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

With summer fast approaching and the freedom of traveling again draws closer each day, 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.

What makes a car an ideal road trip vehicle? There are three factors to look for:

  • Seating Capacity & Comfort –Not only is ample seating a must, but it’s also good to note how comfortable a long ride will be and if there is enough legroom for everyone.
  • Fuel Efficiency – Gas is not cheap. It’s important to consider how many kilometers per liter (KML) a car can get especially during highway driving.
  • Cargo Space – Lastly, long drives require a good amount of clothing, food, and emergency items. Having the space to pack all these is a huge factor in any road trip vehicle.

Whether you’re driving up near the mountains for a long weekend hike or driving down to another city for a sightseeing adventure, here are 5 best road trip cars for under $33,000:


2021 Subaru Outback

MSRP: Starting from $30,995

2021 Subaru OutbackImage from

Seating Capacity: 5 passengers
Fuel Efficiency: 9 City / 7 Hwy / 8 Avg
Cargo Space: 920 L (min.)

The ultimate road trip brand, Subaru, is known for creating vehicles specially designed for long drives and off-roading adventures. The classic Outback is not only comfortable and fuel-efficient, but with the all-wheel-drive transmission, it can withstand almost any type of weather condition.


2021 Honda CR-V

MSRP: Starting from $32,265

2021 Honda CR-VImage from

Seating Capacity: 5 passengers
Fuel Efficiency: 8 City / 7 Hwy / 7.5 Avg
Cargo Space: 1,110 L (min.)

With the Honda CR-V, you get a combination of a practical yet fun-to-drive SUV. Known as the “jack-of-all-trades” of cars, the CR-V can easily go from being your daily driver to your ultimate road trip companion. The cargo space alone trumps anything else on this list!


2021 Toyota RAV4

MSRP: Starting from $28,590

2021 Toyota RAV4Image from

Seating Capacity: 5 passengers
Fuel Efficiency: 9 City / 7 Hwy / 8 Avg
Cargo Space: 1,059 L (min.)

Toyota RAV4 is one of the most well-rounded vehicles you can drive. You have options to go even more fuel-efficient by choosing a hybrid or a plug-in hybrid. There is also a TRD upgrade specially customized for off-roading. Whatever kind of RAV4 you choose, it’s always complete with intuitive connected technologies to guide your next trip.


2021 Mazda CX-5

MSRP: Starting from $30,681

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Seating Capacity: 5 passengers
Fuel Efficiency: 10 City / 8 Hwy / 9 Avg
Cargo Space: 875 L (min.)

For those who want a little bit of sophistication to their drive, the Mazda CX-5 is just the ride. It’s a great option if you’re looking for a no-fuss SUV that can deliver hours of performance. The powerful engine and premium interiors are why Mazda vehicles have a reputation for being dependable and luxurious at the same time for an affordable price.


2021 Volkswagen Golf

MSRP: Starting from $22,995

2021 VW GolfImage from

Seating Capacity: 5 passengers
Fuel Efficiency: 8 City / 7 Hwy / 7.5 Avg
Cargo Space: 645 L (min.)

Sometimes you don’t want to sit in an SUV or a crossover. If you’re eying a sportier and more compact car that still checks all the boxes, then a Volkswagen Golf is the perfect hatchback for those long drives. The Golf is made for those smaller, more intimate trips; but still gives everyone (and your luggage) enough room.


To inquire about any of the vehicles listed for your next road trip, please contact your local OpenRoad dealership.

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Posted by Lia Ortiz

Lia Ortiz has been in the automotive industry for 5 years. Starting out as a public relations and events coordinator for Honda Philippines, she then moved to Vancouver and has worked as a Digital Marketing Strategist for OpenRoad Auto Group. She specializes in SEO, SEM, and Social Media Advertising (with a little bit of writing on the side).