Any probably an MVP - Buy a car for a person with a bad back. - myra
Hi i need to buy a second hand automatic, with a high roof.

I need allot of space to get in and out of the car. Due to a back problem and problem with bending.

Can you suggest any models that would be suitable with a person with a back problem ?

Probably a people carrier because of the high roof and large door clearance.

Thanks

Myra.
Any probably an MVP - Buy a car for a person with a bad back. - craig-pd130

There are plenty of SUV options too that have the high roof / seat combinatio, like Volvo's XC60, VW Tiguan, Ford Kuga, Vauxhall Mokka etc.

Any probably an MVP - Buy a car for a person with a bad back. - badbusdriver

My wife is in a similar situation to you. We will be collecting our new honda jazz in just over a couple of weeks. The reason we picked the jazz was that it best fitted our requirments, that being a higher seating position than our current hyundai i30, narrower (or at the very least, no wider) than the hyundai, spacious enough to be 'the family car', and finally (as i had only recently managed to persuade my wife that she would find an automatic easier on her legs), i didnt want to have to put up with the reliability and usability issues i have read about regarding 'automated manual' and 'dual clutch' gearboxes. The honda uses a CVT, and while they are not universally liked, they certainly seem to be reliable.With that in mind, i would suggest you look at cars with either a traditional 'torque converter' automatic, or CVT gearbox.

But in order to make some meaningful suggestions you would need to say what your budget is.

Any probably an MVP - Buy a car for a person with a bad back. - Avant

The vital thing is for you to be comfortable. People are all different shapes and sizes, so what is comfortable for you may not be for me. So the only thing is to try cars out for size.

The Jazz is a good suggestion, but some people don't find the seats suit them - in particular they want more support in the small of the back. I'd suggest you also look at the Ford C-Max: it has good supportive seats, and you don't have to climb either up or down to get in and out of it.

Both C-Max and Jazz have been around for many years, so there should be one to suit your budget, whatever it is.

Any probably an MVP - Buy a car for a person with a bad back. - John Boy

Suzuki Splash/Vauxhall Agila B

Watch the man himself getting into one:

www.honestjohn.co.uk/road-tests/suzuki/suzuki-spla...o

They're all secondhand now and the automatics are conventional "torque convertor" type.

Any probably an MVP - Buy a car for a person with a bad back. - daveyK_UK

Go for a van based MPV

Fiat Doblo MPV, Peugeot Partner Tepee, Citroen Berlingo Multispace, Ford Tourneo Connect, Fiat Qubo, VW Caddy.

A neighbour has back problems and drives a Fiat 500L

Any probably an MVP - Buy a car for a person with a bad back. - SLO76
What's your budget £3,000 or £30,000? What sort of usage will it see?
Any probably an MVP - Buy a car for a person with a bad back. - RaineMan

I am tall with a gammy left leg. When I was looking around last year I found the Honda Civic had easy access. The reason I did not persue it was I did not like the drive. As said you have to try, and drive, the cars to find something that suits you as our needs are all different. And please say something about budget.

Any probably an MVP - Buy a car for a person with a bad back. - Engineer Andy

Note that when your are looking (see others' suggestions), don't just assume if its got a comfortable seat/easy to get in/out that you'll like using it - the drive is just as important: some may have a firm ride (possibly because of the suspension setup OR the size of tyre & wheel combination) - low profile tyres and/or firm suspension can really jar your back, even if the car itself handles well. Its often better to buy a lower to mid-spec car than a high spec one (which mostly come with lower profile tyres and firmer suspension, whereby the ride only gets firmer as the car ages).

I would aim for a wheel and tyre combination of around 205 [width, mm] / 55 [profile height as a % of the width] R16 [diameter in inches of the wheel or better] - the most important number of the three is the second, the percentage profile height - try to stay in the range of 55 (min - better handling but still OK on ride quality) to 70 (max - softer ride [more air in the tyre to cushion the car] but at the expense of handling [not so bad if you're not a quick driver). The diameter of the wheel and width of tyre matters less, but a 'middling' size like the one I quoted are also plentiful and cheap to buy, compared to the lower profile ones (e.g. 225/45/R18) as well as riding far softer.

I would also make sure that the car handles reasonably, i.e. the ride isn't 'wallowy', whereby you're thrown around when cornering, which, again, doesn't do bad backs (like mine) any good whatsoever.

Realistically you need a compromise (its unlikely that you'll find a car that has a really smooth ride over bumps/potholes etc, but handles really well). As such, make sure you get a good, long, representative test drive in (preferably an hour, not just round the block), using the car on a variety of road types (including dual carriageway/motorway as well as urban roads), making sure you go down roads with poor surfaces and which have the speed humps, so you know what driving it under most conditions would be like. Also fit in a couple of reversing manouvres to make sure you can reasonably see all around without hurting your back more by having to turn your body/neck too much.

I would also spend a reasonable amount of time adjusting the seat and steering wheel before moving off to make sure your driving position is good and you're not stretching for anything, pedals and steering wheel included - you may need to stop during the test drive and re-adjust. I found when I first developed back problems over 15 years ago that other than too much time sitting in the office, the main cause was that my seat was one notch (0.5in) too far back - just adjusting that made a huge difference.

I'll see if I can dig out (if you feel it would be useful to you - let me know if you would like it) an ergonomic car seating guide a former colleague kindly copied for me when I developed back problems (it helped me enormously) - just a few pages I can scan and upload to a free viewing website that may help you.

Any probably an MVP - Buy a car for a person with a bad back. - daveyK_UK

You may also want to consider the new Suzuki Ignis if there is only 4 of you and you dont require a big boot space.

Any probably an MVP - Buy a car for a person with a bad back. - scot22

Engineer Andy - I, and possibly a few others, would find that useful. Please set up for us, Thanks.

Any probably an MVP - Buy a car for a person with a bad back. - RT

Engineer Andy - I, and possibly a few others, would find that useful. Please set up for us, Thanks.

Vauxhall produced something similar some time back.

IMO, there's no "magic" test for seat comfort - in the '80s at the end of my boy-racer days I ordered a Vauxhall Cavalier SRi as a company car, the last to get Recaro seats and initially struggled to get comfortable as my "expanding frame" was too wide but soon found that it's support and firmness actually improved my spinal arthritis on long journeys - in contrast wide comfortable seats in the showroom quickly give me back-ache on a long journey.

Different models within a range can make a big difference - 18 months ago I ordered a brand-new VW Touareg, sticking to the base SE version to get higher profile tyres but adding air suspension and "comfort seats" - it's great, but using an R-Line as a courtesy car it's clear that even expensive standard seats, plus bling wheels and sports suspension make a huge difference to long-haul comfort.

Any probably an MVP - Buy a car for a person with a bad back. - Engineer Andy

Engineer Andy - I, and possibly a few others, would find that useful. Please set up for us, Thanks.

Vauxhall produced something similar some time back.

IMO, there's no "magic" test for seat comfort - in the '80s at the end of my boy-racer days I ordered a Vauxhall Cavalier SRi as a company car, the last to get Recaro seats and initially struggled to get comfortable as my "expanding frame" was too wide but soon found that it's support and firmness actually improved my spinal arthritis on long journeys - in contrast wide comfortable seats in the showroom quickly give me back-ache on a long journey.

Different models within a range can make a big difference - 18 months ago I ordered a brand-new VW Touareg, sticking to the base SE version to get higher profile tyres but adding air suspension and "comfort seats" - it's great, but using an R-Line as a courtesy car it's clear that even expensive standard seats, plus bling wheels and sports suspension make a huge difference to long-haul comfort.

Yep - that's the document, for my former colleague's Vectra. I'll scan/upload it on Sunday (too noisy to scan now - it'll wake up the neighbours!).

Edited by Engineer Andy on 23/04/2017 at 01:28

Any probably an MVP - Buy a car for a person with a bad back. - Engineer Andy

Here's the driving position help document (scanned pdf, 3 pages, about 1.5MB) I spoke of:

s000.tinyupload.com/index.php?file_id=578665306813...6

Any probably an MVP - Buy a car for a person with a bad back. - Big John

Skoda Yeti?

Slightly elevated driving position and very easy to get in / out but external dimensions of the car not excessive and it's very easy to park

Any probably an MVP - Buy a car for a person with a bad back. - badbusdriver

Most of the suggestions put forward are cars which use either a dual clutch (pretty much everything from the VW group + most SUV's) or single clutch (most van based 'automatics', + the new ignis+ fiat 500l) automated manuals. Now the OP wants an automatic, so the question is, can we really recommend any of the above?, not sure i could.

Also, the suzuki splash/vauxhall agila was mentioned. I have read that they dont ride very well, same for the new ignis, so not sure, with a bad back, they would be such good options.

The only car i can think of (at a reasonable price) which offers a raised seating position, lots of headroom, a proper torque converter automatic, and a good ride (according to HJ's van reviews), is the renault kangoo?. Okay its pretty slow and relatively thirsty, but if the OP doesnt cover many miles, and isnt a boy racer, it might be just the ticket!.

But unless the OP (who seems to have dropped off the face of the Earth!) comes back with a budget and some more info like type of driver and annual mileage, our suggestions are probably pretty irrelevant!

Any probably an MVP - Buy a car for a person with a bad back. - scot22

Thanks Andy - its very helpful.

'But unless the OP (who seems to have dropped off the face of the Earth!) comes back with a budget and some more info like type of driver and annual mileage, our suggestions are probably pretty irrelevant! ' Its a shame this happens as often as it does.

Any probably an MVP - Buy a car for a person with a bad back. - Engineer Andy

No problem mate. Nothin' much goin' on at Chez Andy this weekend, so I thought I do someone a good turn.

 

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