8 Great Cars (and a Truck) to Consider for Country Driving

source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/javism/

Last month, we ran a piece showcasing nine cars that are ideal for urban and city environments, where factors such as ease of parking, fuel economy, small footprint, and maneuverability play big into the buyers’ decision process. To follow that up, we threw together a collection of vehicles that perform well in the near-opposite conditions — the country, that is.

Like the city, countryside living has its own set of unique quirks to deal with. While traffic and tight spaces may not be among them, those in more rural environments often have to deal with more poorly maintained roads, mud, snow, and other forms of undesirable terrain (or desirable, depending). Physical environment aside, those living outside the urban epicenters will find longer commutes, and may need to take a more calculated approach to shopping (i.e., bigger trips), as the corner store may not be just down the block.

When searching through the myriad of vehicles that would perform admirably in these conditions, we took a few factors into account when determining which would be best — fuel economy (for the lengthened commutes), cargo space and volume (for those larger grocery runs, etc.), and off-road (or poor-road) capabilities. Here’s what we came up with — what would you add? Notably, the following vehicles are not ranked, just listed.