Good news for all camping fans! British campsites are open again, as some of the lockdown measures put in place due to the coronavirus outbreak begin to ease. Camping might not be everyone’s idea of a relaxing holiday – the sound of rain on canvas or the struggle with the zip in the middle of the night is enough to put some people off. And that’s fine – everyone is different, after all!
But for many, a camping trip can prove just as enjoyable as a sightseeing city break or a week laid by the pool in the sunshine. And the numbers back that up. Data from the Great Britain Tourism Survey reveals there were 14.33 million camping or caravanning trips in 2019, which accounted for 12% of all domestic trips involving an overnight stay.
So, if you’re keen campers and you’re looking to get away for a few nights under the stars, you’ll no doubt have a list of all the gear you’re going to take. A tent, chairs and a table are just the start of it and you’ll also need enough space to house all the kids and the kit. With that in mind, we’ve put together this handy list of 10 of the best cars for camping, to help get your adventure off to the perfect start.
The best cars for camping
BMW 5 Series Touring
Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate
Combining unrivalled luxury with a spacious interior, the Range Rover is the ideal car for camping. With a rich history dating back 50 years, its sleek design and precision engineering have stood the test of time while the latest generations have remained relevant, keeping pace with all the technological advancements of the modern era. As well as offering ample boot space, the Range Rover has a maximum roof load of 100kg, so when you’re packing your car for camping, you can store the heavier items up top without taking up space in the back.
- Boot size 909 litres
- Max roof load 100 kg
- Off-roading abilities
When it comes to the best family cars for camping, the VW Touareg takes some beating. This SUV offers plenty of room for manoeuvre, so even if your destination requires a lengthy drive, you and your passengers will be assured of a comfortable ride. Setting up camp in a remote location? The Touareg has got you covered there too, thanks to its superb capability across all terrains. And what’s more, if the famously fickle British weather closes in and sleeping in the tent loses its appeal, you and the little ones can hunker down under the panoramic sunroof.
- High-tech interior
- Boot size 810 litres
- Plenty of in-cabin storage
BMW 5 Series Touring
The BMW 5 Series Touring offers all the quality and refinement of the standard 5 Series but delivers extra load capacity, which places it among the very best estate cars for camping. At the front, the iconic grille is a sure sign of excellence, and the rear provides plenty of practicality. Seasoned campers will know just how heavy all the gear can be – especially if you include a couple of children and a dog in the cargo! But that’s where the 5 Series Touring can prove the ideal car for camping, thanks to its rear self-levelling suspension which enables you to carry up to 750kg.
- Boot size 570 litres
- Separate access to boot via rear window
- Load capacity of 750kg
Given a comprehensive design refresh in 2019, the Audi Q7 is looking sharper than ever. As the manufacturer’s biggest SUV, it leads the way in terms of meeting the needs of all the family and is longer than its predecessor. For those with large families, the Q7 is perfect as it offers comfortable accommodation for seven people and if you’re travelling in those sorts of numbers, you’ll need either a large or multiple tents. But there’s no need for you to worry – a luggage capacity of up to 2,050 litres makes the Q7 one of the best cars for camping.
- Boot size 770 litres
- Spacious luxury for seven
- Comfortable ride
Measuring 4,630mm x 1,845mm, the Lexus NX is a vehicle of substantial size and makes packing your car for camping an absolute breeze. If you want to fill the boot to the tonneau cover, you can do so up to a limit of 475L. Fold down the rear seats and that number jumps to 1,520L – ample space for all your camping essentials, gadgets and gizmos. But don’t let its size fool you – the NX still offers the outstandingly smooth ride quality you’d expect from a Lexus.
- Boot size 475 litres
- Plenty of tech
- Five-star Euro NCAP rating
Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate
The Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate is a car that’s ready for anything. Unique features such as Collision Prevention Assist Plus will help to keep you and your loved ones as safe as possible, while its impressive load capacity reaches 1,950L. Even if your boot is packed out with tents, chairs, sleeping bags, lilos and more, the E-Class’ smooth power will do away with any concerns about sluggishness on the open roads. Instead, you and the little ones can sit back, relax and get excited for the outdoors adventure ahead.
- Load capacity up to 1,950 litres
- Maximum payload of 745 kg
- Smooth, silent ride
Remarkable performance on all terrains and in all conditions makes the BMW X7 one of the very best cars for road trips and camping. Whatever you throw at this marvellous luxury SUV, it will have the answer. If you and your family prefer the comfort of a caravan rather than sleeping under canvas, the X7 can offer the solution thanks to a maximum towing weight of 2,200kg. This combination of power, panache and practicality make this an ideal car for camping.
- Maximum towing weight of 2,200 kg
- Boot size 750 litres
- Superb infotainment system
Now in its fifth generation, the Toyota RAV4 remains among the best cars for camping thanks to its improved practicality, efficiency and handling. A payload capacity of 615kg – as well as the maximum roof load of 100kg – means it will have absolutely no trouble transporting your family and all your gear, while it stays true to its roots in performing perfectly off-road, so you can explore some of those spots away from the beaten track.
- Off-road abilities
- Boot size 580 litres
Of all those on this list of the best cars for camping, the Audi A8 is arguably the most stylish and sophisticated. However, what seasoned campers covet above all else is practicality – and the A8 offers that in spades. Longer than its predecessor by 13cm, the latest version focuses on maximising space and the boot capacity stands at 505L – plenty of room to house your tent, chairs, food and other essentials.
- Plenty of space for rear passengers
- Boot size 505 litres
The Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class certainly holds a claim to being the best family car for camping. With generous dimensions and a longer wheelbase, you and your loved ones will enjoy unrivalled comfort when you hop inside, even if all seven of you are hitting the road for your latest camping adventure. Load capacity is sizeable at 470L – and that’s with each of the seats occupied. Fold the back two down, and suddenly you’ve got 890L to play with, so you’ll never be short of space when it comes to packing your car for camping or caravanning holidays with the GLS.
- Boot size up to 890 litres
- Ample room for seven adults
- Comfortable ride
Browse the best cars for camping with Jardine Motors
Whether you’re experienced campers or you want to give it a go for the first time, Jardine Motors can offer you a wide selection of some of the best cars for camping. You can browse our new and used vehicles and if you see a model you like, please feel free to get in touch with one of our 60+ dealerships located up and down the country.