Living in British Columbia is a blessing, especially for families with a penchant for outdoor adventure road trips. From top to bottom, our province is filled with mountains, hills, campgrounds, lakes and surf spots, begging to be explored. The only problem is access. Granted, challenging road trips are part of what makes these remote gems so special. The more work to get there, the less crowded and the greater the reward.
For some helpful advice, we picked the brains of a local Vancouver Toyota dealer known for outfitting area adventurers with vehicles that outperform the most taxing of roads and trails. The following recommendations for the best vehicles for road trips will help your family claim its rightful place away from urban and suburban sprawl.
Four Family-Friendly Vehicles that Dare to Brave the Great Outdoors of BC
4Runner for All Climates and Conditions
The 4Runner has been a top choice of venturesome households for over three decades. This V6 SUV was made for far more than Costco runs. Built with fortified body-on-frame construction and coil-spring rear suspension the 4Runner affords the power and strength to traverse any roadway put before it. Factor in the locking rear differential, the multi-terrain select function, and crawl control capability and you’ve got serious stability on any road at any time of the year. If you family’s idea of fun is to race up to Whistler for an AM ski, head down for for some afternoon rock climbing in Squamish, and conclude the day with eagle spotting in Brackendale, then the 4Runner is your best option.
Sequoia to Bring it All With You
If your family is known to pack it all (and we mean all) up and hit the road for extended periods of time then this vehicle may be your best option. The Sequoia was built to load and tow every bit of outdoor recreational gear you can imagine. This vehicle can take on any pickup when it comes to towing power, with available 381 horsepower and a 5.7 litre V8 that leads to a whopping 3,357 kg (7400 lbs) towing capacity. Concerned about pulling that kind of weight all the way up through the Coquihalla or Chilcotin Highway? The Sequoia’s Tow/Haul Mode automatically selects transmission shift points to maximize the power of the SUV while on an incline. Its Trailer-Sway Control function applies brake pressure to each wheel and optimizes torque to help you maintain trailer control on the most nerve-inducing roads. The Sequoia also comes with an available power lift gate which opens up to the roomiest cargo of any vehicle in its class. Whether you’re loading up mountain bikes and wakeboards or towing an Airstream this BC road warrior can take it.
Highlander for Double Duty
The Highlander has long held the distinction as the best family vehicle on the Canadian market. Being known as the top family SUV does not always line-up with perceptions regarding outdoor adventure, but the Highlander nips that misnomer in the bud. What makes this vehicle so great for BC road trips are the same qualifiers that make it popular for soccer moms and dads. Toyota’s Star Safety System™ has earned the Highlander safety accolades from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety / Highway Loss Data Institute (IIHS). The Highlander can seat up to 8, has a long cargo bed (465 mm or 18.3 inches) and has an impressive towing capacity of 2,268 kg (5,000 lbs). The 25 mpg (highway) fuel economy also makes it one of the most affordable options in its class. If your wild bunch is heading off to explore the BC interior you will gain peace of mind in knowing that Highlander will get you there safely, comfortably, and efficiently.
RAV4 for Your Clan of Weekend Warriors
This addition (standard or hybrid) is perfect for tight knit family units with busy schedules who understand the importance of adventure when opportunity strikes. This popular compact SUV packs, racks and hits the road faster than any other in its class. Sporty with Dynamic Torque-Control All-Wheel Drive, 2.5-litre, 4-cylinder and 176 horsepower the RAV4 makes road trips seamless. The vehicle’s rear folding seats equate over 73 cubic feet of cargo space while its available aerodynamic roof racking system begs to be loaded up with your family’s “toys”. The RAV4 is a favorite for households that want to be whisked away for those weekend trips to the BC coast. As a hoard of surfers and/or kayakers you can rack your gear, zip on and off the ferry, and navigate the rolling roads to and from Tofino, leaving plenty of time to do what you came for.
Want to learn more about the vehicles described above? You can request additional details here. Happy (and safe) travels to you and your clan of BC adventurers!
Disclosure: The Travelling Mom thanks Westminster Toyota for its sponsorship of this post. All photos credit Toyota.
Are you heading out on a great Canadian or American road trip in your neck of the woods? Share your destination in the comments below.