Newer Vehicle Designs Do Little to Help Shorter Drivers, Reports

Newer Vehicle Designs Do Little to Help Shorter Drivers, Reports

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — August 8, 2013 — Many new car designs make it more difficult for short drivers to achieve optimal visibility, reports, the premier resource for car shopping and automotive information. The reason, says Edmunds, is that many of the newer vehicles hitting the market have a higher "beltline" — the horizontal line where window glass ends and sheet metal begins — which makes it harder to see out of the side windows.

"This can give the vehicle a more assertive look, but it does little to improve sight lines, and can even make a vehicle feel claustrophobic for smaller drivers," says Editor Warren Clarke. "As a result, short car shoppers making such a big purchase might have trouble getting comfortable with a lot of the new car choices available on the market."

Automakers have made height-adjustable seats and telescopic and tilted steering wheels standard for most new vehicles, which can help shorter drivers. According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), all drivers should adjust their driving positions so that there are 10-12 inches between the center of the steering wheel and the breastbone. Some vehicles even offer adjustable pedals, which can accommodate drivers with shorter legs without requiring them to move too close to the steering wheel.

Ultimately, says, a shopper's individual physique will determine the vehicles that suit him or her best, and all shoppers should test-drive vehicles to make sure they're a good fit. To make the shopping process a little easier, has published a list of ten 2013 model year vehicles across all segments that are generally friendlier to smaller drivers. This list consists of:

More details on's recommended list of vehicles for short drivers can be found at

Of course, hasn't forgotten about taller car shoppers. identifies the top recommended new cars for bigger drivers at

About, Inc. is a car-shopping Web site committed to helping people find the car that meets their every need. Almost 18 million visitors use our research, shopping and buying tools every month to make an easy and informed decision on their next new or used car. Whether you're at the dealership or on the go, we're always by your side with our five-star iPhone and iPad apps and our Android App. Our comprehensive car reviews, shopping tips, photos, videos and feature stories offer a friendly and authentic approach to the automotive world. We're based in Santa Monica, Calif., but you can connect with us from anywhere by following @Edmunds on Twitter or by becoming a fan of on Facebook.

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