Most vehicles are designed with the average driver in mind, and the majority of models are produced on an assembly line. Typically, these vehicles are one-size-fits-all, but, for some drivers, these one-size options might not be a fit at all.
Individuals who are petite or shorter than the average height might struggle to find the best car. No driver wants to barely see out of the windshield or need to add extra pillows to see behind them to back up, and a custom vehicle could be unaffordable. These are the best cars for short drivers in each price range for buyers who are on a budget or who have more to spend.
Luxury Cars for Short Drivers
- Lincoln Corsair
- BMW 7 Series
- Lexus ES
- BMW X5
- BMW X3
- Lexus RX
Mid-Priced Cars for Short Drivers
- Volkswagen Tiguan
- Honda Odyssey
- Honda CR-V
- Chevrolet Equinox
- Subaru Forester
- Toyota Camry
Budget-Friendly Cars for Short Drivers
- Kia Soul
- Mazda CX-30
Both Kelley Blue Book (KBB) and Consumer Reports included a list of the best vehicles for short drivers; these lists were merged and compiled into recommendations according to pricing. However, not all models featured by KBB and Consumer Reports were included in the above lists.
Cars for Short People: These Features Can Improve the Drive
Those who sit have a shorter torso or shorter legs might look for certain features in their vehicles to help to improve the driving experience. Some beneficial features/upgrades include:
These controls let drivers move their seat to better position the body and provide a more comfortable driving experience. Some seats also rise up higher to provide the driver with better windshield visibility.
Some vehicles are equipped to remember each driver’s seat position. This is beneficial when more than one driver operates the vehicle.
Adjustable Tilt and Telescoping Steering Wheel
This option lets drivers adjust the position of the steering wheel to their height or comfort.
Smart Rearview Mirrors
These smart mirrors can be beneficial for all drivers. At night, a smart rearview mirror will show the rear camera view of the vehicle to aid navigation.
KBB recommends this feature for shorter drivers. For some, the back lift gate can be tough to close. The power gate is hands-free and convenient.
KBB also noted that running boards can help shorter drivers (or passengers) get in and out of vehicles more easily. Think of the boards as a small step.
Best Car for Short People: Use a Test Drive to Find the Ideal Car
While some features can be added to provide a more comfortable fit in the driver’s seat and take control of navigation features easily, drivers also shouldn’t skip the test drive.
Taking a test drive can help drivers determine if the car is comfortable for them. Are controls easy to use? Can the driver’s seat adjust to the proper position that maximizes visibility and simplifies navigation?
Drivers might find that they simply don’t like the way the car handles on the road. The driver’s seat might not be a comfortable fit. Some drivers also might discover that they don’t have the best visibility or perhaps can’t lift the seat high enough for their comfort.
A test drive lets buyers determine if that car really is the best choice. Sometimes the car’s downsides become apparent once the driver is behind the wheel and is on the road.
Best Cars for Short People that Run on Electric
All the recommended models for shorter individuals all run on standard fuel. As the price at the pump climbs, some buyers might be considering electric models. What are the best electric cars for shorter drivers?
The Chevrolet Equinox (which was featured on KBB’s list) will soon be offered in an electric model. Tesla models also could be good options for short drivers as they offer great visibility, and some models include auto park and even auto lane assist features.
Good Cars for Short People: The Best Hybrid Options
Many of the vehicles on the lists from both KBB and Consumer Reports include hybrid models. While hybrids are more expensive, they could be great for drivers who want to maximize fuel efficiency, and, most importantly, save money each month on the price at the pump.
These are the best hybrid that might be good cars for short people:
- Toyota Camry Hybrid
51 MPG city / 53 MPG highway
- Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid
36 MPG city
- Honda CR-V Hybrid
40 MPG city / 35 MPG highway
- Lexus RX Hybrid
30 MPG (combined)
- Lexus ES Hybrid
43 MPG city / 44 MPG highway
- BMW X5 PHEV
Estimated Range: 400 miles (fuel and battery)
- Lincoln Corsair Grand Touring
Estimated Range: 430 miles (fuel and battery)
The Toyota Camry is the most budget-friendly hybrid on the list. In addition, the 2022 Toyota Camry also earned a Top Safety Pick+ rating/award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). However, a separate safety report for the hybrid was not offered.
What is the Best Car for Short Drivers?
The best car for short drivers might depend on the individual’s opinion. While car buyers can search for options in their price, opt for features that ease seat adjustment and navigation and even compare safety reports for models, the best way to find the ideal option might be to take it for a test drive.
Every buyer has their own checklist of ‘must-have’ features for a vehicle, but buyers also could quietly consider some features or options to be ‘deal breakers.’ These features could be related to safety systems of other vehicle options.
The most affordable option for those on a budget is the Kia Soul, which is priced at less than $20,000. However, buyers who are on a tighter budget also could shop for their best options via KBB’s site. Buyers can compare prices of new and used at local dealerships.
For buyers without a budget, there are many high-end vehicles that might be customized to a driver’s specific needs. These ‘couture cars,’ though, could take some time to build and might have price tags into the six figures if not beyond.
Buyers who want to save money at the pump might prefer to shop for electric or hybrid models. In fact, several of the cars recommended by KBB and Consumer Reports include hybrid options. Those who need a vehicle for commuting might focus on hybrids.
What are the Worst Cars for Short Drivers?
Shorter or petite drivers might wonder if certain cars are a no-go for them. Consumer Reports rounded up both the best cars for short drivers and the vehicles they might avoid, too. According to Consumer Reports, the worst cars for short drivers included these models:
- Chevrolet Camaro
- Toyota Tacoma
- Ford F-150
- Jeep Gladiator
- Mitsubishi Mirage
- Nissan Titan
- Chevrolet Colorado / GMC Canyon
The list from Consumer Reports included several other models, too. Buyers can reference the list to better understand the models that might not be a good fit.
Unfortunately, the list from Consumer Reports included the Ford F-150, which happens to be the most popular vehicle in the country (it’s held this title for decades). In addition, the Mitsubishi Mirage also was listed as a bad choice for short drivers. The Mirage is the most fuel-efficient model on the market (that isn’t a hybrid).
The Jeep Wrangler and the Gladiator also were named to the list. Jeep aficionados might decide to test drive other models like the Cherokee or Grand Cherokee to see if these Jeeps are a better fit.
Explore Different Models with RelayCars
Car shoppers don’t have to visit the dealership to explore different makes/models. Instead, download the RelayCars app or use the RelayCars mobile site to research thousands of vehicles and explore them using interactive 3D imagery, augmented reality and virtual reality.
The RelayCars app is available for free via Google Play (for Android) or the App Store (for Apple). With the app, users can explore different vehicles in virtual reality (with Google Cardboard) or with on-screen 3D interactive images.
Images display the car’s exterior and interior features. Interact with these images using just a fingertip; turn them around and view the exterior of the vehicle from all angles. Users also can explore the interior of the car, too; interactive imagery gives the user the feeling that they are sitting in the front seat and looking around the car.
Car shoppers also can visit the RelayCars mobile site to explore cars in augmented reality or with 3D imagery. The on-site 3D experience mirrors the experience found on the app. However, the RelayCars website also includes the option of using an augmented reality showroom experience to preview cars.
Site visitors can access the experience using their smartphone or tablet camera. Whatever environment is captured in the camera is where a 3D augmented reality vehicle will appear. Car shoppers can preview a car in their living room, in the garage or anywhere they choose.
With RelayCars, buyers can explore vehicles on their terms and at their leisure. RelayCars also includes price information and specs for each vehicle, too. Use RelayCars to research the best vehicle options and then visit a dealership to complete the buying journey.