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Best Vehicles for Shorter Drivers



  • msu79gt82msu79gt82 Posts: 541
    My wife is 5' 1" and very much likes the power pedal option on our '99 Expedition. We are however considering buying the new Acura MDX. Does any of the petite drivers on this forum have any experience with the fit of the Acura?
  • I am trading in my Buick which was a disaster for me I am 5'2. I have been reading the posting and wonder if anyone has had a good experience with either the Jetta or theAudi4. I need to get a car in a hurry so any feedback would really be helpful. Thanks
  • I've had my 2001 Jetta 1.8T since September and love it! I'm just under 5'2" tall, and visibility is good with the seat raised all the way up. I can keep my heel resting on the floor and work the gas and brake smoothly.
  • flacaflaca Posts: 168
    Just got my Jetta last Saturday. I am 5'2" and this car is a perfect fit. But, so was my Camry, Volvo Gl and just about any normal size car. I also have driven my hubby's Montero Sport. So, I really think size doesn't matter much now that I think about it. Go for the car you find attractive, sit in it and take it for a spin.
  • michhalamichhala Posts: 375
    I am 5'2", 106 lbs. -- I purchased a new C320 after many years of driving a BMW5 series that fit me fine, but did not have air bags. Except for the new BMW330i and the C320, I could not see over the windshield wipers of the other cars of my choice. Without a pillow, the visibility of the C320 is perfect and I have no problem reaching the pedals. I do, however, have a problem with the head restraint. Without a pillow, only the top fourth of the back of my head reaches the bottom half of the restraint. With an Obus seat pillow, half of my head reaches the bottom of the restraint. I think I am far enough away from the air bags.

    1. Am I properly protected with just the top half of my head in the bottom half of the head restraint? Pillow I use is about 2", and I am sitting pretty tall. Perhaps I should get a higher pillow?

    2. What is the proper distance from steering wheel air bag should I be?

    I did not know this forum existed. I saw a note on the C-320 group from "Pat" about the flags showing up beside our names and it mentioned the Women's Auto Center -- so, here I am and in a custom-sized forum at that!!!

    My thanks.
  • harrymomharrymom Posts: 1
    I'm 5'2" and 108 lbs. After shopping for a number of cars (I won't belabor you with that experience here) I remembered the huge number of old Subarus I see in northern New England. I fell in love with the Forester on my test drive, after tweaking the seats for a comfortable fit. I drive regularly from Connecticut to the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont and to Aroostook County in Maine. I have not had the same complaints as others regarding seat comfort. I take the Forester on limited offroad conditions for fishing and plan on using it as a hunt truck this fall. I did purchase the rear differential protector and dog gate. These cars cost under $25,000 nicely equipped, and less if you can do without some of the luxuries.
  • fjw2fjw2 Posts: 15
    For petite women who's looking for a car that's safer, all wheel drive, comfortable to drive, performs like an SUV, dependable and as powerful as a sports car this gotta be a SUBARU IMPREZA WRX. The sedan and station wagon 2002 are in demand right now. People are pre-ordering them and dealers can't stock enough of them.

    I just bought the new WRX and I just love it so much. I'm 5'1" and it fits me to T. The visibility is also good. Go to the web and check it out. Read the reviews, they even have a special bulletin in just on SUBARUs. You will be comparing to cars like AUDI, BMW, VW, & ACURA. I guarantee you will be very happy.
  • karieokarieo Posts: 10
    I'm 4'11"--short in the legs, but normal in the body, so I sit as high as a normal person, but have to get close to reach the pedals. I've been driving a Toyota Corolla for the last several years. It's a good fit, but not a great fit. A little close to the steering wheel unless I ride sort of like a low-rider, slunk down in the seat. :) We are currently looking at the Sienna van, and when I test drove that I was surprised that I seem to be in a better position regarding that danged air bag. Higher up so maybe it would hit me in the chest and not the chin, which is where I understand the problems come in. The seat belts are adjustable in the Toyotas, so I'm not constantly pulling the thing away from my windpipe as I did in my old Mazda. And the seat on the Sienna can be tipped downward in front to take the pressure off the back of your thigh as you reach the pedals. We think we're gonna go for the Sienna, probably LE with a few upgrades to spiff it up--like running boards to let me get in when I'm wearing a dress, so I don't show off my underwear.
  • lancerfixerlancerfixer Posts: 1,308
    You may try a model with running boards first; More often than not, all running boards do is dirty your pantleg in the winter. Not really worth the hassle, IMHO. But, try them and see if you can get out of the vehicle without your leg touching the board.
  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    I'm 5'1" and am still under 120 lbs. (ok - I'm getting older and gaining weight for the first time in my life). I'm looking for a better commuter car to replace a very uncomfortable Toyota Tacoma. I would like to get something that fits me, gets good gas mileage (better than the 19 mpg my other car gets), will be reliable for lots of miles (I commute 150 miles a day and can only afford to buy a car about every 4 years), has enough power to maintain speed up steep freeway grades on a daily basis (I work at sea level and live at 6,000 feet), and has AWD or 4x4, since I don't want to have to put chains on at 4:30am when I leave for work in the winter, and the Highway Patrol is stopping anyone without chains or 4x4.

    Any ideas?
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Can you give us an idea of your price range? New or used? Sedan or something else?

    You might want to try this link from's home page to see what you come up with: Can you help me decide what to drive?

    Sedans and Women's Auto Center Message Boards
  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    Price range - the cheaper the better, but up to $30,000 - $35,000 is possible. Would prefer $25,000 or under. New vs. used isn't a big deal - I'm considering both, but would probably prefer new over used because of the mileage issue - with the amount of miles I drive, and the fact I can't replace it very often means that I need something that is going to last.

    I've looked at the Edmund's site, and while it is helpful, it would be more useful if I didn't have so many other factors to put in. What I'm looking for is a vehicle that will do what I need it to do, and I don't really care about styling, which you have to decide right away. (Any ideas other than SUVs?). For instance, a Tracker fits in my budget and comes with a 4x4, but a friend of mine who lives up here has one, and she has spare clothes at all of her friends who live lower down because if the roads are bad, she can't get home, even with spiders and weight over the wheels. Since style isn't as important to me as comfort and performance, I'm looking for people's experiences. I'm also beginning to think that they don't make a car that will do what I want it to do, fits me, and that I can afford!
  • Hello all!! I am 5'2" and I want to purchase a new car pretty soon. I really would like to get a van and the one I like is the chrysler town and country. I was just wondering if any of you guys have one or have had experience with one. The biggest problem I have is if I put the seat all the way up the steering wheel is in my chest and my head is on the roof. So if any short people like me have a town and country could you please email me at Thank You
  • Im 19, 4'11" and a little over 100 lbs. I currently drive a 97 Jetta, but im bored with the car. I want a new car that will last me when i graduate from college. I was looking at the accord or the toyota solara. i was wondering if any women had the solara and could help me! The jetta is pretty comfy, i dont want a new one though. i sat in the new mercury cougar, and the sightlines were horrible. please help!
  • Just went through the car shopping nightmare. Had to have 4WD myself, am also 5'1" and got the weight issue going on myself (just to think, I weighed in at less than 110 until my son was born three years ago, my body became attached to those last 10 pregnancy pounds!). Settled on a '98 Blazer LT w/44.6 lease miles. Anyway, I considered the XL-7 at first...gas mileage is decent for an SUV and it's going for a pretty good price (in your range) for its debut year. Considered the Pathfinder/QX4, but favored the Chevy for the gas mileage (22 highway v. 19 for the Nissan). Getting in and out is no problem, but I did get the extended warrranty b/c, let's face's a Chevy. Anyway, I've had it for a couple of weeks now and I like it. Sits nice and did the QX4.

    Stay away from the Sportage, too...the mileage is good, but they only come 4 cylinder so the power won't be any better than the Tracker. My Blazer's got that V6 vortec engine, improved for its year. It also has shift on the fly with push button activation, so none of that stop/neutral/shift or chain nonsense.

    Had I not wanted an SUV, I'd still need 4WD for the northern winters, and would've looked into Subarus for their AWD. They're very reliable and, from what I understand, they last forever as long as you take care of them. Good Luck.
  • pocahontaspocahontas Posts: 802
    And thanks for sharing your story with us. We look forward to hearing more about your 98 Blazer ownership experience. Happy Motoring! ;-)



    Hatchbacks / Station Wagons / Women's Auto Center Boards

  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    Thanks for the info. We had rented a Blazer a couple of years ago, and didn't really like the cornering. I should give it another try- the problems could have been because it was a rental, not a vehicle characteristic. I have been looking at the new Trailblazer/Envoy but they don't get any better gas mileage than my (beloved) Wrangler. In fact, the main reason I'm looking for a better commuter car is that 19-20 mpg it gets - otherwise I find it very comfortable, and easy to drive. OK, it has other disadvantages as a commuter car, but when I bought it I was buying an off-road vehicle...

    It is only because I moved, and my old (automatic) commuter car couldn't handle the steep freeway grades that forced me into looking for something else, and the Taco (5 speed) is so uncomfortable for more than 30 minutes...

    The funny thing is that as a small woman, I haven't had any trouble "figuring out" either tiny cars or full sized pickups. But I can't figure out anything in between! I can't see where the front end is on most cars and can't see the trunk, much less figure out where the back end is on most cars. I ruled out a Focus because I couldn't tell where the back end stopped. Does anyone else have the problem with cars?
  • lancerfixerlancerfixer Posts: 1,308
    "We had rented a Blazer a couple of years ago, and didn't really like the cornering. I should give
    it another try- the problems could have been because it was a rental, not a vehicle characteristic."

    I can assure you, it was a vehicle characteristic. SUVs are, as you know, lousy handlers; Blazers even more so.
  • I can't argue your point too much, Lancer. SUV handling isn't at all like driving my old Camaro, but I haven't found the Blazer any more difficult in the handling department than my '88 Bronco II.

    As for seeing to the front and rear, I put a wind deflector on my old Bronco II to help with depth perception in the front (betcha the inventor hadn't thought of that use!!), had no problems w/the back because it was a box back, so the car ended where the window was. The Blazer is rounded in the rear, so it's kind of touch and go until I get used to it. I had a grill guard installed on the front, though. It protrudes over the hood ever so slightly, so I know exactly where the car begins since the grill covers the bumper as well. Makes it look pretty tough too (Ah yes...the Napoleonic complex!!).

    Thanks for the welcome, Pocahontas...have been over on the SUV boards, but this is my first venture here.
  • pocahontaspocahontas Posts: 802
    You said: "have been over on the SUV boards..."

    Well then, you may also be interested in this Women's Auto Center discussion: Do Women Love Suvs?

    Also, if have a pic of your Chevy Blazer, we'd love to see it in Vehicle Pics (Show & Tell). Thanks for your participation on the Women's Auto Center message board! ;-)

    Hatchbacks / Station Wagons / Women's Auto Center Boards

This discussion has been closed.