No announcement yet.

Advice on cars for a para

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    The choice comes down to 2-door or 4-door.

    4-door pros: you can fit in almost any space and still get your chair if you are careful enough.

    2-door pros: you can get out of any handicap space quickly without scuffing your car.


      2 doors have a wider front door, easier to get the chair in.


        The Scion tc has ample room with the doors opening, back seats recline, and the front seats are easy to move around. I would have gotten one if my accident wasnt in one.

        The Scion XB is what I ended up driving for the past 5 years. Huge back seats, incredibly easy to transfer in and out of, and when my rear axles got messed up, I was able to get by with only taking one wheel of the chair and throwing it in the back seat. By far the easiest car I have ever driven.

        After a week or two, or one torrential rain storm, you figure how to get in/out as quickly as possible in whatever car you have.


          My son drives a Saturn ION and a Mazda RX8, both have the rear opening back doors that make it very easy to set his chair in/out of the back seat. He also just bought a Jeep Rubicon that is more difficult to transfer in/out of, but he says the inconvenience is easily worth it to be able to go 4-wheeling with his friends. I would think you should be able to drive pretty much any vehicle you want, just try it beforehand and don't give up if seems difficult at first- practice improves just about anything.

          BTW- the RX8 is for sale, has hand controls already installed!
          In God we trust, all others must prove themselves.


            i drive a saturn ion 2 with the suicide doors. it's awesome!!!
            "Smells like death in a bucket of chicken!"


              I suggest a 1959-1964 two door impala convertible. Personally I'd go for the '61. Plenty of room to toss your chair in the back seat, and still fit three friends comfortably.

              But on a more serious note, I drive a 4 door camry and have no problem getting three people in it with me, and I can put the chair in the back seat pretty easy when I need to give a young lady a ride...


                Originally posted by SharonD View Post
                What about the Honda Element with the suicide doors? Does anyone drive that? I'm thinking of looking at a used one to buy now and then hand it down to Rob when he is ready.
                I do. I have a 2WD Element (most are AWD), and that makes it a bit lower, and then my domestic partner lowered it about another inch. We did this because my left elbow is "bad" (I broke it badly), and can't straighten completely, so transferring from left-right is tough. I can do much high from right-left.

                It's a bit of a high transfer for many, I let several other friends try it out, and none of them could get into the drivers seat. I do a transfer to get in, similar to how one would transfer into another chair or whatever. I've seen others "pull" themselves into higher vehicles such as this.

                I take the wheels off, and put them behind the passenger seat. Then I fold my chair back down and stick it behind the drivers seat. I use a "hook" (made from a piece of bent aluminum tubing) to get the back door closed easily w/out falling over.

                One thing that I think is important for people to think about when choosing a vehicle is how difficult something may be. Just because you *can* do it doesn't mean that you're going to want to do it 5 times a day (if you're like me and run lots of errands), or that your body will appreciate you doing it all the time. Like, I *can* transfer into my father's very tall truck, but doing it more than a few times a day will make me achy. I may not be articulating myself very well, but I know that I like to save my energy for doing fun things, like riding my handcycle, rather than car transfers.

                I think the Mazda5 w/the SpeedyLift is pretty great, and will let you save your energy for doing more important things. I know a few others on this board use this set up and like it.



                  To put it blunt you need to just go try out cars you like. If a dealer will not let you try and put your chair in it then screw them and go somewhere else. Once you find one you can get in and out of easy then it is a crap shoot if things might change a little once the hand controls get installed but I assume since you are shorter you might not have a problem with ones mounted under the steering column unlike me. I am just under 6 ft tall and when I went out last fall car shopping I checked out a bunch of cars since a truck just dont work as a daily driver for me. I like a more sporty car so I finally decided on a mustang and while I could get everything to fit in the car with a little adjustment to the back rest (laying it back quight far) I could fit my cusion and wheels in the back seat and ridgid chair in the pasanger seat. So I was thinking things were all good but once I put hand controls in it that mount under the steering column like my last car they sit much lower so now I have to keep the seat back so far so my knees dont hit the controls it is uncomfortable to drive.

                  On a side note I have no idea how a person in a wheelchair can say they like or even get their chair in a vehical with suicide doors unless they have a fold up uncomfortable one. I also dont see or understand how a person with a 4-door can get a ridgid chair in it I know the door opening is just not big enough for me and I am a tall thin guy.


                    Before I went 4X4 only, I had 5 different Honda Accord Coupes over the years with the last two being V6s that I really loved.

                    Awesome cars, VERY dependable, great on gas and hold their resale value like no other.


                      Originally posted by RideRed View Post
                      On a side note I have no idea how a person in a wheelchair can say they like or even get their chair in a vehical with suicide doors unless they have a fold up uncomfortable one.
                      This is how I do it, I have a TiLite ZRa. I take the wheels off my chair, and pull them over me and put behind the passenger seat. I then fold the back down on my chair, and pick it up and put it behind my seat (using the suicide door space) casters first. It's a tight fit, when I had a hard back w/large mounting equipment I managed to mess up the back & scratch up the car interior.

                      I took the backseat out that's on the drivers side (comes out easily) because I wanted to make loading easier, and I rarely have more than two passengers. I can do this loading with it in, but I'm sure both the car & I would have gotten more "dinged up" in the process.