Car for short, elderly person?

Messages
550
Location
Washington State
Have an 72yo female family menber who is 4'10" and needs a new used car. We've checked out some of the list found online for short driver cars but looking for other suggestions (a couple of the recommended models had very bad rear visibility). Budget is about $8k. Miles driven very low - couple trips to the store during the week. Almost always with the driver alone. Fuel economy therefore not a big deal. AWD would be nice but can pass on. Has an "08 Focus which actually has very poor seating position and vis for an econobox (also has the lemon dual clutch trans). The two eading candidates are VW Golf / Jetta sportwagen and the latest Passat. The Passat is mid-size but has excellent visibility. Thanks.
 

NO2

Messages
941
Location
Michigan
Subaru Forester. They have excellent visibility with very large windows, and a short seat cushion which makes it comfortable for short drivers, and are reliable and reasonably priced. I would avoid versions without power seats. Also look at Toyota Sienna (good visibility, short seats) and Kia Soul.
 
Messages
607
Location
The ATL
The Elderly typically need something they can get in and out of easily like a small SUV instead of a car. I'd go with a CRV or RAV4. Forget about used VW's. They're junk.
 
Messages
10,686
Location
Phoenix
The Chevy Spark has a nice seating position and is very easy to drive. Also perfect for short trips to the store and just running short errands.
 
Messages
3,899
Location
Canada
Originally Posted by PowerSurge
The Elderly typically need something they can get in and out of easily like a small SUV instead of a car. I'd go with a CRV or RAV4. Forget about used VW's. They're junk.
They also like comfy (best seats in the business) and safe, so on that note I'd recommend the Volvo XC60. There's many used ones available on the market in that price range.
 
Messages
6,856
Location
California
If AWD is not an object, I vouch for the Fit. If the visibility and head gaskets/brake actuators weren't an issue, the 3rd gen Prius would be in contention. The CR-V and Forester are safe bets, Volvos have decent reliability but also good visibility.
 
Messages
446
Location
USA
Went through this in 2015 with a sub 5 foot person. Found that what an average height person thought was good might be poor for the short person. Including visibility, steering wheel, pedals, instruments, general ability to reach controls. Tried a few models but don't think any are now $8k. Found of then current 2015 models Prius with power seats, Lexus CT and Chrysler 200 with power seats were acceptable. CRV was acceptable if the short driver sat on a cushion. Rear visibility on that year CRV was terrible for drivers of any height with such a narrow and short rear window and tapering small rear quarter windows. On CRV it seemed as if half the width of the rear window glass was blacked out making the rear window quite short and narrow. Subaru rear visibility much better than CRV.
 
Messages
6,447
Location
In the Garage...
I have to tell you the easiest thing I have personally ever drove to get in and out of and see out of was the Chrysler Minivan I had a rental. I can't remember but it might have been a 2016? I know big for one person, but you basically walked into it.
 
Messages
2,896
Location
Chicagoland
Originally Posted by ls1mike
I have to tell you the easiest thing I have personally ever drove to get in and out of and see out of was the Chrysler Minivan I had a rental. I can't remember but it might have been a 2016? I know big for one person, but you basically walked into it.
+1, the adjustability of them is astounding. After I drive it, my wife complains she can't reach the pedals LOL But as you said, you basically walk into it, something my wife has also said. My 2 year old can also get into it on his own very easily.
 
Messages
12,888
Location
ROCHESTER, NY
How large or small of a vehicle is your family member looking for...coming from an '08 Focus? [Unrelated - I am surprised an '08 Focus has the DCT?] just saying! I like the idea of the Chevy Spark or Sonic but, the car I really like in that category, even above the Honda FIT is the Nissan Versa NOTE(Hatchback). Wonderful little run-a-bout!
 
Messages
2,201
Location
NY, NY
There was this little old lady named Ruth next door to my inlaws in Florida. Ruth was even smaller than 4'10" and probably weighed 70 pounds. She was not able to drive any more. Ruth still needed to go to the bank and post office. I swear on my eyes she used to ride to the bank on one of those battery powered Barbie cars. I think it was an SUV. I would have keeled over laughing had it been a Corvette. Unfortunately, Ruth has passed on and I never was able to get a picture of her on her Barbie Jeep but I will always remember her ingenuity, still needing to get around and making it work. My paternal grandmother was about 5'1" and drove a 1867 Ford Country Squire wagon. White, woodgrain with a red interior and a 390. Gram was a bada$$.
 
Last edited:
Messages
7,941
Location
Champlain/Hudson Valley
Don't Nissan Versas have a known, inferior CVT? A friend's daughter has the "non-Note" version but asking her would be fruitless (unless it blew up..and even then) because she's among the least mechanically sentient beings on the planet.
 
Messages
4,184
Location
Texas
Look for a Buick . Couple of years ago we purchased a 2006 Buick Lacrosse 3.8l V-6 w/37,000 miles , for $ 6250 , out the door . Great shape . Decent MPG . Quiet , comfortable , enough room for Wifey & me ( we are large senior citizens ) . Mostly use it for a road car . I try to drive it about once a week , around town .
 
Messages
15,226
Location
N.H, U.S.A.
Originally Posted by Char Baby
How large or small of a vehicle is your family member looking for...coming from an '08 Focus? [Unrelated - I am surprised an '08 Focus has the DCT?] just saying! I like the idea of the Chevy Spark or Sonic but, the car I really like in that category, even above the Honda FIT is the Nissan Versa NOTE(Hatchback). Wonderful little run-a-bout!
No on the Mexican Nissan. I was drawn in then repulsed in a few months of ownership. though it looks like a euro 5 door family car, its poorly conceived and quality is lacking. The Versa note ( I've owned one for a couple months) Have a high cowl line and is hard to see forward with the resulting high dashboard top. And I'm 6'-1" .... And then there is the infant mortality engine issue experienced by a few members on this forum- but that should not be a problem with a used car. A Used Yaris 3 door should do the job. Fun Runabout Though the Fiesta is better still but less powerful on the road.
 
Messages
607
Location
The ATL
Originally Posted by atikovi
Smart ForTwo or Fiat 500. Easy to get in and out of and to park. Electric versions too.
I really hope you're joking.
 
Top