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Best Vehicles for Shorter Drivers



  • fjw2fjw2 Posts: 15
    I like the way it drives, the shape, the fit, the way it goes when you're changing lanes, it's like a toy, it's hard to explain, it's so much fun and enjoyable driving long distance. You'll just have to test drive it so you'll UNDERSTAND where I'm coming from. It's just a well behaved, well built quality car all around.

    I'm thinking of leasing an M5 for winter driving with an option to buy. But others told me, it will cost more in the future.
  • md_techmd_tech Posts: 84
    I'm glad your happy with your BMW Roadster... Hopefully that toy dosen't cause you to receive to many speeding tickets... I would't lease a M5 for the winter months it does end up costing more in the future!!!! Leasing vehicles even with the option to buy still ends up costing more from all the hidden fees tacked on...

    Kristina/co host Our Turn
  • lakroclakroc Posts: 2
    I just noticed one of your responses above. You are right - just looking at the BMW Roadster makes you want to own one. Although I did not purchase the M Roadster (there were none in my area to be had :( ), I did purchase a Z3, the cheaper version of the car. No, the car is in not really cheap, but you mentioned insurance. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the insurance on my brand new car is going to cost me a grand total of $100 more per year than my current 5 year old Mazda. Believe it or not, I was originally looking into an SUV but was appalled to discover that those vehicles are every bit as expensive to purchase as the Z3 and would have raised my insurance by over $800 per year. So, I decided to "save" a few dollars and get the Z3!
  • md_techmd_tech Posts: 84
    I would have thought the insurance would higher on your Z3... Insurance companies are funny!!! Well I'm glad your getting the car you wanted and saving a few dollars in the long run....Are you still waiting for your car to come in????

    Krsitna/co host Our Turn
  • fjw2fjw2 Posts: 15
    I'm glad there's, I just finished reading about the leasing posts frozen there, and it's helping me decide the best thing to do.
    I even e-mailed them to my husband so to save my breath, he can just read them himself.

    I have another friend who have leased before, and she told me exactly what you just posted.

    My husband's parents leased for many years, and didn't have much as far as ownership when they're done.

    It's great to have such a board as the women's turn!
  • md_techmd_tech Posts: 84
    I've just seem to many people fall into the leasing mombo jumbo. Don't get me wrong it works for some people,but in the long run the dealer makes the money and at the end of your lease you still are out looking for a vehicle...

    Kristina/co host Our Turn
  • would a PT Cruiser be practical for me?
    Thank You for all the good information.
  • pocahontaspocahontas Posts: 802
    I think the pt cruiser's dimensions could accommodate someone your height. I haven't actual driven one yet, but I did go along for the test ride in one with our local newspaper (Orlando Sentinel) reviewer.

    I also sat in the driver's seat and played around with the controls, so I kinda got a feel for what it's like. My impressions: comfortable, good handling, with enough pep for most people.

    Size wise: I would consider it to be on the petite side, especially comparing it to a van or wagon. But it's actually much more functional than many vehicles that are a lot larger.

    Btw, if you put the words "pt cruiser" into the Topic Search feature on the left side of the page, you'll find a number of PT Cruiser topics throughout Town Hall. Be sure to check out the ones in the sedans and van conference.

    Hope you'll return to let us know what you decide.
    Good luck and happy shopping. ;-)

    Town Hall Roving Host
  • wklenhawklenha Posts: 9
    bea: Well assuming PT Cruiser was spelled correctly in the topic title, that will work. Misspellings in topic titles is a very sore subject with me, (I fought getting 'Expedtion Reliability' spelled correctly for a year!)

    But I digress:

    I normally would agree on the leasing conversation, but it so happens I find myself in a position where it actually makes more fiscal sense for us to lease than buy.

    The situation is: My husband and I have worked together for 10 years. We carpool to work or else he drives the company truck. He was recently offered a new job at much better money that also includes a $500 /month car allowance. We have to rapidly acquire a new vehicle. We have decided to take a 3-year lease on a Nissan Altima because:
    a. The payments are lower
    b. We don't want to spend a lot of money on a car right now.
    c. We don't have to put many miles on it.
    d. We don't want to lay out alot of cash on a new car.

    Plus, Nissan is offering some good incentives on the Altima.

    At the end of the 3-year lease we will be in a much better financial position, at which time we hopefully can buy a much nicer car.

    I think the Altima is a great little car for the money. Nissan is the step-child of the compact car division always playing second fiddle to Honda and Toyota. But I'm pretty impressed with the Altima.

    I'm really on the fence about the PT. I thought it looked much better in all the promo pictures last year than the real thing did. Plus you are not going to get any kind of deal on one anywhere, assuming you can even get one. I'm getting my Altima for $1600 BELOW dealer invoice.
  • pat455pat455 Posts: 603
    How'd ya get THAT deal?

    Community Leader/Maintenance & Repair Conference
  • wklenhawklenha Posts: 9
    pat: It's through

    Nissan Altima 2000 SE

    MSRP - $20039
    Invoice - $18240
    Cars Direct Price - $16610
    Actually it is $1630 below invoice.

    Now I haven't actually received the car yet. I just ordered it today, so we will see what happens. But I read (right here on Edmunds!) that Nissan is offering a $1400 cash back dealer incentive and I also read in the Altima topic (right here on Edmunds!) that Nissan is trying to push Altimas out. The Maximas on the other hand were a few hundred ABOVE dealer invoice plus they had limited availability.

    I'll let you know what happens. I also read (right here on Edmunds) that most people have had a favorable experience with and I also read (right here on Edmunds) that if I registered with I would receive a $40.00 rebate from them if I ordered from

    So add another $40.00 to that great price. God bless Edmunds Townhall. It really is the best place on the Internet to get car information. I read about 400 Altima posts yesterday and all-in-all most people love their Altimas.

    Altima SE
  • wklenhawklenha Posts: 9
    catlady: I also read all the Focus posts. They didn't love their cars quite as much. Well, not true. They loved their cars, they just didn't love all the problems and recalls they kept having. Do Daewoo people really love their cars? I never thought about that before? Do Hyundai people love their cars? Do Kia people love their cars?

    I think I'll check that out and report back. Just not now, it's very late and tonight is a school night.

  • for the information! I am so glad to have found this site! I see now that I have a lot of research to do. Since my divorce from Jeffrey is not yet final, I am going to study here before doing anything foolish, I have so much to learn. Wklenha, you are so independent! I never thought about a Nissan! I have a lot of reading to do, how do you read so many posts?
  • pocahontaspocahontas Posts: 802
    You're welcome. ;-)

    And to everyone- Before calculating your vehicle cost, be sure to check out Edmund's Incentives & Rebates and Current lease programs.

    Talk to everyone later. ;-)

    Town Hall Roving Host
  • pat455pat455 Posts: 603
    Well, that sounds too good to be true. Unfortunately for me, when I was buying my Acura TL in April of '99, I believed then that the deals they were offering on TL's were "too good to be true" so I didn't bother. Then I kept reading here that folks were getting between $1500 and $2000 subsidies from carsdirect for my same car that I had just purchased for a shade under MSRP.

    This was back when carsdirect first geared up, and they must have lost a TON of money on TLs based on the Town Hall postings alone.

    So I say you are a very wise woman to go that route! Let us know how it turns out, and good luck.

    Do you know that that company is owned by Michael Dell of Dell computers? I guess he can continue to afford to give his money away, eh? So take it!

    Community Leader/Maintenance & Repair Conference
  • md_techmd_tech Posts: 84
    I just purchased a Hyundai Elantra... For the price and the warranty it's not such a bad car. I think more people are willing to give these vehicles another chance because of the incentives they are offering. Kia has joined the band wagon of offering an extended warranty and lower price than other vehicles on the market... The Elantra is a 5 speed with all the added accesories except a sun roof and with all of this it was still cheaper... The only problem we have had with the vehicle is a little surging while driving.. It might be doing this because my significant other like to use cheap gas because the gas is so high over here!!! An to get back on the subject I think the Accent or Ford Focus would be a great car's for a petite individual..

    Kristina/co host Our Turn
  • md_techmd_tech Posts: 84
    That's a great tip for Townsters looking into new and used cars!!! Thanks...

    Kristina/co host Our Turn
  • norrisjnorrisj Posts: 3
    I went to my "friendly" Toyota showroom recently to try on the 2001 Corolla 'S'. When I suggested that the seats were too low (i'm 5') and hindered visibility, the salesman growled "then get a seat cushion" (I should have walked out right then.) I responded that the Corolla should be equipped with height-adjustable seats like so many other cars.

    Well, in the event my car search leads me to the Corolla as the best buy, can anyone recommend a good seat cushion?
    Thank you!
  • md_techmd_tech Posts: 84
    That sales associate was kind of rude considering if you bought the vehicle they would be making a nice commission check from your money. When I owned my Dodge Daytona it had low bucket seat,so I used a telephone book for awhile. The only problem with that was every time I came to a stop I slid off the seat. I found the seat cushions at Track or Pep Boys work well. My mom is '5'2 I bought one for her Honda. They look like regular seat covers,except they have some padding and little bumps that are suppose to relax you while you drive.... They come in all different colors to match your interior. I think when I bought it they were going for $20.00...

    Kristina/co host Our Turn
  • norrisjnorrisj Posts: 3
    I'll give it a shot to see if it makes a the Corolla more palatable. It's certainly worth $20 to find out. Thanks!
  • rav8rav8 Posts: 6
    I'm not even 5' so for me the Rav4 is working perfectly. Good visibility, good seat adjustment for me and a 5'11" guy. I can finally put both feet on the floor and the seat hits me proportionally--doesn't hit me in the back of the leg. I tried several makes before deciding on this one. Of course, depends how much room you need too but if your checking out the corolla, I think maybe their close. Too bad the salesmen was a jerk--got another dealer close you could check out? Good luck and happy hunting!
  • The Rav4 sounds like another vehicle that can accommodate petite individuals... I guess it all depends on how much space you need in the particular vehicle and what fits in your budget..

    Kristina/co host Our Turn
  • kate5000kate5000 Posts: 1,271
    I'm 5'3 and I feel very good in my Forester: visibility, leg support, etc.
  • Ever since Subaru came out with the Forester I liked the vehicle...My favorite color on the Forester is their dark green color... The only problem is Subaru really dosen't advertise much for their vehicles,so a lot of people don't realize they make some pretty nice cars,wagons,and Suv's... The commercial they do have I always enjoy because of " Crocodile Dundee" Do they have a memory function on your seats so you don't have to keep adjusting them???? What do you like best about your Forester???

    Kristina/co host Our Turn
  • I have a 73 superbeetle that needs to have its seats restuffed and recovered. In the meantime, I've been using one the big stuffed seat cushions that I used on my dining room chairs and it works great...just a thought.

    Too bad your car didn't come with the 6-position seat adjustment. I drove a 97 F250 4X4 w/6-speed and it put me right where I needed to be to comfortably reach the clutch and still see over the steering wheel. I'm 5' too.

    Good luck.
  • I used a telephone book when I first started driving my Daytona with the bucket seats. Eventually, I got tired of sliding off the seat and started using a pillow off the sofa....

    Kristina/co host Our Turn
  • Hello.. I found this page:
    and was wondering if anyone had tried any
    aftermarket extenders?
  • It's worth looking into....It states they are made for all types of vehicles!!!

    Kristina/co host Our Turn
  • A friend is looking for a vehicle that will be comfortable for her to drive at 5'2", but is also suitable to take her family of 6 skiing. She says Ford Explorer is built too big for her to drive. Suggestions? Thanks!
  • What about the Nissan Pathfinder or Exterra????? Or she could try the GMC Jimmy!!! I guess she isen't into driving a Minivan... Just a few suggestions I thought of off the top of my head..

    Kristina/co host Our Turn
This discussion has been closed.