July 1 2011 by Chris McGinnis
Best Western's most frequent guests drive much more often than they fly, putting thousands of miles on their cars each year. In a recent survey, 76 percent of Best Western Diamond 100 members reported that nearly all their business trips are taken primarily by car or truck. Sixty percent drive cars or trucks that are less than three years old, which means they are not only frequent drivers, but frequent buyers of cars.
To help travelers seeking the best cars for road trips, AAA Auto buying experts recently released their top picks based on a variety of factors such as interior comfort, cargo size, passenger room, fuel economy, safety, performance and handling. AAA's experts test drive and evaluate hundreds of cars each year.
And the winners for 2011 are:
- Chevrolet Cruze Eco: great gas mileage, high safety rating. $18,837
- Ford Focus: Big improvement over previous versions, good fuel economy and surprisingly quiet. $16,896
- Kia Soul: Funky looks, 10-year/100k mile warranty, high safety rating. $16,759
- Ford Fusion: Hybrid version offers outstanding fuel economy, all-wheel-drive option good in winter weather. $18,821
- Toyota Prius: Roomy, comfortable, economical. 50 mpg. A bit stodgy, though. $24,876
- Hyundai Sonata: Good handling, comfortable, powerful engine. $20,572
- Toyota Camry/Avalon: Roomy, large rear seating area, good fuel economy considering size. $20,668
- Chrysler 300/Dodge Charger: Comfortable with lots of room, good handling. $24,803
- Infiniti G37: A very engaging driving experience, powerful V-6 engine, many features are standard. $33,894
- Dodge Durango: Nice ride and handling. Powerful engine, but less than stellar fuel economy. $27,347
- Subaru Forester: Easy to drive, comfortable and budget friendly. $21,513
- Toyota RAV4: Good ride, handling and room. V-6 option is powerful. $22,150