We're nine months into a trip from the US to Ushuaia, driving a 2010 Toyota RAV4 limited, 4cyl, AWD. Currently in Santiago, Chile, we have criss-crossed the Andes all the way down, not shying away from difficult terrain. We spent a lot of time in northern Peru and Bolivia on marginal dirt/rock roads, and some time in Bolivia completely offroad. If you are just surfing your way down the coast, this post probably isn't applicable to you. Also, if you're planning on sitcking largely to paved roads, you can probably skip it as well.