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Best Vehicles for Shorter Drivers

krysiakrysia Posts: 1
edited April 18 in Honda
My friend is 5'0" and is looking for an affordable
vehicle, priced around $25,000. Although she
prefers a family sedan, she's open to an SUV if
it's recommended. Her main priority is that she be
able to see out the window and reach all the
pedals and gearshift comfortably, without getting
too close to that darn airbag. Any ideas?
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Comments

  • mznmzn Posts: 727
    Being 5'0" myself, my first suggestion is that your friend put her running shoes on!

    The only way to really answer this question is to see for herself. I sat in and drove several cars before I settled on a second VW Golf. It was the car in which I fit most comfortably.

    Unfortunately, there is no replacement for been there, done that in this case.

    So, I suggest that she draw up a list of everything else she wants in a car (good mileage, room for the baby's car seat, space for the Great Dane...) and then start with those cars and "size them up." Worked for me!

    carlady/roving host
  • beanboybeanboy Posts: 442
    I finally convinced my great-aunt (towering 4' 11") to have a switch installed in her car. Owners have a legal right to this modification per order of the NHSA, finding a dealership/autoshop to do it is another matter (legal concerns).

    http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/airbags/rule/section01.html

    -Beanboy
  • mznmzn Posts: 727
    Good link, Beanboy! Thanks!

    carlady/roving host
  • btroybtroy Posts: 92
    "An affordable vehicle, priced around $25,000" "she prefers a family sedan" and wants to be able to "see out the window and reach all the pedals and gearshift comfortably, without getting too close to that darn airbag"

    No problem. Check out the 2000 Ford Taurus or Mercury Sable with the adjustable pedal option and power driver's seat. It was designed for her.
  • fjw2fjw2 Posts: 15
    I'm picky when it comes to being comfortable driving in my car.

    The best comfortable I've ever own, was my Suzuki Samurai, which is now gone but drove it for 8 wild years! Everything inside was at my fingertips, good visibility, pedals, shifting EVERYTHING was easy to reach. I'm 5'2" and less than 115lbs. It seems like it was designed just for me! I didn't want to get rid of it, but because of all the bigger/heavier cars/trucks/SUVs out there, it's time to move on to something more heavier.

    The Oldsmobible Alero was another fit for a petite woman like me and I love it. You can find all kinds of good reviews (I have nothing to complain about mine) found under "Sports Cars/Coupes" topic. My Alero is a GL with S added to it for under $23K. You can also find a used '99 for $11K + if you want to buy used.

    I've seated myself first in the showroom, just to see how well I can look out before I took the cars out for a test drive.

    We bought our son a Dodge Neon, and it's also a good choice for petite women.

    We used to have a Nissan Pathfinder, and I drove that on and off. It's a VERY VERY HEAVY CAR for any petite person out there. Let me explain why it's not a SAFE CAR for any small person to drive.
    My PF was stalled in a red light and I was looking sideways. I got whiplashed. I didn't know it until days later my neck was hurting, it hurts so bad for days! That thing was so big and so heavy that it's just TOO MUCH FOR me to handle. The Suzuki have stalled MANY TIMES FOR ME, and not ONCE HAVE I been hurt from driving it.
  • mznmzn Posts: 727
    krysia, any update for us? I'd like to know how the story ends...

    carlady/roving host
  • kurzejeskikurzejeski Posts: 1
    I'm 5'1", with a depth perception problem. I drove a Nissan pickup (4x4) for 12 yrs and had no problem seeing over all corners of the truck. I now have an F150 and because of the rounded body style I can't see over the right hand side of the vehicle. I've also got the steering wheel pretty much in my lap. I'm looking for something w/ good visibility for the driver which also allows me to move away from the steering wheel & airbag. Any ideas? I want another 4x4, but none come w/ pedal extenders. Do any of the 2000 or 2001 model trucks include extenders? I'm currently focused on the small truck market.
    Thanks.. Lisa
  • silvercoupesilvercoupe Posts: 326
    My wife is 5'0" and has been driving Honda Accords for years. This might be one for your friend to consider.
  • qsubaruqsubaru Posts: 37
    Since I'm a Shorty, I consider the SUBARU one of the best cars for us little people.
  • md_techmd_tech Posts: 84
    What type of Subaru did you purchase???? An what attracted you to this model besides being petite?? I haven't driven too many Subaru's but I liked the way their Forester looked...

    Kristina/co host Our Turn
  • celeste2celeste2 Posts: 362
    I've had a Subaru for two months, the outback sport model (pared back Outback wagon). I really like it and try to keep the seat adjusted to the fourth notch from the front which keeps me a comfortable distance from the wheel. My 1984 volvo wagon I had was not as comfortable. The Subaru steering wheel adjusts up & down, too, which means you can adjust that for comfort.
  • md_techmd_tech Posts: 84
    I'm glad to hear that your happy with your Subaru. Sometimes it's so difficult to find that one car that fits just right...A lot of manufactures are starting to add adjustable steering to their models... Some cars even have memory seat position so when someone else drives your car you can always get it back to the exact same spot. Does your Outback come with this feature???

    Kristina/co host Our Turn
  • rav8rav8 Posts: 6
    Owned a Toyota 4wd van years ago(one of the first ones) I loved it. They stopped making them. Had it for 8 years before trading it in on a Nissan Quest. It was ok but missed the 4wd. Looked at the Subaru wagons. Did't seem to set high enough for me plus when I moved the seat up enough to reach the peddles the seat(leather) rubbed the console. Figured it wouldn't take long til that made a mark. Tried the Honda CRV and came close to buying it. Had some nice features and was comfortable to drive, etc. But, for me I didn't like the back.(you have to open the glass part first then the bottom door swings out.)Figured it would be a pain over time. Also tried the Chevy Blazer. Beautiful vehicle but not for me--Couldn't even reach the gas pedal and when the salesman put the steering wheel down it was in my stomach!!! My final choice I'm happy to say was the Rav 4. Fits me to a T!! I like everything about it. I love driving it and the back is a snap to get in to...just open the latch and swing the door open (one piece) Its also easy to wash being small and all oh and one more thing its a cinch to park, you have plenty of room in your space..front, back and sides! But I do have to tell you the first one I drove I didn't like it at all..no power. The one we bought drives a whole lot better(maybe there was something wrong with the first one?) Hope you'll check out the Rav 4
  • md_techmd_tech Posts: 84
    My mother is a petite women that sits too close to the steering wheel... She owns a Honda Civic,but has always wanted a truck built just for her. I mentioned the RAV4 to her because it seemed just the right size,although,she didn't like the price tag... She was looking into buying the Honda CRV but once again she's paying for the good name.. I think she will be a lot happier with the Toyota... I like the idea of a (small truck)with a car like feel. An being able to park and maneuver the vehicle is on one of my top ten lists... Thanks for the insight... Have you had any problems with your RAV4 since you bought it????

    Kristina/co host Our Turn
  • pocahontaspocahontas Posts: 802
    My 2 cents. My friends almost bought a Rav4; I helped them with the research. The rav4 has gotten decent reviews.

    As I recall, this is it's final year of production; for this reason one should be able to negotiate a good price on one.

    I know that Carsdirect can purchase it for you at 500 over dealer invoice. I think one could do even better on their own. IMHO.

    ;-)

    Pocahontas,
    Community Leader/coupes, Convertibles, and Sportscars Conference
  • md_techmd_tech Posts: 84
    I'll be sure to let my mother know about the extra incentive.. Why would Toyota decide to stop producing these mini trucks???? From what I have heard they have gotten some pretty good reviews. This is what I dislike about car companies, they come out with something have it on the market for a couple of years and than discontinue it....Like Toyota took their Tercel away and replaced it with the Echo, which looks like the Ford Focus... If you have a good product and consumers like it why get rid of it????? Ohh Well I guess that's how it goes in the car industry. Faster,Smaller,and cheaper on gas is the motto...

    Kristina/co host Our Turn
  • pocahontaspocahontas Posts: 802
    The current Rav4 is going to be replaced with a larger more powerful version, but it's still going to keep the Rav4 name. I think the current model lost it's appeal because of it's smaller size and "lack of power" compared to the competition. No offense to Rav4 owners.

    There are a lot of compact suv's to choose from; at least dozen on the market, not to mention new ones coming out such as the 2001 Mazda tribute and 2001 Ford Escape. Has your mother considered either one of these? They've both been getting pretty good reviews.

    Pocahontas,
    Community Leader/Coupes, Convertibles, and Sportscars Conference
  • rav8rav8 Posts: 6
    I've only had my RAV4 less than a month. But i'm pleased as punch so far. Just checked my gas milage today and I'm pleased to be getting 24 almost 25 MPG just driving around here. I read what was said about the new Rav being larger and bigger engine. Doesn't impress me. Of course mainly its just me in the car and sometimes one or two other peope so the size is fine for me. If I had a large family I'd probably buy something bigger. Guess I was just ready for something different and the Rav just happened to fit the bill for me. One thing I like about the Toyota is that the airbag is small. Have you seen the size of the one in a chrysler? its huge. They showed us deployed ones at the dealership where I bought my Rav. I'll take the smaller one anyday--less chance of injury I think.
  • fjw2fjw2 Posts: 15
    We spotted my old Suzuki Samurai, with same accessories added and everything on it! I missed it and I was having mixed emotions. I wanted to meet the new owner, parked in my neighborhood Taco Bell, but I was rushing home. Or even take a photo with her/him.

    Here's what I can't understand. That little jeep- like pickup may be as cute as a button, but I got rid of it because it was unsafe to drive, compared to all the heavier trucks/SUVs out there. It was cheap, any one can afford to pay it cash if they're on a budget, to get them to/fro. I've had it for 8yrs. and the new owner will probably take good care of it for even more years to come. It went really fast! I'm so glad someone wanted it, instead of sitting in a lot rusting away, waiting until hell freezes over.

    Sometimes, I wanted it back, real bad!!!!
  • pocahontaspocahontas Posts: 802
    And the most important thing is that vehicle fits your needs.

    Especially with the gas prices soaring, you must really appreciate the great fuel economy. One has to wonder how a bigger/more powerful version will maintain the current epa of 24/29. ;-)

    Happy Motoring.

    Pocahontas,
    Community Leader/coupes, Convertibles, and Sportscars Conference
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