Which cars/SUVs/crossover vehicles have a high-seating position and a narrow footprint?

My parents are looking to replace an aging Chrysler PT cruiser. They have a narrow garage space and like a high-seating position. I can't believe how high they sit in that PT!

Mike D., Milwaukee

While you might not find a slew of cars that meet your requirements, we recommend taking a look at small crossover SUVs, including the Honda CR-V, Saturn Vue, Ford Escape as well as the Escape’s Mercury Mariner and Mazda Tribute counterparts. They’re slightly wider than the PT but have a high-seating position that allows a good view of the road.

A potential issue is that some of our recommended SUVs might sit higher off the ground than the PT Cruiser, which could be a problem depending on your parents’ willingness and ability to get in and out of a higher-sitting car. Ground clearance specs, a measure of the highest point of the undercarriage and not the actual step-in height, will give you a rough estimate of how vehicles compare to each other.

As for cars, the 2008 Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable have a relatively high-seating position; they also offer good visibility with large windows and narrow roof pillars, but these full-size sedans are much wider than the PT Cruiser. In sedans, keep an eye out for seats with an adjustable height range, which can vary from car to car. It might make the driving position high enough to meet your parents’ seating requirement. 

If your parents were content with the PT Cruiser, then you might not want to rule out buying a new replacement. Chrysler currently has a $750 cash back rebate on the 2009 and is also running a “Shop Til You Drive” promotion.

Ground Clearances (Inches)

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Answered by Joe Bruzek on September 8, 2008 in What Car Should I Buy? | Permalink

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