As I mentioned before the time has come for some yearend information. Here are some of the answers I promised.
If you are a photographer working in the city than the vehicle you drive is of little concern as long as it will hold your equipment. That may be a portable studio or just a bag with a couple of cameras and lenses. That choice is of little concern as even a smart car could do the job. I do not like them as I think they are too small to carry a person or two and a moderate amount of equipment. I do not see a need for a full size SUV either unless you are carrying a full portable studio. I will address the more difficult shoots.
If you are doing what I do and go off road to get to places less traveled than you need a vehicle capable of handling places that have no paved roads or maybe none at all. That removes many vehicles. I think that crossovers are just not something you want to take off road. I personally like the Jeeps as I have used several 4WD vehicles and the Jeeps seem to work very well for my purposes. The simple facts are that most people have no need for 4WD but if you do than you will find that AWD or FWD will not cut it.
Many will say that one is better than the other and many will say Jeeps are not as good as others. Well that is really more a personal opinion than facts. Jeeps have been pretty good 4WD vehicles for decades. All the manufactures have issues with their vehicles. That is just a fact of life now.
Jeeps are not really a large vehicle but will hold most all the equipment and people you might need. I have taken them on thousands of miles of long trips and many short but hard drives without an issue on any of them. Some of the others are too wide, too low, and too long to get into places I go up in the mountains. I currently drive a Grand Cherokee. It is not a new one for many reasons. I cannot see taking a new vehicle into the deep mountain forest, parking it and leaving it for a day or two. Many things can happen. No sense in getting a new vehicle torn up.
The Grand Cherokee I drive has the manual 4WD system that I wanted. It allows me to drive in 2WD unless I determine otherwise. The effect is that I have better control. One other benefit is that the gas mileage is considerably better than most of the other versions. I get about 19-20 mpg in the city and I got 26.3 MPG on the last long trip. Not bad for a midsized 4WD.
One other benefit of the Jeeps is that they are not hard to work on if you have some general mechanical skills. The parts are not overly expensive or difficult to find if needed. There are hundreds of 4WD shops specializing in jeeps worldwide.
As to the model for you, that is really dependent on what you are going to do. A Grand Cherokee will be a good daily driver and off road vehicle. I like the older ones but I have not used one of the new ones so I cannot give a comment on them. The Summit is a very capable vehicle but again it is new and cost almost twice what the others cost. The Wranglers are great vehicles if you need that type of off road vehicle. At almost 64 I like the GC for the comfort and the off road ability. I am not a hard core off road person but if I want to go I want to be able to do it.
I will be writing an article on the differences of shooting in the higher reaches of the mountains and the beach at sea level in the next couple of days.