When the apocalypse comes, you’ll need a vehicle that can outrun zombies, tackle difficult terrain, and keep going for the long haul. Fortunately, many of today’s trucks and SUVs were born ready for the job. These tough off-roaders have what it takes to help you survive a doomsday scenario, be it nuclear fallout, zombie mobs, or raining meatballs. We’ve gathered up the rigs we’d buy and kit out for the end times here, all chosen for their toughness and general off-road capability:
2020 Mercedes-Benz G-Class
The storied Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen is as capable as it is stylish. Although most buyers won’t ever venture off-road, except, well, in the event of an apocalypse, the G-Class was built for traversing mud, water, and steep slopes without breaking a sweat thanks to three locking differentials and articulate suspension. A 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 engine making 412 horsepower and 450 lb-ft powers the “base” G550 model, while the more thrilling Mercedes-AMG G63 variant gets a 577-hp, 627 lb-ft version of the same engine. Either way, you’ll be mowing down zombies and eluding roaming looters in style.
2020 Jeep Wrangler
The iconic Jeep Wrangler, our 2019 SUV of the Year, just might be the best off-road SUV money can buy. Throw its four-wheel drive transfer case into 4-Lo, and it will crawl up almost anywhere you can imagine, thanks to its excellent approach and departure angles, ground clearance, and robust solid axles front and rear. Thanks to a recent redesign, the SUV is now more comfortable than ever, and there’s more useful storage space for your post-apocalyptic gear than in previous iterations.
2020 Toyota Land Cruiser
One of the longest-running nameplates in the U.S. will also be one of the last vehicles standing when the world ends. You’ll appreciate that, despite the Toyota Land Cruiser being one of the larger choices around, it has relatively strong approach, breakover, and departure angles so you don’t get hung up on your way to your secret underground bunker. We’ve called it the “ultimate bug out buggy”, as it ships from the factory packing advanced features like Off-Road Turn Assist, the excellent Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System, and a locking center Torsen differential. The Land Cruiser is also famously quiet and composed on the road. The luxurious interior seats up to eight people, so you don’t have to leave anyone behind if those pesky summertime firestorms flare up too quickly and you need to, well, bug out.
2020 Ford Super Duty Tremor
It’s hard not to be intimidated by Ford’s heavy-duty off-road trucks in general and the Tremor in particular. Despite its size, the Ford Super Duty Tremor is unsettlingly quick, hitting 60 mph in as little as 7.2 seconds. Ford offers a 7.3-liter V-8 with 430 horsepower and 475 lb-ft of torque, but the real powerhouse is the 6.7-liter diesel V-8 that pumps out 475 ponies and 1,050 lb-ft of torque. Combined with its heavy-duty frame and running gear, it can both outrun danger or pummel right through it. Did we mention it has a bed? You know, for carrying stuff.
2020 Land Rover Defender
The Land Rover Defender is not your typical body-on-frame off-roader (not anymore, that is). Resurrected for 2020 as a modern unibody SUV, the once traditionally rugged 4×4 nevertheless stands 11 inches off the ground and can wade through 35.4 inches of water. The four-door Defender 110’s 38-degree approach, 29-degree break-over, and 40-degree departure angles help make it one of the most capable off-road vehicles on the market—and the two-door Defender 90’s figures are even better. If we can drive it across the African wilderness without breaking a sweat, it’ll handle your abandoned residential street just fine.
2021 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2
If you want to weather the apocalypse with a mid-size pickup truck, check out the Chevy Colorado. The ZR2 model is one of the best off-road trucks on the market and has exactly what you need to explore desert trails: A raised suspension, fantastic DSSV dampers, and large knobby tires complement its aggressive look. Plus, the available 2.8-liter Duramax turbodiesel (more efficient than the standard gas V-6) means you won’t have to stop at zombie-infested gas stations quite as often.
2020 Ford Expedition
Admittedly, the Ford Expedition is not an off-road beast like many other vehicles on this list. It’s not even particularly beastly. But it is an extremely capable people-hauler. The Expedition benefits from a quick and powerful twin-turbo V-6 engine, a spacious interior, and stellar towing capacity of up to 9,300 pounds. These are some of the reasons it won our recent large SUV comparison test. Here’s something else you’ll appreciate when you’re dragging your camper trailer through the apocalyptic wastelands: The long-wheelbase model with a larger fuel tank can travel 570 miles before refueling.
2020 Jeep Gladiator
The Jeep Gladiator is new to the midsize pickup segment, and it has already made its mark. Not only is it an off-road king, but it also creams rivals with a towing capacity of up to 7,650 pounds. Our favorite variant is the Mojave desert racer. It has slightly more ground clearance and is much nimbler at speed than the more rock-crawler Rubicon, but, hey, take your pick. All Gladiators are rugged and off-road-ready, although keep in mind that their long wheelbases (and resultant mediocre breakover angles) leave their bellies exposed to society’s rubble and such. The Jeep makes up for it with great payload capacity, perfect for hoarding and transporting scarce supplies of water, gas, and food rations.
2020 Ford F-150 Raptor
America’s best-selling vehicle would make a great doomsday truck, right? Replacement parts availability and what not. But that’s boring, and why buy a regular Ford F-150 when you could grab the Raptor, which is equipped with everything you need to jump over a sand dune or nuclear waste. Instilling confidence off the beaten path even at speed, the truck’s Fox shock absorbers adjust to changing terrain conditions with continuously variable compression damping. Under the hood sits a 450-hp 3.5-liter twin-turbo V-6, which is more than enough to blast through lonely, lifeless terrain.
2020 Range Rover
If the world ends, we’d appreciate a moment to recharge in the Land Rover Range Rover’s hot-stone massage seats offering 25 different programs. The luxurious SUV is available in many different flavors, from a versatile plug-in hybrid to the effortlessly quick SVAutobiography Dynamic with a supercharged V-8 to a surprisingly fuel-efficient diesel that can travel 545 miles on a tank. Come for the legendary off-road ability, stay for the peerless comfort and grace.
2020 Ram Power Wagon
There’s a heavy-duty Ram for everyone, at least in a doomsday world. The Power Wagon is a virtually unstoppable off-roader with a proven 6.4-liter Hemi V-8, a high-quality interior, and an available 12-inch touchscreen that will keep you comfortable and entertained. If the terrain is less entertaining, there’s a 12,000-pound Warn winch on hand. Posh, capable, and great to drive, the Power Wagon is part of the Ram Heavy Duty range that won our 2020 Truck of the Year award.
2021 Ram Rebel TRX
Watch out, Ford F-150 Raptor, because the off-road Ram 1500 Rebel is about to get even sweeter. That’s because the 2021 Ram Rebel TRX (coming soon!) will pack a significantly upgraded suspension and a supercharged 700-hp-plus Hellcat engine. If this thing doesn’t look like an apocalypse-ready truck, we don’t know what does. So, if the apocalypse holds off a while longer, be sure to look for the TRX and prepare.
2021 Ford Bronco
Speaking of the apocalypse’s potential delay beyond, well, now, after a two-decade hiatus the Ford Bronco is back (well, almost back!) to give the Jeep Wrangler a run for its money. Debuting this year, the 2021 Bronco SUV will sit on the same platform as the mid-size Ranger pickup and feature a mix of retro and modern design cues. Given Ford’s expertise with off-road trucks like the F-150 Raptor and Super Duty Tremor, we expect the Bronco to be a strong performer off the beaten path, as you can see in the spy photo above, where a Bronco prototype is leaping through the snow.
2021 Tesla Cybertruck
Provided the apocalypse is delayed beyond even Tesla’s often-delayed new-vehicle production schedules, the new Cybertruck is well positioned for the end times, at least visually. Employing the same stainless steel used by SpaceX, the Tesla Cybertruck claims to be bulletproof to 9-mm rounds. The windshield is also bulletproof (supposedly), and the side glass is supposedly impact-resistant, making this truck a safe hideout in the event of a zombie apocalypse. The truck’s design, including its intimidating 35-inch off-road tires, is bold and pointy enough to scare off any potential raiders.
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