Tech Talk

The Aston Martin Rapide S, and six other great cars for exploring the country.    

The Luxe Line: Serious Sedans That Own The Open Road

Stop sputtering along in your Rent-a-Wreck. These new touring rigs will outfit your next road trip with style, power, and surprising economy.

Hitting the asphalt and traveling the country has been part of the American dream since the days of John Steinbeck and Jack Kerouac. We haven't lost that wanderlust, but we sure have built some sweet vehicles in which to pursue it.

From affordable sportsters to mega-splurge status symbols, these seven touring cars all offer something special for the open road—road hugging suspension for winding around the Blue Ridge Mountains, ample torque to scoot past that semi, and smartly finished interiors for concert-like sound and reliable navigation. So go ahead and map the route to a favorite destination. Just don't blame us if getting there is twice the fun.  

2014 Chrysler 300 SRT

Priced at a relativity affordable $30,765, this sporty sedan has a massive V8 Hemi engine for quick acceleration. But it’s no gas-guzzler with a fuel economy rating of 31mpg on the highway. There’s a huge dual-pane sunroof for a sunsoaked cockpit. And the SRT version is rear-wheel drive, which provides a responsive kick when you’re winding around a tight corner. 

 

2015 Ford Mustang Convertible

This redesigned pony car, which debuts this fall, has a handy feature for sightseeing. A new electromechanical system lowers the roof in about eight seconds—half the time it takes in the current Mustang. The roof of the 2015 model is also more insulated than that of its older relative. With the top closed, this makes for a much quieter drive. There’s about 20 percent more trunk space than in previous models, so you should have no problem stuffing all your gear inside. With 420-horsepower, it will pack quite a punch. We’re still waiting to hear the final word on pricing.

 

 

2014 Acura RLX

This fantastic touring car has techie features to make your drive easier—and safer. The steering wheel operates automatically as you drive, making minor adjustments to keep you in the lane. Acura says the rear seating has the best legroom in its class, while a 14-speaker sound system by Krell Industries lets go crank up the Bon Iver to eardrum-shattering volumes. Pricing runs from $48,450 up to $60,450 with the advanced safety tech package.

 

Aston Martin Rapide S

If price is no option, consider this top-of-the-line sports sedan. The 6.0-litre V12 engine will push you back in your seat with its 550 horsepower. As a four-door model though, it’s not a track car that requires super-attentive driving. An adaptive damping system lets you change the suspension to a floating “normal” mode for everyday driving, but you can also switch into a more dynamic sport mode for a tighter feel. Priced at $199,950. 

 

Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet

A convertible like the Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet lets you soar through nature as you drive. The car goes from zero to 60 in just 6.5 seconds using its 302-horsepower engine. The cruise control works automatically for road trips, slowing you down—even to a full stop—as you approach another car. Priced at $60,200 for the V6 model.

 

 

Lexus GS 350 F Sport

One of the best touring cars on the market, the Lexus GS 350 F Sport borrows technology from the Lexus LFA supercar. Like the Aston Martin Rapide S, an adaptive suspension lets you punch in a Sport Plus mode to feel the road. A variable gear ratio tunes the front tires for responsive cornering, and an optional Dynamic Rear Steering package adds two degrees of delicate steering control. The 306-horsepower engine gets 29mpg. Priced at $53,280 for the F Sport version.

 

 

Jaguar F-Type Coupe

With a zero to 60 rating of just 5.1 seconds and a top speed of 161mph, this sporty touring car is designed for thrill rides through the country. The all-aluminum body means the entire car is very streamlined, and optional panoramic glass roof panels give you great views of the passing scenery. Hit 70mph, and a rear spoiler will pop up automatically—it lowers again when you drive below 50mph. Priced at $65,000 for the base F-Type Coupe model.

 

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