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Best Vehicles for Shorter Drivers



  • 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 [email protected] 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

  • lancerfixerlancerfixer Posts: 1,308
    Were pretty well known for being the WORST-handling SUV, I think in the history of the world.
  • Did you have one, Lancer? I loved mine, just wore it out is all. I also came across another poster that was fond of his as well. No SUV is meant for drag racing, after all. Comparatively speaking, my 1988 Ford Bronco II Eddie Bauer was a fine vehicle...very reliable and got me everywhere I needed to go, no matter what the weather said. And it was pretty solid, too. I had no handling problems with it, and I'm finding the same with the Blazer, 'cept I wish it turned a little tighter. Just takes a little gettin' used to, I guess.
  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    A friend of mine loves her Bronco, and it's still going strong. As you say, don't drive an SUV like a race car. I rarely drive my Wrangler over 65 and never over 70. It does great at slower speeds.
  • barb67barb67 Posts: 1
    From a new member and first time poster:I Have been driving a Chrysler Fifth Avenue since 1993(90,000 miles). (Yes, I am an old broad and I like leather, too) Vision great but am sitting too close to the air bag for safety. Now it's New Car ($25,000+)time but when I sit in any of the new wagons or SUVs, the head restraint is almost over my head blocking my vision. Also,if there are head restraints on the rear seats, my rear view is blocked also. Can these be removed(rear)or modified (drivers seat?)
    Different subject: Is there a site to compare average repair costs on makes and models and warranties? (Getting old and close to retirement.)Thanks, will appreciate any thoughts you have.
  • hk2lahk2la Posts: 53
    I'm 5-2 and have been driving an Accord for over 10 years. I think I'll get the Lexus ES next; the seat belt fit better than the GS300 (of course, there's the price difference, too). I just got used to all the glass in a regular sedan--could see everywhere. Test drove the Lexus Sportcross and the blind spot view was completely blocked!
  • suzzannsuzzann Posts: 56
    This topic showed a post from January 16. What happened to it?
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    Any change that occurs in these discussions will change the date at the top. It does not have to necessarily be a message, but could also be due to changes in the Title, Helpful Links, Additional Resources, and other areas. Sorry for the confusion. ;-)

    Hatchbacks / Station Wagons / Women's Auto Center Boards
  • lois9lois9 Posts: 1
    I need a car or SUV type to transport Mom, Dad and a wheel chair under $35k. Passenger type cars are too low for elderly to get in & out. My Montero is too high even with a stool. Need large back seat entry with angled hand grips. Older folks can not reach overhead easily.
    I like a back end tall enough to stand up the wheelchair.2002 honda crv was close but noisy & the dealer said I could NOT add hand grips to help with entry. Sub.Outback is close wheelchair has to be laid down & I would like to sit higher. Any suggestions?
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    Okay, my first thought: it sounds to me like you could use a minivan. Many of them have those side hand grips, easy middle row passenger entry; and with the 3rd row seats removed, there'd be plenty of space for a wheel chair (standing up).

    If your totally opposed to a minivan, then I'd suggest looking at some of the new crossovers suvs on the market such as the Buick Rendezvous or Toyota Highlander. Both of these do have pretty low ground clearance (6.9 inches) for suvs, and a decent amount of cargo space. Someone else may have another suggestion.

    While you're waiting for more feedback, you should try using Edmunds' Advanced vehicle search for other ideas. Good luck and please keep us posted on what you decide. ;-)

    Hatchbacks / Station Wagons / Women's Auto Center Boards
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    Starting next week, we're going to start the process of moving discussions in the Women's Auto Center over to other more active message boards.

    This discussion will soon be moved over to our Smart Shopper Message Board. We look forward to continuing this subject over there. Happy motoring!

    Hatchbacks / Station Wagons / Women's Auto Center Boards
  • suzzannsuzzann Posts: 56
    Having a board dedicated to women was nice, I'm going to miss it.
  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    But it should still be OK since we'll still be talking about cars for us "height challenged" ladies...
  • Look at a Windstar. It'll have all the room you need, plus power adjustable pedals--moving you further away from the stearing wheel.

    In a sedan, the Taurus and Crown Victoria offer power adjustable pedals. These are designed just for shorter people to keep them from having to sit right up on the wheel to reach the pedals.
  • mikeintnmikeintn Posts: 39
    My wife is 5' tall and loves her Chrysler Town and Country MiniVan. The seats work well for her and she is able to see the road well.

    She drives the van because she is the ultimate mom, driving carpool, taking kids to practices, church, etc. The van was a necessity. We drove all of them on the market and the TC was the winner for her needs. We've had it for two years and it has been great.

    I try to get her to drive my Acura MDX but she always wants to drive her "mama van". So I guess it depends on your needs.

    Good luck,

  • You are right. We bought a Chysler van last year and we love it like you wife loves hers. I think the Chrysler vans offer adjustable pedals new for 2002. Something to consider when your previous generation 2000 is up for replacement!
  • Have any 5'0" to 5'1" people tried the 2002 Camry? What did you think of that one? I haven't heard it mentioned yet.
  • bobstbobst Posts: 1,783
    My wife is 5' 3" and I am 6'. We have a 4-cyl Honda Accord EX with a power adjustable seat. I lower it all the way, she raises it all the way, and we both are very comfortable driving the car.
  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,302 5'1" @ 107 lbs. She recently purchased a Chevrolet Impala and is quite comfortable with it. Her previous vehicle was a 1991 Mercury Tracer.
  • vkwheelsvkwheels Posts: 218
    I test drove the Matrix in which you sit a little higher than normal but not as high as a SUV type of car. It might be easier for an elderly person to get in & out off. Don't know if a wheelchair would fit, but it is a very roomy car, with a nice smooth ride. I tested the XR, which is the middle model.
  • risa5risa5 Posts: 23
    I'm 5'0" and I drive an Elantra GT now; however, I can say from experience that a Dodge Caravan and the other Chrysler minivans are very good for petite women. My parents owned one for many years and I usually got driving duty. You get an excellent view of the road from all sides. Ours didn't have the adjustable pedals, but I still had no problems reaching the pedals. The worst vehicles for petite women have got to be those tall SUVs. My brother has a Dodge Durango and, even with footboards, it's really awkward to get in and out.
This discussion has been closed.