What's the best SUV for short drivers?

I have not had a chance to get out and sit in a 2007 CR-V. Can you tell me your honest opinion about what is the best compact SUV for a shorter driver? I'm 5-foot-3 and have had a Ford Explorer for nine years; I'm tired of hauling myself up and twisting into the seat, and using running boards or stepping over them. I sat in the Hyundai Tucson and that seemed tiny, like a good fit, but I'm hoping you'll tell me the CR-V is one of those that is closer to the ground. 

Heather, Annapolis, Md.

Just as you hoped, the Honda CR-V is in fact lower to the ground than Hyundai’s Tucson, by .4 inches (7.3 versus 7.7 inches,) and both are closer to the earth than your Explorer (8.2 inches of ground clearance).

Our reviewers were impressed by the Honda’s interior quality and comfortable driving position, with the tilt/telescoping steering wheel. Reviewer David Thomas reports in his review,

"Honda has really found its stride with interiors lately. The steering wheel was a bit on the small side for me, but considering Honda expects 60 percent of CR-V buyers to be women, that won't be a real negative."

There’s a huge crop of compact sport utility vehicles on the market: Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, Hyundai Tucson, Saturn Vue, Mitsubishi Outlander, Kia Sportage, Ford Escape ... I could keep going, but you get the point.

Mitsubishi’s Outlander is all-new this year – and also pretty close to the ground — and we recently pitted the CR-V and RAV4 — the leading class competitors — against the Outlander in our Compact SUV Faceoff.

We can’t really say what the “best” SUV is for petite drivers, but these resources should help you find the best one for you.

Learn more

Answered by Patrick Olsen on March 2, 2007 in What Car Should I Buy? | Permalink

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