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Manuel Carillo III | Apr 03, 2019

A cross-country road trip sounds exciting, doesn't it? It should - because it's a rite of passage for passionate drivers.

Whether you're traversing from Orlando to Seattle, San Francisco to Boston or Nantucket to Newport Beach, there's no questioning the abundance of roadside attractions you'll visit along the way. But what about the machine that will take you there? Kick your feet up and leave that bit to us.

Here are some vehicles that will make the most out of your cross-country excursion.

2020 Cadillac CT6

If you're going to daydream about a cross-country road trip, you may as well dream big with an imposing Cadillac to get you safely to the opposing coast. In this case, we're talking about Cadillac's sedan flagship: the CT6.

The Cadillac CT6 is the only car on sale in America that will allow you to drive across much of the United States hands-free, thanks to Super Cruise. Cadillac's Super Cruise adaptive cruise control system uses sensors that monitor where the driver's eyes are pointing. In addition to several other factored parameters, as long as you're looking straight down the road, you can cruise down the interstate hands-free. "Look, ma. No hands!" The base CT6 starts at $59,990*, but you'll have to step up to the $75,490 Premium Luxury trim in order to get Super Cruise.

Cadillac's advanced semi-automated cruise control system will soon be available in the all-new, 2021 Escalade. Expect to see Super Cruise in lower-priced GM brands in future model years.

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2020 Nissan Kicks

Now that we've dreamed big, we can come back down to reality with the least expensive machine on this list, but don't let the affordability fool you. The Nissan Kicks is not to be overlooked.

For $24,015*, loaded, you can drive the Kicks across America feeling every bit as comfortable and entertained as you would in many of this list's mid-priced models. Why is that? I have two answers for you.

The first is that the Kicks is as quiet as any $40,000 sedan or SUV, which makes it feel more premium. A quiet interior, in turn, leads to the second answer and the Kicks' party piece: its eight-speaker Bose Personal Plus audio system, which sounds almost as good as the 34-speaker Bose Panaray system in the Cadillac XT6 above. Cue up your favorite driving playlist, and you'll be in for an unforgettable road trip in the Kicks.

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2020 Chevrolet Corvette

If you're old enough to remember the "See the USA in your Chevrolet" jingle, then you'll appreciate the one car on this list that allows you to sing that old song without feeling like a poser: the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette.

At $59,995* to start, the Corvette Stingray isn't just the best bargain on this list — it's the car bargain of the century. Any other mid-engine supercar that can hit 60 miles per hour in three seconds and boasts a near-200-mph top speed will end up costing you closer to $200,000.

But the all-new Corvette isn't just about performance. It's about comfort, too. The eighth-generation 'Vette comes with almost as much cargo space as your average midsize sedan. Chevy's flagship racer also rides as smoothly and drives as quietly as a midsize sedan, too. It doesn't hurt the 'Vette's case, of course, that there's a 495-horsepower V8 mounted behind your head if you ever feel the need to crank the volume on life in general.

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Jaguar XF Sportbrake

What ever happened to the station wagon? To put it simply, the family wagon went out of fashion, and for a justifiable reason. When we grow up, we become like our parents, but we don't want to drive things that prove we've become our parents.

Today's millennials and gen-Xers grew up being shuttled to school in boring minivans and dull station wagons, respectively, and that's why those two market segments are currently poor sellers. However, none of that is good enough reason for me to cease recommending station wagons.

One of the most awesome wagons in the land is the Jaguar XF Sportbrake. At $66,145*, it's a miracle Jaguar sells it in the US, and if you choose it as your road-trip chariot, I'd bet money that you'd never see another one at any point during your cross-country journey.

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2020 Lexus ES 300h

If you want the best mix of luxury and economy on this list, you'll find it in the Lexus ES 300h. The hybrid ES offers plenty of shove (215 horsepower) from its 2.5-liter, four-cylinder, hybrid powertrain, all while getting 43 miles per gallon in the city and 44 mpg highway**.

Those are noteworthy numbers, but the hybrid ES is no less impressive from behind the wheel. The ES boasts ride quality that rivals luxury cars costing six times more. The ES's interior comfort is also first rate. How much for one of the best all-around cars on this list? Only $42,835* to start.

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2020 RAM 1500

Neither the Ford F-150 or the Chevy Silverado can match the Ram 1500's plushness, and that's why the Ram is my pick as the best cross-country, full-size pickup. If you opt for the base, $33,840* Tradesman model, you'll enjoy plenty of comfort and cabin quietness that's not far off from the Lexus above, but you might get bored with the lack of comfort and tech features.

In that case, I'd recommend a Ram 1500 Laramie optioned to $53,515*. For that price, you get a host of infotainment, technology and safety features, including adaptive cruise control, which all should make your coast-to-coast sojourn more scintillating.

That price also includes the Ram 1500's available 3.0-liter, turbodiesel V6, which allows the truck to get up to 32 mpg highway**. That caliber of fuel-sipping should save you a good chunk of money after thousands of road-tripping miles.

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2020 Jeep Cherokee

The Jeep Grand Cherokee has been around in its current generation since 2011. Despite not having a major redesign in almost a decade, Jeep's flagship managed to become America's best-selling midsize SUV last year.

Lack of redesign aside, the Grand Cherokee has been consistently updated over its tenure to keep it relevant in an incredibly competitive market. Interior comfort, quietness and tech are all up to par with SUVs redesigned within the past couple of years. It doesn't hurt that the Grand Cherokee can be optioned for serious off-road duty, as well.

If you're looking for a five-passenger, midsize SUV that can do it all, it's hard to overlook the Grand Cherokee at $33,540 to start.

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