WHICH CAR: I want a car not too high or low
I WOULD love someone to research and test suitable vehicles for those of us who are ageing and a bit rickety around the hips, knees and back and who find it difficult to get into sedans that are too low and SUVs that are too high. Baby Boomers are the most populous and wealthiest generation but seem to miss out in favour of families and young people.
There's a disconnect between advertising and accounts in the car industry.
Car companies use young, upwardly mobile types, be they male, female, or families, to promote their products.
They're not the people who can afford to buy them, though. That falls to the Baby Boomers, particularly with higher-spec models. As always the best advice is to park yourself in a few vehicles at the dealerships to see which one suits. There are a couple of things to consider at this stage: the height of the vehicle's floor and then the height of the seat relative to the floor.
Look for cars in which the front seat height can be adjusted and ensure you can find a comfortable position. Ultimately your height and motoring needs will dictate which car is best for you. You haven't mentioned price or carrying needs, so we've given you a range to consider.
Mitsubishi ASX LS From $27,490 drive-away
You need to buy the "ADAS" version to pick up the recommended active safety gear but from there on the ASX is a good, if ageing, proposition. The seating position should work and there are decent interior space and good outward vision. The safety kit includes lane-departure warning and autonomous emergency braking and there are parking sensors front and rear. The 2.0-litre engine has been around for a while and that's reflected in fuel use of 7.6L/100km. The upside is the Mitsubishi comes with a five-year/100,000km warranty.
Subaru XV 2.0i From $32,200 drive-away
The XV, a high-riding Impreza, is compact enough to work well around town but has enough room to take couples and their luggage for weekend trips. The 2.0-litre engine is solid but lacks the turbocharged response and fuel efficiency of some rivals. If there isn't enough space for your needs then look at an Outback or Levorg. Both have low seat heights by crossover standards but are higher than a typical sedan or wagon.
Mazda CX-3 sTouring From $27,990 drive-away
This version of the CX-3 packs head-up display, LED headlamps and AEB with lane-departure and blind-spot alerts. The floor is at the same height as the Mazda3 but the raised seat should make getting in and out of the small SUV less bothersome. You can option all-wheel drive but we'd take the front-drive version. Interior space isn't huge but the presentation is as good as you'll find in the mainstream segment. As with the Subaru, the warranty is three years.
Mercedes-Benz GLA 180, $48,700-$50,300 drive-away
The Merc marks a big step up in price but you're rewarded with one of the better-built and designed interiors (excluding the steering column-mounted gear lever) and the snob value of the three-pointed star. The packaging isn't brilliant in the back for tall adults but does the job for occasional four-up rides. Warranty is three years/unlimited km. If you like the car but aren't fussed about displaying the pedigree, consider the Infiniti-badged version of the same vehicle, the QX30.
Price and specification make it hard to look past the CX-3 - providing you aren't regularly transporting adults in the back. If you are, the XV's extra rear space may offset its higher price.
WHICH CAR SHOULD YOU BUY?
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