They can’t eat you if they can’t catch you: Best cars for surviving the zombie apocalypse

If zombies were at your door, would you grab the keys to a Corolla or a Hyundai?

The Korean carmaker has been a high-profile sponsor of AMC’s The Walking Dead, turning an Elantra coupe into a zombie assault vehicle, and more recently, launching The Walking Dead Chop Shop, an app that allows fans to customize Velosters and Tucsons with important zombie apocalypse accessories like spikes and armor plating. Sadly, it’s just a fun app, though. For now.

Obviously, if zombies shuffled into reality, there would be more choices of vehicle available. Unless you live near an army depot, a tank or other purpose-built zombie-proof vehicle will probably be out of the question, but there should be plenty of suitable rides in the driveways of the recently devoured.

So what’s the perfect car for surviving the zombie apocalypse?

1963 Chevrolet ImpalaAn old full-size American car

After humanity reaches the brink of extinction, it might be difficult to find a mechanic with more than rudimentary experience, let alone the knowledge and equipment to diagnose an OBD II trouble code or Check Engine light. Finding an older car without any computer controlled systems might be a good idea.

The giant full-size sedans, coupes, and station wagons that roamed America’s highways until the late 1970s would be perfect candidates. They have old-school carbureted engines (and there’s plenty of room under their hoods for something big), their all-steel bodywork can shrug off a few zombie hits, and their cavernous interiors can hold plenty of weaponry – I mean, “survival gear.”

The only question is: which one? Mopar fans will sing the praises of the Plymouth Fury, Ford fans will nominate the LTD, and General Motors loyalists will fight amongst themselves over the merits of Chevrolet Impalas (pictured above), Oldmsobile Cutlasses, and Pontiac Bonnevilles.

If all of these cars haven’t already rusted into oblivion, there should be plenty of choices.

2001 Ford Crown Victoria front three quarter motionFord Crown Victoria

Ford’s Panther-platform cars (Crown Victoria, Mercury Grand Marquis, Lincoln Town Car) have a lot in common with zombies. Like the undead, they just never stay down. Although Ford recently ended production of these V8, body-on-frame relics, they’re still favored by taxi drivers and police officers all over the country.

If a Crown Vic can survive years of abuse as a cab or a cop car, it should be able to survive the zombie apocalypse. There’s also plenty of room inside for weapons and supplies.

A few of the qualities that made it so endearing to fleet buyers will also be useful once civilization comes to and end. Unlike newer unibody cars, the Crown Vic’s separate frame can be straightened fairly easily after an accident. There should also be plenty of spare parts in the ruins of your local Autozone.

The Crown Vic’s one drawback is its lack of performance. Despite being involved in many police chases, it actually isn’t that fast. Hopefully, the zombies you encounter will be the shuffling kind, not the World War Z zombie sprint running kind.

2014 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor off roadFord F-150 SVT Raptor

With civilization destroyed, road maintenance will come to an end. Survivors may also have to travel great distances to reach the small remaining pockets of humanity. That’s where the Ford F-150 SVT Raptor comes in.

The Raptor combines speed and off-road ability like no other production vehicle. Giving the Raptor its roar is a 6.2-liter V8 with 411 hp and 434 lb-ft. It’s backed up by a six-speed automatic transmission, long-travel suspension with triple-bypass Fox Racing shock absorbers, and beefed-up differentials.

All of that makes the Raptor the perfect vehicle for traversing vast distances on unimproved surfaces. In other words, a zombie apocalypse would finally give it a purpose. The only downside is that the loud exhaust might attract zombies. Just run ’em over.

Land Rover Defender 90 front three quarterLand Rover Defender

The Defender combines go-anywhere capability with rugged simplicity and relatively tidy proportions. These are all-important considerations when navigating the post-apocalyptic hellscape that used to be your local shopping mall.

The Defender is the British army’s light utility vehicle of choice, and with good reason. It can go basically anywhere, but unlike the HMMWVEE, it won’t get bogged down on narrow city streets. It probably gets better gas mileage than the Hummer too. But what doesn’t?

This trim Brit also comes with many options. There are Spartan military versions and posh civilian versions, all available in a host of body styles. Its also a great vehicle to modify, especially when those modifications involve armor plating.

Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 6x6 whiteMercedes-Benz G63 AMG 6×6

Sure, the Defender is a good, basic truck, but what if you’re looking for something beyond basic? Few military vehicles are as well-appointed – and plain monstrous – as the Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 6×6.

This three-axle version of Mercedes’ venerable G-Class started out with the Australian armed forces. If its tough enough for the land of Mad Max, it should do just fine in a world destroyed by zombies.

A vehicle this massive would make a great battering ram, ploughing through hoards of zombies and crushing them under its six 37-inch tires.

The G63 AMG 6×6 doesn’t just bring incredible off-road capability to the table, it also coddles its occupants in a leather-lined cabin and coddles its cargo in a bamboo-lined pickup bed. A machine gun or ten could probably fit back there, too.

Helping to get the well-heeled survivor away from the zombie hoards is a 5.5-liter twin-turbocharged V8, producing 536 hp and 560 lb-ft. It’s coupled to a seven-speed automatic transmission. Zombies, good luck stopping it.

With impressive off-road capability, power, and speed, the Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 6×6 covers all of the bases. Just don’t forget to grab that case of Moet while fleeing your walled compound.

Volvo 240 wagon profileVolvo 200 series

When you’re not taking the fight to the zombies, it’s still important to have a ride that won’t let you down. A Volvo won’t strike fear into the hearts of the undead, so it’s a good thing they don’t have a consciousness.

The Volvo’s best offense is a good defense. It’s so bland that it just blends into the scenery. The zombies might not be able to tell it’s a car full of tasty brains – or just full of hipster zombies, like usual.

Despite not being combat-ready, the blocky Volvo 200 series, like the popular 242 DL wagon, has many fine zombie-resistant qualities. Any car that can survive a winter on Sweden’s roads has to be pretty tough and with donor cars in every fourth suburban driveway available for spare parts, an old Volvo can be kept running essentially forever. Plus, Volvo is known for its psychotic dedication to safety.

Because zombies aren’t the only dangers out there.

What kind of vehicle have you readied (or would like to) for the impending zombie doomsday? Please, tell us all about it in comments!

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