The 5 Best Road Trip Cars for Under $33,000

With summer fast approaching, road trips are definitely going to be on most people’s bucket lists this summer. Price shouldn’t deter you from going on an adventure so we’ve listed down the most affordable cars (all under $33,000) you can take on your next long drive.

OpenRoad's favourite summer driving routes

It’s summertime, and the driving is scenic. Well, if you head out of town, anyways. Do yourself a favour and find a weekend or day off to escape the city’s road closures, construction and rush hour traffic by enjoying one of the many roads beautiful B.C. has to offer. Pick a car, pack some snacks and don’t forget your favourite playlist. Here’s OpenRoad’s three favourite summer driving routes:
 

Lougheed Highway    

If you’re thinking about the parts of the Lougheed Highway that touch Vancouver, Burnaby and Coquitlam, then it’s really not that exciting. But follow the more than 100 kilometres of pavement and it will take you through the municipalities of Kent, Mission and eventually Hope. During the cruise you will be rewarded with views of the Fraser River, rolling hills and greenery as far as the eye can see.

West Coast Road

This one requires a trip on the BC Ferries, but it’s worth it. After you arrive at the Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal on Vancouver Island, take Highway 17, also known as the Patricia Bay Highway, for roughly 30 kilometres and get off at exit 7 towards McKenzie Ave. Follow exit 14 towards Sooke that eventually turns into West Coast Road. If you like twists and turns, this is the drive for you. Running parallel to the majestic Strait of Juan de Fuca, West Coast Road intersects several natural sightseeing spots like Jordan River and French Beach. Stop in the rustic community of Port Renfrew for a coffee or meal.

Highway 1

As is the case with Lougheed, the stretch of Highway 1 in the Lower Mainland isn’t much to write home about. Go eastbound and that’s another story. I recently did this exact drive and the closer you get to Golden, the more spectacular the scenery becomes (i.e the Rocky Mountains). If you aren’t in a rush, pay a visit to some of the towns along the way including Kamloops, Salmon Arm and Revelstoke to get a taste of just how different other parts of B.C. can be.

Is your car road trip ready?

Before you head out on the road, make sure your vehicle is ready for those summer roads.

Summer Tires

Ensuring you are driving with summer tires is important; their base rubber compound is softer than all-seasons and not only helps you grip the road better, but improves fuel economy as well.

Tire Pressure

Checking your tires is especially important in the summer, especially when your car is packed to the max with fuel and supplies for road trips. Don’t forget to check your spare tire’s condition as well!

Top-up Fluids

Check your car’s oil and coolant levels. If you have not changed your coolant in the last three years, now is probably the time to do it. Over time, dirt and other engine contaminants can build up in the fluid rendering it less effective.

Wash & Wax

Washing and waxing your car has other benefits aside from aesthetics. With summer weather comes bugs and splatter, which is both unsightly and acidic. Left unprotected and unwashed, the acid will eat through your car’s paint in the summer heat. Washing and waxing your car before a road trip protects adds some extra protection before you hit the highway.
 

Need help getting your car ready for summer driving? We’re here for you at every turn. Book a service appointment with an OpenRoad Service Advisor today. Earn 15% back in points every time you service your vehicle at any OpenRoad store as a Club OpenRoad member. Learn more about Club OpenRoad here.

Top three cars for new graduates

For many, the end of June not only marks the official start of summer, but also school graduation. Whether you are a former student shopping for that first brand new, affordable set of wheels or a parent looking for a safe and economical vehicle to gift a child, there is no shortage of fantastic products on the market to suit every need. We’ve rounded up three of our favourites here.

2018 honda fit sport

2018 Honda Fit Sport (starting at $20,890)

The third-generation Honda Fit was given a major overhaul this year, highlighted by the addition of a Sport trim. The special model has some exterior garnishes such as an orange-frosted splitter underneath the nose of the car, side skirts and a rear bumper diffuser, as well as 16-inch gloss black wheels. The cabin is draped in all-black interior with orange stitching.

Both fun to drive manual and efficient CVT (automatic) transmissions are offered, the latter bundling the Honda Sensing suite of collision mitigation and driver assistance technologies.

Honda Canada’s Graduate Program helps recent graduates lease a car with little to no credit history. Read more about their program here and contact OpenRoad Honda for details.

2018 Toyota Prius c

2018 Toyota Prius c ($23,960)

The smallest hybrid in the Toyota lineup gets some fresh duds for 2018. Designers have changed up the front and rear fascias leaving the hatchback looking its sportiest since being introduced in 2012. The headlamps are more contoured, black aero strakes surround the foglamps and an installed lower front spoiler and hatch wing promote better airflow.

Interior pieces like the instrument panel, air conditioning controls and steering wheel have been updated as well. A backup camera is now standard making reversing a much more easier and hazard-free affair. Under the hood, the familiar Hybrid Synergy Drive continues to provide a stellar 5.1 L/100 km fuel economy rating. All Prius c’s receive the Toyota Safety Sense package encompassing lane departure warning, automatic high beams and more.

Toyota Canada offers special incentives to recent grads with their Graduate Program. Contact OpenRoad Toyota to learn more.

2018 Volkswagen e-Golf

2018 Volkswagen e-Golf (38,125)

How do you make the already great VW Golf even greater? By making it completely electric (say farewell to costly gas bills!). The EV version of the popular compact finally arrived in Canada in 2017 and boasts a high-capacity 35.8 kilowatt-hour lithium ion battery, allowing a maximum travel distance of up to 200 kilometres on a single charge.

The e-Golf — which is eligible for the B.C. Clean Energy Vehicle $5,000 rebate — features the same styling changes found on the gasoline variants, for example LED lighting, revised bumpers and an upgraded infotainment system, and each one is equipped with Volkswagen’s Park Distance Control. Also known as ParkPilot, the technology uses ultrasonic sensors mounted in the bumpers to monitor an area up to five feet in each direction, and issues audible and visual alerts when approaching an object while manoeuvring at speeds of 15 km/h or less.

Volkswagen Canada offers rebates to recent graduates, learn more here and contact OpenRoad VW for details.

Club OpenRoad

Did you know Club OpenRoad members are able to transfer their points to other people in their family who are vehicle shopping? Points can be redeemed for discounts of up to $2,500 off a purchase across 16 new car brands or 500-plus used cars. Check your current balance at clubopenroad.ca.

Not a member yet? Anyone can join and there is no fee. Earn 15 per cent back anytime your vehicle is serviced at any OpenRoad dealership. Other perks include exclusive invites to launch events, driving clinics, and free parking at Grouse Mountain.

To enroll, simply visit an OpenRoad location, call 1-800-859-9820 or visit us online at clubopenroad.ca.