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What kind of car do you drive?

NumbskullNNumbskull Posts: 1,526
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:49 AM in Water Cooler
Well, the time has come that I'm finally in a position to buy a new vehicle. I currently own an SUV, but it's a standard, and it is just too hard to drive.

I like that it is easy to get in and out of. I am about 6' tall and sometimes it's just a long way down to get in and out of a car, especially with my knees and leg issues. I want to downsize though, we don't have any reason to have the SUV, and of course it's very expensive to fill up.

What kind of vehicle do you have or would suggest? Of course, I'm looking for a less expensive model, sadly no Lexus for me... :''(
APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,846
    Since I've been dealing with spinal issues for so long and have had dozens of different cars, I have some definite ideas about what cars are good for us.

    Any vehicle that is low to the ground and is difficult to get into. Even without back problems there are some sport models that look great, but it takes about an half hour to get in and about an hour to get out. Also, I would bash my head on the side of the door getting in most of the time. Stay away from standard. Sticking shifting may be fun, but it can wear down even a good body.

    Semi-High Vehicles. Most SUVs, I've owned or tried are a bit hard to get in, only because of their height off the ground. Then coming out, its like I just jumped out of an airplane

    What I like
    Mini-Vans. Ok, the family car, not always the neatest looking car, but to me its one of the overall easiest to get in/out. I currently own an
    Accord, very comfortable, but right now its a bit tough to get into. We have an Odyssey which so far has been the best for my condition.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • but hubby loves his GM Safari truck. He finds the lumbar support in it is just great and can drive all day without discomfort. Not that he does if I am with him but he can!
  • I was heck bent on NOT driving a mini van lol

    I got a PT cruiser with ghost flames and all "pimped" out ;)

    BUT seriously the PT was amazing on my back. I say "was" as when my injury got worse and I had to quit working the bank took it back :(

    Test drive or even if you can rent one for a few days.

    I really loved it - sniff sniff
    L1 - S2 "gone" useless in 1 way or another. DDD. RA. Bone Spurs. Tons of nerve damage/issues. Stenosis. Both knees replaced. 50 yrs old. I had a great fall (hence my user name) at age 41 and it has been a domino effect every since.
  • lol, thanks ron and beaver, you're right, not exactly downsizing ;)

    Ms HD, I'm so sorry to hear that you lost your cruiser. My bf would LOVE it if we got one of those!! I will for sure take one for a test drive when I'm ready to start seriously looking! Personally, it's not a "me" vehicle, but sometimes comfort wins! I do want a hatchback of some sort, I've always had one be it a car or SUV, and love having one. I'm actually interested in the Toyota Yaris hatchback, but again, have to see if it's too low to the ground. I might just have to get one of the "cross-over" types...
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    When I bought my new vehicle believe it or not the most important thing for me was being comfortable in the seat.
    I must of sat in 50 cars before I found the right fit for me. The moment I sat in the car I purchased I knew that was the car for me. My lower back felt good in the seat and my neck didnt feel strained. I bought it on the spot. A Toyota Matrix was the car for me. Sure I saw alot of other cars I would of loved but couldnt sit in the seat comfortable. :(
  • Susan, the Matrix is really nice, I do like those! It's just a tad over my price range I'm aiming for though. I currently have a Kia Sorento, so was looking at the Kia site, they have a new cross-over type, and a smaller hatchback as well, both are in the range I want price-wise, so I think I'm going to start there. But if they don't work out, the Matrix might just be a contender, thanks for your input!!
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,846
    TRY Out as many cars as possible.
    I think the actual comfort and support of the seat is so important. Many cars today have all sorts of adjustments, but honestly, I haven't find many that have effective lumbar support.
    Many times, you will need to 'add' something else of your own to get you the comfort you need.

    And of course, the ease of getting in/out. I found this to be one of my biggest factors in comfort.

    Because of my lumbar/thoracic/cervical/shoulder surgeries problems, I have limited movement while in the car. I depend on a large oversized rear view mirror to help, since I cant turn my head enough to see.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • oops, too late PapaRon hehe. I figured today would be a great day to go try out the Kias, as I was not feeling particularly good today, and this would be the best time to see if the seats would be comfy? The owner and sales reps know me pretty well there, along with my mom and step-dad. So, they met me at the dealership, my mom and I took her for a spin, and I fell in love with this cute car. I ended up with the Kia Rio 5, a hatchback (will never do with anything else). Oddly, the next size of vehicle up was harder for me to get in and out of, this one was just fine, even with my back, neck and leg giving me so much grief. And the seat? Soooo comfy, the head rest is just at the perfect level for me to rest my head on, and it has heated seats, too, felt so nice on the back, hehe. Knowing the owner/manager is always nice too, caught a little bit of a break even. So even though it will be with a sad heart that I turn over Sally on Friday, after all we've been through, travelling from coast to coast across the country and back, I'm sure Betty and I will have our own little adventures for the next few years to come!! :D
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,846
    Just always drive in comfort and be safe!


    Sally - old one
    Betty - new one

    Any rhyme or reasons behind the names?

    I've always named my cars, lawn tractors, golf carts and even my I-Robot vacuum robot a name. Once they have a name, they become part of you
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Gotta name them. Congrats on the car Kelly. I know what you mean...I love my heated seat, winter or summer.
    >:D< >:-D< : Karen
    L3-S1 herniation and bulges, stenosis, mod facet,ddd,impinged nerves,coccydinia
    discectomy/lami July 2011-unsuccessful
    adr L5-S1 Feb 2012
  • Nice, Karen!! My mom has them, I always love driving in hers!!!

    Ron, lol, well, my dad always teased me when I was young by calling me Sally, as in Sally from the Peanuts cartoon. So it only seemed like the right thing to call the truck Sally, as it was the very first vehicle I bought on my own, and brand new as well and I knew he'd be proud of me in some way.

    Betty, as in Betty Boop, because it's just a cute little car, and the one regiment I was with, the boys made that my nickname because I had the same sort of hairstyle.

    So both are very personal to me, and invoke so many memories for me!
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
  • We had minivans when the kids where younger. One had about the most supportive seat I have ever sat in. It was perfect for my build. The manufacturer decided to improve the seat a couple of years later. The new version I didn't like at all. So it isn't just the type of vehicle.

    Entry and exit are a short lived function. Seating lasts from minutes to hours. That is most important to me. Modifying the seat is always an option. You can replace seats in cars with something after market if need be. Including getting it upholstered to match the other seats. This is the most customized approach built for you. So don't give up even if you can't replace the whole vehicle. All is not lost.

    That said we have 3 vehicles. A Cadillac CTS, Chevy Silverado, Chevy Corvette. Wanna guess which one is my favorite... ;-)

    I drive the truck to work more days than not. The seat in the truck is not bad. It's a 4x4 so it does sit high. Wife drives the Caddy. That seat is pretty good, very adjustable, with lumbar, and heat. The seat in the Vette is surprisingly comfortable for a sports car. Entry and exit are rough since the car sits very low to the ground. My back will always have some pain. So heck with it. I'll drive the Vette cause it makes that drive to work a lot more bearable.

    Also keep in mind if you can't afford new. Consider used, 2-4 years old. I don't buy new cars. Depreciation kills them first couple of years. You can get much better pricing with dealer certified and warranty extensions.

    Search for after market seats. You can even get them custom molded to your shape if you want to go that far. Most cases it is not needed. The cost of a custom seat in the car you are happy with is way more cost effective than buying a new one for basically a drivers seat. Think about it...

  • A 1995 Ford Fiesta - it looks too crappy to post it. I'm basically driving it until it dies
  • Jeep Liberty, 2004 model. It's the perfect height getting in and out of, BUT it bounces around A LOT. I really want a Mini Cooper and it seemed just as comfortable as the next car, but I'm reluctant to get anything new now...the Jeep is paid for and I'm not looking to take on another car note just in case I have surgery and need to be off a while. I wouldn't be able to drive anyway. lol
  • Sounds like you got your car Kelly! The one I drive and really like is a 2001 Ford Taurus. Nothing fancy, but it is comfortable and roomy. I have two carseats in the backseat and there is still plenty of room for a third person. And it has plenty of power, have to watch myself or my gas pedal foot gets too heavy! ;)
  • its a fantastic car and very easy to get in and out of and as its an intelligent 4x4 its good on diesel too {the 4x4 only works when slip is detected } or if you want to run it on 4x4 full time .a very underrated car and built very well .i want a new one thats called the hyundai ix35 or would be happy with the KIA sportage {new version} ..but i can dream ...can't i ...on 1/3 hours sleep a night .....maybe .???...not !!
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
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