• Guest, The rules for the P & N subforum have been updated to prohibit "ad hominem" or personal attacks against other posters. See the full details in the post "Politics and News Rules & Guidelines."

i need something more comfortable than a compact car

brianmanahan

Lifer
Sep 2, 2006
21,058
2,942
126
i've driven small hondas all my life (civics and fits), but it is getting to the point where i drive older folks around who get knee and back pain from the small interior and seats.

is something like a CRV or RAV4 noticeably better for comfort over long periods of time? or would i need to go even bigger than that?

or maybe something like a toyota avalon. i remember renting one of those to drive across multiple states, and it felt incredible. that was a long time ago though.
 

NutBucket

Lifer
Aug 30, 2000
26,419
265
126
For older folks higher is better. I pushed my parents to replace their Sonata with a CR-V 4-5 years ago and they are glad they did. It seemed obvious to me since they even comment how much easier it is to get in and out of their Frontier yet they were planning on getting another sedan.

So in short, go big (tall). CR-V, RAV4 or Forester are all good choices.
 

repoman0

Diamond Member
Jun 17, 2010
3,367
1,657
136
Check out the CX-5 as well. My GF got one recently and as a sedan and coupe driver myself it’s a much easier transition. Car like handling and easy to place on the road. We drove a RAV4 Prime and it felt so gigantic and bulbous without actually having any more room.
 

Jimzz

Diamond Member
Oct 23, 2012
4,390
182
106
CUV size may be good to look into. Its higher than an small car and a little bigger but not so high like a SUV that people have to climb into it. Like the Hyundai Kona for example.

I gave my mom a outlander sport. So she doe snot have to lean over to get into but not climb up either. Seems to be a good mix of size and comfort.
 

pauldun170

Diamond Member
Sep 26, 2011
7,821
3,231
136
i've driven small hondas all my life (civics and fits), but it is getting to the point where i drive older folks around who get knee and back pain from the small interior and seats.

is something like a CRV or RAV4 noticeably better for comfort over long periods of time? or would i need to go even bigger than that?

or maybe something like a toyota avalon. i remember renting one of those to drive across multiple states, and it felt incredible. that was a long time ago though.

ALL of our parents and their friends (70's -> 80's) have gone CRV, Tuscon, Rav4, Etc etc etc. Subaru Forester.
CRV seems to be the standard choice. Forester for those with dogs (Rubber mats). Forester is also good for legroom.
 

NutBucket

Lifer
Aug 30, 2000
26,419
265
126
Check out the CX-5 as well. My GF got one recently and as a sedan and coupe driver myself it’s a much easier transition. Car like handling and easy to place on the road. We drove a RAV4 Prime and it felt so gigantic and bulbous without actually having any more room.
Drives well but the back seat is definitely a penalty space wise.
 

ondma

Platinum Member
Mar 18, 2018
2,065
742
106
I dont really understand the "CUV is easier to get into" argument. Obviously it will vary from person to person, but my wife is short and has bad knees. She has difficulty getting into a raised platform like my son's Rogue or her sister in law's Outback. She can barely make the step up. I suppose a CUV is easier for someone who is taller, as you dont have to bend down when you get in. Bottom line as someone already said, is to actually have the person try the particular vehicle before purchase.
 
  • Like
Reactions: killster1

rstrohkirch

Platinum Member
May 31, 2005
2,032
214
106
I dont really understand the "CUV is easier to get into" argument. Obviously it will vary from person to person, but my wife is short and has bad knees. She has difficulty getting into a raised platform like my son's Rogue or her sister in law's Outback. She can barely make the step up. I suppose a CUV is easier for someone who is taller, as you dont have to bend down when you get in. Bottom line as someone already said, is to actually have the person try the particular vehicle before purchase.
Most older people have issues transitioning down into a car and then back up to get out. A CUV allows them to turn and set their leg or legs down and not pull themselves up and out like a car. Though like you said, everyone is different.
 
  • Like
Reactions: killster1

NutBucket

Lifer
Aug 30, 2000
26,419
265
126
I dont really understand the "CUV is easier to get into" argument. Obviously it will vary from person to person, but my wife is short and has bad knees. She has difficulty getting into a raised platform like my son's Rogue or her sister in law's Outback. She can barely make the step up. I suppose a CUV is easier for someone who is taller, as you dont have to bend down when you get in. Bottom line as someone already said, is to actually have the person try the particular vehicle before purchase.
My parents aren't tall by any means but they still find it easier to step into a (compact) truck or CUV than to climb out of a sedan. Again, just depends on the people and we are all speaking in generalities here.
 

ondma

Platinum Member
Mar 18, 2018
2,065
742
106
Tiny backseats used to be a Mazda trademark.
They tend to be smaller still, I think, compared to similar models in the same class.
I really like the CX-5, since I hardly ever use the back seats and like the styling and good driving characteristics (based on reviews, I haven't driven one).
 

rstrohkirch

Platinum Member
May 31, 2005
2,032
214
106
Before she got her current lease my wife couldn't decide if she wanted to stay with a car or get a CUV. She liked the look of the Mazdas so I sat in while she test drove the cx5 and the cx30. Personally I thought the cx30 was the better vehicle if someone didn't need the space. Plus you can get them with the turbo 4 as well.
 

ondma

Platinum Member
Mar 18, 2018
2,065
742
106
Before she got her current lease my wife couldn't decide if she wanted to stay with a car or get a CUV. She liked the look of the Mazdas so I sat in while she test drove the cx5 and the cx30. Personally I thought the cx30 was the better vehicle if someone didn't need the space. Plus you can get them with the turbo 4 as well.
I have mixed feelings about those 2. The CX5 is not that much more expensive, and has a more room. The ride might be nicer too. It just offends me that Mazda cheaped out and put a beam rear axle on the CX-30.

Disclaimer: I just bought a new car a couple of years ago, so I havent driven either one. I bought an Impreza because I wanted AWD in a sedan. The CX-30 or AWD Mazda 3 were not available when I was shopping, or I would have looked a them.

Edit: Too bad VW cancelled the Alltrack. That was a really cool package, sort of a smaller better driving Outback.
 
Last edited:

repoman0

Diamond Member
Jun 17, 2010
3,367
1,657
136
The CX5 also comes with the turbo 4 in a couple of the higher trims. Yeah it turns a $25k car into mid-30s minimum, but at those trim levels it competed very favorably against BMW and Audi’s compact SUVs for us.
 

BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
14,869
1,022
126
Take a RAV4 or Honda equivalent on a test drive. I'm personally looking at those options myself for a new car. There is now an all-electric RAV4, at least I think I read so recently. Or you can get the gas or hybrid -- whatever -- and save short-run short-term money. It seemed to be a bundle in the differential MSRPs.

You might also consider a used, recent model mid-size SUV, but I probably say so because -- having come from a fleet of 1979 Civics with 1200, 1500 CVCC and a station-wagon CVCC -- I'm spoiled by my 26-year-old luxury Isuzu Trooper LS. I would say an ideal replacement for my Trooper is a Toyota 4-Runner.

Also, you might want to look at the Suburu line, like the Forester and the Outback. I think they were only now introducing a hybrid, but they were rated at about 30 mpg. I had my eye on one of those, too. I don't need to replace the Trooper, but we need to replace a Nissan Hard-Body. That's why I'm looking at just the same options, but enlightened over 20 years with my quarter-century-old Trooper ride.

Going from "fun-to-drive" Civics to mid-size luxury SUV, your sense of things will never again be the same. I say that for a guy who drove a souped-up custom cherry-metallic 79 Civic from Woodbridge, VA to Riverside, CA in record time, with a cramp in my a** that lasted two days after hitting the sack in Riverside.

I still have the trick clutch knee, and my a** is still sore sometimes when I wake up in the morning.
 
  • Like
Reactions: brianmanahan

NutBucket

Lifer
Aug 30, 2000
26,419
265
126
Man, hard to find a hard body in good condition these days. Knowing you I'm sure it actually needs to be replaced!
 

BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
14,869
1,022
126
Man, hard to find a hard body in good condition these days. Knowing you I'm sure it actually needs to be replaced!
It's my brother's 95 King Cab truck. It's in mint condition, for having 170,000 on the odometer, flies through smog-test, doesn't leak or burn a drop of oil. It was a Mechanic's Special when we bought it -- mechanic-owned, mechanic driven -- used to haul parts to a shop and as the shop-owner's daily driver. The starter had been replaced. There had been other repairs and maintenance under the mechanic's own hand. No sign of clutch wear. The AC is frosty and cold in a New York minute. Good speakers, Pioneer digital receiver and CD player.

Before Dick the Mechanic had it, It had been a farm vehicle, used by some woman who lived up around Trona. The jet-black paint had been oxidized to whiteness on surfaces facing perpetual sunlight. It had serious surface rust on the cab-top, which had a pop-up sun-roof, and rust on the hood. I stripped it, washed it in rust-destroyer, ground off all the black residue and washed it again and repeat. Shot it with three coats of Epoxy two-part primer, followed by the Paintscratch Nissan paint-code acrylic enamel -- in the places where the paint didn't seem to have a "new" look -- the primered oxidized spots. Fairly neat job, given the intentions of the paint and body work. There was a dent in the hood where some . . . farm implement . . . had struck the hood, and I filled it with fiberglass Bondo before applying the paint.

Whatever had been jammed on that hood, nobody would know, nobody would see, anybody would say the hood was undamaged and pristine. One of the cab-rear pop-out windows had a damaged grommet, and I've repaired it like new, and will not leak. A chunk of the inner door-handle -- vinyl and foam rubber -- was missing, and I repaired it to add a top-off of matching vinyl spray paint so that you can't really tell without close inspection. Same for a crack in the vinyl-dashboard -- something that happens as heat damage. You can see where the crack used to be, but there's no crack, and it's all grey-pewter vinyl -- totally repaired.

But Bro has a problem with his circulation and particularly his left leg and foot -- a cause of pain. The Nissan is a 5-speed manual. So he will only drive it in a pinch, and I mostly use it to haul trash or pick up fertilizer at Home Depot. I want the Trooper to smell like the strawberry air-freshener, so the truck gets an occasional workout -- to which the fertilizer chicken-guano is exclusive.

We might keep it; we might trade it in; we might sell it. Right now -- it's the "backup emergency utility-chore ride". And not the best choice to haul Moms to the medical clinic, even though it will carry her wheel-chair. But I could certainly use the truck to tow a modest-sized Airstream, Burro or Casita.

For the tow, I would be just as confident in the Trooper, but I doubt a Forester or RAV4 -- anything but a 4-Runner -- would serve.
 

NutBucket

Lifer
Aug 30, 2000
26,419
265
126
I need another car like I need another hole in my head. But man I want a hard body LOL!

A few years back my folks had to do something similar as my dad had a back problem that made it extremely difficult to drive a standard. He got the back issue resolved but I think ultimately it was for the best they made the switch.
 
Last edited:

BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
14,869
1,022
126
I need another car like I need another hole in my head. But man I want a hard body LOL!
Are you serious? Or just Lots of Laughing? I'm not ready to post it on "Sale or Trade" at the moment. These vehicles that the OP and we posters are discussing -- we're not going to be ready for that until maybe 2023. In the meantime, the Nissan racks up about 500+ miles per year, and we run it for errands maybe monthly just to keep the battery charged and everything in working order. I should really try to give it more road-time -- and I will try and commit myself to it. I think Bro has accumulated enough bags of beer and soda cans for recycling to fill the truck bed, so I'll make a note to run it out again this month.
 

NutBucket

Lifer
Aug 30, 2000
26,419
265
126
I really don't need a truck but I wish I was serious. It all works out since you're not in any hurry. Sure is tempting to consider though since I'm local to you in LA.
 

BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
14,869
1,022
126
I really don't need a truck but I wish I was serious. It all works out since you're not in any hurry. Sure is tempting to consider though since I'm local to you in LA.
Well, by the time I'm ready, you may have found yourself a used Tesla pickup, or something else. It seems rational for me to just hold it and use it until we're ready for a crossover/SUV replacement. I was thinking, at the earliest, of maybe a 3-year time-horizon. But that's subject to revision.

Ordinarily, I could consider getting into "wheeler-dealer" mode before that, but I don't devote a lot of time and effort in that direction, as my current vehicle strategy would suggest. The truck is basically a small asset-store and backup vehicle. Given what newer used vehicles command in the market, it's a very small asset store, and is mostly our fallback.

How much are they worth? The key factor seems to be the 4-WD aspect. A lot of folks want 4WD in an SUV or a truck and are willing or inclined to find used ones. I'm not exploring this topic with you as a special target audience, but merely as an intellectual speculation. We bought it for the simple sum of $4,000 cash in 2010. It's had new shocks all the way around more recently and since then -- KYB MonoMax. And a new timing belt. New all-terrain tires and a new Optima Deep Cycle Yellow-Top. That's the sum of it.

One repair shop said to "ask for $3,000 firm", and that was two years ago. It might be worth something in a trade-in that's either more or less. Under the changing market circumstances, a lack of chrome wheels which I'd considered for it but dismissed as a practical matter, and the growing time we're just holding it with occasional use, it could go for less. But this isn't -- as I said -- a discussion that you and I are having with a near-term prospect of anything. We're supposed to keep that chatter limited to the proper forum.

We still entertain the possibility of keeping it, but having a truck for the occasional needs one finds for a truck, paying the annual insurance -- there's very little maintenance and no outlays except as I mentioned -- it's a crap shoot for our prospective intentions.

I think we've put less than 5,000 miles on it since we took possession from the mechanic. Ultimately, any and all decisions belong exclusively to my brother. He can be a pain in the ass.
 

MrSquished

Diamond Member
Jan 14, 2013
9,601
5,468
136
Elderly mother here, 77, not tall, also went the CRV route after test driving sedans. Just much easier to get in/out of. She has been very happy.
 
  • Like
Reactions: NutBucket

ASK THE COMMUNITY