Exploring Canada’s best roads, and the best luxury cars with which to test them.
It’s no surprise that Canada has earned a reputation for its stunning vistas and postcard landscapes. While many Canadians venture outside of our borders to travel, few have had the opportunity to explore their own vast nation. What better way to do that than a summer road trip? From coast to coast, there are ample routes and directions to take and, looking at the latest crop of luxury cars, there’s also no shortage of appropriate wheels in which to log the miles.
Volvo S60 T8 Polestar Engineered
Austere exterior design, intuitive interior controls, a refined chassis, packaged with a turbocharged and supercharged engine mated to an electric motor? The S60 T8 Polestar Engineered is not your father’s stodgy old Volvo by any stretch. Finding a car designed with such a thoughtful approach both inside and out isn’t all that common, making it the kind of car you’ll be happy to spend hours in.
With the glorious return of BMW’s halo 8-Series in razor-sharp M-Performance guise, the legacy of the classic ‘90s mega GT car has been revived in the best possible way. 523 horsepower, a beautifully executed (yet still “very BMW”) task-focused interior, and fantastic driving dynamics give the upper echelon grand touring competition a real run for their money. With BMW’s exterior style shift recently, we’d argue the M850i is hands-down the new flagship car to close out the decade.
Audi TT RS Coupe
For a lighter, more compact drive, the Audi TT RS is a no-brainer here, as it’s one of the last proper purpose-built German luxury sports coupes on the market outside of the Porsche family. The snug rear seats are large enough for a child or small- to medium-sized dog but, if it’s just a pair of you on the road, the TT RS will let you tear up all the winding roads your heart desires with enough room in the trunk for proper road trip luggage.
Porsche 911 Targa
What is a road trip story without the Porsche 911? Specifically, the open-air experience of the Targa is the best summer cruising companion of the Porsche line. It delivers the convertible experience with the top open, without the increased road noise inherent to a soft-top when you need to close the lid.
Maybe your route will involve unpaved roads, or uneven surfaces. Or, maybe you’re more fond of a more elevated driving experience. In either case, the new Lincoln Nautilus is an ideal companion. Lincoln has been growing in leaps and bounds, refining the quality and finishing of their vehicle line, and the new Nautilus delivers luxury in spades without reaching the gargantuan proportions of the larger Navigator. Unlike decades ago, this new mid-sized crossover easily keeps up with its German competition.
Mercedes Benz S63 AMG Cabriolet
The S63 AMG Cabriolet is in many ways the culmination of many of the key features found in all our other selections on this list. Tire shredding performance, luxe finishes, a plethora of comfort and entertainment features, open air driving, supreme comfort—what more could you ask for? Its 603 horsepower engine is the most powerful of the pack by a hefty margin and, though its sticker price (just shy of $200k) is also in the lead, you’re paying for way more than just brand name prestige here.
The Sea To Sky — Vancouver to Pemberton
Though less than 200km in length, the Sea To Sky Highway is a joy to drive as much for its smooth twisting pavement as it is for the scenic beauty you’ll pass along the way. Word to the wise—avoid the drive if there’s a festival or any other happenings taking pace in Whistler. The traffic backlog will put a real damper on the drive.
Cabot Trail — Looping Cape Breton Island
What Vancouver offers in the west, the Cabot Trail matches in the Maritimes. The Cabot Trail is a touch longer—creeping on 300kms—and is one worthy of splitting into a couple of days to take in the numerous attractions along the way.
Enter The Rockies — Calgary To Jasper
Another scenic gem, especially for those who’ve yet to see the Canadian Rockies first-hand, the drive into Jasper from Calgary is an otherworldly experience. From awe inspiring mountains to the unbelievably blue lakes and rivers you’ll pass along the way, it’s a sight that every Canadian should experience at least once.
Canadian Origins–Quebec City to Gaspe
Tracing the route that runs the southern bank of the St. Lawrence River will not only give you an interesting look into the diversity of culture outside of Quebec hub cities, but you’ll also be looking at the same topography that greeted our country’s first settlers. Watching the mighty river open into the Atlantic is a unique experience to say the least.