Best Chevy Vehicles for Road Trips
As you hit the open road this summer, there’s a lot to consider when it comes to choosing the perfect vehicle to make your trip as efficient, comfortable, and memorable as possible. Chevrolet’s lineup is packed with vehicles that are ideal for road trips, including the Malibu, Bolt, Blazer, and Traverse.
Dare to Compare: Should you buy the Chevy Blazer or Equinox?
If fuel efficiency is on your road-trip priority list, check out the Chevy Malibu. With impressive fuel efficiency for a gas-powered sedan, confident handling, and plenty of rear legroom, it’s the perfect choice for heading across the state, or across the country.
The Malibu’s standard engine is a 1.5-liter turbo four-cylinder that produces 160 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. That motor is paired with a continuously variable transmission and rated by the EPA at 29 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway. Choosing the top-of-the-line Premium model gets you a 2.0-liter turbo engine paired to a nine-speed automatic transmission and good for 250 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. That powertrain is rated at 22 mpg city and 33 mpg highway.
In terms of space, the Malibu boasts 41.5 inches of front and 38.1 inches of rear legroom. The trunk has a volume capacity of 15.7 cubic feet, which is plenty if you’re heading for a weekend away or packing light for a longer trip.
Chevy offers the Malibu in five trims: L, LS, RS, LT, and Premier. Standard features on the L include a six-speaker audio system, 8-inch diagonal color touch screen with Chevrolet Infotainment 3 Plus, cruise control, and a rear vision camera. Moving up to the LS adds 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot capability, Chevy Teen Driver, and Buckle to Drive technology. The RS adds an eight-way power driver seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and a rear-seat armrest. LT models come with dual-zone automatic climate control, heated driver and front passenger seats, remote start, SiriusXM, and LED running lamps. Finally, choosing the Premier adds a six-way power front passenger seat, Bose premium nine-speaker audio system, driver memory system, HD rear vision camera, auto-dimming rearview mirror, leather-wrapped shift knob, and ventilated front seats.
If you want to save gas and be kind to Mother Nature while driving across the country, choose the Chevrolet Bolt. This fully electric vehicle boasts an EPA-estimated range of 259 miles on a full charge. Chevrolet also provides information on how to drive efficiently to get the most out of your charge, as well as pointing you to charging stations along your route, through the myChevrolet mobile app. Level 2 charging will get you about 39 miles per hour of charge, while DC fast charging will add up to 100 miles of range in about half an hour.
The electric Chevy Bolt provides plenty of space to store your stuff — up to 57 cubic feet with the rear seats folded. If you need to keep the rear seats up, you’ll have access to 16.6 cubic feet of cargo space. Leg room equals 44.2 inches in the front row and 36.01 inches in the second row.
The Bolt comes in two trim levels: 1LT and 2LT. The 1LT model comes with LED headlamps, an HD rear vision camera, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability, and Chevy Safety Assist. Upgrading to the 2LT model gets you leather seats, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, Rear Park Assist, and Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert.
The Chevy Blazer is a capable crossover that seats up to five and can tow up to 4,500 pounds when properly equipped. That makes it the perfect road trip vehicle for a small family who uses a lightweight RV or pop-up camper.
The standard engine on the 2021 Blazer is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder paired to a nine-speed automatic transmission. That powertrain pumps out 193 horsepower and 188 lb-ft of torque. There are also options for a 2.0-liter turbo engine (227 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque) and a 3.6-liter V6 (308 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque). When equipped with the 2.0-liter turbo engine and FWD, the Blazer has a maximum EPA-estimated fuel efficiency rating of 22 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway.
The Blazer is offered in six trim levels: L, 1LT, 2LT, 2LT, RS, and Premier. The L comes with 18-inch wheels and the Chevrolet Infotainment 3 system with an 8-inch diagonal color touch screen. Moving up the lineup, the 1LT offers available heated seats and extra safety tech. The 2LT can be configured with AWD and the Trailering Package. The 3LT has perforated leather-trimmed seats and standard Chevy Safety Assist features. RS models come with unique RS styling, 20-inch wheels, and black perforated leather seats with red accents. Finally, the range-topping Premier model has a unique chrome-trimmed horizontal grille, jet black/maple sugar perforated leather seats, and available AWD.
For larger families or those with dogs, there’s no better road trip vehicle than the Chevy Traverse. This midsize SUV can seat up to eight across its three rows. It also has best-in-class cargo space and plenty of family-friendly comfort, entertainment, and safety features.
With the second and third rows folded, the Traverse has a whopping maximum cargo capacity of 98.2 cubic feet. With just the third row folded, you still get 57.8 cubic feet of room, and with all rows in place there’s 23 cubic feet.
The Traverse comes with a standard 3.6-liter V6 across all trims. That engine is paired to a nine-speed automatic transmission and produces 310 horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque. Fuel efficiency is rated at 18 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway with FWD; that decreases slightly to 17 mpg city and 25 mpg highway with AWD. When properly equipped, the Traverse can tow up to 5,000 pounds.
Traverse trim levels include L, LS, LT Cloth, LT Leather, RS, Premier, and High Country. In the L and LS models, you’ll get 10 cupholders, 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot capability, Active Noise Cancellation, and the Chevrolet Infotainment 3 System with a 7-inch diagonal color touch screen. LT Cloth and Leather models are similar, but (shockingly) the LT Leather has leather seats, while the LT Cloth has cloth seats. RS models come with an automatic heated steering wheel, Automatic Emergency Braking, a Bose premium audio system, and built-in navigation. The Premier adds heated and ventilated front seats and heated outboard rear seats, memory settings, and perforated leather seat trim. Finally, the High Country model boasts additional safety features like Adaptive Cruise Control and Enhanced Automatic Emergency Braking.
Routine Maintenance: Learn why frequent oil changes are so important
These four models are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to road-trip-ready Chevys.
Catherine Hiles (she/her) is a native Brit living and working in Dayton, Ohio. Cat has written about a variety of subjects, including finance, cars, and parenting. She is a frequent contributor to Dayton Mom Collective, The Penny Hoarder, and WDW Magazine.
Cat lives with her husband, their two kids, and their energetic pitbull mix. She counts running, lifting weights, walking, and reading among her hobbies. See more articles by Cat.