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Best Vehicles for Shorter Drivers



  • Outside of the cost issue, what do you folks think of the GTI vs. the Mini Cooper.


    I've heard such mixed things about the VW reliability, electrical "issues" and poor service that I'm considering a Mini Cooper with a higher price tag but a little less power (??) and either longer wait time or difficult search (as I'm looking for an automatic transmission).


    For you sports/race enthusiasts, I KNOW ... these cars were meant to be driven as std. transmissions, but my particular needs are small car length, lots of cargo (don't care about back seats). I loved my 85 honda CRX re: hatch space, but now looking for something bigger than a miata.


    Votes? Ideas? thoughts? Other suggestions?

    My rental is running out, so any words appreciated!
  • I don't believe Mini Cooper makes an auto transmission!
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    I see a lot of vertically challenged people driving F-250 Super duty crew cab long bed pick up trucks. Being a little on the short side myself never stopped me from driving any vehicle. Got my DL when I was 14 years old and I was not even 5 feet tall - my first car - a 1964 Oldsmobile Jetstar 88. Since the seat did not have height adjustment I sat on a pillow.


    Today when I buy a car I always get a model that has power seats / or at least a height adjustment feature. Unless you are under 4 feet tall it should not be that big of a deal.
  • diane3diane3 Posts: 1
    I'm a 5'0" woman. I love many features about my PT Cruiser; but, sadly, I don't recommend it for shorter drivers. 1) since the headrest is too far forward for comfort on longer trips, I need a seatback cushion to avoid backaches. 2) the rear visability is not great. My previous vehicle was a Ford Windstar with a very comfortable driver's seat for long trips. Unfortunately, the doors were so huge that I often banged them into the rearview mirrors of vehicles beside me in parking lots.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    Sure they do! CVT steptronic for the regular Cooper, and 6-speed steptronic for the S.
  • ezshift5ezshift5 West coastPosts: 858
    ..power seat......

    l. The seat goes UP and forward..this provides the requisite 10 inches airbag - driver space.

    2. The seat goes WAY UP. Clearance to headliner is about 2 1/2 inches
  • i'm 5' tall. no problem reaching any pedals or with visibility since i can jack up the seat, make the seat closer to the pedals, and adjust my steering wheel down so its not in the way. my hatchback also has a lower back cushion built into the seat, which i can inflate or deflate.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    You must have relatively long legs for your height, because often if you're short and you have to jack up the seat, your lower legs end up sort of dangling and you can't rest your heel on the floor when pushing the gas pedal.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    The Mazda3 in "s" trim comes with lumbar support in the driver's seat.

  • I'm just over 4'10" and have a passion for driving performance sport cars, but having difficulty finding a car that is comfortable for my size. I currently drive a Miata, and do not want another (I have to sit on a pillow to see over steering wheel). So far, I've tested 2005 Honda S2000, 2001 Mercedes SLK convertable, 2001 Boxster, and 2003 BMW Z3 (I don't like Z4 body change). Can anyone advise if there is a sporty, fun to drive convertable that is better suited to my size? My budget is $30k-ish.
  • If you currently own a Miata... how bout' checking out the all new 2006 Mazda MX-5. Total enhancement all around compared to the outgoing Miata. Equipped with more safety equipment as well.

    You could buy a brand new, fully loaded, MX-5 Grand Touring for under $30K.

    With the money you'll save... you can always ask a dealer to refer you to an outside, bonded, company that might be able to raise the seat.

  • ezshift5ezshift5 West coastPosts: 858
    .......and have a passion for driving performance sport cars, but having difficulty finding a car that is comfortable for my size.....30k

    ....well, for a lot less than 30k:

    A. 0-60 under 6
    B. 1/4 mile 14.5
    C. Freeway MPG circa 35
    D. Skidpad: .81

    ..course you'd have to accept flawless reliability, a back (somewhat small on legroom)seat and big trunk........

    ..sound interesting? You owe it to yourself to test drive one of these.

    (The electric seat has many, many adjustments: it would fit you like a glove).

    best, ez..
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    OK, you got me. Which car are you referring to? :surprise: :confuse:
  • I am 5'4". Current car is a Kia Spectra5. I can raise the seat enough to look over the hood. I had a 2001 Hyundai Accent which my son is driving now. That fits me like a glove. Anything I've tried from Toyota puts me too low. Nissans are good for me, Hondas, so-so. Forget about mid-size or full-size. The seats are too big. I wish the driver's seat can be moved from car to car.
  • Thank you MZZ, I will take a look at the MX-5.
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,124
    out the Fusion, my wife is 5'3 and she loves to drive it and says she feels very comfortable in the car...
  • afwejiafweji Posts: 8
    The 2006 Mazda3 s-trim has manual height adjustment on the drivers seat. I'm 5'3" (don't know if that's tall) and can see out the window and be able to drive the Mazda3 comfortably. Plus depending on which s-trim and options you get, it's way under the $25,000 area. Hope this helps your friend!
  • My sister is 5'0" and the three most important things to look for are Telescopic Steering Wheel (Up/Down & In/Out), Power Adjustable Pedals, and a sensor that either measures the weight of the occupant or the distance relationship between the seat and the steering wheel. My sister enjoyed her BMW 325i, but said the Mercedes C320 (which has weight sensors) was a better fit so she traded a 3 for a C. If you need a big sedan the Jaguar XJ’s are great. The layout is very short stature friendly and has a nifty sensor that disengages the airbags if her seat is too close to the wheel. It also has telescopic steering wheel and adjustable pedals, which all tie in to her memory setting. Voice Activated Commands are also helpful if you drive a big car that way you don’t have to worry about that button way over there. Just push the button on the steering wheel and tell the car what you want.
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