When car buying, it’s important to take time to find the right vehicle. For some, that means a truck that can handle big towing jobs or an SUV for a big family and all their gear. For those who are shorter than average, the vehicle’s driving position is also an important consideration. And according to Consumer Reports, two Subarus are great for short drivers.
A tale of two Subarus
The folks at Consumer Reports recently released a list of the best and worst cars for tall and short drivers. They explain that to help their members find vehicles with a good driving position, they evaluated vehicles’ seat comfort and position. They also assessed how easy each was to get in and out of for varying heights. Their shortest tester stood 5 feet 1 inch tall.
Two of the best vehicles for shorter drivers are Subarus. The 2021 Subaru Forester also earned a coveted CR Recommended badge. This well-executed compact SUV gets good gas mileage, offers loads of standard safety features, and boasts a roomy cabin.
For shorter drivers, the 2021 Forester offers some of the best visibility found in a new vehicle, the CR team reported. The driver’s position gives them a better-than-average view of the road with plenty of headroom too. The controls are intuitive and arranged around the driver for easy access. Most models have a power seat with adjustable lumbar support for great comfort.
Consumer Reports also recommends the 2021 Subaru Outback. More of a raised wagon with standard all-wheel drive than a traditional SUV, the Outback offers great comfort in a vehicle that can meet most people’s needs as a daily driver.
The CR team also liked its slightly raised driving position, giving short drivers a commanding view. The 2021 Outback offers plenty of headroom and a center console that’s wide but isn’t obtrusive. The only drawback is the left footrest, with a strange protrusion at the top. It meddles with the driver’s foot space for some people.
Honorable mentions for short drivers
Other vehicles the CR testers recommended for short drivers are the 2021 BMW 7 Series, with its great seat articulation, Lexus ES, and Volvo XC90. They also liked the BMW X5, Volkswagen Tiguan, Honda Odyssey, BMW X3, and Lexus RX.
Though tall drivers didn’t have a lot of headroom in the 2021 Lexus ES, it wasn’t a problem for short drivers. The left footrest was just out of reach, though. The latest ES also has well-placed center and door armrests with good padding. The power steering wheel is well-placed too.
Vehicles short drivers should avoid
There was a small selection of cars that worked for both tall and short drivers. Likewise, some cars didn’t work for either camp, including the Jeep Wrangler, Mazda MX-5 Miata, and Toyota Tacoma.
The 2021 Jeep Wrangler received a dismal overall rating from CR, and there are many reasons for that. There’s no left footrest in the latest Wrangler, which is a drawback in an off-roading vehicle. And the steering wheel, with its tilt-and-telescope functionality, offers a limited range of movement.
The 2021 Mazda MX-5 Miata also works better for short drivers than tall ones. Still, it’s a small car with a narrow cabin, and the legroom is a little tight.
Finally, as for the 2021 Toyota Tacoma, the driver’s seat sits pretty low with a low-looming overhead that can make front occupants feel boxed in. Though it now offers an available power-adjustable driver’s seat, it’s tight enough that some tall drivers’ knees still bump the dash’s hard plastic.
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