Tech Tools: When Your Business Needs Wheels…

Best Road-Trip Car

2015 Chevrolet Impala (Chevrolet.com)

Impalas are designed for long rides to cross-state trade shows or conventions. These handsome sedans (starting at $27,885) offer spacious legroom and headroom, so five can ride comfortably without anyone’s knees getting squashed. And 19 cubic feet of trunk space means they can all bring their luggage. Don’t worry that Dale From Accounting is a terrible driver; the Impala has your back. An optional electronic steering system alerts the driver to a host of threats such as swerving out of a lane, whether a forward collision is imminent or if something is in the blind spot. When the car is parked or standing, a start/stop feature shuts off the peppy V6 engine to save fuel, leaving more cash for important things at the next pit stop, like beef jerky and slushies.

 

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Best Work Truck

2015 Ford F-150 (Ford.com)

Ford’s been building the best-selling pickups in the U.S. for 30 years. The newest F-150 (starting at $25,720) can haul up to 3,300 pounds and tow up to 12,200 pounds, which is enough strength to drag a forklift or two. Its frame is composed of high-strength steel, and its body and bed are military-grade aluminum alloy (the stuff Humvees are made of). This high-tech material shaves 700 pounds off the weight of previous F-150 models, meaning it can deliver up to 20 percent better gas mileage than ever before. Tight maneuvering is easier on this model as well. Multiple exterior cameras offer a 360-degree, bird’s-eye view of your surroundings, and the trailer hitch has its own rearview camera, so you no longer need a spotter to guide you when hooking up.

 

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Best Utility Van

2015 Ram ProMaster City (RamTrucks.com)

Modeled after those sporty Fiat cargo vans that are available only in Europe, the 2015 Ram ProMaster City (starting at $22,000) can transport a ton of stuff (literally 2,000 pounds) between its optional towing package and 132 cubic feet of cargo space. The rear doors open a full 180 degrees, making loading that much easier. And if you’re worried about boxes sliding around during speedy deliveries, you can secure your packages to tie-down hooks embedded in the floor. That’s van-tastic! (Sorry.)

 

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Best Truck for Pulling Equipment

2015 Super Duty Ford F-450 (Ford.com)

This imposing beast can tow and haul as much as 40,000 pounds. That’s enough heft to yank a house off its foundation. To help you operate such a behemoth, the V8 comes with practical features such as telescoping side mirrors that reveal more of what exactly is going on back there, and roof clearance lights to illuminate just how much clearance you’ve got in the garage. Speaking of garages, the F-450 (starting at $56,010) stretches 22  feet from grille to tailgate, so you may want to measure before trying to park it inside. Imagine channeling your inner trucker—without the pesky No-Doz habit.

 

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Best Bargain Buy

2015 Honda Fit (Honda.com)

These may not be the coolest-looking cars on the road, resembling the dopey love child of a Prius and a minivan, but they deliver the best bang for your new-car buck. Bootstrappers take heed: We’re talking 33 mpg in the city and 41 mpg on the highway, with a starting price of just $15,525. Unless your name is Mario Andretti, the 4-cylinder engine should be perky enough, and best of all, new Fits have a spacious cabin—the gas tank was moved under the front seats to make more space for rear passengers—and its versatile backseat can be folded in a variety of directions, delivering up to 53 cubic feet of storage space.

 

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Fantasy Vehicle for Entertaining Clients

2015 Bentley Flying Spur V8 (BentleyMotors.com)

Bentleys are like rhinoceroses, wide and fantastical beasts, and when they’re out on the road, you can almost feel them coming. The 2015 Bentley Flying Spur V8 includes natural wood and leather in the sleek interior, and for an extra fee you can even customize the color of the steering wheel stitching to match your company’s logo (if the starting price of $195,100 wasn’t quite enough). If you’d like some privacy, the four-door car comes with side window blinds, and you can use the internal Wi-Fi, three LED screens and HDMI cable inputs to get real work done while feeling like royalty. Yes, driving clients around in a Bentley may be excessive, but it’s a ride they won’t soon forget.

Are you a regular business traveler? Check out 34 smart strategies to pull off cheap trips.

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Alyson Sheppard

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