Looking for a camping adventure this year? These are the best cars for the job, says Ted Welford.
Camping has become increasingly popular in recent years as many know how fantastic it is to spend time in the great outdoors.
But whether you’re looking to stay close by or you’re more adventurous, you want the right car for the job, with space for all that gear.
We’ve rounded up some of the best cars for camping…
1. Skoda Octavia station wagon
Skoda’s range caters well to families and those who enjoy being outdoors, and one of the best cars in this regard is the Octavia Estate. While not actually the company’s biggest car (that title goes to the Superb), this Skoda’s blend of space, value and comfort is unmatched in its class.
With a huge 640 liter boot with the rear seats upright or 1,700 liters when folded down, there’s plenty of room for tents and all of the camping gear that goes with them. Combined with comfortable handling, elegant design and generous equipment, the Octavia has a lot to offer.
2. Dacia Jogger
If you like camping due to the relative affordability, there’s a good chance you’ll like Dacia’s cars for the same reason. This Renault-owned brand prides itself on value for money, and that’s shown no better than with the new Dacia Jogger.
It’s the first time a seven-seater has been sold by the company in the UK, and it offers a tremendous amount of interior space combined with a starting price of just £13,995 – that’s a few thousand pounds less than an entry-level Ford Fiesta or Opel Corsa.
3. Hyundai Ioniq5
Camping can often be seen as an eco-friendly holiday choice, and if you like that environmental aspect, it’s worth considering an electric vehicle. One of the best choices is the Hyundai Ioniq 5 – a bold, futuristic-looking hatchback that impresses with its superior technology and huge interior that’s ideal for camping.
It’s also available with a rather nifty camping feature called Vehicle-to-Load (V2L), which allows you to use the Ioniq’s battery to charge other electrical devices, which could be ideal if you’re camping off the beaten track.
4. Land Rover Defender
If you’re into wild camping or pitching something a little more remote then Land Rover’s new Defender will likely do just fine. Designed and built to handle particularly adventurous terrain, it offers broad appeal for adventure lovers.
At the same time, the Defender’s high-quality yet low-maintenance interior is ideal for camping, while its on-road manners are particularly impressive. Combined with the massive amount of space available (especially for the longer 110 model) it could be a camper’s dream car, although it comes at a price.
Just because you’re going camping doesn’t necessarily mean you need a lot of space—especially if there’s just the two of you. In that case, something smaller could do the job, including Suzuki’s Ignis. This funky-looking hatchback measures just 3.7 meters and yet it’s very well packaged, meaning there’s more room inside than you might expect.
Standard equipment is generous, while the mild-hybrid engines are remarkably efficient at over 60mpg. Despite its small size, you can even choose it with all-wheel drive for extra performance.
6. Citroën e-Berlingo
When it comes to practicality, it’s pretty hard to beat a van-based MPV, and for years Citroen has shown how it’s done with its Berlingo. Available in two sizes – medium or XL – the latter is available with seven seats or a huge trunk with the rearmost seating group folded down. With lots of storage space, it is a great camping car.
Although previously always popular with diesel engines, Citroen has recently discontinued other versions of the Berlingo, leaving only an electric version to choose from. With a range of around 270 kilometers, it can be quickly charged to 80 percent of its capacity in just 30 minutes.
7. Volvo V60 Cross Country
Volvo’s station wagons are legendary for their practicality, and although this premium company is emphasizing its SUVs these days, models like the V60 – which competes with the BMW 3 Series Touring – are still excellent options.
The V60 offers an impressive level of comfort, cool design and a well-built interior, and again offers a large trunk for all your camping guests. It’s particularly appealing in rugged cross-country form, where it gets higher suspension, four-wheel drive and improved off-road capability.