Edmunds.com’s 10 best cars for short drivers

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Kia Soul is among the best cars for short drivers, Edmunds.com says.

Kia Soul is among the best cars for short drivers, Edmunds.com says.

Short drivers know how hard it is to find vehicles that let them see out properly and adjust themselves comfortably behind the wheel.

Edmunds.com, the car-shopping and research site, has compiled a list of what it believes are the 10 best cars for short drivers. Some of those cars you probably can afford, others maybe not.

Visibility is the key safety issue. If you can’t see what’s around you, after all, you’re more likely to hit it. Common sense.

Except that car designers have little of that commodity. Looks good, live with it, seems like their attitude.

Thus, many of today’s cars rob you of the ability to easily see out because of what’s considered attractive. Sheetmetal that comes up high (called a high beltline), roof pillars that are thick or poorly angled, and windows that seem like they start at the second story and you have to jump to see out.

Key features to help overcome comfort and visibility issues for short drivers:

•Height-adjustable driver seat, common.

•Telescoping steering column, fairly common.

•Power-adjustable pedals, uncommon.

Adjustable pedals let short drivers move the pedals within reach without moving the driver too close to the steering wheel — less than 10 inches between the wheel and your breastbone usually is considered unsafe. General Motors, Ford Motor, Chrysler Group and Nissan Motor are chief among those offering adjustable pedals on some models.

Edmunds points out the individual physiques vary, so two drivers the same height might fit quite differently.

Test drive cars and trucks you’re considering to be sure you fit and can see out. And don’t think you’ve simply missed that perfect combination of seat/wheel/pedal settings and it’ll somehow get better after you sign on the dotted line. Doesn’t happen.

Here are Edmunds.com’s favorites for short drivers, in alphabetical order, including the price, including shipping, for the base model:

•BMW 3-series, $33,475

•Honda Accord, $22,470

•Honda CR-V, $23,625

•Kia Soul, $15,200

•Lexus LS 460, $72,900

•Mazda3, $17,495

•Mercedes-Benz S-class, $93,255

•Subaru Forester, $22,790

•Toyota Sienna, $27,445

•Volkswagen Passat, $21,640

Courtesy of USA Today

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