By Alexi Falson, 16 May, 2022
15 Best Cars for Camping and Road Trips in Australia
AF By March 03, 2022
It’s no secret that Australians are some of the world’s biggest lovers of the Great Outdoors, nor is it a secret that having your hands on the right vehicle for a long-distance holiday road trip or camping adventure can make or break the experience as a whole.
That’s why we’re going to be covering some of the best cars for camping and road trips that you’ll find on the market here in Australia, so you’ve got all the options at your disposal to make an informed, specific purchase.
Our list features a mix of wagons, SUVs and even family-movers to ensure that all aspects of your needs for camping and road trips in Australia are completely covered, so with that in mind, let’s talk about the best vehicles for long-distance road trips and camping adventures.
The Subaru Outback has become a bit of a cult classic when it comes to road trips and camping adventures, thanks to its rugged underpinnings and adventure-ready platform.
The wagon body means you won’t have a problem fitting your family, and their belongings, into the cabin, while the driving experience remains comfortable and supportive thanks to Subaru’s symmetrical all-wheel drive platform.
2. Isuzu MU-X
Isuzu’s MU-X has stormed the sales charts in recent years, combining exceptional value-for-money with a rugged and family-friendly platform that makes it perfect for long road trips and camping trips alike.
The MU-X strikes an impressive balance between occupant comfort while driving long distances with a rugged platform that can conquer some serious off-road driving. For large families, the MU-X offers seven-seats, a heap of entertainment and safety technology, with 3,500kg of braked towing capacity for those looking to escape with a caravan.
3. Kia Carnival
For those looking to get out and about for long distance trips, but are planning on sticking to the tarmac, the Kia Carnival is an absolutely wonderful family car that will keep everyone, from the first row of seats all the way to the third row nice and comfortable.
In its most recent generation, the Carnival has become more striking and premium than ever before, receiving more than a handful of entertainment and safety features, with a flexible cabin design that is one of the most family-friendly platforms you’ll find on the market.
If you have a large family and you’re planning on some long distance touring in the near future, make sure the Kia Carnival has a spot on your shortlist.
If you’re looking for an adventure-ready 4x4 that can well-and-truly take the fight to the almighty Toyota LandCruiser, the Nissan Patrol is the answer to your prayers. Combining a hardcore off-road platform with family-friendly and even luxurious creature comforts, the latest Nissan Patrol is an exceptionally well-engineered piece of machinery that is ready to take you and your family off the beaten trail.
Mitsubishi’s Outlander has received a significant upgrade in recent months, adding more style and equipment to the family-favourite SUV than ever before. There’s a sleek new styling package, with a redesigned interior that offers a significantly upgraded and premium cabin filled with entertainment and safety features.
Best of all, the Outlander receives Mitsubishi’s class-leading ownership program with ten-years of warranty coverage and capped-price servicing.
6. Ford Everest
Available in both five and seven-seat configurations, the Ford Everest is an SUV that doesn’t shy away from family duties during the week, and absolutely loves to stretch its legs for a weekend away or long holiday road trips.
Combining a rugged 4x4 platform that is ready to head off-road with impressive towing capacities, the Everest range is a great option for those looking to strike a healthy balance between smooth, comfortable and feature-packed driving while maintaining its adventurous spirit.
With its futuristic looks, you might think that the all-new Hyundai Staria is more style over substance when it comes to long distance journeys for your family. Thankfully, though, Hyundai has designed an absolute weapon when it comes to comfortably transporting eight people, while retaining a towing capacity of up to 2,500kg.
With a high-tech cockpit and acres of space inside, the Staria is a great option for growing families and will surely prove a smash hit on your first long distance road trip.
The LandCruiser is perhaps Australia’s favourite car when it comes to off-road driving, weekend adventures and endless camping potential. It rides on one of the most hardcore yet reliable platforms, and in its latest generation, receives a powerful turbo-diesel engine kicking out 700Nm of torque, which means it can conquer pretty much any terrain that you’re brave enough to pilot it over.
Inside, there’s a heap of new entertainment and safety equipment on offer in the latest 300 Series, with massive amounts of space for your kids and even a great platform for your own self-sustained camping conversion. When it comes to the adventurous potential of the latest LandCruiser, the sky is well-and-truly the limit.
9. Mazda CX-9
Mazda’s CX-9 SUV can be optioned in a six or seven-seat configuration, giving large families the chance to travel in comfort and style in its latest generation. Packed with one of the most handsome interiors you’ll find for the money, Mazda has created one of the most comfortable family tourers with the latest CX-9, and makes the journey not only more relaxing, but more refined for the driver, too.
With a heap of boot space and flexible interior design, the CX-9 is ready for the challenge of your next family road trip.
Mitsubishi’s latest Pajero Sport proves that the company’s iconic off-road platform can look good, too. Powered by a beefy turbo-diesel engine paired with a slick eight-speed transmission, the Pajero Sport lineup offers an incredibly comfortable platform for long-distance touring, and comes packed with more than enough grunt to pull heavy caravans.
Better still, it can be optioned in a choice of five and seven-seat configurations, so you can pick a Pajero Sport tailored to your family’s size and needs.
The latest generation Land Rover Defender is the end result of more than 70-years of off-road experience from a company that isn’t afraid to get down and dirty in the mud. In recent years, the Defender has become exceptionally refined, featuring a luxurious cabin and comfortable suspension package that makes long distance journeys feel as though you’re floating on a cloud.
Thankfully, all this luxury hasn’t come at the cost of off-road performance, with the Land Rover Defender very much retaining its pulling power and off-road abilities in spite of the added sophistication.
12. Subaru XV
For those that might be looking to escape the grind of the city, but retain a relatively compact package, the Subaru XV is the answer to your prayers. Pairing Subaru’s all-wheel drive stability, in a compact package based on the iconic Impreza, the Subaru XV offers buyers a heap of flexibility and confidence when heading into the Great Outdoors, without the need of opting for a large SUV.
13. Ford Ranger
Another fan-favourite with Australian buyers, the Ford Ranger is a great option when it comes to towing caravans, boats and pretty much anything that you can throw at it. The Ranger rides on a rugged chassis and suspension combination that makes off-road driving a reality, and irons out the small bumps that frequent on Australian roads, making long distance trips more comfortable for you and the family.
Better still, the Ranger is due for a major overhaul in 2022, so if you’ve been looking to upgrade ahead of your camping or road trip plans, this year could be the perfect time.
14. Hyundai Santa Fe
Hyundai’s Santa Fe is an extremely impressive car when you consider just how adaptable the platform is. It excels on school runs and trips around town, while remaining comfortable and confidence-inspiring on long road trips. Hyundai actually tests and revises its suspension systems specifically for Australian roads, which makes it a great and proven platform for long distance touring.
Hyundai’s clever interior design can comfortably fit seven people, and thanks to the company’s generous equipment lists, there’s a heap of entertainment and safety features available at competitive prices.
The final entrant to our list is the Toyota LandCruiser Prado, which remains one of the leading options when it comes to family-friendly driving around town, towing power on long distance holiday trips, and immense off-road performance.
With a range of five and seven seat options, choices of petrol and turbo-diesel power, and the confidence of Toyota’s ownership program under your sleeve, the Prado offers buyers the confidence of its proven platform, and remains one of the best selling camping and adventure vehicles in Australia for a good reason… it’s just that good.
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