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Small car with good all around vision

The Right Car for Me | TrueDelta


My mother is ready to replace her 2006 Honda Fit. It seems like every car and hatchback we look at is a "cave" when you try to see out the back and rear-sides -- small windows, big C pillars and high beltline. It's nerve wracking to back out of a supermart parking space when there are pedestrians and cars coming from both directions. She doesn't want an SUV, but a "tall car" is OK.

The Fit was generally OK, she loves the quick steering, but the harsh ride is becoming a problem. I've considered swapping in "-1" wheels (smaller rim, taller sidewall tire), but never got around to it. A friend who lives on a dirt/gravel road has done this with his new, larger Fit and the ride is much less harsh. Interestingly, the steel (Civic?) wheels and tires weigh the same as the taller alloys and tires that came with the car.

In winter the Fit battery won't stay charged with her short trips. While the dealer claims everything is in spec, the charging system must be marginal and the battery is small, more like a motorcycle battery (this is the third battery since new). Her driving patterns haven't changed in years and she never had battery charging problems with previous cars.

Priorities: Driving position & visibility / Reliability & durability

Preferred Bodystyle(s): Hatch / Wagon

Car Needs: Errands about town

Primary Driver(s): Senior driver

Need minimum of 4 seats

Will consider new cars only

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Response from mkaresh

11:38 pm March 30, 2014

A couple years ago I would have recommended a Hyundai Elantra Touring. But last year they replaced it with the Elantra GT--which has much smaller rear windows.

Two current cars worth checking out are the Nissan Versa Note (review) and the Kia Soul (redesigned 2014, not the earlier one; review). Both are smooth and quiet by small car standards, and have relatively large windows.

One thing to pay attention to with the Versa Note: its steering wheel does not telescope. This will be a problem for some drivers but not others.


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Nissan Versa Note
Kia Soul

Response from zcd1

9:46 am March 31, 2014

I 2nd Michael's suggestion of the Kia Soul. Visibility and practicality are outstanding.

Ours has been dead reliable, too.


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Kia Soul

Response from Member203

12:34 pm April 1, 2014

Had not considered the Soul recently--will have to add that to the list, thanks.

I did test drive a Soul a couple of years ago and found a very odd steering oscillation--accelerating normally away from a right turn, the steering wheel jerked back and forth rapidly in my hands, several times. This repeated again on the next slow right turn. Must have been something uniquely wrong with that demonstrator.

And--thanks to MK -- this is a very nice feature for TrueDelta.


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Response from nasowas

9:41 pm April 21, 2014

The Mini Cooper gives excellent visibiltiy.

The Scion xB might be worth checking.

I test drove a Kia Soul 2 years back and I found it harsh and noisy. Its versatility boarders on genius.

I liked the Nissan Versa much better in terms of ride and noise. And it is so practical too.


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Mini Hardtop
Scion xB
Nissan Versa
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