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Make lasting memories in these summertime cars and SUVs.

Best Used Cars for Summer | CarMax

Looking for fun this summer — and fun cars to help make it happen? Here are some cars and SUVs that can help you and your family make this summer really memorable.

Pack up and take a road trip.

Summer wouldn’t be summer without a road trip, complete with great destinations and road trip games. These cars make great road trip machines.

Subaru Outback

Best Used Cars for Summer: Subaru Outback | CarMax

The Subaru Outback is tailor-made for a classic summer road trip — and these wagons just look right with a canoe or a couple of kayaks strapped to the roof. Many Outbacks come with a roof rack — and you can add your own kayak-ready or bike-rack attachments to the roof of models like the Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium or the more powerful, six-cylinder 2015 Subaru Outback 3.6R Limited.

And since all Outbacks come with all-wheel drive as standard equipment, you can pack one full of camping gear and hit the road — all kinds of roads — and feel more confident about being rugged and outdoorsy. Don’t forget your road trip checklist!

Other great road-trip machines include:


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Drop the top — and feel the summer breeze.

Sure, it gets hot out there, and the AC keeps you nice and cool. But everyone should ride in a convertible at least once a summer. It really helps you appreciate the season.

Chevrolet Corvette

Best Used Cars for Summer: Chevrolet Corvette | CarMax

Drop the top in a car like the Chevrolet Corvette and let the wind blow through your hair — isn’t that what summer’s all about?

The Corvette has been around for 65 years at this writing. And all this time, we think it’s probably been the ultimate summertime convertible. With a 455-hp V8 under the hood, models like the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray are quick, slick, and very sporty. Want even more Corvette? Look at a 2016 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 — these 650-hp models are supercharged.

Porsche Boxster

Best Used Cars for Summer: Porsche Boxster | CarMax

All Boxsters are convertibles — which makes them great summer cruisers. The 2011 Porsche Boxster is a two-seat roadster with an engine mounted amidships for near-50/50 weight distribution. This configuration in all models makes Boxsters great drivers that handle and perform like true sports cars.

Fiat 500

Best Used Cars for Summer: Fiat 500 | CarMax

See that canvas-looking top stretching across the metal sides of the 201X Fiat 500? It unlatches at the front and rolls back to sit in a stack above the tailgate. It’s a throwback look to the convertibles of decades ago, and it really fits the little Fiat’s charming vibe.


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Keep cool all over with cooled seats.

Cooled seats (also known as ventilated seats) are a very cool move in the summer months. When you’re driving a late-model Mustang, you can stay cool all over — in style.

Ford Mustang

Best Used Cars for Summer: Ford Mustang | CarMax

Starting in 2015, you could choose an iconic, stylish Mustang with a new twist: cooled front seats. The 2016 Ford Mustang GT’s two front seats have fans inside that blow air through the perforations to help keep your fanny feeling fresh.

Here are some more cars that are available with cooled front seats:


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Drop in at a drive-in theater.

Never been to a drive-in movie theater? According to Travel + Leisure magazine, drive-ins are retro and trendy all over again. Don’t miss out on this classic, old-school summertime activity — and try it in a vehicle like one of these.

Chrysler Town and Country

Best Used Cars for Summer: Chrysler Town and Country | CarMax

Here’s what you do: pack a minivan with your family or friends (often, a drive-in theater charges admission by the car-full). Back it into your parking slot, lift the tailgate and set up your lawn chairs. Let the kids sprawl out in the cargo area with pillows and blankets. In a minivan like the 2014 Chrysler Town and Country Touring, you’ve got plenty of room for lots of little moviegoers.

Volvo XC90

Best Used Cars for Summer: Volvo XC90 | CarMax

The 2016 Volvo XC90 T6 Inscription is available with a 1,400-watt, 19-speaker, premium in-car audio system from Bowers & Wilkins®. So when you park your XC90 at the drive-in and dial in the movie’s sound for you and up to six others, you’ll definitely get plenty of bang for your buck.


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Take a one-tank trip.

Some cars are great for shorter summertime adventures, also known as one-tank trips, because they’re road trips you can make on a single tank of fuel. Cars like these are excellent one-tank trippers for frugal adventurers who want to drive a hybrid vehicle.

Ford Fusion Energi

Best Used Cars for Summer: Ford Fusion Energi | CarMax

Ford says its 2016 Ford Fusion Energi Titanium plug-in hybrid has a gas-and-electric driving range of up to 550 miles, depending on your driving style.1 This particular Fusion is a hybrid, and it’s possible to drive electric-only for short distances, too.

Infiniti QX60 Hybrid

Best Used Cars for Summer: Infiniti QX60 Hybrid | CarMax

The 2014 Infiniti QX60 Hybrid sits at the top of our list of the best ranked hybrid SUVs of 2018. This luxury SUV led sales of hybrid SUVs at CarMax stores in February 2018, and it has flexible road-tripping features like all-wheel drive and an estimated 25 mpg city and 28 mpg highway.1

You can also check out these cars for maxing out your mpg this summer:

Are you seeking a summer cruiser? We can help you find the right car, truck, or SUV for making summer memories. Get started right here.

1 Fuel economy and range figures are based on EPA estimates when vehicles sold as new. Fuel economy may vary for reasons like driving conditions and vehicle history. Range will vary based on, among other things, battery age, vehicle condition, and driving conditions. Battery range may decrease with time and use. See fueleconomy.gov for details.
Unless otherwise noted, information relating to these featured vehicles comes from third-party sources, including manufacturer information. Product and company names may be trademarks™ or registered® trademarks of third-party entities. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by these entities.


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