Traffic Stinks, Unless You Have the Right Car


Terrible New Jersey Turnpike Traffic, Courtesy of

Let’s face it.  No one likes traffic.  It’s time consuming and inconvenient.  My recent trip from Washington DC to the New York City metro area took 6 hours.  It’s supposed to take 3-½.  I think I spent half of the trip on the New Jersey Turnpike alone.  It was painful, but I took steps to make the best of the trip.  The steps to take depend on who you are.

I was driving solo on this round trip from the New York City metro area to Washington DC.  The car mattered to some degree.  I drive a manual transmission, which is the most annoying thing to deal with in traffic.  It’s so bad that your left leg will feel tired over time, which is not good when you’re in the middle of a road trip.

The other thing to worry about is what you’re going to listen to while you are on your road trip.  I love exclusive talk radio content on SiriusXMTM but clearly that’s not going to be everyone’s first choice.  You’ll need to decide whether you need music, a book on tape or something else.  The car you take on this road trip may depend on this.


A Super Stereo System, Courtesy of

Road trips with music mean you need a stereo that can keep up with windows down driving, because frankly windows down, cruising the open road is the only way to go.  Sure, you probably don’t need one as serious as the one pictured above, but your stereo needs to be amplified to boost the volume production.  Thankfully most recently produced cars have systems that can keep up, not like systems from the 80s and 90s.

If you’re driving solo, or with two people total, most cars are going to work well, depending on the amount of luggage you have.  If you are able to pack light, or you can ship the golf clubs to your destination, then you’ll be able to get away with a great two-seater roadster like a used BMW Z4 or Chevrolet Corvette.  If you have more luggage, you’ll want to go with something a little larger like a Ford Mustang or Chrysler 200.  All of these cars are available in an automatic transmission and have excellent sound systems, which will be perfect for when you hit that less than perfect traffic jam.


Chrysler Town & Country, Courtesy of

Now if you’re vacationing with the kids, a nice roomy sedan is a must.  A SUV or minivan will be an improvement from there.  My favorite is the classic choice, the Chrysler Town & Country minivan.  It fits everyone and their stuff.  This van has consistently proven itself and continually improved over the years and currently offers the most features in its entire history.  This van is so roomy that you can play a four person game of poker while driving!  And make sure you get this minivan with the entertainment package, which allows for the second and third row seats to enjoy DVDs on an independent sound system.  If it doesn’t come as an option, buy an aftermarket one for a few hundred dollars.  Having a system like this will keep the kids occupied well into the trip, no matter what kind of traffic you hit along the way.


In Car Entertainment System, Courtesy of

Now that we’ve established the classic choice for families, let’s talk about a couple of less conventional choices.  Traffic is all about having enough room to be able to stay distracted during the road incident.  That means SUVs like the Chevrolet Tahoe will be a fine choice for families trying to rough it through stubborn traffic.  There’s plenty of room to sprawl out and you can get one of those entertainment systems like I mentioned with the Town & Country minivan.

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