Human Civilization Is Collapsing! What Car Do You Steal?

Me and my buds headed into the wasteland to steal water and eat other people
Me and my buds headed into the wasteland to steal water and eat other people
Photo: Andrew Collins

Good evening. We at Jalopnik regret to inform you that the collapse of human civilization is upon us. We’ve had a good, I don’t know, 10,000 years or so, but even the best parties have to end sometime. This leaves you facing an important question: what car do you steal?


Now, as you head for the hills as the masses descend into total anarchy amid resource scarcity and widespread rioting, you could bring your own car. You may even like it a lot. But this is no time for sentimentality, and it’s certainly no time for laws, either. Those are no longer things. You may as well take something for yourself that’s new and hopefully durable.

You could say “Screw it, I’m about to die soon anyway. I’m going to steal that Ferrari I’ve always wanted to drive and have some fun on my way out.” And that’s fair! Might as well live out those Michael Bay fantasies you were too afraid to admit you had before some roving pack of vandals turns your skull into a hood ornament.

But me, I’m in it to win it, and when I position myself as a warlord leading a band of water-hoarding vandals, I’ll need the right ride.

I’ve settled on a new Toyota Land Cruiser. I’ve been on a weird Toyota truck kick lately, that’s part of it. But the bigger part is a desire for reliability and comfort in the apocalypse. I don’t want something that’s going to have complex repairs, or even repairs at all for a while; I also want to be reminded that we humans achieved great highs in our time as the dominant species on the planet, like heated leather seats.

Since the current Land Cruiser has been around now since 2007 with only occasional updates, I cannot in good conscience recommend you buy one new—especially since they’re often around $85,000. But that makes it an ideal vehicle to steal when things go completely to shit and money is just another thing you’ll throw on a fire to stay warm.

And as our own Andrew Collins wrote last year, you know it’s gonna be reliable, because that is the whole point:

And let’s be real, if you’re crossing the African savannah or Australia’s Simpson Desert, which would you rather bet your life on: a big naturally aspirated Toyota engine that’s been around for a decade, or something with two turbochargers?


That goes double for the End Times.

Now, I know where my argument falls down: fuel economy. A Land Cruiser gets 13 mpg in the city and 18 on the highway, which is objectively terrible on a good day and will be even worse when gas becomes scarce. So my plan is to use it to get to where I need to go, and then sip fuel as much as I can by driving it only when I have to. Like on raids on competing settlements, for example.


But that may not be the best answer here. What would you do?

Editor-in-Chief @ Jalopnik, 2015-2019.


Ash78, voting early and often

I would run down to the nearest train tracks and see if I could find a CSX heavy-duty pickup with retractable rails. It might be a longshot, but when the roads are clogged with traffic and looters, that’s the last place I want to be stuck. I could drive on the rail OR along the railbeds on the gravel. Or the roads.