The best cheap road trip cars for less than 1500 euro
In this blog I am going to discuss the 5 best road trip cars for les than €1500. But why should you buy a car for a road trip instead of renting one. Well first buying is the cheapest option if everything goes as planned. Second it is your own car, so you can do whatever you want, and you don’t have to take in account that you have to be back on a certain day.
Also, it makes it kind of exciting knowing it could go wrong, and if it goes wrong it will certainly be a road trip you will always remember. In the Netherlands we have an insurance company called ANWB where you can get a member ship for the duration of you road trip, so if the car breaks down you get an replacement vehicle to continue the road trip.
What kind of car should you buy?
For a long road trip, it is nice to have a car that drives comfortable, is reliable, safe and has a lot of space. You are going to be on the road for quite some time so a comfortable is not unnecessary luxury. If you are planning a road trip with more that 2 people a big car is also nice to have, not only for the passengers in the backseat but also for the luggage you bring. Luckily the premium cars of like 20 years ago are pretty cheap these days, and they have everything you would want for a road trip car. They are:
So, what are the 5 best cars then?
- Volvo v70 2.5 1997-1999
The first car we are going to discuss is a Volvo v70, this is the icon of the volvo brand. With it boxy shape it feels like everything fits in the car. Also the engine is almost indestructible, if you look online you can find plenty of v70s with more than 500.000km and even cars with up to a million km’s. If there are lots of cars online with high milage, you can be pretty sure it are reliable cars. Also back in the days Volvo was famous for its safety, so is the V70. So you parents will be reassured you are safe if you take a Volvo.
If you buy a Volvo I recommend you buy a 2.5l without a turbo, it has 140hp which is plenty to go around. I recommend you buying a V70 without turbo because the turbos are a part that like’s to breakdown, and if it does it is not a cheap repair. But if you want a car with more power you can buy one with a turbo for sure, they are still very reliable. Also, I recommend buying a manual, for the same reason the automatic transmission can break.
If you are buying a cheap car you want to have as less things as possible that can break down easily.
- Subaru Legacy 4wd
This is the perfect car if you are planning to go a little off road during your road trip, of if you are going in the winter months. With its 4wd it will get you up most roads. Also, it is a very reliable car with lots of space. So you could pack up your tent and set it up wherever you want. Perfect for countries like Norway where it is aloud to camp everywhere.
The car i picked is a Legacy from 2006 with only 283.000km. This seems like a lot, but if it has survived this long it will probably survive an extra couple of thousand kilometres.
- Lancia Kappa SW
Chic, not German, Premium, five-cylinders. Not only a V70 meets this requirement, but also this Lancia Kappa SW. Unlike the Volvo, you will have to look a bit harder for this one, because new, the Kappa was not a resounding success. Why not is actually a bit unclear. They were very luxurious, the engines very nice and the comfort was excellent. Perhaps the Lancia Kappa was too subtle and the old sentiments about Lancia are still there, fortunately that lowers prices considerably. I would go for the 2.4 five-cylinder, this is a very nice engine to drive. The Lancia meets the most pockets the other cars also have. But it stands out on one, and for that you have to take a look inside the Kappa. If you look at the seats you can only imagine how it is to take this one on a long road trip. It will be absolutely amazing.
- Opel Signum
This car offers great value for money. And to be honest, why the Signum is so underrated is not entirely clear. They are bizarrely spacious, luxuriously equipped, extremely comfortable and actually have something of character. It is of course not a ‘Premium’ car, so it is difficult to break pots in this segment. Take advantage of it, because you can choose from various cars for 1.500 euros. The 2.2 engine is a nice one: fast enough with an acceptable consumption, but a 3.2 with more than 210 hp is also possible.
- Do not take this one to serious. (or do)
If we extend the requirements (large, spacious, comfortable) to the idiotic, this smasher qualifies. The Caprice Classic station wagon is so bizarrely big it’s fun again. The same goes for the 5.0 liter V8, which produced 155 hp in 1981. But you do have a reasonable torque and a fantastic soundtrack. You must heighten up the budget, but you have car that will for sure turn head around. I found one for €4.200. It may be not the smartest choice, but I think it will be the most fun
Tip: skip the black ones. These have had a good life, but the idea that the car was only intended to transport six planks is perhaps a lesser one.
My personal choice
For my mini road trip true Europe, I was looking for the best car for around €1000 hens this blog. After a long search I chose the Volvo V70, and never regretted it. It is honestly one of the best cars I have driven, taking in consideration it was 23 years old with 375.000km milage. We took it through the Alpes, but it never had a problem, and it was packed with 4 guys and chock full of luggage.
I am still a bit sad I had to sell it after the road trip. So, I truly recommend you buying a Volvo V70 for your road trip, you will have an amazing time. Just make sure the A/C works (ours did not) otherwise it can be quite hot in the car.
Are you interested in more tips for the perfect road trip like good places to visit, or what to bring?
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