United States Forums

Start a new topic Change Forum
Advanced search

Driving from Detroit to San Diego in small horesepower car. Best Route?

Jump to last reply

I'm driving from the Detroit area to San Diego in a few days. I've driven across the country several times and have done the trip through Denver on the I70 route, the trip through New Mexico on the I40 route, and I've even done the trip on I80 through Wyoming. This particular time, I'm looking for the shortest time, but the kicker here is that I also have to figure in temperature and elevation as, this time, I'm driving a 2000 BMW 323CI with a 2.5L 170 hp I6 engine. In the past, I've done the trip in V8 Mustangs (GT, Saleen, etc.), a souped up Cutlass, and other higher horsepower motors. I'm concerned that the trip through NM and Arizona with that getting over the final mountains climb into San Diego (which is steep for about 10 miles) might be a little rough on my engine (not to mention potential heat). Conversely, the trip through Colorado and Utah on the I70 route will probably not be as hot, but I'm concerned the long duration at elevation might cause engine problems. Lastly, I80 is too far out of the way for this trip so it's out of question.

My question to all of you is 1. Take the I40 route through Oklahoma, Albuquerque, Flagstaff, Yuma and risk higher heat possibilities capped with a final mountain climb (I know not as scenic but maybe less gas due to less overall climbs) or 2. I70 route through Nebraska, Denver, Utah, Vegas, Riverside (most direct and scenic but sustained elevation).

Both trips have their merits, but my concern is my car. Which has the best route for a small horsepower car? Scenery isn't a big factor for this trip. I'm assuming a long three or maybe a softer 4 day trip with both day and night driving. (12 to 14 hours)

Any suggestions?

16 Replies |Back to top

| Add a Reply

Sign in to comment.

Recent Activity

  • Announcement:
  • Fodor's 100 Hotel Award Winners Announced
    by Emily_D Fodor's Editor | Posted on Sep 17, 14 at 01:05 PM
View all United States activity »
  1. 1 Newport Restaurants
  2. 2 Baltimore Inner Harbor to DC - without a car; with luggage - suggestions?
  3. 3 Newport, RI - What's it like?
  4. 4 Door County or New Glarus, Wis visit 4th weekend in Oct 2014?
  5. 5 Worst Restaurants in America
  6. 6 Trip Report Low Country Honor Flight to Washington DC
  7. 7 Fall week in Massachusetts
  8. 8 San Francisco vs. San Diego
  9. 9 MA to FL on Thanksgiving Day
  10. 10 Hawaii: Multi-generational family vacation
  11. 11 Ideas needed for October Road trip
  12. 12 Signal Mountain Lodge, Gardiner and Bozeman
  13. 13 Question About Sealodge
  14. 14 Broadway choices
  15. 15 Don't rent from Avis Car Rental
  16. 16 5 Day Trip to New York in October
  17. 17 First trip to Portland, OR - looking for recommendations
  18. 18 Fairbanks Alaska
  19. 19 Safe for female travelling alone to Alaska in early November?
  20. 20 Long Weekend In Austin, Texas
  21. 21 Help with seeing Rocky Mountain National Park
  22. 22 Yosemite Lodging
  23. 23 Colorado aspen updates
  24. 24 Museum of Arts and Design, NYC
  25. 25 Trip Report Trip Report - Yellowstone & Grand Tetons National Parks - July 18-25, 2014
View next 25 » Back to the top