Spring is here. And that means explosive growth, new beginnings and excitement about things to come.

We are fans of being on the road. The road trip is a quintessential American experience, and one that we find especially charming, given our interests of an automotive nature.

When the weather is good, and you’ve got the right wheels under you, a good road trip is tough to beat. Well, you may not be able to control the weather, but according to a 2013 survey by the automotive review site Edmunds, the best cars (with the percentage of survey respondents that chose the vehicle, stated in parentheses) for taking your tribe on a long haul are:

BMW 3 Series Wagon (36%)

This entry-level luxury wagon has a long list of strengths, including sporty driving and top-shelf appointments that make the driving fun.

Jeep Grand Cherokee Diesel (15%)

Well-rounded midsize SUV fits five passengers and is graceful on- or off-road.

Volkswagen Passat TDI (13%)

Refined style and diesel efficiency, a respectable family sedan option.

Chevrolet Impala (7%)

Roomy, solid, modern update for the 2014 full-size sedan, with a comfortable ride and modern features.

Honda CR-V (6%)

Roomy, fuel-efficient, with high safety scores. Good driver and passenger experience and features.

Mazda CX-9 (6%)

Fits the family vehicle profile and offers punchy handling and performance.

Ford Mustang Convertible (4%)

Classic fun-maker that always rates well among modern muscle cars.

Nissan Altima (4%)

Refined, efficient and very nice to drive. Performance that will not be ignored; refreshing for a family driver.

Toyota Prius V (3%)

The Toyota Prius V is the first alternate model offered in the popular hybrid line, and gives a larger, more family-centric alternative to the Prius hatchback.

Hyundai Santa Fe (3%)

An upset in the crossover division, bringing high quality, comfort, style and power to the driver

Ford C-Max Hybrid (2%)

A compact crossover with a twist, filling the gap between small commuters and minivans. Economical, with good handling.

Kia Forte (1%)

Always a good value, full-featured for a compact sedan, well-styled, and competitively priced.

Honorary mention: We’d like to give special shout-out to the 2014 Chrysler Town & Country for the Stow ‘n Go® seating that allows all seats rear of the front row to fold flat into the floor of the cabin. You can ride to a destination with a vehicle full of passengers, and when you get there, the Town & Country can become a spacious and adaptive part of the adventure.

Source:  Sonny Bynum