By mentioning a Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 I did not mean to suggest that one had to have an SUV to drive in Mexico (and I don't really think of either of those as SUVs.... more a crossover). And joanquinx is surely right that one does not have to have an SUV or a truck to drive in Mexico! Many Mexicans drive sedans.
I've probably driven 10,000 miles in Mexico in the last 8 years and I have done it all in either a '99 Camry, a CR-V, a Prius or two and now a newer Camry Hybrid. While many of those miles were on toll roads (cuotas), a significant amount was on either free roads (libre) or backroads including gravel. Also, mucho cobblestone or slab streets. I survived.... and even that is too harsh a word. But, as chinagringo mentioned, one has to be ever alert for topes. Many/most are marked but that only gives one a false sense of control. It's the ones out in the countryside that are not only not marked but basically have no reason for being where they are. I've hit two of them at 50+ mph over time and I thought the first one, in a CR-V, had probably ruined a tire/rim if not taken my front suspension out. But nada, all was OK.
You asked if I have ever bottomed out on a tope or curb and the answer is yes..... many times. Never in the CR-V, several times in the '99 Camry and the Prius and I almost high-centered the Camry Hybrid pulling into a commercial driveway that was mysteriously hiding a very high curb. But scraping a tope or a curb is not an end-all event! And I've not found myself desiring to go on a particular road (or trail) that I did not take because of the car I was driving. But when in the CR-V or RAV4 one doesn't even have to think about the situation.
If I were going to live here permanently I would not choose anything BUT a small SUV. But as is obvious I've done a bit of driving in lower slung cars and I've not destroyed one yet. Lived to tell about it. Will probably do it more before my demise. It was not clear from your first post whether you planned on being in Mexico for quite a while or not. If you choose to purchase a hybrid, 'tho, I would check on whether the warranty would be valid in Mexico and I would also acquire a towing insurance policy that would pay for, or come close to paying for a flatbed 'tow' back to the border. That's what I do and then I don't worry obsessively about it.
(This post was edited by RickS on Feb 24, 2012, 1:28 PM)
Post edited by RickS
(Veteran) on Feb 24, 2012, 1:28 PM