As a driver, you want to feel comfortable when you’re behind the wheel, and automobiles come in all shapes and sizes — just like people. Short drivers face unique challenges. The distance from steering wheel to seat matters, as does how adjustable the driver’s seat is. There are also safety aspects: Drivers who are shorter than average height might have trouble reaching the pedals, and no one wants to struggle to see over the dashboard.
Cars come highly recommended for several different reasons, but oftentimes the recommendations don’t account for a person’s height. How challenging is it to get into? And what about all the extra questions someone might have, like whether the windows are large enough to check for blind spots or whether there is a reverse parking camera or proximity sensors?
These questions matter because if you sit low in the driver’s seat, your field of vision may be hindered compared to that of an average-sized person. The best cars for short people offer good visibility and adjustable features, and they’re easy to get into and out of — even after you’ve moved the seat and made other adjustments.
Consumer Reports notes that shorter drivers will also be wise to check that the seat belt’s shoulder placement is adjustable, as well as the head restraint on the back of the driver’s seat.
Publishers that test and rank cars, such as CR, have taken note that everyone looks for vehicles based on different things and sized up several cars that were best suited for short people. The U.S. News & World Report‘s most recent ranking of the best cars for short people lists vehicles from big trucks to sedans and compact SUVs. It’s from 2021, so note that the list could change this year.
If you’re on the hunt for a new vehicle and are shorter than the average Jane or Joe, this list covers the crucial features you’ll probably want to consider.
Here are some of the best cars for short people from U.S. News & World Report’s most recent list.
The 2021 Honda CR-V ranked No. 1 on the list for compact SUVs, offering a high seating position for drivers. Yet this vehicle isn’t awkward to climb into, with its low step-in height, nor is it difficult to park. They noted it’s pretty fun to drive and family-friendly! There are two versions: standard gas or CR-V Hybrid. Both are great for shorter drivers, but the gas-electric CR-V Hybrid model gets even better gas mileage than the standard model. For its compact size, it’s incredibly spacious. This well-rounded SUV is a great size and shape for short drivers with good visibility and an upscale interior. It lists for $25,530.
A great option for the vertically challenged, U.S. News notes that the 2021 Nissan Altima offers impeccable visibility along with features like blind-spot monitoring and a surround-view parking camera system — perfect for people who sit lower than average. The driver’s seat includes eight-way power adjustability and “Zero Gravity” cushioning technology that alleviates fatigue while driving. This helps to position people at their ideal posture to make drives more pleasant and maintain comfort throughout the trip. The car lists for $24,300.
This subcompact SUV is an affordable, fuel-efficient option for short drivers. The 2021 Kia Soul offers an elevated seating position with ample visibility. Despite the vehicle coming with a low base that makes getting in and out easy, drivers can sit up high without feeling like they are towering over traffic. This small SUV offers a tight turning radius. The spacious interior allows for plenty of room for people and cargo. Despite the extra affordable price, U.S. News reports that the car feels solid and well-built; the fact that it’s inexpensive doesn’t affect its quality one bit. The 2021 Soul lists for $17,490.
The best cars for short people come in all shapes and sizes, and this full-size pickup truck is a surprisingly good fit! The 2021 Ram 1500 leans toward the luxury end of the market, U.S. News reports, offering a smooth ride, great handling and well-designed interior. It’s ideal for short people because of the adjustable driver’s seat and steering column. On most trim levels, pedals can be evened to find a good driving position. You do need to climb up into the truck but should feel pretty comfortable once you’re in it. It comes with all the latest safety features, too: It has a 4-star safety rating from NHTSA as well as a 4-star rating from IIHS. It lists for $28,450.
Some might refer to the 2021 Subaru Outback as a station wagon while others might call it a 2-row SUV. Regardless, it’s a midsize sedan with a good amount of cargo space and elevated ground clearance, ideal for making short drivers happy. It’s comfortable, safe and roomy, and since it’s shaped “like a car on stilts,” according to U.S. News & World Report, you don’t feel like you’re hovering over other cars on the road (as you might in a traditional SUV). A modern-day station-wagon-meets-SUV, the Outback is easy to handle with reachable corners and large windows, offering a relaxed ride. The car lists for $26,795.
See the rest of the list here.
What do you think about this list of the best cars for short people? Are you vertically challenged? What’s important to you in a ride?