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What kind of car do you recommend bringing to post, given the terrain, availability of parts, burglary/carjacking risks, etc.? What kind of car do you advise not to bring?
Toyotas and Hondas are the most common. If you're staying in Guatemala City something small and fuel-efficient is best, as many parking spots are tiny and traffic can make efficiency a big deal. Four-wheel drive and high clearance might be necessary if you plan to go to certain places (Semuc Champey, many of the volcano hikes) though usually there are plenty of pick ups willing to give you a ride in the back in those places. More than four wheel drive, I've found that having a powerful engine makes a big difference. Most of the roads are two-lane highways with very few straight sections and full of slow-moving sugarcane trucks from the 1970s. Being able to pass easily and nimbly can save a lot of time and stress. - Jun 7, 2015
Most people here have SUVs with very tinted windows. Get your windows tinted here--it's cheaper and darker. 4-wheel drive is handy is you plan on driving outside of the city. - Apr 23, 2014
Japanese cars are particularly desirable in the Guatemalan used car market. However I was told that Mazda vehicles are particularly sought by car thieves so insurance for them has a higher cost. High-clearance and 4WD vehicles are not necessary but might come in handy for some trips to the countryside. - Jan 3, 2014
Any car is suitable, but an SUV or small SUV is probably best due to questionable road conditions. We have a 4-door sedan that has been pretty appropriate, except for some really high speed bumps. All cars have very dark tinted windows for security. - May 2, 2010
Pretty much anything. If you're going to do a lot of travel outside of the city you might consider a small SUV. Most of the roads seem good but every now and then a SUV is handy, although it would be hard to park one in the city. - Mar 11, 2008