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Old October 24, 2009, 11:35 AM   #1
Liz Wolf-Spada
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Cars where you sit like in a truck?

I have been thinking about this for awhile. At the point where we buy a new car, I would love to get something like a Prius, but I find that my low back does better driving our Ford 150 where my feet can go straight down and my leg not be so extended. Are there good gas mileage SUV's where you sit like that? Anyone have any ideas?
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Old October 24, 2009, 11:49 AM   #2
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You might want to try looking at the crossover vehicles. I also like a higher ride. A couple that I like are the Toyota Venza and the Ford Edge.
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Old October 24, 2009, 11:53 AM   #3
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I don't have any specific suggestions but we'll be in the same boat when our Altima bites the dust - which hopefully will be a while!!

Hubby finds that it's getting harder with his current medical stuff to get in and out of the car. We're looking at some sort of SUV/crossover that's a hybrid. We've rented a few on trips (minus the hybrid) and he likes them much better.
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Old October 24, 2009, 11:55 AM   #4
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I have had a JEEP Liberty for 2 years and love it! I'm short, and I can see better out of this vehicle than any other car that I've ever owned.

This is what my JEEP looks like:
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Old October 24, 2009, 01:01 PM   #5
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Oh Denise, is it still so shiny?
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Old October 24, 2009, 01:16 PM   #6
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Patri - Believe it or not, it is! It is always garaged, it's hand waxed, and it doesn't have a scratch on it. We did hit a deer in it, but they replaced the whole front end, so it looks as good as new. But I can't take credit for that - my DH takes great care of our cars. In fact, DH is out there washing it by hand at this very minute. (Yes - I know I'm spoiled!)

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Old October 24, 2009, 02:46 PM   #7
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I know up in your neck of the woods I see quite a few Subaru's, how about the new Forester?
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Old October 25, 2009, 08:24 AM   #8
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I have had a JEEP Liberty for 2 years and love it! I'm short, and I can see better out of this vehicle than any other car that I've ever owned.

This is what my JEEP looks like:
We had a jeep liberty for 6 months. That was the shortest we've ever had a car. Personally, I couldn't wait to get rid of it. The turn ratio is terrible (ever seen someone trying to park and repark, and you think they just cannot drive? often it is because the car has a terrible turn ratio). Getting in and out of the backseat is very difficult. I found that the response was sluggish as well. Also had a PT cruiser rental for 3 months while our Toyota Sienna was being repaired. We had hit a deer 20 minutes after purchasing the Sienna, and it took 3 months to get it repaired because Toyota had not made spare parts for it yet. I was so excited to get a PT cruiser, it looked so cool! And it has a great stereo. That is all I can say about that car, I couldn't wait to get rid of it either, what an awful ride!

Now, one of my all time favorite cars I have ever owned was the Toyota Matrix. The seats are high enough that you get that "truck feel" you are looking for (the driver's seat could be raised --great for DH who has had back surgeries). It was a fun car to drive, great pick-up, great turn ratio, good gas mileage (although you didn't notice it as much because it has a small gas tank..you will be at the gas station as often as your gas guzzler, you just will pay way less). Great visibility (I found the PT to have alot of blind spots). The ONLY reason we got rid of it was when #2 came along, we traded it in for the minivan). Mine was yellow with black tinted windows. My daughter named it Busy Bee. If I was in the market for a smaller crossover again, I would buy one in a minute. (it just didn't have the room in the back I needed for a week's worth of groceries PLUS a stroller, one or the other, not both. )
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Old October 25, 2009, 08:30 AM   #9
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there are also alot of hybrid SUV's out there, but I suggest them with a caviat (we own a Lexus 400H Hybrid). It will get much better gas mileage than other vehicles in it's class. Our hybrid gets the same gas mileage as our Toyota Sienna, but gets better gas mileage than other SUV's in it's class. It is a 6 cylinder, but operates like an 8. Hybrids are great if you do alot of under 20mph driving, for instance, city driving where you are stopping and starting at lights and intersections, or hwy driving IF most of your time you are stuck in traffic. If you are mostly an interstate driver you won't see the gas savings, because most of the time you will be operating on gas power only. You will also eat more gas during A/C months. This was not explained to us when we bought the car, in Tampa FL, where A/C months are about 9 mos of the year.
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Old October 25, 2009, 08:31 AM   #10
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We just got a Toyota Highlander 4wd and it rides high like a truck. It has been a pleasure to drive.
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Old October 25, 2009, 09:17 AM   #11
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This is a really interesting thread. Thank you all for responding. It's not the high up feeling or vision that is important (although I like that, too), it's the not extending my right hip (I have low back problems and am very short with very short legs). We have custody for the time being of my dad's car. He passed away last year and we just got the car from another sib. It's an old 93 Toyota Corolla. Horrible to get in and out of because the seats are so very low but with back support and a support pillow under me I can see fine. What I noticed is that my foot can be on the gas without the constant extension of my leg (what I have with my Legacy). Maybe what I'm really saying is the pedal needs to be close enough and the seat needs to move forward far enough without impaling me on the steering wheel for me to have a foot on the gas while still resting my foot straight down. Does that make sense?
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Old October 25, 2009, 09:18 AM   #12
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I had a 99 VW Jetta that had a lever on the drivers seat that would raise the seat by about 6 inches. I didn't like that because I liked more of the sport feel at the time. But my wife liked it because she drove an SUV at the time. Your legs definitely dangle a lot more with it up. I don't know if VW still does this. I also would personally never buy another VW, so research it if you are interested. I know there are a lot of VW lovers out there.

I also would second the Subaru suggestion. I am planning on getting a Subaru for my next car, as soon as my wife lets me pull the trigger. I want AWD and she is balking at me getting a Lexus IS250 AWD. The 3 redesigned models, Legacy, Outback, and Forester look pretty cool, IMO. I checked out the Forester a few months ago and it does have a higher seat than a sedan would have. I haven't checked the other 2 yet.

Comment: I just read your last post about the Legacy, so maybe that goes out the window.
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Old October 25, 2009, 10:49 AM   #13
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Liz,
It sounds to me that you want some of the features that I have on my van. It is a Dodge Grand Caravan, but some other cars/minivans/suvs, etc. must have the same features. I'm 5'2" and the van has adjustable pedals. I can move them closer to me or further away for anybody else driving., Makes a HUGE difference. Also, the steering wheel is adjustable. It doesn't telescope, but if it is too close to you it raises so that it doesn't hit your stomach. You might want to look for both of these features in your next vehicle, especially the adjusting pedals.

If you like a car that doesn't have adjusting pedals, ask the dealer if it can be done to make the car "adaptable." It would be done as a special aids modification.

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Originally Posted by Liz Wolf-Spada View Post
This is a really interesting thread. Thank you all for responding. It's not the high up feeling or vision that is important (although I like that, too), it's the not extending my right hip (I have low back problems and am very short with very short legs). We have custody for the time being of my dad's car. He passed away last year and we just got the car from another sib. It's an old 93 Toyota Corolla. Horrible to get in and out of because the seats are so very low but with back support and a support pillow under me I can see fine. What I noticed is that my foot can be on the gas without the constant extension of my leg (what I have with my Legacy). Maybe what I'm really saying is the pedal needs to be close enough and the seat needs to move forward far enough without impaling me on the steering wheel for me to have a foot on the gas while still resting my foot straight down. Does that make sense?
Liz
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Old October 25, 2009, 10:57 AM   #14
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I'm also very short and have short legs, & I love my Honda CR-V. It gets 25-26 mph in town and 30-ish on the highway. It's the perfect height for me to get in and out of. The Honda Pilot I had before the CR-V was a great car but too tall, and I have a really hard time with rides that are too low. Added pluses in the CR-V are great visibility and a nice high ride (which is the one thing that keeps me in an SUV).
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Old October 25, 2009, 11:03 AM   #15
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My wife's Toyota Prius is a little taller inside than many, including Liz's custodial Corolla. DW is organized much the way Liz describes herself. I find the car better suited for her short legs than mine. I find that the Prius has a too-short bottom seat cushion for me, but it works for her. Having driven professionally some 4 million miles, I can attest that an 'upright' driving position is preferable to the near-reclined position many cars put their occupants in.

Liz, go around, test-drive several. Perhaps in your travels, rent likely candidates so you have an idea how they would work for you in the longer term.

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Old October 25, 2009, 11:06 AM   #16
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Lots of back troubles here. And I've found the vehicle I drive to be an excellent solution to the problem. I'd highly recommend you check into BMW vehicles.

My BMW X5 is a crossover SUV (an "SAV" in BMW speak) and has all the gadgets that make for a great ride. The seats are a big part of that. Add in the on-demand four wheel drive, and it's a fantastic vehicle.

I'm attaching the original of my avatar image.

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Old October 25, 2009, 01:12 PM   #17
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I'd highly recommend you check into BMW vehicles. My BMW X5 is a crossover SUV (an "SAV" in BMW speak) and has all the gadgets that make for a great ride. The seats are a big part of that. Add in the on-demand four wheel drive, and it's a fantastic vehicle.
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Old October 25, 2009, 01:29 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Liz Wolf-Spada View Post
This is a really interesting thread. Thank you all for responding. It's not the high up feeling or vision that is important (although I like that, too), it's the not extending my right hip (I have low back problems and am very short with very short legs). We have custody for the time being of my dad's car. He passed away last year and we just got the car from another sib. It's an old 93 Toyota Corolla. Horrible to get in and out of because the seats are so very low but with back support and a support pillow under me I can see fine. What I noticed is that my foot can be on the gas without the constant extension of my leg (what I have with my Legacy). Maybe what I'm really saying is the pedal needs to be close enough and the seat needs to move forward far enough without impaling me on the steering wheel for me to have a foot on the gas while still resting my foot straight down. Does that make sense?
Liz
My inlaws have a Lincoln Town Car that is really a nice car. They both had the ageing problems with broken back, bad hips and heart attacks but did love to drive their Lincoln. Both of them have recently been forced to stop driving because of bad health. While I enjoy driving it I think that I wouldn't buy one until we get about 15 years older. This car makes it through the mountain roads to the family cabin even with snow on the ground. They were doing a trade in every 4 years or so.

We had a 2008 Jeep Liberty for 2 weeks while my Expedition was being repaired and our thought was that it rode like a jeep. We wouldn't buy one but do rent them on trips.

My sister has the BMW x3 suv and its a really nice ride. My sister in law has a Nisan Murano and its a nice ride. Our friend has an Acura MDX and its very nice and comfortable.

Our Expedition is a gas guzzeler but I love it. Next suv might be a Hummer or Suburban. I try to buy American made products and I would out of principle buy a Jeep before ever considering a foreign made suv of higher quality.

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Old October 25, 2009, 02:31 PM   #19
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My inlaws have a Lincoln Town Car that is really a nice car. They both had the ageing problems with broken back, bad hips and heart attacks but did love to drive their Lincoln. .... While I enjoy driving it I think that I wouldn't buy one until we get about 15 years older.
I drive an 03 Town Car and concur it is very comfortable, but you are right Bill it's an old guys car (though I don't think I am that old at 54).

But don't wait 15 years to get one, Lincoln is phasing them out of the retail market, and making them a livery vehicle. Lincolns answer/replacement to the Townie is the new MKS, (the new Ford Taurus shares the same body/frame etc)
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Old October 25, 2009, 02:52 PM   #20
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I drive an 03 Town Car and concur it is very comfortable, but you are right Bill it's an old guys car (though I don't think I am that old at 54).

But don't wait 15 years to get one, Lincoln is phasing them out of the retail market, and making them a livery vehicle. Lincolns answer/replacement to the Townie is the new MKS, (the new Ford Taurus shares the same body/frame etc)
Hey Ric, your not much older than me. When Maria gets a newer car I am seriously thinking of the Lincoln. I drove the inlaws car to downtown Seattle the other day and really like the ride. Great aceleration. The trunk is huge. Stereo system rocks. Really a nice car, but I need the SUV for my out door activities.
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Old October 26, 2009, 06:51 AM   #21
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...I find that my low back does better driving our Ford 150 where my feet can go straight down and my leg not be so extended.
Liz
We were just having this discussion yesterday. I was saying exactly the same thing. I love my car because my knees make a right angle when sitting, like I'm sitting at the kitchen table. Getting in and out of my car is soooo easy. I was in my friend's Honda Accord and had such an effort getting in and out. My car is exactly the right height to just swing my legs and get out. No yanking myself or climbing up. My car also gets great gas mileage. Although it's an older (2005) model, the newer cars have the same seating arrangement. My car is not an SUV, but it's got perfect seating for this nearly 60 year old. My car is a Scion xB.
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Old October 26, 2009, 07:38 AM   #22
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Gerie, that is exactly what I was trying to say, but I couldn't figure out how to define it. Thank you very much. (Knees at right angle when I sit with foot on the gas.) When we get closer to buying I will look at the Scion XB.
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Old October 26, 2009, 10:29 AM   #23
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We had a Subaru Forester for many years ( it now DD car) and it rode much more upright that my outback. Still drove very much like a car but easy to get in and out of. And still had reasonable mileage.

Be aware that it still doesn't drive anywhere near as well as my outback but BOY does it drive better than my DS Jeep Grand Cherokee.
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Old October 26, 2009, 06:11 PM   #24
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For the ultimate upright and upfront driving experience, I will never forget our Volkswagen Van. Of course, we never had a head on collision in one, either!
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