URGENT: Which to buy, '97 Mitsubishi or '03 Hyundai

Hi. We live in rural Costa Rica so the terrain can be pretty rough. I am trying to decide which is better to buy: 1997 Mitsubishi Montero Sport LS for $10,000 at 90k miles or 2003 Hyundai Tucson (4wd, V6) for $12,000 at 52k miles. Both are automatic and in good condition. Cars are expensive here because of the taxes. I am wondering which of the two would hold up better in the long run? I think the Hyundai would resell better because parts for it in Costa Rica are cheaper than would be for the Mitsubishi. Any advice would be helpful. I need to make a decision in a couple days.

If you are going to be traveling off road a lot, over extremely rough terrain, the Montero will serve you better for that purpose. It has more off road capability than the Tuscon. If the terrain is not extremely rugged, I would definitely take the Tuscon over the Montero. My guess is that the Tuscon will be sufficient for your needs. An aging Mitsubishi, any aging Mitsubishi, will be expensive to maintain. The Hyundai, however, is still in its prime and should be fairly cheap and easy to maintain.

Thanks for your input! The terrain is mixed – about a 4 hour drive, mostly highway to the capitol city but 1 hour on hills with rocks & mud/dirt to the nearest big city. But in the immediate area where we live it’s dirt roads.

I’d ask a few independent mechanics in your area who have experience with both of these vehicles for their opinions. Decision factors in Costa Rica are probably very different than here in the US. Personally, I’d chose the Hyundai, but your needs are different.


Thanks! I would like to do that but I don’t have the option to ask independent mechanics at the moment because of language barrier and time constraints. Thus, my posting here.