New 2007 Road Trip Vehicles on kbb.com
Editors of Kelley Blue Book's kbb.com Choose 10 Great New Road Trip Cars, Shoppers Rank Top Choices
With Memorial Day officially kicking off the summer driving season, a record numbers of travelers will be hitting the road this year. According to AAA, approximately 38.3 million people are expected to travel during the holiday weekend, making it the busiest travel weekend in U.S. history. As a result, the road test editors of Kelley Blue Book's kbb.com chose 10 new vehicles well-suited for road trips and then asked shoppers which of these vehicles they would most like to take on the road this summer. The results have been tallied and consumer rankings are listed in the chart below. Additional information can also be found at www.kbb.com/roadtrip2007:
Kbb.com's 10 Best New Road Trip Vehicles for 2007 Rank Vehicle 1 Jaguar XKR Convertible 2 BMW 3-Series Convertible 3 Chevrolet Suburban 4 Dodge Charger SRT8 5 Mercedes-Benz E320 BLUETEC® 6 GMC Acadia 7 Land Rover LR3 8 Ford Edge 9 MINI Cooper 10 Mazda MX-5 Miata Convertible Hardtop
Kelley Blue Book's "Best Road Trip Vehicle" survey was administered by Kelley
Blue Book Marketing Research via the Internet on kbb.com to more than 700 participants on April 20-27, 2007.
This year's top spots are taken by two convertibles, two sedans and one SUV -- Jaguar's latest performance-oriented coupe, the XKR Convertible; BMW's newest drop top, the 3-Series Convertible; family-hauling and towing favorite Chevrolet Suburban; Dodge's performance sedan, the Charger SRT8; and Mercedes-Benz's E320 BLUETEC featuring the latest state-of-the-art clean diesel technology.
"In choosing our list, we wanted to include a vehicle for every journey -- from weekend jaunts of one or two people, to week-long escapades that involve one or two entire families and maybe a dog and a boat," said Jack R. Nerad, executive editorial director and executive market analyst for Kelley Blue Book and kbb.com. "Our selection criteria included all the tangible and intangible need-to-have attributes such as driving enjoyment, passenger comfort, fuel economy and cargo space."
Kbb.com Editors' Comments on Each Vehicle:
Jaguar XKR Convertible -- When your itinerary includes a stop at the kind of ritzy resort in which a highly desirable Jaguar XK Convertible merely blends into the scenery, you can one-up the other guests by opting for the sportier and more exclusive XKR Convertible. The same sexy sheetmetal found on the XK is adorned with sportier accoutrements that reflect the 420-horsepower supercharged V8 and livelier suspension underneath.
BMW 3-Series Convertible -- With a retractable hardtop and available twin-turbo engine -- two big firsts in the celebrated history of the 3 Series -- BMW's newest drop top is better suited than ever for the varying demands of a long journey. The turbo engine generates 300 horsepower, the roof retracts in 22 seconds and the whole thing screams "long weekend."
Chevrolet Suburban -- For really big road trips, the strapping Suburban is the hauler of choice. Load it up with nine people, and Chevy's family-style workhorse still has room for 45.8 cubic feet of gear. Combine that kind of space with a maximum towing capacity of 9,700 pounds and you've got a vehicle that can do the work of three.
Dodge Charger SRT8 -- An eye-catching 425-horsepower muscle car that's also a comfortable long-haul sedan, the Dodge Charger SRT8 is a road trip car that everyone can agree on. The kicker is the available rear-seat DVD entertainment system -- an invaluable companion on family road trips and a feature not offered on most sedans.
Mercedes-Benz E320 Bluetec -- How do you top a German touring sedan for traveling long distances in style and comfort? The answer: a German touring sedan that returns 35 mpg, that's how. The E320 Bluetec is powered by a state-of-the-art clean diesel powerplant that produces prodigious amounts of torque without the shake, rattle, emissions and smell that characterized last century's diesels.
GMC Acadia -- A three-row troop transport that's more stylish than a minivan and more efficient than a full-size SUV, the GMC Acadia is attractive and comfortable inside and has excellent road manners to boot. Along with its cousins -- the Saturn Outlook, forthcoming Buick Enclave and a yet unnamed Chevrolet version -- we expect the Acadia to become a common sight on road trips around the country.
Land Rover LR3 -- The stylish and capable Land Rover LR3 is equally appropriate for a night on the town or a week in the desert. For a road trip that promises to involve aspects of both, Land Rover's middle child is uniquely qualified, thanks to a list of features that range from the sophisticated dial-a-surface Terrain Response system to three sunroofs.
Ford Edge -- Ford's all-new crossover SUV delivers sedan-like quiet and comfort but with a roomier backseat and a more versatile cargo area. Attractive exterior styling provides parking-lot panache, while an available panoramic sunroof lets even backseat passengers while away the miles finding faces in the clouds.
MINI Cooper -- Even though the redesigned 2007 MINI Cooper is both larger and more powerful than its predecessor, highway fuel economy has actually increased from 35 to 40 mpg. Combined with a newly improved highway ride, the latest MINI Cooper makes a pleasant companion on straight stretches, in twisty canyons and at thieving gas pumps.
Mazda MX-5 Hardtop Convertible -- The newest MX-5 takes the classic roadster formula and, at the push of a button, adds the comfort and security of a coupe. Compared with the MX-5's traditional cloth top, the new-for-2007 power retractable hardtop adds fewer than 100 pounds and folds away with no impact on trunk space. Highway fuel economy of 30 mpg only adds to the appeal.
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