2010 Mercedes-Benz GL-ClassEnlarge Photo
For the Eco-Friendly Evacuee: 2010 Mercedes-Benz GL350 diesel
If you're willing to trade a little interior room for gas mileage, the GL350 diesel is definitely worth a second look -- probably a third or fourth. True, it lacks the distinctive good looks sported by others in our lineup, but it's a Mercedes, so chances are good that it'll hold itself together on the road, even when idling in gridlock during the heat of an August afternoon. And besides, it's a diesel, so in case gas stations run short on fuel (and yeah, they totally will), you can always "borrow" goods from generators along the route.
2010 Chevrolet SuburbanEnlarge Photo
For the Hopeless Hoarder: 2010 Chevrolet Suburban
Whether you've got an army of kids, a kennel of pit bulls, or the second largest stamp collection in Central Florida, the Suburban offers more interior room than almost any other ride, short of a shortbus. Of course, there are trade-offs: it's a big honkin' set of wheels, so if you're one of those people who thinks he's always stuck in the slow lane, switching isn't as easy as it would be in one of our other recommended rides. (Just sit tight: nobody's getting anywhere fast, anyway.) Furthermore, the Suburban isn't exactly known for its fuel economy -- but then, with its towing capacity, you can just as easily strap on some extra gas to compensate.
2010 Toyota PriusEnlarge Photo
For He (or She) Who Travels Light: 2010 Toyota Prius
There are a lot of reasons to like the Toyota Prius, even for an evacuation ride. Obviously, it gets great gas mileage, which means fewer stops along the way -- and with lines at gas stations often stretching for as far as the eye can see, that's a very good thing. And though it's no TARDIS, the Prius has more room on the inside than you'd think, so you can take grandma's silver with you instead of burying it in the back yard. Newer models that feature the solar roof panel ensure that the A/C will keep right on pumping, which is especially nice to know when you're stuck at a standstill on a patch of bubbling blacktop. And even though the Prius hasn't managed to harness wind power (yet), its aerodynamic shape makes sure you'll have the traction you need in case of 100-mph crosswinds. That can't hurt.
Angular Front Exterior View - 2010 Jeep Wrangler 4WD 2-door SaharaEnlarge Photo
For the Doomsday Outdoorsman Who's Probably Read Cormac McCarthy's The Road One Too Many Times: 2010 Jeep Wrangler
Look, we have nothing against post-apocalyptic stories -- hell, who wouldn't enjoy spending a night at the Thunderdome, chilling with Tina Turner and waiting for her to give wackadoo Mel Gibson the smackdown? Of course, we're able to separate fact from fiction, but if you're one of those people who thinks that hurricanes carry atomic bombs loaded with biological weapons, you might consider investing in the original off-roader, the Jeep Wrangler. Sure, the suspension is a little rough, and the gas mileage isn't the best on the planet, but it's a rugged, versatile ride that can take a fair amount of abuse before it screams "uncle". And besides dude, how else are you going to reach the Unibomber cabin?
[with help from Marty]