“Sane Prepping” Car/vehicle selection criteria

I realize there is A LOT of room for debate and preferences on this topic and everyone might be optimizing for slightly different scenarios, but I was curious if there were any top well balanced contenders, or even semi-universal criteria for selection of automotive transportation with an eye towards prepping?  Going with the theme of this site (“sane prepping”) I’m lobbying for criteria biased towards a combination of every day use but also some specialized use, also something that doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb (I am NOT interested in hummers, tactical/mad-max ready vehicles, or even cloth-covered Jeeps with snorkels).  I don’t want/need more than one car so a multitasker is ideal, though I’m open to upgrades like non-stock tires, non-obvious skid-plates, and removable roof cages, etc.

The criteria I’m thinking of so far include a lot of “normal” considerations:

  • Reliability/durability
  • Fuel economy (conceptually open to electric but feel like its still too specialized?)
  • Serviceability
  • Inconspicuousness/affordability
  • Safety/survivability
  • Cargo capacity (probably more than a sub-compact sedan, but nothing crazy big before it eats into fuel economy?)

The “Prepper” related extra considerations:

  • All wheel drive?
  • Higher () than average) ground clearance?
  • upgradability/the availability of upgrades (I imagine some car markets have more options than others?)?
  • at least light off-road capabilities (should be able to go over a curb/through light mud with confidence, maybe over small logs, but not planning on fording a river or scaling a boulder).

Anything obvious I miss?  Anything non-obvious that might be worth thinking about?  Also interested in  “upgrade” suggestions that I haven’t covered that might be generally applicable to any/most choices.

So far my limited research is making me wonder if a Subaru Outback might be worth looking into seriously?  I imagine the Jeep brand is popular, but I’m less sure about that for myself (but open to hearing more if you’re a fan).



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