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Buying A New Vehicle For Bad Back/Knees?
Old 02-21-2017, 07:37 AM   #1
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Buying A New Vehicle For Bad Back/Knees?

Has anyone traded their vehicle in for something more accommodating when health issues began to affect driving comfort?

I love my little Civic. I bought it five years ago thinking it would be the last car I'd ever own. Getting in and out of it now is becoming more difficult as the degenerative disc and arthritic knee issues become worse. Yet I don't know if something I could more easily step in and out of would really be more worthwhile.
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Old 02-21-2017, 07:53 AM   #2
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Most of my friends of a [ahem] more mature age have moved to a small SUV (sometimes called a crossover) for exactly this reason. All are very happy with the decision.
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Old 02-21-2017, 07:55 AM   #3
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We have a Civic and also love it.......once I'm in it it's great.......getting in and out of it, (mainly getting out), can sometimes be a PITA.....(and back/knees).

Have also thought that a crossover might be more 'physically accommodating'.
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Old 02-21-2017, 07:57 AM   #4
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My wife mainly drives the CRV because of her knee problem.
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Old 02-21-2017, 08:01 AM   #5
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The largest SUV's can be a problem to get into and out of because the floor is so high. (Which is why they have running boards) I had a loaner chevy tahoe and it was some effort to get into and out of because the floor was so high. Did not have the problem with a 2000 pickup regular cab (regular cabs are almost extinct as dealers don't carry them in inventory except for work trucks)
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Old 02-21-2017, 08:03 AM   #6
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We didn't buy it because of health issues, but last year we bought a Honda Odyssey (van). Our other cars are a VW New Beetle and a Toyota Highlander, both 13-15 years old. Even the Highlander, which is fairly comfortable for the most part, was causing us to get sciatica during the long drives between FL and MD. But the Odyssey is the most comfortable vehicle we've ever driven/ridden in. The biggest problem has been my tendency to want to drop the anchor whenever I park.
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Old 02-21-2017, 08:29 AM   #7
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Yup, switching from a Honda Accord to a CR-V has made it so much easier to get in and out of the vehicle. At the same time, we switched from a manual transmission to an automatic. (DH's bouts of Achilles tendonitis made it painful for him to work the clutch.) Boy howdy, what a relief to the aging joints!
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Old 02-21-2017, 08:34 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by ocdokie View Post
Yup, switching from a Honda Accord to a CR-V has made it so much easier to get in and out of the vehicle. At the same time, we switched from a manual transmission to an automatic. (DH's bouts of Achilles tendonitis made it painful for him to work the clutch.) Boy howdy, what a relief to the aging joints!
Yeah, that's a problem. I've got Achilles tendonitis on my right foot (gas pedal). I love to drive, even for long trips, but my ankle can get quite achy in the process. I tend to use cruise control a lot, even in mild traffic, just to avoid the push and release process on the gas pedal.
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Old 02-21-2017, 08:44 AM   #9
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Yup, switching from a Honda Accord to a CR-V has made it so much easier to get in and out of the vehicle. At the same time, we switched from a manual transmission to an automatic. (DH's bouts of Achilles tendonitis made it painful for him to work the clutch.) Boy howdy, what a relief to the aging joints!
Luckily, for me, I don't, (yet), have a problem with the clutch because I'd, (we'd), really hate to give up the stick shift........(I especially love it when merging on the hiway....ramp up the RPMs in 3rd and then go straight to 5th).
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Old 02-21-2017, 08:48 AM   #10
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I too have a Civic SI, and the seating in any Honda automobiles is very low to the floor. They're not the most comfortable cars.

Our SUV is a new Ford Explorer, and sitting in it is like sitting in an easy chair--with feet well below the seat instead of being out front. It's also easy to get into.

But if you're used to Honda's, go for the brand new model of CR-V or the smaller HR-V. No dealer will give you as good of a value on a Honda than a Honda dealer. The problem is finding a Honda dealer that's willing to sell you a vehicle for a fair price.
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Old 02-21-2017, 09:05 AM   #11
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Lol! I also own a Civic and I can hardly get in it or out of it. I love the car but I have the same issues. I'm to frugal to buy something else YET!
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Old 02-21-2017, 09:12 AM   #12
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Yeah, that's a problem. I've got Achilles tendonitis on my right foot (gas pedal). I love to drive, even for long trips, but my ankle can get quite achy in the process. I tend to use cruise control a lot, even in mild traffic, just to avoid the push and release process on the gas pedal.
So true! DH's tendonitis is in both ankles. Our new CR-V has a feature DH loves -- adaptive cruise control with slow follow. It's a relief to him to drive with it on, on both small country roads and the SoCal freeways if we're unlucky enough to be on them during so-called rush hour. (More like stop, roll 3 feet, and stop again. Rinse and repeat for an hour, and your right ankle gets pretty tired.)
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Old 02-21-2017, 09:13 AM   #13
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Luckily, for me, I don't, (yet), have a problem with the clutch because I'd, (we'd), really hate to give up the stick shift........(I especially love it when merging on the hiway....ramp up the RPMs in 3rd and then go straight to 5th).
Ah, those were the days! Don't give up your manual transmission until you have to.
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Old 02-21-2017, 09:13 AM   #14
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FWIW, I had a Camry that had an adjustable lumbar support, and it also allowed the front 1/3 of the drivers seat to adjust up and down so as to give better support under the thighs near the knee. It was a very comfortable car to drive.
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Old 02-21-2017, 09:21 AM   #15
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So true! DH's tendonitis is in both ankles. Our new CR-V has a feature DH loves -- adaptive cruise control with slow follow. It's a relief to him to drive with it on, on both small country roads and the SoCal freeways if we're unlucky enough to be on them during so-called rush hour. (More like stop, roll 3 feet, and stop again. Rinse and repeat for an hour, and your right ankle gets pretty tired.)
+1 on adaptive cruise control. I didn't realize how much I'd appreciate it when the dealer gave me a demo, but it takes so much stress and effort out of driving! Old-fashioned cruise control is pretty much worthless in traffic, with all of the braking and resuming required.
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Old 02-21-2017, 09:24 AM   #16
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We have decided that as much as we each wanted a Miata at one time, that at this stage in life it would be too hard to get in and out of one.
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FWIW, I had a Camry that had an adjustable lumbar support and that also allowed the frony 1/3 of the drivers seat to adjust so as to give better support under the thighs near the knee. It was a very comfortable car to drive.
I love Toyota's adjustable lumbar support! My Toyota Venza (SUV) has such comfortable seats at just the right height for me when getting in and out of it. It is so easy and painless for me to enter and exit it, and my back never hurts when driving.

Extracting groceries from the back door of my SUV, instead of leaning over and lifting them out of the trunk of a car, is also much easier on my aging joints.

I think that if/when I ever buy another vehicle, I'll probably stick to an SUV for comfort as well as for some other reasons.
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I love my little Civic. I bought it five years ago thinking it would be the last car I'd ever own. Getting in and out of it now is becoming more difficult as the degenerative disc and arthritic knee issues become worse. Yet I don't know if something I could more easily step in and out of would really be more worthwhile.
If you make your selection carefully, I think it could make a huge difference and would be SO worthwhile.
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Old 02-21-2017, 09:37 AM   #17
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I had to trade in my manual transmission Caliber because of left knee pain. Decided to get a nice full size comfortable sedan Chrysler 300. Very pleased with the new car. Tried SUV's but found running boards uncomfortable to navigate
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Old 02-21-2017, 09:42 AM   #18
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Ah, those were the days! Don't give up your manual transmission until you have to.
We previously had a Saturn automatic, (DW's daughter borrowed it at the time of purchase and she couldn't/can't drive standard).......OK, (just OK), in town, but a slug on the hiway with zero acceleration......it was as if we'd have to wait until there was no traffic coming in the slow lane for ten miles before we could merge.
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Old 02-21-2017, 09:58 AM   #19
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Tried SUV's but found running boards uncomfortable to navigate
Running boards? In an SUV? I don't think my Venza has running boards. I'm with you, I hate running boards on pickup trucks.

The seats are the exact same height as my, uh, rear end when I am standing by them. So I just open the door, back up to the seat, and I'm sitting on it. Then I lift my knees, and swivel around so I'm facing forward, and I'm inside. No climbing at all, either getting in or getting out. Maybe it helps that I am tall (5'9").
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Old 02-21-2017, 10:12 AM   #20
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Running boards? In an SUV? I don't think my Venza has running boards. I'm with you, I hate running boards on pickup trucks.

The seats are the exact same height as my, uh, rear end when I am standing by them. So I just open the door, back up to the seat, and I'm sitting on it. Then I lift my knees, and swivel around so I'm facing forward, and I'm inside. No climbing at all, either getting in or getting out. Maybe it helps that I am tall (5'9").
Yes! What a concept. Now it seems so self-evident how convenient that is, but I had no clue until I sat in my sister's Toyota RAV4. That's when the light bulb went on -- we needed that feature in our next new car! I really need to get out more.
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