Top 10 2020 SUVs for Short Drivers

For vertically-challenged drivers, it can be a feat to find a vehicle that fits them comfortably. As if finding the right vehicle isn’t hard enough, short drivers have lots of other factors to take into account.

Driving an SUV affords a higher viewing position over a car. This leads to better visibility, which is a boon for smaller drivers who don’t have the advantage of a taller person’s range of sight. Just make sure the ingress and egress height aren’t too high.

Features such as a tilt-and-telescoping wheel, adjustable pedals, and power-adjustable seats are needed for short drivers to allow them to drive safely and at ease. Power lift-gates are also a nice feature to easily access the rear of your vehicle.

Safety Features

In addition to the above, other more recent technologically advanced safety features surround-view cameras, collision detection, and blind-spot monitoring also help shorter drivers be more situationally aware of their surroundings. Infotainment screen size and easy to reach dashboard controls are also factors to consider.

With these factors and pricing in mind, we’ve created a top 10 list of best 2020 SUVs for shorter drivers from a variety of vehicle classes. Next to each model, which are listed in order of price, we’ve noted the starting manufacturer’s suggested retail price for the vehicle.

2020 Kia Soul, $17,490

Despite not having all-wheel-drive, the Soul has claimed a spot in the subcompact SUV class. While that may make it sound small, it’s more boxy shape allows it to blur the lines into compact hatchback at an affordable price.


With its posture, drivers in Soul’s sit high with excellent outward visibility. Optional features include blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat.

The Soul is a versatile vehicle that is a good fit for teen drivers, senior drivers, or families. It also has excellent safety scores and a lengthy list of features.

2020 Nissan Kicks, $18,640

The Nissan Kicks is a newer subcompact model from the Japanese automaker. It has a good view of the road, large windows, and good safety ratings.

The Kicks is one of the more affordable SUVs you can buy while still offering lots of standard features including 7-inch touchscreen display and tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel.

Optional features include surround-view camera, rear cross traffic alert, and blind spot monitoring. However, power-adjustable driver seat is not available for the Kicks so keep that in mind if that is an important factor for you.

2020 Honda CR-V, $25,150

The Honda CR-V is a perennial challenger for the top spot in the compact SUV rankings. Despite its classification, the CR-V offers lots of space for taller drivers and riders alike while still being a great fit for smaller drivers.

You can also opt for a 12-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with memory settings. So even if another driver in your household is taller, the CR-V will still work great for the smaller driver. The model also has lots of cargo room for its class and seats 5.

The cargo hold on the CR-V has a low lift-in height making it easier for shorter or more youthful people to load items or reach up to store gear.

New for 2020 is the Honda sensing suite of features, which is standard to keep you safer.

2020 Toyota RAV4, $25,950

The RAV4 is a strong competitor to the CR-V. It delivers on safety features, but many are optional. This includes rear cross-traffic alert, blind-spot monitoring, reverse automatic braking, 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, and a surround-view camera.

The RAV4 has 12 more horsepower than the CR-V and a higher towing capability in certain trim lines with up to a 3,500-pound capacity. This may be a factor for drivers who plan to tow small trailers or boats.

The RAV4 also has a hybrid model. The Hybrid Limited starts at $36,880.

2020 Subaru Outback, $26,645

The Outback is a good value in the mid-size SUV class. With standard all-wheel-drive, it has a lot of similarities to the slightly smaller Forester. The vehicle rides high with excellent visibility.

The Outback has an optional 260 horsepower turbocharged engine, which still returns fuel economy of 23 mpg city/30 mpg highway.

Subaru has made improvements in the model for 2020. It offers an optional 11.6-inch vertical infotainment screen. Even with short arms, nearly all the controls and buttons are easy to reach from the driver’s seat.

If you like off-roading, the new Outback Onyx Edition trim features a front-view camera. This camera view is intended for negotiating trails and alerting the driver to any obstacles ahead. This can make navigating and traversing terrain easier for shorter drives. The Outback has an 8.7-inch ground clearance making it a good choice in snow, sand, or salt.

2020 Audi Q3, $34,700

The Audi Q3 is fresh off a 2019 redesign and competes in the compact luxury SUV class. The Q3 may be smaller than the CR-V, but that makes it easy to maneuver into tight spaces, drive in traffic, or around corners.

As a luxury vehicle, of course, the Q3 can be equipped with modern amenities such as surround-view camera and parallel and perpendicular park assist, which aids the driver to fit the car into the parking space automatically.

The Q3 is also big on comfort with eight-way power adjustable driver’s seat, four-way power lumbar adjustments, and up to 10.1-inch touch screen display.

2020 Acura RDX, $38,600

The 2020 Acura RDX competes against the Q3 and other models in luxury compact SUVs. It has a high-class cabin and standard with tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and 12-way power-adjustable front seats. If you need even more options, a 16-way power driver’s seat is available.

Optional safety technologies including rear cross traffic alert, blind spot monitoring, and surround view camera help keep shorter people safer on the roads.

2020 Volvo XC60, $40,150

The mid-size luxury XC60 is big on comfort even for shorter drivers. With standard 10-way power-adjustable seats, the plush front buckets will coddle you for longer drives.

Power lift-gate is a standard feature in the XC-60 and the model comes with a long list of standard safety features including pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, driver drowsiness monitoring, and oncoming collision mitigation.

However, absent are rear cross traffic alert and blind spot monitoring. But they are available as options, as is a surround-view camera.

2020 Ford Expedition, $52,810

Shorter drivers don’t have to be short-changed when it comes to size. They’ll feel large and in-charge in the full-size Expedition SUV.

The model comes standard with an eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, which can raise you into a better driving position. Another standard item is Ford’s Co-Pilot 360 suite of safety features, which helps with rear cross-traffic alert and blind-spot monitoring.

Optional features include adjustable pedals, a power tilt-and-telescoping wheel, surround-view camera, and automatic parking assist.

One potential drawback to the Expedition is that it has nearly 10 inches of ground clearance. But fear not, there are available power-deployable running boards to make getting into and out of the vehicle a breeze for shorter drivers and passengers.

If you want a more plush and expensive version of the Expedition, consider the more luxurious Lincoln Navigator.

Tesla Model Y, $52,990

The Model Y is Tesla’s new all-electric compact SUV. The model debuted in 2020 in its long-range all-wheel-drive version. A less expensive (closer to $46,000), Model Y version with rear-rear wheel drive less range is anticipated later in 2020.

While the price is closer to the full-size Expedition, the Model Y offers a very different driving experience. It has a dual-motor vehicle with all-wheel drive and up to 316 miles in range without a charge.

Tesla’s get top marks for safety and the Model Y is no exception. It has large crumple zones, a rigid structure, and a lower center of gravity with relatively low entry height. The Model Y also has good visibility with an expansive glass roof.

The Model Y comes with a 15-inch touchscreen display and Tesla’s unique over-the-air software updates regularly introduces new features, functionality, and performance to the model.

If your a shorter driver with a need for speed, the Model Y Performance version is your choice. It offers 456 horsepower and an impressive 0-60 time of 3.5 seconds.

Choose Wisely

For drivers of more diminutive stature, these models aren’t much of a stretch. They offer drivers solid features and available options to be safer, more comfortable, and confident on the road.

Other factors shorter driver should take into account is if a vehicle’s pillars obstruct views creating blind spots, are the cushions too long or wide, crash test ratings, and whether the vehicle’s front end limits visibility.

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