Last post on Feb 16, 2009 at 11:34 PM
You are in the Hatchbacks
What is this discussion about?
Honda Accord, Mazda MAZDA3, MINI Cooper, Coupe, Sedan, Wagon
Read the Top 10 Vehicles for Shorter Drivers article and tell us what you think!
#134 of 160 Re: Mazda 3 [catlover #133]
Jul 02, 2004 (8:15 pm)
I can relate to your Mustang experiences - I bought one and sold it only months later because I had so many problems driving it. The new ones are more like the first Mustangs and I thought they might be better, but I still sat too low in one (I didn't drive it - your experience might be different than mine). I was also very disappointed when I couldn't see enough to drive a camaro.
I really liked the Ford F150 pickup with the adjustable seat and petals. I drove that without any problems - maybe one day I'll buy another full sized pickup - I really do like them best and have only had problems with one model of Ford many years ago.
I'm having trouble getting excited about any car that doesn't have AWD/4x4. I like Honda's Element in spite of it's looks. I'm going to be looking at the Unlimited again in August at Camp Jeep. Perhaps the reason it didn't grab me had more to do with my mood and the particular salesman I was talking to.
If you find something that captures your interest, let me know - I'm now in a position (finally!) to buy something.
#135 of 160 Which car?
Jul 26, 2004 (4:52 am)
I am 5'0 and am beginning my driving lessons shortly. However, I am concerned that I might have to over-stretch to floor clutch/brake pedals. What is the most appropriate car for me to learn in and indeed to eventually buy? I am considering the new minis.
Jul 26, 2004 (6:08 am)
Are you going to be learning on a vehicle with a clutch? Most professional driving instructors have vehicles that are automatic and don't have a clutch. While I'm a big believer of learning to drive a clutch at some point, if you are just starting to drive, start with an automatic. A clutch is now an unnecessary distraction and would make learning in the beginning much harder. The reason I ask is that it makes a big difference. I'm only 5'1" tall and have rarely had a problem reaching the brake pedal on any vehicle. The same is not true with a clutch.
My biggest problem is when I sit low in a vehicle that has a long hood. I've always preferred vehicles that have higher seating. A number of years ago I had a chance to buy a great looking Camero but I couldn't tell where the front of the vehicle was - it seemed like there were acres of hood in front of me.
I would recommend starting off with something that is automatic. I haven't driven the Mini Cooper, so I don't know what it is like, but I would be concerned about how low it sits. I test drove a Toyota Echo when they first came out and liked it (my husband didn't like it at all). I felt I had good visibility all around and it didn't feel too big. It doesn't have much power and I have no clue whether it comes in an auto or not, but you might look at one as a first car (they aren't expensive).
I sort of like the RAV4 - you sit fairly high in them, they aren't too small and they seem to be pretty comfortable.
I test drove the Prius and didn't find that too low (I can't believe I just suggested 3 Toyotas - I have a Tacoma and dislike it very much!). You might want to look at the Subaru line - I had no problems driving any of them. If you want a pickup, any of the compact pickups would be easy to drive (I bet you can tell I prefer trucks and SUVs, can't you?).
Good luck with it!
Jul 26, 2004 (7:22 am)
Whether you are short or small or big and tall or some combination of the total, YOU must drive the car for a few miles BEFORE purchasing the car. Don't listen to what your friend says, your mentor says, whoever. YOU are going to be the one driving the car.
When you have test driven a number of cars, you will know which cars you are comfortable and which ones are not.
#138 of 160 I'll second that
Jul 26, 2004 (6:58 pm)
If you have an opportunity, try to go to an auto show. I try to go to the LA Auto Show in January and look at all the new (and current) cars. I've found it helpful to sit in all of them that interest me. Sometimes I'll see one that I hadn't thought of/heard of and add it to my list of possibilities. It won't take the place of a test drive, but would allow you to eliminate some that don't meet your expectations. And it's fun to look at things I know I can't afford, like a Porche or a Hummer or (fill in the blank).
#139 of 160 I'll second that by mtngal
Jul 26, 2004 (7:20 pm)
And if the model is fairly common, call your local car rental agency and take the car out for a weekend "test drive". As you can get many cars these days for under $25 per fday on weekends, it gives you a real chance to drive 500+ miles on a model that you are interested in.
#140 of 160 Re: Which car? [pearl1]
Jul 27, 2004 (9:28 am)
With any manual transmission, you'll have to sit closer to the steering wheel to fully depress the clutch. The same vehicle with an automatic would allow you to sit around 2 inches further from the airbag. Make sure you can sit at least 10 inches (the more, the better) from the airbag.
#141 of 160 Re: New Article... [Car_man]
Nov 12, 2004 (11:09 pm)
Thanks for posting the best for shorties list. I am a guy with disabilites and am 5'4". My wife has an '04 Camry LE/Special Edition and I have an '03 Accord LX V6. Both have power seats which are great for folks w/orthopedic problems and/or are smaller in stature.
I can't understand why Edmunds didn't list the Camry as good for shorter people as its driver seat is higher than the Accords when both power seats are all the way up. Also, the Camry is easier to steer, but I love my Accord, too. They are both nice and high.
#142 of 160 Re: pedal extenders [jimveta]
Dec 26, 2004 (11:57 pm)
I'm 5' and in 1985 had an extended put on my Honda CRX clutch. It seemed to work, but for years, it just didn't feel right. the ratio of extension to the floor vs. gas and brake was awkward. (Just my experience). Love the fact that manufacturers now make tracks that get much closer, seats that raise and lower, and tilted steering wheels.
For reference, local folks I trust told me to go to places that specialize in adapting vehicles for "special needs." This way, you're assured greater safety peace of mind because many of those shops have more rigid standards.
#143 of 160 GTI vs. Mini Cooper
Dec 27, 2004 (12:00 am)
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!