These are the Best SUVs for Short People

Shorter or petite drivers need a vehicle that allows them to feel comfortable, gain proper visibility through the windshield (and mirrors) and reach the pedals without stretching or feeling cramped. Some features can help shorter drivers make adjustments, but not all models could adjust enough to facilitate visibility or comfort.

Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) are built on a truck chassis, which gives them more weight and can make drivers feel safer. Some are sportier in design, offer power for towing and provide lots of cargo space. What are the best SUVs for short people? Kelley Blue Book (KBB) rounded up a list of the best vehicles for shorter drivers, and SUV models dominated the list. KBB recommended these SUVS:

  • 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe
  • 2022 Honda CR-V
  • 2021 Nissan Rogue
  • 2021 Mazda CX-30
  • 2022 Chevrolet Equinox
  • 2022 Subaru Outback
  • 2022 Volkswagen Taos
Best SUVs for Short People

Features that Can Upgrade the Driving Experience

Some standard and upgraded features can help drivers make the adjustments needed for a more comfortable and safer ride. All drivers need to be able to gain full visibility in their windshield and their side and rear view mirrors. In addition, seats should be easy to adjust to allow drivers to lift the seat higher or lower or to bring the seat closer to the pedals and steering wheel.

Power Seats

All vehicles offer adjustable seats to ensure drivers. However, both taller drivers and shorter drivers might find that power adjustable seats allow for easier modifications. This feature uses buttons to move the seat into position, and the power option tends to provide greater control compared to a seat that requires manual adjustment.

Memory Seat Features

Couples might share a vehicle or a teen driver might use the car. This means that when drivers sit in the driver’s seat they might have to re-adjust the seat position. To simplify these adjustments, car shoppers can upgrade to memory seats that automatically adjust to the driver. Not all car models might offer this as an upgrade, but it could be worth the extra cost if it is an available option.

Adjustable and Telescoping Steering Wheel

Taller and shorter drivers also might need to re-position the steering wheel for better accessibility. KBB recommends telescoping steering wheels that allow for proper and easy adjustments.

Blind Spot Alerts/Monitoring

Every driver has a blind spot. However, sensors that monitor these out-of-sight areas can help warn drivers about potential hazards so they can avoid an accident. Look for safety systems that include blind spot sensors and warnings.

Smart Rearview Mirrors

Smart rearview mirrors are a relatively newer car feature. These mirrors allow the driver to access a camera that is shown in real time via the rearview mirror. Smart features allow for better rear view visibility during night driving or in bad weather.

Automatic or Power Lift Gates

KBB also recommends power lift gates for shorter drivers. These gates ensure that drivers don’t have to reach up to grab the gate to close it. Instead, just press a button and the gate will automatically close (or open).

Running Boards

An exterior feature also recommended by KBB, running boards can be used as a step to help shorter drivers get into taller SUVs.

Best SUVs for Short People

About the Best SUVs for Short People

Shorter drivers who are looking for the best SUV options might have their own checklist of must-have features for their new SUV. Some buyers might have a lower budget than others, and price could be the biggest issue. However, fuel efficiency also could be an important feature—especially when gas prices seem to constantly climb.

2022 Hyundai Santa Fe

The 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe might soon be an older model as 2023 model years begin to debut in dealership showrooms. The 2022 Santa Fe has a starting MSRP of $27,700. It offers 25 MPG in the city and 28 MPG on the highway; the Santa Fe can tow up to 2,000 to 3,500 pounds. It offers space for up to five passengers. In addition, the 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe earned a Top Safety Pick+ award/rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Car shoppers also can choose a hybrid Santa Fe.

2022 Honda CR-V

The Honda CR-V was the fifth most popular car in 2021. The 2022 CR-V has a starting MSRP of $26,800. It can get up to 28 MPG in the city and 34 MPG on the highway and has space for up to five people. It received a Top Safety Pick rating/award (with specific headlights) from the IIHS. The CR-V also is offered as a hybrid.

2021 Nissan Rogue

KBB listed its recommended models in 2021, and the 2021 Nissan Rogue was still a newer model. However, now buyers might find the 2021 Rogue as a used option. The 2021 Rogue started at $26,050; used prices might vary. The Rogue offers decent fuel efficiency—27 MPG in the city and 35 MPG on the highway. It can tow up to 1,350 pounds and has space for five. The 2021 Rogue received a Top Safety Pick+ award/rating from the IIHS.

2021 Mazda CX-30

The 2021 Mazda CX-30 is another model that will be found as a used option. When it debuted, it had a starting MSRP of $22,050; used prices might vary. The CX-30 can get 25 MPG in the city and 33 MPG on the highway. The model provides space for up to five people. The 2021 Mazda CX-30 received a Top Safety Pick+ award/rating from the IIHS; this is applicable to models built after September 2020.

2022 Chevrolet Equinox

The 2022 Chevrolet Equinox also has room for up to five people. It has a starting MSRP of $26,050 and can get 26 MPG in the city and 31 MPG on the highway. It can tow up to 1,500 pounds. The Equinox was the 19th best-selling vehicle of 2021.

2022 Subaru Outback

The 2022 Subaru Outback has a starting MSRP of $27,645 and offers space for five. The 2021 Outback ranked 21st of the best-selling vehicles of 2021. Like many models on the list, it also offers decent fuel efficiency—26 MPG in the city and 33 MPG on the highway. The 2022 Outback can tow up to 2,700 to 3,500 pounds. The 2022 Subaru Outback received a Top Safety Pick+ rating/award from the IIHS.

2022 Volkswagen Taos

The 2022 Volkswagen Taos starts at $23,495 and can seat up to five. It can get up to 28 MPG in the city and 36 MPG on the highway.

What is a Good SUV for a Short Person?

The best vehicle for any driver can depend on their style, budget and wish list, too. Every driver might want something different in a vehicle.

However, for drivers that are shorter, SUVs that offer features to adjust the seat and provide good visibility might be the best options. In addition, car shoppers might choose to add other upgrades like a smart rearview mirror or memory seats. Blind spot alerts and other safety features also can be beneficial during the drive.

Best SUV for Short Drivers 2022

While KBB included its list of best vehicles for short drivers in 2021, the list was filled with 2022 models. Car shoppers could focus their search on these 2022 models:

  • 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe
  • 2022 Honda CR-V
  • 2022 Chevrolet Equinox
  • 2022 Subaru Outback
  • 2022 Volkswagen Taos

Again, buyers also can add features that make the drive more comfortable. However, they also might research these models to find out which features come standard. Some might offer blind-spot monitoring or other features as a standard option. However, every model differs in its list of standard features.

Best SUVs for Short People

Don’t Forget the Test Drive

Whether drivers are taller or shorter, the best SUV or vehicle might depend on the individual and their preferences. While certain models might be recommended because of their features, dimensions or other attributes, the best way to find out if a model is a fit is to take a test drive.

Not only does a test drive let the shopper adjust the seats and determine if the vehicle fits their height, but a test drive also can help drivers understand how the car handles. Maybe the car feels sluggish on the acceleration, or maybe the driver just doesn’t like a navigational feature.

With today’s modern vehicles, there are so many different features that could be appealing or even divisive among buyers. Something as simple as the design or size of an infotainment screen could make or break a buyer’s decision.

Could Larger SUVs be an Option?

Some buyers might need a large SUV to fit a family, or they might gravitate to a larger model because of the towing capacity or cargo space. While the recommended 2022 models were smaller SUVs, shorter buyers shouldn’t necessarily assume a large SUV won’t be a good fit.

Again, the best way to determine the comfort and fit of any vehicle is to take a test drive; at the very least, buyers should sit in the vehicle and adjust the seats to see if it’s comfortable. Larger SUVs also can feature running boards that help shorter drivers climb into a taller vehicle.

Every shopper will have their own idea of what SUV is ideal for their driving needs. Explore the options and then visit the dealership to take a test drive to determine that it really is the best choice.