For the best road trips, you need the best type of car, as the two go hand in hand. You’ll likely be spending several hours per day exploring endless roads to epic destinations across New Zealand. It isn’t just the wonderful sights to see across the North and South Island that are worth hitting the road for, it is as much about the roads themselves. Our beautiful country boasts some of the most scenic driving in the world with glorious coastal roads sweeping past golden beaches and sunbathing sealife. There are also majestic mountains to drive by, such as Arthur’s Pass, climbing up to 900 metres through the Southern Alps. Or head through farmlands and the bush for greenery galore in the middle of the islands.
With a mix of roads, scenery and sights it’s important you choose the right tool for the job. Here is our guide to the best cars for your road trip:
To hit those peaks in the South Island, a 4×4 SUV is the best choice of car. This extremely popular choice of vehicle is perfect for getting you over any type of terrain you encounter. New Zealand is known for… erm… not having the best quality of roads, let’s say. It’s not uncommon to approach a gravel road, dirt track or one-way lane from time to time. 4WD jeeps are ideal for getting up and down mountains in winter and overcoming the more rugged rural roads. Some vehicle companies also offer skier versions with tyre chains and ski racks.
If you’re planning to pack up the boot with towels, boogie boards and deckchairs to enjoy the last of the early autumn sun, your best choice of car will be a station wagon. You can hire these spacious 5-door cars from NZ car rental companies with tons of space for friends and gear. Fill the car full of your luggage for the road trip and hit the open road. They easily accommodate 4 adults and 1 child plus 4 suitcases with room to spare.
If you are planning on burning the miles from point A to B to C, look no further than a powerful 6 cylinder sedan. This offers that added luxury and comfort for longer journeys when exploring New Zealand. You can find an affordable but quality model ideal for families and small groups with that added space for bags.