When I arrived in Jamaica this month for a weeklong holiday, I realized pretty quickly that one automotive brand rules the landscape: Toyota.
Like Japan and the United Kingdom, among other places, Jamaica is a country where they drive on the left with the steering wheel on the right. Many cars come direct from Japan to Jamaica unmodified.
Before I rented a car to tour around on my own, I decided to hire a driver for a day trip into Kingston -- regarded as a dangerous city -- to see some of the sites associated with one of my musical heroes, reggae star Bob Marley.
My driver owned a spiffy, squarish subcompact Toyota wagon called the Summit. I wish carmakers offered small, sensible wagons like the Summit here. One common vehicle is the Toyota Hiace van, ubiquitous on the fixed route taxi lines that serve as public transport.
Guidebooks to the country advise visitors to consider renting a four-wheel-drive vehicle because of the condition of the roadways. Jamaican roads, particularly in the picturesque Blue Mountains, are excruciatingly, appallingly atrocious -- some of the worst I've ever driven.