I would appreciate any thoughts and advice that the aficionados on this site could provide. My situation is somewhat unique but not overly so in my part of the world. I live in Vancouver, B.C., an urban coastal city with a climate somewhat analogous to San Francisco in the States. About 1/2 of my driving is urban but the other half is in Northern B.C. and frequently in very remote areas. For the last 10 years I have driven a 1998 six cylinder Ford Explorer AWD. I faithfully use good synthetic lubricants, low rolling resistance all terrain tires, and heavy duty shocks but still find fuel costs to be daunting. I frequently drive in areas that are over 160 kilometres from the nearest town - town being a place with a population over 500. The ability to operate very reliably in very low temperatures and on snow packed roads is essential. Mobile phone service is spotty at best and it can be a long time between passing vehicles if your vehicle packs it in. Currently fuel prices are in the $1.20 per litre range but last summer were well over $1.70 per litre. Naturally cost of fuel is a major concern. Most vehicles in this area of northern BC seem to be 4 wheel drive trucks and truck based SUVs. Hyundai Tucsons/Kia Sportages are also seen, in part, I suspect, because of their exceptional warranties. In the next week or two I plan to replace my aging Explorer. What would be a reliable alternative for remote area cold weather travel? Would a hybrid Escape/Tribute or Hylander be able to handle weeks of sub-zero (Celsius) weather on snow packed roads. Are battery based vehicles reliable in extreme weather conditions? Are there things that could be done with a V6 Hyundai Tucson/Kia Sportage to lower their fuel consumption? Any and all comments and/or advice would be most appreciated.