The type of vehicle will vary by your region and terrain. For deserts you might do okay going the rally sport way such as a Subaru Impreza WRX or other AWD sports car set up for rally sport. For fields and other off road terrain a truck or SUV may be a better choice. Whatever you choose it should not be a vehicle prone to problems.
AWD or 4WD is a must in a survival situation nothing else will really do in the mud, snow, sand, and rocks. SUVs are extremely versatile solution as most are already 4WD or AWD. They are big enough to run over whatever might get in your way and have enough weight to get through mud and snow. The problem with an SUV is the fuel consumption. However newer models are getting better gas mileage and more power due to hybrid technology. For myself I live in Wisconsin so a car is somewhat out of the question and a truck while versatile in its own way is not as nice as an SUV because they usually lack the 3rd row seating and therefore could allow people to jump in the bed to ambush you.
As far as tires go 35" or bigger mud tires are awesome for getting through anything. Tracks are another option but you need a huge budget and therefore would probably be more in the market of a tank anyway.
For the suspension on most SUVs you wont want to or need to jack them up much higher to fit 35s. The higher you lift them the more unstable they become. Top quality suspension components should be used. Avoid air bag suspensions as they are prone to bursting.
A secondary fuel reserve should be used be it a second fuel tank or an extra Jerry can of gas. You will need it especially in an SUV.
Body armor is a good investment to a survival vehicle. Winch bumpers are great for self recovery and ramming because they are made of much thicker steel. Smash bars, grill guards, and bull bars are good if you like seeing at night even after you run into something. Roll cages are good for adding strength to the vehicle and giving the chassis more rigidity. Roof racks allow you to carry more gear and usually have a spot to mount auxiliary lights.
My suggestions for good SUVs would be-
- Toyota FJ Cruiser
- Ford Bronco
- Jeep Cherokee
- Mercury Mountaineer
- Jeep Wrangler
- Nissan Rogue
- Dodge Ram Charger