All-time, All-Terrain Classics
Toyota 4runner pictured, see below for RAV4 photos
The Toyota RAV4 and 4runner are classic SUVs for Costa Rica and residents here. Many current residents had their first experience driving in Costa Rica in a RAV4 rental. The RAV4 is a smaller SUV, based on an automobile chassis. This gives it a much better ride and handling than many SUVs. At the same time it offers an excellent all-wheel drive feature, which will get you out of the majority of situations where you need traction but not that much power. The lighter body helps in these cases too. The RAV4 seats 5 adults fairly comfortably and has some room in the back for luggage or gear too.
The Toyota 4runner is a great multi-purpose 4 x 4. It has a good amount of cargo space in the back and will seat 5 adults comfortably. The 4 x 4 capability and ground clearance are superior to most SUVs, while the classic styling looks good in the city and exploring on the back roads. The chassis will handle up to 33×10.5 tires without modification, which improves the ground clearance and is good for those who generally travel on bad roads. Read More
Great if your motto is “Life’s a Beach!”
Used Cars in Costa Rica for Sale – The Ideal Sport Utility Vehicle ?
We talk about SUVs all the time, but if you sit down and think about the individual terms, the Suzuki Sidekick really comes close to being the ideal SUV — Sport Utility Vehicle.
Sport – Starting with the Samurai, and continuing with the original Sidekicks, the Suzuki 4 x 4 is convertible. How much sportier can you get? The colors are also fun and perfect for the tropics.
Utility – Utility means useful. The convertible top allows you to literally fit almost anything in the cargo area if the need arises, no matter how awkward or bulky. In normal day to day use, all of the versions have folding rear seats, allowing for 2 passengers and cargo / gear / groceries. Some versions have split bench seats, which means you can have 3 passengers and some gear — or a cooler! As well, the 4 x 4 capability is excellent, the bare bones construction and short wheel base means that you can get almost anywhere, and you aren’t worrying about damage you might be doing to some fancy electronics or delicate emissions control system.
Vehicle – being something that gets you from place to place. Aside from having 4 wheels and seats, the Suzuki Sidekick, Suzuki Samurai, Geo Tracker and Chevrolet Tracker are all dependable vehicles with good quality parts, that are also available nationwide. They’ll get you around when you first buy one, but you also can depend on being able to keep them going with a minimum of fuss. The Samurai is truly bare bones and you don’t have much that can go wrong there. Think of the classic VW Bug. The Sidekick is a step above and a bit more complex, but still fairly simple in most facets through the mid 1990s versions. Read More
Getting an Exit Permit for Costa Rica Registered Vehicles
If you want to go see the Panama Canal or take a weekend trip to Nicaragua, then your car, truck, SUV or motorcycle with Costa Rican plates, must get a permit to leave the country. This is something you can do yourself, although someone else can do it for you with a notarized letter. The cost of the permit is about $11, but it is only good for 15 working days, so you have to leave the country within about 3 weeks of the time you get the permit. Following is the low down on the procedure, which varies according to whether the vehicle is owned by an individual, company, NGO, government agency, or if it is in the process of being registered to a new owner. Read More
The Hyundai Galloper SUV 2000 Model
The Hyundai Galloper is the most practical SUV for Costa Rica, the initial investment is unbeatable, it is economical in fuel consumption and parts are very cheap (for Costa Rica at least).
Features and Options
The Hyundai comes with many extras as standard features, for example most Gallopers have electric windows and door locks. All Gallopers are true 4 x 4, meaning that they have a low and high 4 wheel drive to get you through most situations. They are available in automatic and manual transmission, although the manual is much more common. Most available in Costa Rica have true luggage racks (not luggage rails! ) for tying down gear or suitcases, running boards and a rear ladder. Fog lights are often a factory feature or have been added. High quality aluminum rims are a standard feature also.
A Fascinating Evolution
Mitsubishi Montero History
Mitsubishi Montero - Power and grace, a classic SUV for Costa Rica
The Mitsubishi Montero first appeared in Costa Rica with the 1985 – 1991 model. The Montero and the Sport version have always been considered a class act and are highly regarded by Ticos. They tend to have lots of options befitting a higher end SUV. The early models are an excellent choice for those who want a good SUV for around $6000. In 1992 the design was upgraded, Mitsubishi added body side moldings and improvements to the suspension and interior. Because of this styling prices are higher than earlier models, which can happen quite often in Costa Rica, so you want to be careful. For example, if you want a 1992 model, you will find prices similar all the way through the 1998 model, so you can always get a better year for a little more money. Whereas, in 1999 the body style and model were changed again, so they are significantly more expensive than a 1998 model. The 1999 – 2000 models are “tweeners”. They have more features, more power and a better suspension than the earlier models, but the 2001 and newer models have a distinctive new “cheeky” look and major improvements to the options package, in addition to more power in the drive train and improved handling.