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  1. #1
    Vehicle Info - Help Needed
    Slydude's Avatar
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    Vehicle Info - Help Needed
    We may or may not be replacing our 2008 Pontiac Vibe soon. Much though I would like to have a Mustang or Corvette we are looking at small/medium "crossover" vehicles similar to the Vibe - due to the ease of loading my wheelchair. Right now the most likely choices would be the Subaru Outback, Honda CRV, Nissan Murano, or Nissan Rogue.

    If you own one of these vehicles you could save me a ton of research time. I would appreciate any comments you might have. I am particularly interested in the following things:

    1. Vertical height from the ground to the seat bolster (area where you plant your keister) on the passenger side frint seat. This is an important measurement for me due to the way I get in / out of the vehicle.

    2. Your thoughts on how well the Car Play / infotainment system works.

    Suggestions for other vehicle options are also welcome. At this point we are trying to avoid lift eqipped vans or minivans in general if possible.

  2. #2
    Vehicle Info - Help Needed
    chscag's Avatar
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    We work with a lot of handicapped folks on a volunteer basis so I'm very familiar with what you're asking. Most of the vehicles you mentioned above typically are not very well suited for accommodating a wheelchair with the person still sitting in it. However, if the wheelchair is of the folding type (most are) and you can get in and out of the vehicle by yourself without being in the wheelchair, then the Subaru Outback or Honda CRV will be suitable. The Murano would be a tight fit and the Rogue might be also.

    Actually, a Ford, Chevy, or Dodge van would be best all around but you might not be in the market for a van. When you go car shopping, and whatever you look at, make sure you test it for entry, exit, fit, height, and so forth.

    Good friend of mine purchased a Chrysler special van outfitted by the VA for handicapped veterans and it was the nicest handicapped vehicle that I ever ran across. Everything operated by remote control including an automatic down ramp and sliding seats so he could drive the vehicle while sitting in his wheelchair. You don't want to know how much it cost though. LOL The VA picked up most of the tab for it. (My friend was a disabled vet.)

  3. #3
    Vehicle Info - Help Needed
    Slydude's Avatar
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    Thanks Charlie,

    I real the email notice with your post this morning before leaving for work this morning but didn't have time to respond to it. Let me clarify a few things:

    You're right. The vehicles I mentioned would not work if I were sitting in the wheelchair while in the vehicle. I don't do that. I use a Quickie rigid frame wheelchair but I can get out of the chair and into the car seat. That's why the heighht to the seat bolster is important to me. Up to the height of about 24" I can stand long enough to sit on the edge of the seat and push back into the car seat. If the seat is higher than 24" I can't do that well and stepping up to get higher becomes an issue. It's very easy to fit the chair into the cargo area without taking it apart.

    I know that there are some devices that replace the existing seat with a lift-type seat that you transfer into and that lifts you into place in the car seat. I'm trying not to use that because it leaves very few options when these devices break down until they are repaired.

    The question about CarPlay was due to some things I read reliability issues with certain makes/models of cars. I think this was mainly a problem with the early implementations of CarPlay.
    Last edited by Slydude; 10-09-2018 at 05:43 PM. Reason: Correct typos

  4. #4
    Vehicle Info - Help Needed
    chscag's Avatar
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    You're best bet then is to test getting in and out of any vehicle you decide on. Keep in mind that as we get older our body strength diminishes, therefore you should choose a vehicle that is low enough for you get out of the wheelchair and into the driver's seat without someone having to help you.

    Also, you'll need to take that 10 gallon hat off! LOL

  5. #5
    Vehicle Info - Help Needed
    Slydude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chscag View Post
    You're best bet then is to test getting in and out of any vehicle you decide on. Keep in mind that as we get older our body strength diminishes, therefore you should choose a vehicle that is low enough for you get out of the wheelchair and into the driver's seat without someone having to help you.

    Also, you'll need to take that 10 gallon hat off! LOL
    We're planning to check that out as part of the test drive / looking around process. I'm hoping the homework I do now will cut down on the number of vehivles we have to lok at before hitting the right one. Typically I don't need assistance other than to occasionally have someone stabilize the wheelchair as I get in/out.

    The ten gallon hats are in an ultra secure storage facilty along with a list of the true contents of Al Capone's vault (take that Geraldo) lol

  6. #6
    Vehicle Info - Help Needed
    chscag's Avatar
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    OK, great. Keep in mind that the wife and I work primarily with seniors but we also have been with younger folks assisting them in and out of vehicles. The biggest drawback nowadays is that most of the vehicles you mentioned and the ones that I'm familiar with have limited space up front. Vehicles with a dash that resembles a F-135 Stealth Fighter cockpit are becomming more common. And I would hate to see you take off from LA and wind up somewhere in TX.

    By the way, prepare yourself for sticker shock when you start pricing new autos.

  7. #7
    Vehicle Info - Help Needed
    Slydude's Avatar
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    You're right about the lack of space. Not to mention that the space available is often poorly oorganized.

    Our current Pontiac has non of the CarPlay features that started to become common about a year later. Even though it has just the basic radio and CD unit, the arrangement is horrible. It's impossible to read the display in the glare of a Louisiana afternoon's soon. As I'm sure you know we have plenty of that around here.

    Bonus piece of stupidity with the design of that car: The two cup holders are not large enoough to hold many of the cups/water bottles currently sold at many (in)c0nvenience stores.

  8. #8
    Vehicle Info - Help Needed
    toMACsh's Avatar
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    Sly, have you ruled out the Mitsubishi Outlander? I chose it over the CRV and Escape, and really like it. But I drove our compact car, so I can't measure at the moment.

  9. #9
    Vehicle Info - Help Needed
    Slydude's Avatar
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    I haven't ruled it out at this point. About the only thing I have ruled out at this point are the full-size pickups and SUV's because they tend to be too high.

    My goal at this point is to narrow things down to three / four or so makes and models then do some shopping around. Most of the vehicles on our short list thus far are in asimilar price range.

    Now, if practicality/price were not an issue. we wou;d end up with a Charger, Mustang, or Camero.

  10. #10
    Vehicle Info - Help Needed
    toMACsh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slydude View Post

    Now, if practicality/price were not an issue. we wou;d end up with a Charger, Mustang, or Camero.
    ...Corvette, Tesla, Bentley, VW Beetle, etc.

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