The trees outside the CarGurus office are beginning to change color pretty quickly. We get to witness the life leaving these leaves from our desks. It’s a great view, and now is about the perfect time to go for a long drive on a scenic route to take in what Fall is all about. It’s still a little early in the season, but northern New England is almost at the peak of its color show. So whether you’re from the Northeast or way down South, this month is a good time to drive aimlessly and look at the foliage.
Some things you may want to consider when picking a vehicle for your autumn ride are comfort and, of course, the view. Panoramic sunroofs, convertibles or, in some cases, entire glass ceilings are ideal for getting a good look. Comfort features are paramount for these long drives, especially as the days get cooler. Here are some vehicles we think would be ideal for your journeys on the scenic route.
10. With the BMW 4 Series convertible, you don’t have to worry at all about being able to see, but you should be very worried about the temperature level of your car. Having the top down this time of year can get chilly, but the 4 Series can warm the driver and passenger from the bottom up with heated front seats. The optional heated steering wheel will also keep the driver’s hands nice and toasty. Plus, not much beats cruising around in a BMW for fun. And with BMW’s famously touted 50:50 weight distribution, there’s nothing quite as smooth and safe for tackling the hills and mountains of northern New England.
9. Simply put, the Hyundai Veloster is an interesting car. It’s interesting to look at, interesting to drive and has a lot of interesting features. One of the first things you’re likely to notice about the Veloster is its 3-door design—1 door on the driver’s side, 2 doors on the passenger side. This gives the car the appearance of a sporty hatchback coupe from one angle and a sensible 4-door hatch from the other. This makes the Veloster ideal for popping up to the mountains to check out the changing colors, as your passengers will have no issues getting in and out, while you’ll still experience that sporty feeling, which is exactly the feeling you should have on mountain roads. Add to that the Veloster’s awesome glass roof, and you’ll have no trouble seeing all that beautiful foliage either… assuming you let up from the gas pedal long enough to enjoy the view.
8. The Ford F-150 continues to impress us with its seemingly never-ending list of features. Its multi-level heated seats for the driver, passenger and rear are enough to fight any autumn chill. If New England weather decides to be New England weather and it’s suddenly 85 degrees in October, the F-150 has you covered with cooled seats for all, too. Everyone in this truck will be comfortable, but the driver gets to hold on to the warmth of the heated steering wheel. The F-150 can also have leather everything: seats, steering-wheel trim, shift-knob trim, etc. And, of course, we have to mention the F-150’s new aluminium body—that’s kind of a big deal.
7. The Subaru Forester arrives on our list as one of the safest vehicles to carry you through the foliage. Subaru boasts that its EyeSight safety system is the best thing to happen to vehicle safety since Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive. The system incorporates pre-collision warning, braking and throttle management with lane-departure warnings and adaptive cruise control to create one of the most complete tech safety options available. That should make you feel like you can take command of those hilly northern roads while you gawk at the leaves above you, and they’ll be easy to see through an available powered panoramic moonroof.
6. The Cadillac CTS will add some luxury to your foliage cruise. This midsize sedan has all the features you could ask for on your autumn drive. Its panoramic moonroof provides some great sight-lines for foliage viewing. Standard heated seats and steering wheel make the CTS a dream in the colder months. It also comes equipped with some of the coolest tech features available, with standard navigation, wifi, 12-speaker satellite radio and a heads-up display, so the driver’s eyes never have to leave the road.
5. The Land Rover Range Rover is a must-have for people who want to go anywhere but refuse to give up luxury to do it. Not only does the Range Rover offer a panoramic sunroof to view the foliage, it also offers heated front and rear seats and a heated steering wheel. No matter how chilly it gets in the thin air, you’ll be nice and toasty inside the Range Rover. On top of that, the Range Rover is famous for its incredible off-road abilities, meaning you’ll be able to get as up close and personal with Mother Nature as you wish, without ever leaving the comfort of your leather seats.
4. The Toyota Highlander is one of those vehicles that feels great to drive around the suburbs or the city, but it really shines driving along those mountainous scenic routes. It has the capability and the comfort to take on whatever scenic, long drive you plan to take. Perfect for taking in the view, the Highlander comes equipped with a powered panoramic moonroof. And your passengers will feel plenty comfortable on those chilly, late-autumn days with heated front and rear seats with leather upholstery. There are few places we would rather be than driving on a warm leather seat on a fall day.
3. The Nissan Murano is a solid all-around car pick, but an especially sound choice for those who like to admire the great outdoors without getting too close. Step up to the range-topping LE trim, and you’ll find a car with all the bells and whistles necessary for comfortable foliage travel. Heated front and rear seats, a heated steering wheel and a panoramic moonroof are all included with the LE, but riding around in an all-wheel-drive Murano in the mountains or along the coast will make you feel like you’re traveling in a more sure-footed version of your living room, just with astonishing views.
2. If you haven’t checked out the Kia K900, you should. Even if you’re not in the market for a large luxury car, the K900 is an impressive sight to behold. Thanks to Kia’s desire to undercut the German luxury market, the K900 comes with an impressive list of equipment for an even more impressive (in a good way) price. Starting at $59,500, the K900 offers a heated steering wheel, nappa leather, heated front and rear seats, a panoramic sunroof, a 9.2-inch navigation screen and a 420-hp 8-cylinder engine. With roomy seating for 5, the K900 is a great way to enjoy Fall in style without (completely) breaking the bank.
1. While the K900 is a great car on the road, if you want to veer off the beaten path a bit, you’ll need the Jeep Grand Cherokee. Famous for its ability to combine comfort, utility and off-road prowess, the Grand Cherokee is by far our favorite vehicle for getting out there and making the most of this time of year. Thanks to its available heated front and rear seats, heated steering wheel and panoramic moonroof, you’ll see lots of what nature has to offer without experiencing so much as a chill. Not only that, the Grand Cherokee also has loads of cargo space and unmatched off-road ability for a vehicle of its size, so you’ll also be able to take whatever you want and whoever you want with you as you explore bits of foliage even the bravest of luxury-car drivers will never see.
Do you have a favorite foliage cruiser?
-jharrington and zwaller
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Used BMW 3 Series
Used Hyundai Veloster
Used Ford F-150
Used Subaru Forester
Used Cadillac CTS
Used Land Rover Range Rover
Used Toyota Highlander
Used Nissan Murano
Used Kia K900
Used Jeep Grand Cherokee