Car Seat Heights Getting Lower Every Year

How do you guys feel about it? I am short height and get really frustrated seeing all sedans make you sit close to the ground and get annoyed by the headlights of every truck/SUV. And visibility is poor at a lower height. Will this fad end? Most of us don’t use a passenger car for racing. Then why?

And this is the reason everybody buys SUV I think.

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The vehicles that are easiest (at least for older folks, like me) to enter and exit are the small SUVs/Crossovers. Instead of having to lower yourself into the seat, and then to have to rise up out of the seat of the typical sedan, you literally slide your butt onto and off the seats of vehicles such as the Rav-4, the Forester, and the CR-V. For that reason alone, I will never again buy a sedan.

The headlights that are truly annoying are on the really-big, full size SUVs. The headlights of the aforementioned vehicles are no more annoying than those of a sedan.

I’m short too and I insist on power seats.

This is the reason my wife went from an Oldsmobile 88 to a Toyota 4Runner SUV. Back in 1992, Consumer Reports tested an Oldsmobile 88, a Buick Roadmaster and a Mercury Grand Marquis and also found a restored 1952 Buick Roadmaster that they used for comparison. CR found the seats in the then 40 year old Buick Roadmaster much more comfortable and the driving position much better.

I’ll be switching from a sedan to a CUV for my next car, for ease of entry/exit, headroom, and for not having the rear view mirror block my vision so much.

P. T. Keller, who ran Chrysler corporation through the 1940s and into the 1950s insisted on “chair high” seats and enough headroom that a man could wear a hat. He bucked the trend to make cars lower. He once made the statement: “Cars are to ride in, not p*ss over”.
By the end of the 1950s, cars became much lower than they had been at the start of the decade.

And cars have been getting HIGHER, not lower over the last 30 years. Of the cars still being made, that is. Buyers are flocking to SUVs of various sizes. All have a higher seat heights than the cars. Some too high for shorter folks.

I heard a story about a cabbie in San Francisco, ‘Doughnut’, because he ate pastries all day. He got so fat he couldn’t fit behind the wheel, so they took the seat out. When he got too fat for that, he had to quit.

Yes, it can be a problem. My ‘18 has a lever near the front of the seat so you can “pump it up”. I saw that on several makes when shopping, so it’s nothing unique. Part of the problem is that cars are going for better gas mileage these days and want the car to have as little wind drag as possible, so need a lower seat for dudes over 6’ to avoid “cracking the melon” on entry. (Not to mention, makes the car feel sportier.)

For me, it’s the other way around. I’m barely average height, but I need a handle to get in most of the vehicles on the show room floors.

That said, some people will raise the seat. Basically the driver’s seat is removed and a spacer is placed under the rails. Sometimes it only takes an inch to make driving more comfortable.

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