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Buying a manual when short, 5’0

Hi, I am short, 5’0 exactly. I want to buy a manual car, have practiced on two cars and felt like I couldn’t depress the clutch comfortably. Looking for recs on a manual that is good for short people. Thanks!

I forgot the most important part: looking to buy used, last 7-10 years, durable for upper east coast North American winters. Apparently I don’t know the correct term here, but I don’t want to press a button to turn the car on. It needs to have a key.

you could get blocks attached to the pedals making pretty much any car usable regardless of height. I’m 6’0" so I don’t have any personal recommendations, but I would guess a mini-cooper would probably work well for someone short (although I don’t like to recommend them as they aren’t the most reliable cars)

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I think you are going to have a very limited selection. One thing that affected me was the knee strain. I had no problem with my Morris or VW but the Malibu I had to drive once in a while in traffic was a killer on my knee. I think it had something to do with the lower seat and pushing the clutch in more straight on instead of pressing down on it from above as best I can explain it. So I guess if I had to, I’d want a car with a higher seat and a power seat to be able to allow a more downward force than straight on. Of course then you’ll be right up on top of the air bag that’ll break your nose, arms, or fingers if it ever goes off. Might want to just re-evaluate what you want a manual for.

Why do you want a manual ? And what will be the main purpose of this vehicle ? New or Used ? Unfortunately you will just have to see what fits you .

There is longer any rational reason to buy any car with a manual transmission.


Because I want to drive a manual car. Looking to buy used, last 5-7 years, not electric start, durable for upper east coast North American winters.

North American winters I am going to want Front Wheel Drive and an automatic transmission . What do you mean by ( not electric start ) .

I believe the OP means no “start stop technology”. I’ve gotta doubt they want a hand crank.

When you buy a used vehicle of any make or model, you are at the mercy of the maintenance regimen that the previous owner(s) practiced. While nobody could possibly predict how many more years a used car will be driveable, your chances will be greatly increased if you have a mechanic of your choosing perform a pre-purchase inspection.

Most manufacturers did away with hand-cranks about 90 years ago. Modern high-compression engines would be very difficult for the average person to hand-crank in order to start the engine.


Keyless start. My driving instructor was calling it “electric start” but he was ESL so maybe that isn’t the common term. I have never driven a car where you push a button to turn it on but I disliked that. Prefer to have a key.

My driving instructor was calling it “electric start” where you depress a button to turn the car on. I have never driven a car with a button before so I was using his term. I am referring to “keyless start/smart key” etc. Didn’t like that, prefer to have a real key.

Have no idea what ESL means and just for your knowledge all of your replies are seen so it is not necessary to answer each post.

English second language, ESL.

I’ll agree that modern automatics match (and in many cases when they are 8 and 10 speed) or beat manuals in terms of performance and economy. But some people prefer them and feel they are more engaging and/or fun to drive and give the drive more control. . I’ve found that in ordinary driving it’s easier to beat the EPA fuel economy estimates with a manual than an automatic.


I have no idea why that is even important . One of our vehicles has push button start and stop . Simple and easy to use .

When my wife was going to Norway and was renting a car, she needed to know how to drive a manual. We went down to the car dealer and they had exactly one car on the lot with a manual transmission. They let us use it for a couple days no charge to practice because there was near zero chance they would be selling it anytime soon. If you insist on manual, just start checking the lots and if you find one, see if you like it or not.

although it greatly improves the “manual car” experience :slight_smile:

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I actually have a friend who has a mint 1923 model T with a crank. By that time, an electric starter was an option. He refuses to convert it.

The OP wants a manual transmission, Live with it! I want a car that is not red, don’t try and talk me into a red car.


My father had a car with an electric starter, which retained the crank an an option, and when battery would be weak, it was quite the experience to get it started.
After you accomplished it for the first time and know how to do that, it’s quite a routine operation.