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Survey: Top 10 road trip cars
Kelley Blue Book picked the wheels and asked readers to vote.
May 24, 2005: 12:19 PM EDT
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NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Gasoline prices? Who cares. We want to get where we're going, we want to get there fast and we want get there comfy.

That's the message from the editors at Kelley Blue Book when it comes to picking the "Best Road Trip Cars" for 2005. They chose the 10 cars then asked the Web site's readers to select their favorites from among them.

Only one hybrid made the list, the Lexus 400h, coming in at number five. The lone small car on the list, the MINI Cooper convertible, landed at number 10, with just four percent of readers' votes. Otherwise, roominess and speed seem to be the dominating concerns.

Here are the cars, in order of their popularity with readers. For pictures and details, just click on the links.

1. Chevrolet Corvette convertible -- If you don't plan on bringing more than one friend, the new Corvette is quick, easy to drive and comfortable. Its 400-horsepower engine gets 28 miles per gallon on the highway, which isn't bad for a car of this caliber. Those estimates don't take top-down driving into account, though.

2. Chevrolet Suburban -- Big SUVs seem to be declining in popularity as more efficient -- and easier to handle -- small SUVs and crossovers are gaining. But if you're on a long trip, there's plenty of room for you and a small crowd of friends to stretch out in a Suburban.

3: Chrysler 300 SRT8 -- With its 340 horsepower 5.7 liter V-8 engine Chrysler 300 C is a very fast car. A few changes to that engine -- including boring out the cylinders to make them larger -- yields the 6.0 liter, 425 horsepower engine in the 300 SRT8. A long highway cruise doesn't seem like the ideal format in which to enjoy rib-crushing acceleration, but you can take lots of leg-stretcher breaks and hit the on-ramps hard.

4: Honda Odyssey -- Roomy, fuel efficient, good handling and with sophisticated entertainment options and an outstanding navigation system, the Odyssey should be a good friend to have on a long, open road.

5: Lexus RX 400h -- Take a really good Lexus SUV and add hybrid technology that makes it both more fuel-efficient and a bit more powerful. As with other hybrids, steady highway driving isn't where you'll get the biggest efficiency gains, though. But you'll still be cruising on the cutting edge of automotive technology.

6: Land Rover LR3 -- If your trip takes you off the highway -- way off -- the LR3 has everything you'll need. Yes, it's cushy and comfortable inside, an easy place to spend a long drive. But this is still serious off-road machine that can climb rocks like a mountain goat.

7: BMW 530xi -- The good old station wagon has been enjoying a resurgence lately, but these aren't the Vista Cruisers our grandparents drove to Disney. Cars like BMW 530xi can handle a family, its luggage and tight turns all at the same time.

8: Mazda RX-8 -- The successor to Mazda's great RX-7 rotary-engined sports cars has something that one didn't have: a back seat. While it doesn't exactly provide luxury accommodations, you have the option of carrying more than one riding buddy. And you still get the fun of a real sports car.

9: Volkswagen Phaeton -- Yes, it's the priciest "people's car" ever, but with an optional 12-cylinder, 420 horsepower engine, the Phaeton will let you travel in "let them eat cake" style.

10: MINI Cooper Convertible -- Feel the breeze in Euro-style in a car that's fun friend in its own right. And you'll save enough money on gas to stay in some nicer motels.  Top of page


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