Visibility issue for people 5 foot 2 and under

I currently drive a 1990 Toyota Camry and am looking for a new car. I’ve test driven the 2007 Camry, Accord and Suburu Legacy. The visibility when parking or changing lanes is not as good as it was in my 1990 Camry. Has anyone had this experience? Would an SUV or Suburu Forester be any better? Any suggestions? Thanks!

There are a lot of bad views these days. The 1990 Camry was much better. The windshield posts on some cars will block half the side view. The rear is nearly impossible.

Unfortunately, all the new cars have horrible visibility. The “belt line” for the bottom of the windows is too high, the pillars are styled “boldly” wide blocking views, etc.

I ended up replacing a 1987 Olds Ciera with a 2007 Chevy Impala and setting the driver’s seat at its maximum height as the best visibility I could get.

Only thing I saw but didn’t test drive (for a variety of reasons) that looks like it might be easier to see out of is a new VW Bug? But that downsizes a lot from what you’ve been driving.

The Ford Five-Hundred, newly re-branded as a Ford Taurus for the 2008 model, had better visibility than most I drove, courtesy of it’s “command” seating.

But, overall, us short folks are stuck with lousy views out the current cars.


I’ve driven a friend’s Forester several times, and the visibility out of it is very good in all directions. A Forester will not, however, deliver the same fuel mileage as a Camry or Accord sedan.

That’s my wife’s height and I am a bit taller than 6 foot. Now she always thinks I get great visibility, but the truth is that with newer cars the body is shaped such that you have to guess where the ends & corners are anyways, and the angles aren’t great either. I find trucks and SUVs better, but then the gas mileage is horrible and if you don’t need one why buy one.

Check out some of the VWs (reliability aside). I find that when you move the seat up (i.e., closer to to roof, not closer to the steering wheel) you have great visibility.

Definately not the VW Bug, and especially for a short person! They shape of the windows and joint supports provides for some serious blind spots. I am 5’4" and drove a friend’s for about a month, I never felt completly comfortable switching lanes.

Find a car, truck, or van that has a power dirver’s seat with height adjustment. My sister-in-law is under 5-feet tall and has no problems with her Chrysler Town and Country. Height adjustment is a big part of it. There’s still the issue of reaching the pedal, but you’ll just have to try a few until you get one that works. Like that T&C I mentioned above?