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Old 01-31-2016, 04:16 PM
 
Location: Erie, PA
2,276 posts, read 929,272 times
Reputation: 4974

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So I recently landed a better job that is about 40 miles away from my house. I am fine with driving this distance each day but am considering a different vehicle since mine is getting high mileage on it. I currently drive a minivan (don't laugh) and that is about the smallest vehicle I feel comfortable driving.

I would like to get something smaller to use less gas for environmental reasons but have a serious hangup about small cars mostly due to being fairly claustrophobic. I know it sounds silly. I should be comfortable in the tiniest of cars since I'm only 5'2" tall and 105 lbs.

Anybody else ever have this issue, and if you managed to work through it, how?

Failing that, any recommendations for good large SUVs? I like Ford, but open to other ideas.
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Old 01-31-2016, 04:22 PM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
32,116 posts, read 39,212,961 times
Reputation: 40582
Instead of a large SUV why not a smaller one? You mentioned Fords, so the Escape? Mrs. NBP is about your size with roughly the same drive distance going in towards DC and has a Subaru Forester (a much better vehicle for the money than the Ford in my opinion, and Fords are all we've really bought for the last 20 or so years when we've bought new cars/trucks. Well, except for the Forester).
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Old 01-31-2016, 05:13 PM
 
9,282 posts, read 7,305,429 times
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When you are in the driver's seat, are you really aware of the empty room you have in back?
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Old 01-31-2016, 05:38 PM
 
Location: Eastern NC
18,100 posts, read 16,638,539 times
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I am 5'10" and I drive a corolla and do not at all feel claustrophobic. The only vehicle that I have ever felt that way was in a Miata.
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Old 01-31-2016, 06:10 PM
 
Location: Floribama
13,507 posts, read 29,464,086 times
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Go sit in a new Sonata, it's technically a mid-size, but it feels like a big car on the inside (compared to my 2012). I think they get 37mpg highway now.
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Old 01-31-2016, 06:37 PM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
7,283 posts, read 15,298,035 times
Reputation: 7029
In the 00s, I had a long commute situation and ended up trading in my Corolla early because I felt like if I got hit from behind at a light, my hood would slide entirely underneath the back bumper of the Suburban in front of me. Ended up with a Subaru Outback, which was a lot more substantial without seeming too big.

The Outback has made me a big Subaru fan- very reliable, and the AWD does make a difference in tough weather conditions even compared to a front wheel drive car with the perfect tires for conditions. We ended up buying a Legacy a few weeks back when we needed to replace the other car in our household. (Given our budget this time around, it was the most bang for the buck option.)

I'd also to say have a look at the Forrester- good gas mileage, gets you a nice height off the ground, and typically a very reliable vehicle. I know that the hard core gear heads don't like the CVT transmission, but Subaru has been working on putting out a good CVT for longer than a number of manufacturers, and while our Legacy will never be a race car, acceleration is nicely zippy when we need it to be. Subarus tend to have large cabin sizes for their vehicle class and you can haul a lot in the Forrester if you fold the back seats down. (Note that in Subarus, the yellow lab dog in the way back is actually an owner-added option and not factory spec as it sometimes seems to be) MPG is 24 city/32 highway, which isn't quite best in class, but won't be too painful when gas prices inevitably go back up.
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Old 01-31-2016, 06:46 PM
 
9,825 posts, read 13,918,311 times
Reputation: 10709
Highlander Hybrid Limited 2012 (Toyota Highlander) | Fuelly

Sits seven, has all wheel drive, is super reliable and gets good mileage. I guarantee you gas prices won't last and right now is best time to buy hybrids, when ga sis cheap.
You like Ford? Beware what you asking for.
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Old 01-31-2016, 07:32 PM
 
Location: Western MN
861 posts, read 473,890 times
Reputation: 1557
Maybe a sporty Chevy Sonic?
2016 Sonic Small Car | Chevrolet
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Old 01-31-2016, 07:46 PM
 
6,129 posts, read 3,280,701 times
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I'm 6'7 and prefer small sporty hatchbacks as they often have better legroom than even full sized SUVs.

But if claustrophobia is he reason a Miata would seem to be the answer. Just open the top up. . Or something with a big moonroof.
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Old 01-31-2016, 08:03 PM
 
Location: Lake Norman, NC
7,070 posts, read 10,827,443 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by notnamed View Post
But if claustrophobia is he reason a Miata would seem to be the answer. Just open the top up. . Or something with a big moonroof.
Not sure if it's still the case, but sometimes having a moon roof reduces the amount of interior headroom versus a car without that feature.
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