December 21, 2012 is thought by some to signify the end of the world because that's the date when the Mayan calendar stops. No serious scholar agrees with this interpretation, but that hasn't stopped people from preparing for the end. In fact, 10 percent of people worldwide think the world will end December 21, according to a survey by Reuters and Ipsos Global Public Affairs.
While you may have stockpiled food and ammunition and run up your credit card bills, it's time to give some thought to what could be your final ride. Here are 13 of the best cars for the Mayan Apocalypse: Five to help you survive as long as possible, five to help you go out in style and three that will help you do both.
Five to Survive
The Chevrolet Express never seems to make anyone's "Best" list, but with the world ending, the Express' time has come. Available as a cargo van with up to 284.4 cubic feet of cargo space or as a passenger van with seating for up to 15 people, the Express has plenty of space for everything you'll need to repopulate the planet. The Express can also tow up to 10,000 pounds when properly equipped, so you can have a boat handy in case the oceans rapidly rise. It has available four-wheel drive for getting over Armageddon-roughened roads, and has an available diesel engine so you can gather grease from abandoned fast food joints to make your own biodiesel fuel.
It's tough to beat the Chevy Express when it comes to end-times utility, but the Toyota Land Cruiser is almost as capable and a lot more comfortable. The Land Cruiser can seat up to eight people in three rows and has standard features like HDD navigation and Toyota's Entune infotainment system. Entune allows you to control various apps on your smartphone like Pandora and Bing, so you can listen to your favorite music while searching for the closest National Guard armory. The Land Cruiser also comes with XM NavTraffic and NavWeather, so you can find the fastest routes out of town and avoid any impending meteor showers.
A big SUV or van is great for people who have a lot of friends or stuff to save, but if you're more of an every-man-for-himself sort of person, the Subaru Impreza is your best bet for riding out the apocalypse. Vans and SUVs may beat the Impreza when it comes to cargo or passenger capacity, but with the world ending, the Impreza has better fuel economy. With an EPA-estimated 36 mpg on the highway and 27 mpg in the city, the Impreza can cruise through deserted cities and towns without worry. The Impreza also has standard all-wheel drive. Though it can't handle serious off-roading, it should be able to scramble up logging or fire roads, taking you deep enough into the wilderness to avoid roving bands of survivors after your supplies. Speaking of supplies, you'll be able to carry more if you opt for the Impreza wagon.
All-wheel drive may not get you far enough away from civilization to eke out a few weeks of post-apocalyptic living. To get away from burning cities, mass panic and extreme weather, you're going to need four-wheel drive. The four-wheel drive system on the Jeep Wrangler is tough to beat. Not only is the Wrangler one of the oldest and most-trusted off-road models built today, but it also has some performance features to keep you moving when the road ends (or starts to collapse under you). The Wrangler Rubicon can ford 30 inches of water (more if you add a snorkel), has sway bar disconnect for better front wheel articulation and a removable air dam for better approach angles. With some added tech, your sway bars will be the only thing that's disconnected. The Wrangler's optional Garmin navigation system can keep you informed with weather and traffic updates – all the better to avoid mobs of screaming people who weren't prepared.
A few people may be lucky enough to survive Armageddon, and those people are going to need to rebuild. When you need to build something, you need a truck. When you need a truck, you need the Ram 1500. Sure, the Ram can tow up to 10,350 pounds when properly equipped and haul up to 1,910 pounds in its bed, but when the world ends, you're going to be upset. You'll want some comfort. Reviewers say there's no truck with an interior more comfortable than the Ram 1500. The Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn has a leather-swathed interior, features like memory seat and pedal adjustment, a heated steering wheel, ventilated front seats, a rearview camera, park assist (so you don't back into the rubble that was your home town) and a UConnect infotainment system with navigation.
Go Out in Style
The Porsche 911 Carrera S will probably not protect you from the end of the world, but it will make sure that you'll go with a smile on your face. With a 400-horsepower engine, 4.5-second 0-to-60 time and a top speed of 187 miles per hour, you can spend your final hours on this mortal planet in the fast lane. Since the world is going to end, you shouldn't have to worry about any speeding tickets you might get.
Because the end of the world is so close, a lot of people won't get to do everything they wanted to do in life. If you never got to spend a summer living la dolce vita in Tuscany, you can still make your last few weeks on earth bellisimo with the Lamborghini Gallardo. The Gallardo comes with a 550-, 560- or 570-horsepower engine and rear- or all-wheel drive. We recommend the 570-horsepower Superleggera model. Sure, it's the most expensive, but with the world ending, it's not like you'll be around when the bill comes due. The 570-horspower model also comes with an ultra light carbon fiber body and special paint colors. If you're going to see your friends and family for the last time, you might as well be in a car with a memorable paint job.
The end of the world is a great time to unleash your inner super spy. You might not be able to save the world like James Bond does, but you can still drive like him. The Aston Martin DB9 has a 12-cylinder engine that makes 470 horsepower. Though reviewers say it isn't as much of a driver's car as other exotics, the interior of the DB9 should make anyone feel at home. With exquisite leather on almost every surface and a coddling front seat, you'll be more than comfortable in the DB9 when you meet your end.
The Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet isn't from a luxury marquee. It doesn't have incredible performance or an opulent interior. What it does have is awkward looks and less-than-impressive sales numbers. So why get this car before the world ends? Well, why not? Look: The world is ending. Now is the time to try something you've never tried before. Take a break from crossing things like skydiving and calling up your junior high crush off your bucket list and get in the Murano CrossCabriolet just to experience what it's like to drive a convertible crossover. While you're at it, try some other unexpected combinations, like peanut butter and sushi or hang gliding in flannel pants. You just may find something amazing -- and if you don't, everyone will be dead soon anyway, so it's not like they can make fun of you for getting a Murano CrossCabriolet.
The apocalypse is coming and you've spent years driving yourself around like a chump. Now is the time to pamper yourself. The Audi A8L has quad-zone temperature control so everyone can stay comfortable while hell freezes over on one side of the car and fire rains from above on the other. It's also available with the Audi Connect system, which turns the car into an Internet hot spot so you can tell each and every one of your Facebook friends what you really think of them. The best part about the A8L, however, is its long wheelbase and exceptional back-seat comfort. Get the A8L, and hire yourself a driver. Tell him he'll get his first paycheck December 22.
The Land Rover Range Rover is legendary for its off-road capabilities and its interior luxury. The base model comes with a 5.0-liter V8 engine that makes 375 horsepower, an eight-speed automatic transmission and a terrain response system. The terrain response system allows the driver to dial in the type of terrain the Range Rover is facing and it automatically adjusts its responses. That makes it easy for even the least experienced off-road driver to go wherever seems safest. Inside, the Range Rover has high-end leather and a choice between wood and lacquer finishes, as well as an optional rear-seat entertainment system to keep little survivors quiet while Mom and Dad argue over which kid they should trade for some gasoline.
The Mercedes-Benz G550 SUV is designed with one thing in mind: getting you where you want to go, no matter where that is. With a 382-horspower V8 engine and three locking differentials, the G550 is capable on fast roads and slow rock crawls. The G550 can drive up an 80 percent grade and hang on with 24 degrees of sideways tilt. It can tow up to 7,500 pounds and has an 80 GB hard drive navigation system with Zagat survey information. Just because the world has ended doesn't mean you want to eat at a subpar restaurant.
Bentley Continental Supersport
The Bentley Continental Supersport features the most powerful Bentley engine ever: a twin-turbocharged 12-cylinder engine that makes 621 horsepower. That will certainly get the Supersport ahead of any world-ending tidal wave, but when asteroids start falling right in front of you, you'll need strong brakes. Bentley says the Supersport has "the largest carbon ceramic brakes ever offered on a production car." Once you're done outrunning nature's fury, enjoy the Supersport's interior, which features quilted Alcantara door panels, carbon fiber finishes, Breitling clock, iPod interface and available TV tuner for the infotainment system. We're not sure what will be on TV after December 21, but if you have a Bentley Supersport, you'll be able to find out.