Back and forward
Your complaint about stiff suspension is valid for cars but unusual on most SUVs, as their tyres customarily have more cushioning. Finding a car with a driver’s seat height between a sedan and a large SUV puts you in the market for a compact SUV. Here are our picks.
recent facelift (identified by a large chrome nose) but it previously received changes under the skin to improve quietness and refinement. It has comfortable suspension and a roomy cargo hold and can be found for $25,000 neat drive-away most months (the price of $25,990 can be reduced to $24,990 by using the $1000 gift card as a discount). I keep recommending this car but, looking at the sales charts, no one seems to be listening to me. But the Trax just got a facelift earlier this year and a new turbo 1.4-litre petrol engine in the base model. Its styling is not to everyone’s taste but it’s the perfect size for the city, has the seat height you want plus a decent cargo hold. This month the Trax LS is $24,990 drive-away with auto and three years’ free servicing. A bargain. The HR-V just got built-in navigation as standard across the range, in addition to its Apple Car Play/Android Auto. The Honda starts from $26,990 drive-away with auto (metallic paint adds $575). A good driving position with clear instrument graphics and a massive cargo floor should suit your needs.
Even if you weren’t happy with your previous Outback, it’s worth a test drive in the next generation XV — it arrives in a couple of weeks. It’s a highriding version of the Impreza hatch, which has among the most supple suspension in its class. Given the XV will have off-road tyres, it ought to be even more comfortable.
Wait to try the Subaru XV or purchase the Mitsubishi ASX — not only for comfort and the way that it drives — but also because of the five-year warranty. In 2013 I had a car accident swerving to avoid a child chasing a dog. I ended up in a tree, with multiple neck, back and muscle injuries. I bought a new Subaru Outback, as the seat height made access easy. But after niggling problems and suspension that was too stiff for my back, it’s time for a new car. I need a car that’s easy to get in and out, with not much strain on my back and has comfortable suspension on bumpy roads. I have found the Toyota Prado 4WD and Kluger SUV too high and sedans like the Toyota Camry too low. I prefer an SUV with a flat boot. The Mercedes GLC was a too narrow for me and I found the lumbar support too complicated.