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Looking for help on which car to buy to fit needs

My sister in San Francisco (should not affect the decision) needs a new car. The requirements are; short maybe 170 inches, maybe a hybrid, 4 door, the drivers seat higher than a standard sedan which may mean a SUV but maybe not, and probably hatchback. Backup camera is nice. It would be nice if it had a higher safety rating. When I bought my car a couple years ago I visited way too many dealers, (that is my hangup). I am hoping someone here can help shorten the list a lot.

Suggest to start with Consumer Reports New Car Guide. Read up what they say about what’s available in hybrids with these traits. Once you determine a shorter list to chose from, then you can visit a few dealers.

I hate looking at cars too but this is the season for the auto shows around the country. A good chance to see what’s available in an afternoon.

Honda CRV. You want something that handles hills well. It’s short and goes through car washes better than the Rav 4 which always comes out without cleaning the rear window due to the visor.

The Honda HRV and the Mazda Cx-3 would meet most of the criteria but the hybrid, the Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid might be a little too long but would be worth a look. A height-adjustable driver’s seat might make the difference, my mom wanted a higher seating position than her 19yr old mazda offered but the seat in our 2007 Honda CRV was higher than she really wanted. Ended up with a Prius with the height adjustment for the driver’s seat which was exactly what she had in mind (She really wanted the Prius but looked at a few other options as well)

why does she need a higher seating position? to look over other cars? what happens when they get taller cars too?

Toyota sells a RAV4 hybrid. It gets 34 mpg city and 31 mpg highway. You sit higher than a sedan, but the length is 181 inches. Seating can be a little higher with height adjustable seats, but no other hybrid vehicle will have seating as high as the RAV4 does, no matter the seat height adjustment. The desires for this new vehicle are conflicting and some compromise may need to be made, depending on what high seating means.

170" is pretty short, the HR-V and CX-3 would ‘fit’.

Thank you all for your suggestions. I will go look at all of them. My mother has a 1997 Rav4 so we are sort of familiar with it. It has a terrible ride, maybe the new ones are better. My parents got the Rav4 because the higher seat is easier to get into when you are old with Parkinson’s. When I drive it I do like sitting a little bit higher. An MG is not for me, bad knees, I missed my mid life crisis.

I would suggest that you at least look at the Subaru’s. They seem to easier for people with limited motion issues to get in and out of. Even the Legacy’s seats are 19" off the pavement which is just 2" higher than a kitchen chair.

remember the swivel seats they used to offer?

+1 to George’s post.

Yeah, wouldn’t swivel seats be nice. I assume they don’t meet modern safety standards. We give up comfort to be safe. Can’t get a bench seat any more so the girlfriend can sit close.

I second the RAV4 hybrid based on the criteria posted. As far as swivel seats, I just learned last weekend that leather seats are another option.

I had to take my MIL somewhere and she always has trouble getting in & out of cars and we have tried quite a few (bad hip & knee, weight is up there too). I took the new to us 2015 Tucson. It has partial leather seats and it was very easy for her to slide in & out.

By the way the Hyundai Tucson is shorter than the RAV4 but it is not hybrid, I am not sure with the current gas prices a hybrid makes much sense. I will also look at the Prius V.

I had a knee operation several years ago. I found it very difficult getting out of my wife’s car…but very easy getting in and out of my Pathfinder. My butt was the same level as the seats. I prefer a vehicle that sits high. Being 6’3…I find them easier to maneuver in and out of even when I don’t have knee problems.

For San Francisco, a Honda Fit meets all but one of your sister’s requirements. The seating is not high like an SUV. It’s very easy to get in and out of for me. Of course, it’s not the same for everyone

Even the cheapest model Fit has a back-up camera. Also, it has more room in it than many larger cars. I would seriously consider it. Actually, I just did and bought one in January.

Thanks, I will look at the Fit as well.

would a small pickup be acceptable?

the bench seat at butt level works for me in my truck.

easy in and I kinda just swivel on the bench and easy out…

Honestly, there are way, way too many variables that determine how comfortable and/or how usable a vehicle is for an individual. Only by trying various vehicles can the best one be selected. Consumer Reports and other consumer review publications can eliminate those that definitely don’t fit the bill, but at some point test drives are simply necessary.

@Leea There is now a SUV version of the Fit, it’s higher and easier to get in to. Forgot the name, but go see your Honda dealer. This might just be the thing for you.