It might not have the most smoking looks, but the 2011 Dodge Durango Heat ($30,300) packs a surprising amount of... power. The five-passenger, full-size SUV features a Pentastar V-6 producing 296 horsepower and good for 23 miles per gallon fuel economy, an aggressively-tuned suspension for hugging the curves, available all-wheel-drive, a color-matched grille, 20-inch wheels, a dual exhaust, and whopping 50 cubic feet of storage behind the second row of seats — more than enough room to practice making the progeny it will take to fill it.
If you long for the boxy, rugged looks of classic Rovers but want to keep the creature comforts of modern models, check out the Land Rover Defender X-Tech (£25,000; roughly $40,000). Available in three-door 90 or five-door 110 varieties, the X-Tech features a blocky front end with black on the roof, wheel arches, and headlight assemblies, a silver (90) or olive green (110) exterior, glossy black 16-inch "Saw Tooth" alloy wheels, a 2.4L common-rail diesel powerplant, and all the off-road chops you'd expect. If only they were selling it in the U.S.
Modern SUVs offer a great blend of comfort, performance, and utility, but they just can't match the unabashed ruggedness of earlier models. This 1959 Land Rover Series II Model 109 ($82,000 and up; Auction) is certainly among those, with seating for ten, a "tropical" roof, tank-like construction that's even more robust than the cheaper follow-up Series IIA model, and a like-new condition thanks to a full restoration by well-known Land Rover enthusiast Lanny Clark, using only original parts. Part of a run that lasted only two years, this classic is sure to keep you going in the snow and sun for years to come without going out of style.