Somewhere between the fiction of The Walking Dead and the realities of the California fires, it occurs to us that it could be smart to own a vehicle capable of escaping zombie hordes and natural calamities. These are your best bets for getting away from it all, whether you’re escaping an impending cyclone or the mayhem from an erupting volcano.
1. BMW R 1250 GS
THE 101: BMW’s adventure motorcycle, brand-new and primed for on- and off-road retreats.
SPECS: Flat-twin boxer engine with 136 hp and 105 ft lbs of torque; $17,695.
FOOTPRINT: Burly and tall enough to intimidate New York City taxis; slim enough to slip through clogged streets.
DISASTER FLICK TO MATCH: Independence Day. Aliens are attacking your city, and you’ve gotta get out of town fast.
BOTTOM LINE: The best way to beat traffic.
2. Polaris RZR XP 4 Turbo S
THE 101: A souped-up, open-air buggy.
SPECS: Turbocharged four- stroke, twin-cylinder engine with 168 hp; $30,499.
FOOTPRINT: Carries four, has 32-inch wheels and 16 inches of ground clearance.
DISASTER FLICK TO MATCH: Mad Max. The vehicle should be in every road warrior’s garage.
BOTTOM LINE: A fast, super-capable off-roader that Mel Gibson would approve of.
3. Mercedes-Benz G 550
THE 101: An all-new version of the military-minded Geländewagen.
SPECS: 4-liter twin-turbo V-8 engine, with 416 hp and 450 ft lbs of torque; $124,500.
FOOTPRINT: The brute is 6.4 feet high and weighs more than 5,500 pounds.
DISASTER FLICK TO MATCH: World War Z. This Mercedes-Benz will give you a fighting chance at escape.
BOTTOM LINE: The apocalypse just got comfortable.
4. Jeep Gladiator Rubicon
THE 101: It’s a Jeep Wrangler—with a truck bed.
SPECS: 3.6-liter V-6 engine with 285 hp and 260 ft lbs of torque; $48,000 (estimated).
FOOTPRINT: 31 inches longer than the four-door Jeep Wrangler.
DISASTER FLICK TO MATCH: San Andreas. This Jeep could negotiate quake-broken streets and maneuver around abandoned vehicles.
BOTTOM LINE: The legendary Jeep now has room to carry all of your survival gear.
THE 101: This Daimler-produced multipurpose truck is the equivalent of a tank—and you can potentially live inside it.
SPECS: Option for 6-liter, turbocharged diesel engine with 300 hp; $100,000-plus (estimate).
FOOTPRINT: A movable house.
DISASTER FLICK TO MATCH: The Day After. The Unimog would allow you to roll across the wastelands safely.
BOTTOM LINE: Might be the most capable off-roader on the planet.