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Bad Back and Seat Height

I’m looking for car suggestions with these specifications:
Easy for the driver to get in and out
Distance from ground to seat bottom greater than 24 inches (premise: this distance defines how far the driver has to drop to sit down)
Easy to get 4 or 5 apple boxes in and out (the driver with the very bad back is not moving the boxes)
Better gas milage than a typical Honda or Kia van

Thank you!

Well, you can definitely rule out Honda sedans.
Although my '92 Accord was a relatively decent car overall, the extremely low placement of the seat led to a “legs out” driving position that led to severe lower back pain and leg numbness on a drive longer than 30 minutes or so. When driving newer Hondas belonging to friends, I found that the seats are still placed lower than on any other sedans that I have driven, and that they still produce the same back/leg problems for me.

All of that being said, the best bet for your needs would be one of the smaller Crossover/SUVs, like the Honda CR-V, the Toyota RAV-4, or the Subaru Forester. The seats in those cars are exactly “butt height” for most people, and that means you can literally just slide onto and off of those seats, with no lowering necessary when entering, and no rising necessary when exiting.

I find that the seats in the RAV-4 are decent, but when I test-drove a Forester, I found that the lumbar support was inadequate (for me) and thus caused back pain for me after only ~15 minutes. I can’t comment on the seat comfort in the CR-V.

However, since seat comfort is such an individual thing, you really need to take an extended test drive in all of these vehicles in order to see what is comfortable for you. Tell the salesperson of your back problems, and inform him/her that you need to be able to do a test-drive of ~ 1 hour. Most dealerships will be okay with this, as long as you tell them ahead of time.

As to fuel economy and cargo room, these vehicles will all deliver overall gas mileage of ~23 mpg, and have surprisingly spacious cargo areas.

A small SUV will probably work for you. My neighbor had a bad back and found that getting into and out of his CR-V was less painful than other vehicles. If you can find one with a seat that rises, you can customize the fit.

This is one of those situations where comfort takes place over everything. Would you really want to be bothering your back just because you got an extra MPG or three?

jt is right that a small crossover/suv would best fit your needs.
Ford Escape
Mazda CX-5
Mazda CX-7
Ford Edge
Toyota Rav4
Honda CR-V
Chevy Equinox
Ford Explorer
Hyundai Tuscon
Hyundai Santa Fe
Kia Sorento
Kia Sportage
VW Tiguan
VW Touarag
Acura MDX
Acura RDX
Cadillac SRX

My Prius is comfortable to drive, gets 45 MPG with normal driving, accelerates quickly on the highways, and I have put more than 20 cases of wine in the back with no driving problems. With the hatchback open the rear is flush with the bumper as with a SUV, so no trunk well which would require lifting crates up and out.

Almost any hatchback will meet your needs so find the one with the driver’s seat that provides the best lumbar support. Sometimes the stock seats are not great but there is an upgrade option to a power seat that has much better back support.

The most comfortable stock seats of any car I have driven were the ones in my stock Toyota 4WD pickup.

the first gen. Scion XB the little school bus all kinds of room inside wide doors my good friend has a \very bad back and test drove one and it was very easy for him to get into and out off new was more then he wanted to spend at the time car is very good on fuel low 30’s mpg car is based on the corrola. i’m 6’ 4" tall and about 375lbs. and can seat in the back seat behind the driver with the front seat all the way back.

Thanks to everyone for their ideas. The CR-V and RAV-4 crossovers with better mileage will be my first test drives. I’ve been looking at a Chevy Equinox at work and like the size, so I’ll drive that one too. I’ll propose the extended test drive to the car sales person, maybe overnight? The Scion is really roomy, and easy to get in, but way too low for me. It’s like trying to sit down in my sister’s Honda Fit. I’ve also added a power driver’s seat to my list, if the seat raises high enough to make a difference.

I appreciate the time all of you took to help me out!

I think you will find that the best seat height is between 16" and 17", not 24". A lot of the newer sedans have this seat height now because as the population ages, the average customer no longer favors sitting 6" off the ground with their legs outstretched. Now it the steering wheel was just a little closer like it used to be.