Movable dashboard/steering pod - need SUV or car for short person

Does anyone know of any compact SUVs with a movable dashboard/steering pod (not the same as a telescoping steering wheel) outside of Infiniti’s? I am really short and am having so much trouble finding a car.

I have already researched and test driven over 20 cars (sedans, coupes and hatchbacks) to help me understand what I need. Now I know a compact SUV will be the best for me. Yesterday, I test drove the Honda CR-V and Element, as well as the Scion xD and xB…only the CR-V will work for me but it does not have a movable steering pod.

The Infiniti G25 sedan was AWESOME because it has a movable dashboard/steering pod (you can actually flatten the dashboard!) but I do not know of any other company that offers this feature. Infinit has a compact SUV called the EX35 that I will test drive tomorrow. The only thing I do not like about Infiniti vehicles is that the front hoods are straight and big; they do not slope down so I can not see the road perfectly. Many vehicles have the telescoping steering wheel which allows me to push the wheel in and down but this does not actually move the dashboard itself. This is not good because many dashboards do not come completely flat and blocks my view of the road.

I can not see well in the Civic and many cars (Mazda2, Mazda3, Fiesta, Focus, Fusion, Taurus, Accord, Altima, Maxima, Corolla, Matrix,Mini Cooper, etc.) because they do not have power adjustable seats which raise up AND tilt (plus they have lumbar support).

My #1 priority is being able to see the road without having to drive with just my toes because my feet can’t reach the ground. and without having to drive with my nose up in the air which hurts my neck a lot. I am 4 ft. 10 in. tall.

My #2 priority is being able to steer the wheel easily because the muscles in my arm are really weak now, partly because of radial tunnel syndrome.


--power adjustable seats (not manual adjustable seats because they do not tilt and have lumbar support)

--telescoping wheel (not one that just moves up and down; must move in and out so my chest is at least 8in away from wheel for safety)

--responsive steering (if it is stiff sport suspension-type steering like BMWs, driving hurts my arms)

--a flat dashboard (has been really hard to find a completely flat one that also has my other must-haves)


--movable dashboard/movable steering pod (the only car I’ve test driven with this is Infiniti G25)

--adjustable foot pedals (They are only found on big trucks and SUVs though. There are after market foot extenders but I do not feel safe adding them and read driving with them feels unnatural and uncomfortable.)

The Camy Hybrid and Volvo S40 are my favorites, then the Prius…but they are still not perfect so that’s why I started looking at SUVs. They are higher up from the ground so I can see better, plus they are easier to steer.

Thanks for listening.

I recall that my brother’s Mitsubishi Galant (circa 1985) had this feature.
Unfortunately, the car was an unmitigated piece of crap.

That characterization notwithstanding, you might want to see if any of the current crop of Mitsubishi SUVs or Crossovers have retained the “moveable steering pod”. Take a look at the Mitsu Outlander (which has a “better than average” reliability rating from Consumer Reports) and the Mitsu Endeavor. Unfortunately, since Mitsu vehicles sell in such small volume, CR has been unable to come up with stats for the Endeavor.

Try the Hyundai Sonata.
The versions with the power drivers seat will go up and down, and the wheel both telescopes and is height adjustable, plus, according to my gf who is 5’2" according to her (5’1" if you have a tape measure, according to me), had no problem with seeing forward on the test drive.

If you look at the car in GLS trim, it needs to have the Preferred Equipment package, to have the power drivers seat. That’s only an extra $750, which has some other nice things tossed in (allow wheels, auto headlights, fog lights, etc).

The SE and the Limited trims have the power seats included.

As for the G25 sedan, get them to give you the car for a longer period of time during the test drive without the salesman so that you can try it out, and see if you can get yourself comfortable in the car. It is a really nice car, also.


My mother-in-law had a newer (2004 ?) Ford Explorer with these features you require. My parent’s Lincoln Continental has MOST of the features as well. Would you like this car to powder your nose too? Does it have to be a Mitsubishi or Honda or Hyudai?

Thank you for taking the time to reply. I took a look at Mitsu’s website and it looks like the Outlander doesn’t have power seats which is a must for me - more so than a moveable steering pod (which is not mentioned on the site). Thanks again!

Thank you for taking the time to reply. Those four (or three) inches your gf has on me sure helps. I’ll try out the Hyundai Tuscon Limited since it sits higher off the ground than the Sonata - and see if I can’t test drive any car without the salesman. Thanks again!

Thank you for taking the time to reply. I’ll check out the Ford Edge since I don’t need the passenger room and cargo space of the Explorer. I’ll also check out the Lincoln MKX. I don’t prefer any make. Thanks again!

Going to post updates and final decision in case this will help anyone else. Did some more research online…

–Nissan Rogue & Juke won’t work because they don’t have power 8-way adjustable seats and a telescoping wheel
–Mazda CX-7 won’t work because it doesn’t have lumbar support
–Mitsubishi Outlander won’t work because it doesn’t have power seats
–Suzuki SX4 won’t work bc it doesn’t have power seats or telescoping wheel
–BMW X3 won’t work bc too stiff

Test drove
–RAV4 Limited which was nice as expected
–Subaru Forester won’t work because I couldn’t see the road well, though nice inside
–Honda CRV EX-L still in running as expected

Need to test drive
–Hyundai Tuscon Limited
–Kia Sportage EX and Sorento EX
–Volvo SC60
–Acura RDX
–Audi Q5
–Infiniti EX35
–Mercedes GLK350
–Lexus RX350/450H
–Lincoln MDX
–Ford Edge Limited

I am getting the Toyota RAV4 Limited! I like it more than the Honda CRV EX-L - mainly because I need more responsive steering, braking and accelerating than the average short person. I found the RAV4’s push button start (keyless ignition), shifter, accelerator and brakes easy to use IF driving the 4cyl FWD (front wheel drive or two wheel drive). The V6 and AWD (all wheel drive) options make the car heavier and thus, make the brakes much harder to use. I also liked the RAV4 more because of its interior and more traditional, boxy SUV exterior but these did not make or break the deal.

As for the rest of the ones on my to-test-drive list…the ones I test drove were too big to see well in. I did not even bother test driving some because I already liked the RAV4 and CRV too much to bother with more expensive, less safe, and/or less highly rated vehicles.

Yay!!! My search has finally ended.

Nice to know that there is a perfect car for people of perfect height! I was test driving a Pontiac Sunbird as I was looking for a car for my wife and I could barely see over the dashboard. I’m 6’2" tall and she is 5’3" tall. I remembered that and turned back.

You might want to consider seeking out one of the places that adapts vehicles for the handicapped. They can do things like raise the seat and modify the pedals to allow you to drive the car comfortably while still being safe. They can also make adjustments to the seatbelts.

Or, if you know someone handy you could install pedal blocks. Go to a discount store, find a set of heavy work boots with thick soles, cut squares the sizes of the pedals, drill holes sideways through the sole pieces, and zip tie them upside-down with heavy-duty zip ties to the pedals. Boot soles are the same arc radius as car pedals, they have excellent traction, they’re impervious to water, mud, sand, etc., the maintain their good traction even when wet, and they’re extremely durable. This may not be ADA approved, but it works beautifully. I’ve done it.

even those with manual seats have a “jack” like handle on the side which can still lift the seat base up. My Forte has this as well.

dentru, the new Kia Sportage (same as the Tuscon) already has the new model out, take a look at that, I think Hyundai’s will be out later in the year - not 100% sure.

Kias and Hyundais are not those of old. I am happy to hear you found something you like, but wouldn’t you like to be absolutely sure?

That’s great that these pedal blocks have worked for you - I’ve never heard of anyone doing that. It’s an interesting idea however, I’m not handy and I don’t think I can trust anyone to do that for me. I’m not comfortable with the idea of making adjustments to the car after market however, pedal extenders and pedal blocks definitely are solutions for those who are. Luckily, the RAV4 works for me - the Ltd trim has the power seats so I can not only raise the chair but tilt it. This is extremely useful because the front part of the seat tilts down to ensure my feet stay on the ground but the part of the seat closest to my bottom remains high to ensure I still get a good view of the road. And being a baby SUV, it sits high up to ensure I have a better view of the road than in a sedan, coupe or hatchback. Thanks for your advice.

I have a 2005 Honda Accord EX with power adjustable driver’s seat. It moves up/down in addition to the front/back adjustment. The seat rake is also adjustable. I imagine that the new Accord EX-L would work, too.

My SIL is 5-foot nuthin and drives a Kia Rondo. Her hubby, all 6’4" of him, also comfortably drives the car.

I came up with the idea myself. It actually worked better than I’d expected.

Thanks for posting back. I’m sincerely glad to hear that you’ve found something that works for you.

Happy motoring and happy holidays.

Haha, good thing you remembered! Get your wife a RAV4 - or a CRV :slight_smile:

I like Kias and Hyundais but overall, I like the RAV4 most based on what it has compared to the Kias and Hyundais small SUVs. And the 0% apr for 60 months Toyota is offering really sold me. Thank you for your input!

I tried the Accord and actually did not like it much - I couldn’t see very well but I don’t remember why…it might have been the dashboard and that the seat was set lower to begin with (compared to the Camry which I did like). Sounds like I like toyota more but I promised I’m unbiased between these two; I liked my sister’s Civic but it doesn’t have power seats. Anyway, guess the two inches your SIL has on me helps. In the end, none of the sedans worked out for me. Also, I think the Kia is a bit less safe if I’m not mistaken then the RAV4 I ultimately decided on. Thanks for your advice!