The great outdoors is a wonderful place to explore, but there are many types of adventurers. Some need a car that can go off-road and power through mud, while others need one that can haul their camping gear or mountain bikes.
The right vehicle for you depends on the type of outdoor lifestyle you lead. Here is an overview of some important features to consider when searching for your next adventure vehicle:
What do you plan on transporting? If it’s simply your hiking boots and a tent, maybe the cargo space of the car itself isn’t too important to you. But if you like to head up to the mountains for some snowboarding or mountain biking with friends, then extra storage should be high on your list of requirements.
Off-road driving, especially off-pavement driving, requires a vehicle with powerful four-wheel drive. Having extra storage space to house all your gear will be beneficial even if you never leave the road. If you plan to take your car onto more challenging terrain, make sure there is enough cargo space for everything you might bring along.
What are you planning on towing? A camper or kayak will require a more powerful vehicle with higher towing capacity. Generally speaking, car weight should be more than 3,000 pounds for it to be able to tow the average-sized camping trailer. If you plan on strapping your canoe onto the roof of your car, you’ll need something with a higher towing capacity than that.
Four-wheel drive is also crucial for towing. Even if you’re only taking your canoe out on the weekends, having a four-wheel drive will give you peace of mind if an unexpected rainstorm sends streams rushing over the road where you are headed. As always, make sure your car has the correct towing capacity for what you are planning on towing.
How comfortable do you need your adventure vehicle to be? This is especially important if you plan to make long stretches of road trips or sit in traffic out of town. If you just want a car that can handle off-roading once in a while, you’ll probably be okay without the bells and whistles. But if comfort is important to you, many great adventure-ready cars will be pleasant to drive throughout your entire journey.
Cars with adjustable seating systems can provide additional legroom or allow you to recline at night when you’re taking a quick stop to camp out. Premium leather seating is nice to have on any road trip, but if you are planning on spending a lot of time in your vehicle, it’s something that should be at the top of your list.
What’s your budget? The price of an adventure-ready car will depend largely on the types of features you are looking for, but you should expect to pay more if you will be using your vehicle on rougher terrain or away from main highways. You’ll also need to consider the cost of any additional equipment that may be necessary for specific activities like snowboarding.
If you’re not sure how much you’re willing to spend, you can also purchase a used or second-hand vehicle for these types of adventures. To be on the safe side, though, have the car checked by professionals who offer vehicle title verification services in several states. This way, you can make sure the car is not a stolen vehicle and that it has no debts attached to it.
Will you be driving long distances? If so, fuel efficiency may play an important role for you. Many of the best adventure cars are also high-performing sports cars, which means they can burn through a lot of fuel. When choosing between two great adventure vehicles with similar performance metrics, go for the one that gets better mileage per gallon.
Weight distribution also plays a vital role in fuel efficiency. Cars with a rear-wheel drive will get better gas mileage than front-wheel or all-wheel drives because the car’s weight is distributed more evenly, which means less power is required to move it forward.
What other green features are important to you? If saving resources is a priority for you, stay away from the bigger vehicles. There are plenty of lightweight adventure cars which run on fuel and electric power. Electric sports cars can be charged by solar panels or at charging stations with an auxiliary plug.
But even if you don’t care about eco-friendliness, you’ll want to make sure the car is either A/C or heated. It gets pretty hot in the sun while you are hiking up a mountain or after hours of snowboarding. Also, this comes into play when winter begins and the snow starts falling.
These are just a few of the ways you can find adventure cars that will suit your needs. There is no one-size-fits-all option when it comes to these types of vehicles, so consider how much time you want to spend in your car and if any specific type of terrain commonly associated with outdoor activities may come into play for you.