Trying to find the best cars for short people isn't always the most logical process. While tall drivers might complain about tight space inside sports cars, those same performance models often also frustrate shorter individuals due to their poor sight lines, high door sills, and frequently distant pedal placements. At the same time, larger crossovers and SUVs can deliver customizable cabins that provide a great look at the road ahead, even for those who are smaller in stature. It's not simply a question of small cars being ideal for shorter drivers; you have to look at how the cockpit is arranged, how the seats can be adjusted, and what the visibility is like from the left hand seat before passing judgment. Let's take a quick look at 10 of the best cars for short people and see what puts them ahead of the pack.
1) 2016 Subaru Forester
The 2016 Subaru Forester is a compact SUV that has long been known for its upright shape and huge greenhouse. The Subaru Forester combines vast expanses of glass with a tall seating position that is specifically designed to give drivers a commanding view of the road ahead, without pulling them too far from the gas and brake pedals in the process. A relatively low belt line and A-pillars that have seen their size kept under control provide good visibility to the sides of the Forester as well.
2) 2016 Ford Flex
The Ford Flex has been redesigned for this model year, which means it’s going to be arriving a little later to dealerships than usual. When the 2016 Ford Flex is available, though, its distinctive boxy shape will be unmistakable. The Flex’s profile is the prime reason that it makes the list, since the large windows offer great visibility. The 2015 version of the Flex came standard with a power adjustable driver’s seat, another key benefit that helps make life easier for shorter drivers, and we hope that the revised 2016 model carries this feature over. (2015 model pictured.)
3) 2016 Honda Accord
The 2016 Honda Accord is a recently refreshed model that has paid attention to the needs of people who might not be taller than average. Although the Honda Accord is sleeker and more modern looking than ever, the Japanese brand's designers made sure to keep the passenger compartment bright and cheery by way of large side windows and an even bigger windshield. All of that glass real estate creates a safety zone around the sedan that forgoes the need for a blind spot monitoring system (although you can still order one, if you want to).
4) 2016 Lexus ES
Also refreshed for this model year, the 2016 Lexus ES is targeted specifically at people who want to be comfortable, but who don't necessarily care all that much about sporty performance or supermodel good looks in a four-door sedan. This means that Lexus ES engineers and designers were able to spend more time of creating a well-appointed passenger compartment that includes pushing up the roof and expanding the side windows for maximum visibility. Shorter drivers will also appreciate the fact that the ES can be had with adjustable pedals, a telescoping steering wheel, and an adjustable driver's seat that can boost them over the dash without having to reach for the car's controls.
5) 2016 Acura MDX
The 2016 Acura MDX is a people mover par-excellence that manages to avoid the gun-slit-style door windows that have become popular in the premium crossover segment. The Acura MDX is proud of its broad greenhouse, but as a luxury vehicle it also offers a 10-way adjustable power driver's seat, which means that pilots tall and small are able to find a comfortable position behind the wheel. When this generation of the Acura MDX was introduced in 2014, its overall height was reduced by 1.5 inches, which is a boon for shorter people climbing into its passenger compartment, or trying to secure items to its available roof rails.
6) 2016 BMW 5 Series
The 2016 BMW 5 Series is a mid-size luxury sedan with a broad appeal, and as such it has been designed to be enjoyed by the widest possible range of drivers. The BMW 5 Series shares its platform with the larger 7 Series, which contributes to its decent-sized greenhouse and good interior volume. It also means that many of the goodies associated with the 7 Series, such as power adjustable pedals, can be outfitted to the 5 Series as an option. Look also for the car's adjustable driver's seat, tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel (power, of course), and available head-up display that can position information at eye level through the windshield for shorter drivers.
7) 2016 Porsche Cayman
The 2016 Porsche Cayman is the only sports car on this list of the best cars for short people, and with good reason: while many performance vehicles feature low ceilings and tiny windows, the Porsche Cayman keeps safe sightlines to either side of the vehicle, as well as good visibility out the front. Keep in mind that the Cayman sits low to the ground, which will of course restrain your ability to keep tabs on traffic far ahead of the coupe, but compared to notorious blind-spot-prone sports coupes like the Nissan 370Z, the Cayman is much less nerve-wracking when changing lanes.
8) 2016 Toyota Sienna
The 2016 Toyota Sienna is the perfect embodiment of the qualities we have been pounding home throughout this entire list. A minivan like the Toyota Sienna is by definition going to offer the straight up-and-down slab sides that allow for the easy integration of large panes of glass, especially at the rear of the vehicle, and its higher-than-average seating position lets shorter drivers take maximum advantage of the Sienna's privileged perspective. It's also nice that the Sienna comes with a telescoping steering wheel so you can get as close or as far away from the pedals as you need to.
9) 2016 Kia Soul
Think of the 2016 Kia Soul as a sort of three-quarter size minivan, albeit one with much more appealing styling, and you'll understand how its square proportions inform its friendliness to shorter drivers. The compact Kia Soul offers reams of glass, but more than that it comes with a tall perch for the driver that can be easily adjusted for maximum visibility out any of its wide-and-tall windows. The Kia Soul also has the virtue of a low load floor at the back, which makes stacking cargo through its hatch a simple task no matter how tall you might be.
10) 2016 Hyundai Equus
The 2016 Hyundai Equus represents the Korean company's take on what a flagship luxury sedan should be, so it's no surprise that the car comes with a raft of standard features designed to coddle and comfort drivers of all shapes and sizes. Starting with its seemingly infinitely-adjustable seats, the Hyundai Equus can be customized to create the perfect driving environment for each individual owner. The vehicle's steering wheel is of course power-adjustable, as are its pedals, and big glass in the windshield as well as to the sides of the sedan provide much-needed visibility for the large car. A hands-free trunk opener is new for the 2016 Equus.