New Year’s Special: Best Vehicle for Party Hopping
Vans, SUVs, wagons, they’re all hereby Ciprian Florea, on
Traditionally, New Year’s is about spending time with family and friends. It’s about social gatherings, where many people dance, eat, drink alcoholic beverages, and watch or light fireworks at midnight. But some people spend the night traveling from house to house to attend more than just one party. It’s called party hopping, and it can be a great deal of fun if you’re not into spending the entire night indoors. But while spending time with family and friends indoors doesn’t require much planning beyond shopping and cooking, spending New Year’s Eve the party hopping way requires a car. And, a large one I may add because people are usually doing this in larger groups.
Yes, that’s what this New Year’s special is all about: the perfect car to spend New Year’s Eve on the go.
Spending the entire evening on the road with friends means you need a vehicle with plenty of seating. Luggage room shouldn’t be an issue since there’s not much to haul around, but I’m ruling out sports cars and vehicle that can’t provide seating for at least five people. The more, the merrier seems to be the essential rule of party hopping, so don’t look for McLarens and Ferraris on this list. Now let’s have a closer look at the options below.
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The Pacifica provides seating for up to seven people
Yes, minivans are the first vehicles that come to mind. They provide seating for several people and they’re relatively comfortable. There are plenty of options available out there but I went with a classic, the Chrysler Town & Country. Okay, so the Town & Country is no longer into production, but the Pacifica is essentially the same thing. Now with a modern exterior design and state-of-the-art tech inside the cabin, the Pacifica provides seating for up to seven people. I’d say seven people on the go are enough to get a party started. The Pentastar V-6 engine is plenty powerful at 287 horsepower and 262 pound-feet to get the vehicle moving when fully loaded and there’s even a hybrid version that will help you keep fuel costs down. But the Pacifica comes with one downside. Chrysler has yet to introduce an all-wheel-drive option so things might become tricky if you get a lot of snow on New Year’s.
Read our full review on the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica
The Express is one of the roomiest passenger vans out there
Yes, the Chevrolet Express is a dinosaur that was launched all the way back in 1995 and gained a facelift in 2003. But despite being a few good decades old, the Express is one of the roomiest passenger vans out there, offering seating for 12 people in standard guise and 15 with the optional seats. Sure, it’s actually a truck rather than a van, and it can be noisy and not too comfortable, but it’s a good option is the weather is bad due to its ride height and powerful engines. And it has some modern tech too, like a rear vision camera and built-in 4G LTE Wi-Fi. If you don’t fancy the Chevy badge, you can always go for GMC’s equivalent, the Savana.
An option for the smaller groups
Yes I know, jumping from the massive Express to the tiny Spark is awkward to say the least, but I’m including this car here as an option for the smaller groups. And why the Spark and not a different subcompact you ask? Simple! This tiny Chevy comes standard with a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot. Even in its most affordable trim. Being so small, there’s nothing much you can do inside the cabin, especially when all five seats are taken, so you can at least entertain yourself until you reach the next destination.
Read our full review on the 2017 Chevrolet Spark
The Sequoia is the perfect vehicle if you want a proper rear-seat entertainment system
Speaking of in-cabin entertainment, which is crucial if your party hopping even includes traveling long distances, the Toyota Sequoia seems to be the perfect vehicle if you want seating for eight, good shoulder and headroom, and a proper rear-seat entertainment system. The Japanese SUV comes with a nine-inch flip-down screen, a Blue-Ray unit, two wireless headphones, an audio system, a 115-volt AC power outlet, and two RCA jacks. The only downside is that you can only get these in the from the options list, but at least the Sequoia is more affordable than the Land Cruiser or the Cadillac Escalade. Of course, all-wheel-drive and all-terrain capability are a given.
Read our full review on the 2017 Toyota Sequoia Limited
The only sedan that can provide seating for more than five people
The Model S needs no introduction. It’s all-electric, it’s powerful, and it’s fast. What’s it doing on this list? Well, it’s basically the only sedan that can provide seating for more than five people. Specifically, you can add two more seats behind the second row. Sure, these are actually located in the trunk, and their rear-facing layout is far from ideal, but hey, you can travel with six more friends without having to burn gasoline or diesel in a big van or SUV. You also get all-wheel-drive to help you avoid getting stuck in the snow. And, you can brag about how you’re helping reduce greenhouse gas at the dinner table.
Read our full review on the 2017 Tesla Model S.
The Brookwood had had three benches for a 3+3+3 configuration
For my the next car on my list, we’re going to forget about 2017 and travel back to the late 1950s. That’s when Chevrolet introduced the Brookwood, a station wagon that shared underpinnings with the more iconic Bel Air, Impala, and Nomad. Don’t worry if you haven’t heard about it. This car was built from 1958 to 1961 only and then briefly revived from 1969 to 1972. The cool thing about this Chevy is that it came with a third-row seat option, which increases seating capacity from six to nine. Yup, the Brookwood had had three benches, including the one up front, for a 3+3+3 configuration. And that’s exactly why I’m including on this list. It’s more compact than a van, but it has room for nine. Granted, it’s a few decades old, and you might have trouble starting the motor if temperatures are below zero, and it might not be the best vehicle to drive in the snow, but you’d look really cool in it. And given the huge wheelbase and the wide body, there’s plenty of room to throw a party inside before reaching the next destination.
The Volkswagen Bus is the ultimate party hopping van
Known as the Type 2, T1, Transporter, Microbus, and Camper, the Volkswagen Bus is the ultimate party hopping van. It might not have all the fancy technology and convenience features, but it has that special vibe. Call me a hippie, but I’d take a Bus over a modern SUV or van any day of the week. And, before you call it small and cramp, the Bus is can provide seating for up to 12 people, so it’s second only to the massive Chevrolet Express on this list. There is a downside though, it’s four-cylinder engines are tiny and not so powerful, so your party won’t move between houses too fast. But hey, it was good enough for The Who. And Scooby Doo.
So, are doing any party hopping this year? What vehicle are you using? Let me know in the comments section below!