(BPT) - Spring is a great time for a road trip, whether that’s a family getaway during a school break or a solo escape to take in the beauty of nature after a long, cold winter. According to Driving Route 66, April marks the start of the best times of year to experience the open road — in fact, the spring season may even bring fewer crowds and help travelers avoid intense summer heat.
When preparing for a road trip, many consider what to pack, where to stop and the playlist to accompany the drive. But what about the vehicle? According to data from Hankook Tire’s latest Gauge Index, Americans have quite a few opinions about their road trip vehicles.
Fuel efficiency is key.
According to the latest survey, when deciding which vehicle to take on a road trip, Americans consider fuel efficiency (30%), comfort or size of the vehicle (23%) and whether the vehicle is up to date on maintenance. As gas prices continue to fluctuate, driving a vehicle that makes the most of its mileage could not only add some peace of mind, but also a few extra dollars to the road trip “fun” fund.
Gas-powered vehicles still win out over EVs.
Though drivers are mindful of the fuel economy of the vehicle they choose, nearly two-thirds (63%) still prefer to take a gas-powered vehicle on a road trip over an electric or hybrid vehicle. Ease of fueling could be a factor here, as Hankook found that 23% of those who are generally not comfortable driving an EV cite concern over finding somewhere to charge the vehicle as the primary reason why.
Pro tip: If you are planning to take an electric vehicle on a long-distance road trip, map out the route before you get behind the wheel. Consider your vehicle’s typical range to ensure an adequate charge throughout your journey.
SUVs take the top spot for style.
When asked which style of vehicle they would most prefer to take on a road trip, SUVs came in first place with 48% of the vote. In fact, nearly twice as many drivers picked an SUV over the runner-up, a sedan (25%). Hankook found younger drivers, however, are more likely to branch out when it comes to body style, as 17% of Gen Z would seek out the thrill of a sports car, compared to 7% overall.
In the end, the vehicle that will make the most out of your spring road trip will be the one that offers you and your passengers the best ride — whether that is a spacious SUV with plenty of room to stash luggage and road trip snacks, or a compact, fuel-efficient sports car to experience those winding roads to the fullest. No matter which vehicle fits your needs best, remember to conduct a full maintenance check, including a quick tire test, before heading out to avoid any unexpected bumps in the road.
Did you know? If you expect to encounter rain on your spring road trip, definitely watch out for those bumps in the road. Spring is when most potholes develop, and Hankook found that nearly two-thirds (62%) of drivers say those have gotten worse in the last year!