Question for short ladies and the partners of short ladies

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  • Question for short ladies and the partners of short ladies
  • Premier Icon maccruiskeen
    Subscriber

    I’m confused – I though this was the thread about ladies shorts

    We’re a lanky household but – cars have become more and more ruggedly built in the last few years as NCAP ratings have become the main marketing battle – thats resulted in thick pillars and high waistlines on the latest models of cars. If you are looking at 5 year old models maybe try favouring late versions of old shapes rather than early versions of new ones

    rogerthecat
    Member

    I currently own a shortish wife. She doesn’t like driving big cars for a number of reasons, one of which is not being able to see out very well and being able to see all corners of the car.

    Best we found were – Daihatsu Sportrack then a Terios and now a Panda 4×4 – I know that they are all 4×4 but her job dictates that she has one. The driving position is mush more upright and provides her with good visibility.

    (not entirely unconvinced that they are also the motoring equivalent of Cuban heels) ๐Ÿ˜€

    restless
    Member

    I am 5ft 3 and drive a 7 seater massive car ๐Ÿ˜€

    I just put the seat right forward, it is fine.

    All the cars I have owned have had lots of adjustents on the driving seat so I dont think her height will be a major issue.

    clubber
    Member

    I’m the opposite end of the scale but have a Mondeo and a focus. The seating position is quite different between them with the focus being shorter/higher so it may well suit her. Mondeos are huge too..

    fwiw as an ex-rower I know quite a few women who used to cox and are of similar height to your wife. they all drive fairly normal cars and seem to manage fine.

    Premier Icon maccruiskeen
    Subscriber

    Although it seems counter intuitive you might have more luck with the taller versions of midsize cars where you are sat more upright – Ford Fusion, the various toyota versos, zafiras – that kind of thing

    tails
    Member

    what about a mini or the new ka. VW make a small car called UP. Toyota have some diddy cars to. Mazda and ford are all made in the same place so have a look at those.

    Ewan
    Member

    Mini / Ka are too small really. We want to be able to use it to cart stuff around (including bikes) if we need to.

    Thanks for the other ideas – some things to follow up on.

    You get a free zimmer frame with every ford fusion, so that might be a positive ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Mrs mW is 5′. Over the years we’ve had a Polo, Sierra, Herald, Golf, Beetle, VW Van and currently a Civic. She’s been fine with all of them. She also used to work for a car leasing company and had to drive all sorts from mondeos to ferraris got on fine with all of them. Pick a car you like and give it a go, it’ll likely be alright.

    Premier Icon maccruiskeen
    Subscriber

    You get a free zimmer frame with every ford fusion

    True – you might need something bigger then – so theres room for the bikes and the zimmer

    Ewan
    Member

    Mrs mW is 5′. Over the years we’ve had a Polo, Sierra, Herald, Golf, Beetle, VW Van and currently a Civic. She’s been fine with all of them. She also used to work for a car leasing company and had to drive all sorts from mondeos to ferraris got on fine with all of them. Pick a car you like and give it a go, it’ll likely be alright.

    When we just tried the mondeo (51 plate) the seat was all the way forward and as a result the handbrake was behind the edge of the seat so pretty awkward. I suspect those extra two inches are all the difference.

    Premier Icon Scapegoat
    Subscriber

    Mrs Scapegoat is 4’10 and has had numerous VWs, five Golfs, a Passatt and a Bora. She can also drive my Discovery, but finds it a bit daunting as she has to sit close to the steering wheel.

    tron
    Member

    Golf with height adjustable drivers seat. Oddly the old ones are better – pull a lever and you can raise the seat or drop it in a second. The new ones have a slightly odd handbrake lever on the right of the seat that you have to pump.

    A 3 series or C class might get you electric memory seats and steering wheel which could be very handy if you swap cars regularly.

    Premier Icon ir_bandito
    Subscriber

    my wife is 5′ (and half an inch), I’m 6’2″
    We have a C-Max, I have the drivers seat all the way down, she has it all the way up. That’s about it, don’t even need to move the steering wheel.

    We both aspire to a car with not only motorized adjustment, but with memory settings. When we win the lotto…

    Ewan
    Member

    My lovely wife is pretty tiny – 4ft 10. She just passed her driving test yesterday (1st time woo!) and we’re trying to work out what car to get her. At the moment we’re thinking a 4-5 year old Focus as we both like fords (i’ve got a mondeo at the moment and she learnt to drive in a fiesta). However having just tried her driving my mondeo round a carpark (complete with doggers!) we don’t think the driving positon will work for anything other than emergencies wondering if that will be a problem with a focus as well.

    So – short ladies and partners of short ladies – what car do you have? Ideally focus / golf sized.

    coffeeking
    Member

    I just put the seat right forward, it is fine.

    til the airbag goes off and snaps your neck.

    zokes
    Member

    til the airbag goes off and snaps your neck.

    of course it will ๐Ÿ™„

    bwaarp
    Member

    Booster seat! :mrgreen:

    Ewan
    Member

    til the airbag goes off and snaps your neck.

    Yeah. I must say I had visions of that when she was driving it round a carpark last night.

    Anyone from the morning crew got any advice?

    PeterPoddy
    Member

    My brothers wife is about the same height as the OPs. She can be quite fussy with cars but she has no problems with a Toyota Corrola and. Vauxhall Astra estate. ๐Ÿ™‚

    jon1973
    Member

    til the airbag goes off and snaps your neck.

    I’m pretty sure if the drivers seat is desiged to go forward the air bag would have been designed to accomodate that as well.

    clubber
    Member

    I hadn’t really considered the airbag/short person scenario.

    Found this:

    http://abcnews.go.com/Health/Healthday/story?id=4507147&page=1

    Looks like I might be just as much at risk too! ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

    Ewan
    Member

    I’m pretty sure if the drivers seat is desiged to go forward the air bag would have been designed to accomodate that as well.

    As an ex engineer, I can’t help but think the bloke who designed it would have designed for the range of seat adjustment and then made some assumptions around relative length of torso vs legs etc. And if you’re at the edge of the envelope (I can’t imagine it’d go below 4ft 10) and have long / short legs / short torso that doesn’t fit his assumptions….. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

    jon1973
    Member

    Good point, I imagine there must be regulations set down for that sort of thing though. I wonder if there are rules about minimum height required to drive without some sort of booster seat.

    Ewan
    Member

    I seem to recall that if my wife was under 12 (don’t worry, she’s not) she’d only be allowed to sit in the front with one ๐Ÿ˜€ She is amusingly pocket sized.

    hels
    Member

    I’m five nothing, it really doesn’t make that much difference, everything is adjustable in modern cars.

    My second car was a 1970 Ford Falcon, bench seats, I had to have a big cushion to reach the pedals as you couldn’t move the seat forward much.

    The only real issue for me is seeing out the back properly, just takes a bit more practice and ahem trust with reversing and more attention to looking properly before you pull out.

    slowjo
    Member

    My other half drives a Berlingo. She is 5 foot 1 (just) and seems to get on fine. It suits me too at 6 foot 4 and has loads of room for bikes. What’s not to like?

    zokes
    Member

    What’s not to like?

    Handling, performance, reliability, looks?

    elaine anne
    Member

    lol im short… ๐Ÿ˜‰ im just 5ft small….ive had Honda cars all my life,,, just pull my seat forward and everythings fine…dont even need a cushion…lol…
    bikes are the major problem for me…lol.. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    cupra
    Member

    My 5′ 2″ wife has a skoda fabia and no issues, getting a motorbike for her is the big issue.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    My 5′ 2″ wife has a skoda fabia and no issues, getting a motorbike for her is the big issue.

    I’ve a mate with a similar issue; he bought a BMW bike (GS IIRC) and had the option to have it specially lowered to fit. I think they offer an embiggening kit for taller riders too.

    FunkyDunc
    Member

    As has been said above Mondeo position and Focus position are very different. You sit in a Mondeo, but the Focus is very much you sit on it ie much higher up.

    Why doesnt she just go to some where horrible like Carcraft and sit in as many different cars as she can?

    wombat
    Member

    I think they offer an embiggening kit

    Sounds excellent….does it only work on the bike? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    IA
    Member

    Dunno if mentioned above, but sometimes higher spec versions of cars have height adjustable seats.

    E.g. I have a new spec berlingo, and the seat height adjusts enough that when me or my partner drive it our heads are both roughly the same height despite her being a foot shorter than me. I’m 6’4, she’s 5’4.

    Hondas also have a lot of up down, japanese cars need to suit shorter folk!

    FunkyDunc
    Member

    “sometimes higher spec versions of cars have height adjustable seats”

    But that doesnt always help as your feet get further from the pedals!

    IA
    Member

    But that doesnt always help as your feet get further from the pedals!

    Ok, but then you move the seat closer.

    Though I take your point. Again as I say though, the japanese are as a rule shorter, and make many cars…

    tron
    Member

    Air bags in European cars are very different to the ones fitted to US cars.

    Essentially, Europeans are mainly fairly sensible and tend to wear their seatbelts. So the airbags have smaller charges and are designed to stop you moving forwards once the seatbelt has more or less stopped you.

    Americans of course, know better, and don’t wear their seatbelts. So your US spec airbag is designed to stop 300lb Bubba from 55mph to 0. So they tend to go off rather more violently…

    So don’t believe anything you read about airbags being bad for you from an American source.

    pebblebeach
    Member

    I just put the seat right forward, it is fine.
    til the airbag goes off and snaps your neck.

    Mmmm no one thought through the design then or are you saying its based on people of average height.

    My sisters ping sized and she manages just fine in any car she’s tried.

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash
    Subscriber

    MrsMCTD is 4’10” and partially disabled to boot.

    Currently we have an Octavia estate and a Fabia. Previously had Megane, 306, test drove 207s, Clios, Ibizas and Polos. Size of car not an issue for her, it’s the seat/steering wheel adjustment.

    Best was when the only automatic courtesy car they could source for her was a Toyota Previa….she looked really small driving that around!

    Premier Icon muddy@rseguy
    Subscriber

    To be honest a lot of Japanese cars tend to be better for shorter drivers for all the obvious reasons. The only car my wife ever really felt comfortable driving was her parents Toyota Corolla . However if you like Fords and need load space then you might want to look at a C-max or Kuga as they both have the same seating position (high position which is good if your short of stature) and a lot of adjustability for both seat and steering wheel. Also some of these have electronic handbrakes so lever reach is less of an issue.

    TheBrick
    Member

    I suspect those extra two inches are all the difference.

    My girlfriend has said that to me too.

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