Need a compact car that's easy to get in and out of? These vehicles have height on their side.
- shares
Hi CarAdvice! I'm in the market for a new car but don't have the garage space for a full-blown SUV. My only issue is, I find a lot of hatchbacks, sedans and wagons a little too low to the ground and I struggle to get in and out because of a back issue. What are the compact cars that offer a nice, elevated driving position and don't require too much effort to get into? Thanks! Sally

Susannah Guthrie

Hey Sally,

Having recently suffered a hip injury, I really relate to this conundrum!

When looking at ease of access in cars, a key stat is the 'hip point', which refers to the distance from the outside ground, or the floor of the car, to the driver's 'hip' – the point at which the torso meets the upper leg.

This can be a tricky thing to ascertain as there's not really an "average" hip point and there's no standardised measurement across manufacturers, but it's information some brands do have on hand.

To help you narrow down your list, I've rounded up some hatchbacks and small crossovers that don't have a huge footprint, but offer an average ground-to-hip distance of around 600mm or more.

For reference, larger SUVs like the Mazda CX-8 measure roughly 800mm or more from the ground to the driver's hip, while something a little lower but still substantial – like the Subaru Outback – is 632.8mm from ground to hip.

As such, a small car with around 600mm of distance or more should provide solid ease of ingress and egress for the average Australian.

Please note, this list is likely longer, but plenty of brands don't have this information readily available. However, it should serve as a good starting point to help you narrow down the size and type of car that suits best.

Hope the back feels better soon!

Susannah


Mercedes-Benz GLA

Distance from ground to hip point: 658mm for front seats, 671mm for the rear seats

Length: 4410mm

Width: 1834mm

Price: From $55,300 before on-road costs


Mazda CX-3

Distance from ground to hip point: 599mm

Length: 4275mm

Width: 1765mm

Price: From $22,890 before on-road costs


Mini Countryman

Distance from ground to hip point: 598mm for front seats, 627mm for rear seats

Length: 4297mm

Width: 1822mm

Price: From $44,500 before on-road costs


Mercedes-Benz B-Class

Distance from ground to hip point: 606mm for front seats, 625mm for the rear

Length: 4419mm

Width: 1796mm

Price: From $48,000 before on-road costs


Mazda CX-30

Distance from ground to hip point: 601mm

Length: 4395mm

Width: 1795mm

Price: From $28,990 before on-road costs


Kia Picanto

Distance from ground to hip point: 587mm (at maximum)

Length: 3595mm

Width: 1595mm

Price: From $15,690 before on-road costs


Got questions for the CarAdvice team? Drop us a line in our Instagram or Facebook direct messages, or email us at askcaradvice@caradvice.com.au