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
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!
Distance from ground to hip point: 658mm for front seats, 671mm for the rear seats
Price: From $55,300 before on-road costs
Distance from ground to hip point: 599mm
Price: From $22,890 before on-road costs
Distance from ground to hip point: 598mm for front seats, 627mm for rear seats
Price: From $44,500 before on-road costs
Distance from ground to hip point: 606mm for front seats, 625mm for the rear
Price: From $48,000 before on-road costs
Distance from ground to hip point: 601mm
Price: From $28,990 before on-road costs
Distance from ground to hip point: 587mm (at maximum)
Price: From $15,690 before on-road costs
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