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Dear Car Talk:
My ‘06 Scion xA has
87,000 miles on it, and I’m
thinking of updating.
I love my Scion because
I sit up higher than in a
sedan (I’m 79 so I’m getting shorter), and I can see
who’s out to get me on the
Any hatchback out there
these days that’s not an
SUV but will let me see
better? Thanks for your
Dear Lynne:
Plenty of them, Lynne.
You’re in luck. Over the
past decade, the rest of
the car buying public has
caught up with you.
A lot of people now prefer to sit up a little higher
when they drive. Why?
Well, as you say, it’s easier
to see over the car in front
of you. That advantage
will diminish as more
sedans are replaced by tall
hatchbacks and crossovers. But hopefully you’ll
have a few good years of
visibility before you get
The second reason
people prefer to be a
little higher is because it’s
easier to get in and out of
the car. We’re not talking about the huge SUVs,
where you have to get a
running start to clamber
up into the driver’s seat.
But cars that are a little
higher off the ground put
the seat bottom closer
to human hip level. That
means you don’t have
to “fall” into the car, or
“climb” out of it.
So, you have a lot of
choices these days. You’ll
have to go out and sit in
some new cars, and decide
which fit you well, and
which you’re comfortable
driving. But we’ll give you
a few suggestions to get
you started.
We’re going to assume
that you want a basic
hatchback, like the Scion.
Nothing fancy. And while
we don’t know the exact
seat height of your current Scion, we know the
car’s overall height is 60.2

Ray Magliozzi

can be reached by e-mail at the Car
Talk website at

inches -- unless, like you,
Lynne, the Scion’s getting
shorter as it gets older.
Here are a few cars with
similar heights that we
The Hyundai Kona is 61
inches tall, about an inch
taller than your Scion. We
drove it recently and really
liked it.
Kia makes an unusual
car called the Soul, which
is a bit boxier than your
Scion, and a couple of
inches taller. But it has
very good visibility and a
lot of room inside.
If you ever drive in the
snow, and want all-wheel
drive, we like the Subaru
Crosstrek, which is 63.6
inches tall. That’s a few
inches taller than your
Scion, so you’ll have to
make sure it’s easy to get
into and out of, but it’s
very comfortable for a
small car.
And if you want to impress all the kids, you can
go electric with the Chevy
Bolt, a battery-powered
hatchback that’s 62.8
inches tall. You’d plug it
in at night, and you can go
250 miles before having
to recharge it. And you’ll
never have to set foot in a
gas station again, Lynne.
Unless you need some Gatorade and a bag of Bugles.
There are others, but
that should give you a
good start. Let us know
what you end up with..

Got a question about cars?
Write to Ray in care of
King Features, 628 Virginia
Drive, Orlando, FL 32803,
or email by visiting the
Car Talk website at www. (c) 2020 by
Ray Magliozzi and Doug


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