New car option for mobility challenged with AWD

New or used car purchase option help?
Requirements - power passenger seat low enough for mobility challenged short senior (left-sided weakness), AWD, cargo room for wheelchair, budget not to exceed 30k. Currently in mazda tribute which requires mom to step up on step stool with able right leg to reach seat, with assist to turn and lift legs into car. Have tried used xc70 volvo can sit in without step stool, new subaru outback needed partial lift up to reach sit.

Toyota Sienna Awd,

I can’t speak to the car question, but on a related note, if you are not already aware your mother might want to look at a swivel seat cushion and possibly a leg lift strap found at AARP/AAA ( and other places online. I don’t have personal experience using either one, but I have known those who could have possibly benefited from such things.

Is your Tribute a 2001-2012? Install this:

This seat will fit other vehicles as well if you want to switch.

New/Used Toyota Venza, you might be able to find one discounted to just under 30k but without a power passenger seat, Used would probably get you the V6 and/or a XLE for within your budget. The accord Crosstour might be another one to look at used (Not all of them are AWD though)

Thanks for comments. Concerned with low clearance in sienna, i need a capable AWD (private mountainous road that can get washed out). I will look at venza not familar with the vehicle. Not crazy about spending 8k for a mobility seat placed in in a mazda with 191K miles. Any other thoughts?

The Venza was designed to fit between the Rav4 and the Highlander in size and purpose, still based on the Camry just an AWD wagon. New ones are advertised starting just under 30K at my local dealership for the LE AWD 4cyl but you might find used (Brand new for the '09 model year) with the V6 and the rest for within what you want to spend. Most reviews seem to prefer the V6 but give one a try.

Well, now you’ve presented some very conflicting needs - high ground clearance and a low seat. That’ll be hard to find.

Have you checked out the Subaru Forester?

Do other cars have difficulty making it up the road? If so, you need an SUV, and they are all going to be high up to have enough ground clearance. The Venza is a good suggestion, though its ground clearance is going to be more like a car than an SUV. The older Foresters were more carlike, but the present one is more of a typical small SUV, so sits up pretty high. It’s probably bigger than she wants or needs, but the Ford Flex is another tweener like the Venza, with a very similar height, but longer, with a third row of seats. Plenty of room for a wheelchair.

The new Subaru XV CrossTrek is a raised, butched-up variant of the Impreza which should be a very good height for her and be able to scramble up the road, but I’m not sure about fitting in the wheelchair. With the rear seat folded there is a fair bit of space in back, but it’s still basically a compact hatchback.

A Used Lexus RX might be an option, the Subaru XV wouldn’t be a bad idea but testing out both the seat height and how easy it will be to get the wheelchair in would be a factor.