If you're staying in the UK for your holiday this year, check out Car Expert Jonathan Crouch's list of the ideal cars you could drive to help make the most of your break. Many families will be taking a break from foreign travel this year & enjoying holidays in the UK. A well-earned break is an ideal time to get to know a new family car, so what are the ideal cars for staycation travel & where are the best places to go?
Some Staycation Location Ideas
The main ones you'll know already. For a great city break it's difficult to beat London for shopping, entertainment & culture. If you're looking to stick to easier social distancing a beach holiday is a great option, with Cornwall providing a huge range of choice with its harbours, coves & beaches - bear in mind that it can be difficult to find a quiet spot though.
The same applies to the Lake District, but it's one of the greatest parts of the UK for walking, especially if you venture up England's tallest mountain - Scafell Pike. Less touristy is the Lleyn Peninsular in Wales, which has some of the greatest beaches in the UK & is popular with everyone from surfers to dog walkers. You could also find a bit of peace in the Scottish Highlands, which offer lochs, hidden beaches & dense forests.
The Recommended Cars
Wherever you choose to visit for a break, you'll need something versatile for your staycation & I think some kind of SUV would be perfect. At Vanarama.com you'll find a wide range of different car models, sizes & types to suit everyone from couples on weekend breaks to larger families heading off for a full-length summer holiday.
Our list of top staycation cars includes a variety of models ideal for driving long distances in comfort with impressive fuel economy & plenty of space for passengers & luggage.
The Nissan Qashqai is the car most people think of first if thoughts turn to leasing an affordable mid-sized family SUV or crossover. It drives well & staycation folk will be able to easily fit their bags into a 430-litre boot. Take a seat behind the wheel & the twin-dial instrument layout you can view through the three-spoke steering wheel is easy to get to grips with - much of the information is delivered by a smart colour TFT screen set between the speedo & rev counter. In the rear, though the seats don't slide or recline, they are positioned to deliver decent legroom.
Engine-wise I'd recommend the 1.3-litre DIG-T petrol unit, available in either 140PS or 160PS with the higher-powered engine available with a 7-speed DCT auto gearbox. A couple of variants with this powerplant are available on the Vanarama Cars 'Offers' page – there's a choice of either Acenta Premium or N-Connecta trim.
The T-Roc is the funkiest model of this kind I've seen from Volkswagen & provided you dress it up a bit, it certainly makes a statement. It's also practical for a staycation, with more luggage space (445-litres) than the class norm & more rear-seat space than you get from many comparable small SUVs.
Under the bonnet, most T-Roc customers want petrol power. There's an entry-level 115PS 1.0 TSI petrol unit, but I'd recommend the mid-range 150PS 1.5 TSI EVO petrol unit for a longer Staycation trip. You'll find a T-Roc with this engine on the Offers page of the Vanarama site, complete with sporty 'R-Line' trim.
If you're going to be taking on some challenging roads as part of your staycation & you want a mid-sized SUV that really feels good from behind the wheel, the Ford Kuga is one of the very best. The current version is the third-generation model, which gets a more robust C2 platform shared with the latest Focus.
Under the bonnet, mild hybrid EcoBlue diesel engines are now available above the base petrol units, plus there's a PHEV plug-in petrol version too & that's the one I'd recommend. When fully charged, it can offer a WLTP driving range of up to 28 miles thanks to its decently-sized 14.4kWh lithium-ion battery.
Charging takes 3.5 hours from a 7.4kW garage wall box. The CO2 return is an impressive 32g/km (WLTP) & the WLTP-rated combined cycle economy reading is an eye-catching 201.7mpg. You'll find two Kuga PHEV models on the 'Offers' part of the Vanarama site, one with ST-Line trim & one with ST-Line X spec.
Looking to staycation in style? The Mercedes GLC shares much of its engineering with the brand's C-Class model, which means it's been upgraded in recent years with a smarter look & a high-quality interior that features the latest MBUX infotainment system & centre screen.
There's a wide range of different engines including a plug-in hybrid power plant. Plus, the GLC is pretty practical, with up to 580 litres of boot space, nearly 100 litres more than the C-Class & enough for most staycation needs.
If you flatten the rear bench, up to 1600 litres of storage is available. On the Offers page, you'll find great deals on the well-equipped GLC 220d diesel AMG up Line spec version
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV was the market's first (popular) plug-in hybrid & is still a sales leader, updated in recent years with a 2.4-litre engine. Inside, Mitsubishi has updated the cabin to give it the type of quality feel you might get in a German rival. It's a hugely spacious family car that's a very economical choice - providing you have somewhere to charge it.
With space for adults in all 5 seats, there's plenty of legroom - it's a comfortable choice for long road trips. When you're on the move, there's a 4WD system & remarkable performance refinement to take advantage of too.
As with all plug-in hybrids, the stats of this car are eye-catching. It can drive for up to 28 miles on a full electric charge – or up to 35 miles in the city. It's official combined cycle fuel figure is 139 mpg – & 46g/km of WLTP-rated CO2 emissions. Best of all, fast charging to 80% can be done in just half an hour, so you won't have to pause your staycation fun for too long.