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I finally went to test drive an HRV today at my local dealership in NH. The size of the vehicle was perfect, roomy inside, bigger than I expected. However, as a short 5'2" woman, with the seat all the way up, I sat so low I did not have a comfortable view of the road over the dashboard. The belt line of this car is very high. Also, there is a wide step over the side foot board to get to the seat (like my husband's pick up truck). The visibility out of the front, for me, was so poor, that I decided not to test drive the HRV (similar to the Buick Encore). I was worried about the visibility out the back before sitting in the vehicle, which turned out to be less of a problem than the front. I have been waiting for the HRV to be released and was disappointed. I'm not sure whether the leather seats would have offered better adjustability for higher driver's seat height. There were not HRVs with leather in stock.
 

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I don't think the leather would have made a difference unfortunately, the seats are identical except for the fabric (duh?).

I have heard Subaru's (Forester, Crosstrek) are much better for visibility with the low beltlines and large windows. The Renegade (iffy reliability...) or Cx-3 (not yet out) might also offer better visibility. What do you currently drive?
 

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I am 5'2" and felt fine in the HR-V. I do think there is more visibility in the Crosstrek and Forester, but I can still see the hood. I max out the seat height in the Crosstrek, but did not max it out in the HR-V and was comfortable. The Forester seat goes much higher than the Crosstrek, and I did not have that maxed out. Maybe you should try the Forester, but maybe that is more vehicle than you want?

I really had a problem with the RAV-4 and I wanted to like that very much.....the outside edge of the hood was blocking my vision and I could not see the radio well because of the angle of my seat being further forward.
 

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I am 4'10" and I bought the EXL. The seat adjusted just fine all the way up and forward. I have no trouble at all with visibility except for the pillars in the front. Normally I found the foreign cars are geared more toward smaller people than the american cars. I had two older Toyota vans then a 1999 Subaru Outback and a 2005 CRV all OK for me.
 

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I'm 5' and fit perfect in the EXL with the seat all the way up. I moved the steering wheel almost all the way down. When the steering wheel was all the way down I couldn't see the entire speed gage. The only problem is now the arm rest on the door is too low to use and I still can't see the whole hood due to the way it slopes but it zips nicely into parking spots.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for all the feedback.
I think more seat adjustability would help. Right now I drive a 2009 Hyundai Elantra SE, and although the seat only has manual adjustment, it adjusts really high, giving me an almost SUV view of the road. Some drivers like to see the hood when they drive. I prefer the hood to slope down more, giving me a better view of the road. It seems that the trend now is towards larger hoods on SUVs. I'm going to wait a few weeks and test drive the 2016 Hyundai Tucson. I had a great view of the road on the 2015 model and liked the handling, but am hoping for a smoother ride in the redesigned 2016.
 

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I'm 5' and fit perfect in the EXL with the seat all the way up. I moved the steering wheel almost all the way down. When the steering wheel was all the way down I couldn't see the entire speed gage. The only problem is now the arm rest on the door is too low to use and I still can't see the whole hood due to the way it slopes but it zips nicely into parking spots.

I used to be 5'2", but think I've shrunk an inch or two over the years. I have raised the seat on my EX almost all the way up, but I still can't see the hood (never saw the hood in my last two cars, so that's nothing new). One thing I don't like, and didn't notice during the test drives, is my head is "almost" touching the visor, and when I need to put the visor down, it obstructs the rear view mirror. I also noticed the side pillar caused a bit of an obstruction yesterday (why didn't I notice that before?). I think if the front windshield didn't slope so far back, it would eliminate "my" problem.

I was thinking about getting a pair of those huge platform shoes Lady GaGa wears -- then I might be able to push the seat further back and still be able to reach the accelerator and brake pedals!

Middle "arm rest" -- useless to me since the seat is so far forward. I really don't use the arm rests -- I usually keep both hands on the steering wheel.
 

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I am awaiting my new HR-V, which is on order. I too am vertically challenged, but found it the easiest of all the SUVs for me to get into and to reach the pedals. I have very small feet (size 5) so in some SUVs my foot is not long enough to stay on the gas pedal - it slips off!! Visibility was fine. I think it depends on your leg length and torso length. I am long waisted so likely sit a bit higher than the average 5'2 person. Still, I expect there will be a period of adjustment when I first start driving it.

You *have* to be comfortable. Check out the Mazda CX3 ... That might be a better fit.
 

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I'm 6' & I like my seat cranked-up pretty high. I gave myself about an 1" of head-room & I'm fine with it. I test drove the Mazda CX-3 & it drove great. The seat were simply to narrow for my tastes. Like Ms. Muffet mentioned, the CX-3 might be a better fit for you. Although I can't see why you can't tweak the seating in the HR-V.
 

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I finally went to test drive an HRV today at my local dealership in NH. The size of the vehicle was perfect, roomy inside, bigger than I expected. However, as a short 5'2" woman, with the seat all the way up, I sat so low I did not have a comfortable view of the road over the dashboard. The belt line of this car is very high. Also, there is a wide step over the side foot board to get to the seat (like my husband's pick up truck). The visibility out of the front, for me, was so poor, that I decided not to test drive the HRV (similar to the Buick Encore). I was worried about the visibility out the back before sitting in the vehicle, which turned out to be less of a problem than the front. I have been waiting for the HRV to be released and was disappointed. I'm not sure whether the leather seats would have offered better adjustability for higher driver's seat height. There were not HRVs with leather in stock.
Did you raise the seat to its top position? My wife is barely 5' 1", and loves the view from the driver's seat. It takes 24 pushes of the height adjuster to go from lowest to highest position. I drive at +3; my wife at +24. I think the total range is about 3".
 
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