Best Road Trips Cars and Drivers of 2022

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eastbound and down jonathon ramsey in ukraine

Illustration by Ryan InzanaCar and Driver

Some might say that everything we do here is a road trip. Not true! Occasionally we do testing, and if there happens to be some good roads between the office and the proving grounds, well, it would be a crime not to explore them. It’s true that what’s inherent in driving a car for review is a journey of miles, but even so, some journeys and cars feel more special than others. In 2022, we’re accumulating miles and converting them to word count. Some trips become travel guides to cool car destinations like Palm Springs and Colorado. The other is how to test equipment like radar detectors—none of us need anything like that—or long-term cars. Our favorites are the trips that make us rethink roads, or cars; trips that introduced us to new places and new people, adventures we are still thinking about.

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Road trips can be solo or group activities, but there’s something more fun about hitting the asphalt with a friend. In June, new associate editor Caleb Miller and social media editor Michael Aaron got behind the wheel of a 2022 Porsche 911 GT3 Touring and headed to Toronto for Rare Shades 6, the annual auto show for Paint to Sample and Porsches with other unusual colors. When asked for comment, Aaron simply replied, “Check it out Car and Driver Instagram.”


When driving a 420-hp ’64 Volvo P1800 in only the second greatest part of your trip, you know you’ve won the road trip lottery. We drove a Cyan Racing restomod Volvo through the golden hills of California to find . . . Sweden? In the 1900s, Kingsburg, California, went from being a Wild West hideaway to becoming the state’s largest concentration of Swedish immigrants. Today it still highlights its cultural heritage, and the townspeople were thrilled to host Volvos and send us home full of Swedish pancakes.

Sometimes we just need to move the car, and ourselves, from place to place—not for a story, just for efficiency. That’s not to say it wasn’t fun, like when senior editor, Drew Dorian crossed Florida in his Bentley Continental GT. “Things don’t get pretty until you’re south of Homestead, where suburban Miami expansion ends and marshy marshland begins. Here, you become acquainted with the area’s only major road: Highway 1. This boardwalk runs through most of the Florida Keys, and along its sideways, you’ll see a mix of upscale resorts that shared property lines with 1950s-era charming -era roadside motel. The late summer sun was scorching and prevented us from dropping the top of the Bentley. But at night the weather is cool enough to enjoy open-topped vehicles and the area’s dark skies provide a view of the stars, especially when crossing the famous Seven Mile Bridge, which connects Knights Key and Little Duck Key with the ocean on either side. The trip would have been easy had we been in the Chevy, but the pristine beauty of the Florida Keys and the luxury of a Bentley convertible are a much better match. Indeed, we suffer because of the work.


Brother, Can You Save Money?

All good road trips involve making friends along the way, stopping at roadside cafes, or simply chatting at gas stops. We had plenty of opportunities to do the latter when we took the BMW i4 M50 on a lakeside adventure looking for people sharing their home charging network. We met lots of generous people, and enjoyed the beauty of Michigan at the end of the summer. One detail that doesn’t make it into the final story is that both the driver, Scherr (that’s me) and the photographer, Michael Simari, got food poisoning, and Simari ended up throwing up in the Applebees parking lot. “I’m so sorry,” he muttered as we made our quick escape. “Don’t worry, man,” I told him. “This isn’t the first time someone has vomited in an Applebees parking lot, nor will it be the last.” Thankfully that was the final emergency vomit in this story.


If you don’t have the vacation time to travel, would you just consider fantasy shopping for the perfect car to take? You can do it during business hours, like we did during a special travel-themed episode of our semi-weekly videocast, Window Shop.



This vs. it vs. Highway 33

Speaking of fantasy, Ezra Dyer brought two of the year’s most beautiful street huggers on one of the prettiest roads in California. He pitted a Maserati MC20 against a Porsche” 911 Turbo S on the California coast north of Los Angeles and headed into the hills and high desert for days on Route 33’s blind bends, big climbs, and long, lonely straights. Who cares which car wins when you’re on the road like this?


What better way to learn the charms of a classic lineup than to run multi-state. From hanging Spanish moss to Florida beaches, we sample luscious M BMW cars.


Our best road trip of the year wasn’t in the sexiest car, and it certainly didn’t offer the best views. Contributor Jonathon Ramsey reminds us all that the life best lived is one that gives back to others when he loads his Dacia minivan and spends the night in Poland moving supplies for Ukrainian refugees. Here’s to a peaceful 2023, and more road trips.


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