With summer officially here, what better way to enjoy the warm weather than by grabbing a surfboard and heading out to the nearest beach? We take a look at five cars we think are perfect for the task – some are sensible, while others are a bit more left-field.
The new Mini Countryman is a car that couldn’t look more at home by the beach. Now occupying the C-segment sector of the market, it combines the practicality of a five-seat estate car with a raised ride and mild off-road credentials thanks to its ALL4 four-wheel-drive system.
There’s more than enough space on the roof for a couple of surfboards, and Mini even sells a specially-made roof tent – perfect for an impromptu camping trip after a day at the beach. Its 450-litre boot should also provide more than enough space for any additional bits and pieces you might need to bring along with you.
Volkswagen California Ocean
Going off the name alone, could there really be a more suitable vehicle for taking on a surfing trip? The Volkswagen California Ocean is just about the perfect beach van – not only because it offers a huge amount of room for storing a number of surfboards, but also because it’s a fully-contained campervan.
After a day spent out in the waves, there couldn’t really be a better vehicle to come back to. The 42-litre fridge will keep drinks cold and refreshing, and a gas-hob means you’ll be able to get dinner on the way as well. Then, after spending the night, you’ll be able to wake up bright and early to catch the early morning swell.
Mercedes-Benz E Class All-Terrain
If you’re looking for a car that will get you and all your surfing gear to the seaside in supreme comfort, the E Class All-Terrain makes a lot of sense. With the rear seats in place, the boot is a considerable 640 litres, which can be increased to 1,820 litres with the rear seats folded down – more than enough room for a couple of shortboards. Longboards will have to be strapped to the roof, mind.
The All-Terrain makes use of the same six-cylinder diesel engine as the regular 350d estate, which means that fuel bills shouldn’t be too steep. While exact figures haven’t yet been released for the All-Terrain, they shouldn’t be too dissimilar to the 350d’s 51.4mpg figure. The All-Terrain is set to go on sale this summer
Vauxhall Maloo R8 LSA
If there’s one pastime the Austalians love, it’s surfing. Trust them to come up with a vehicle that seems as though it’s been made especially for carrying surfboards, then. The Maloo ‘ute’ makes use of a rather ridiculous 6.2-litre supercharged V8 that produces 537bhp and 671Nm of torque, meaning you should be able to get out to the beach in no time at all.
With its practical load-bed sitting directly behind the front seats, you can easily throw all of your equipment in and set off – just make sure you secure it, as the Maloo is an incredibly rapid car. In fact, it will dispatch the sprint from 0-60mph in just 4.4 seconds.
Ferrari GTC4 Lusso
OK, so the Ferrari GTC4 Lusso isn’t exactly a car that has been designed with surfing in mind, but come on – how cool would it look with a surfboard strapped to its roof? Yes, it would be a bit of a logistical issue trying to source a suitable roof rack, but where there’s a will, there’s a way. That famous Ferrari V12 coupled with four-wheel-drive stability will also be an absolute riot on those winding coastal roads.