We are looking to purchase a new vehicle. Our son, who is 8, has trouble getting into our mini van, but we are not in need of a fully accessible van yet.

Anyone have any advice on a car that is low to the ground so my son can get himself in without having to lift him ?

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Before we bought my minivan, we had a Pontiac Grand Prix that I loved. It was pretty low to the ground, very smooth ride and a cute car to boot!
I will put a plug in for the Volvo XC70 (the cross-country wagon type - NOT the SUV). We've had it for 5 years, you can get optional built in booster seats (worth every cent and good for the shorter kids), and the car is low to the ground. Bonus is the large rear storage area - while we do not have a scooter or chair at this point either, but we can easily fit a few strollers in back, so I assume a scooter that can be broken down could fit also. My son is 6.5 and can easily get himself in and out by stepping on the door frame.
Corvette !!!! That's as low to the ground as they come.... ;-)

Seriously, though, what type of car are you looking for? My wife and I are engineers at GM. Can get you a discount on most Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, or Cadillac models.


Another thought . . my husband built a small set of steps for Jonathan to help him get in our Safari. Each step was only about 3" or 4" high so he could step up. Might keep you from having to buy another car for now.

As for Keith's suggestion, way too cool. But seriously too low can be a problem also, my son could not get out of my hubby's '97 Camaro long before he stopped climbing up in my van.
Thanks for all the suggestions! I had thought about a ramp or small set of shallow steps for the garage.

Keith, we are a family of four, we have outgrown carseats, but our daughter still uses a booster. Do you have any suggestions ? I also like the idea of something that a scooter can fit into the back of for the near future. As far as the height, it would be great if he could just go in "bottom first" and swing his legs around to get in. He can't do stairs, so stepping up on the door frame will no longer work.
If you want to get a scooter inside a vehicle - you'd probably be looking at something like an SUV, which is going to be higher off the ground and harder to get into. Instead, you might consider a car with a hitch mount platform to move the scooter, or a hoist to get it in the trunk.

A Chevy HHR might be large enough to get a scooter inside, and it's lower to the ground than a conventional SUV.

Midsized sedan wise, a Chevy Malibu is a good choice. We just brought out a slightly smaller sedan, the Chevy Cruze. Either of those are lower to the ground and easier to get into.

If you want something with a big trunk, a Chevy Impala is a good value, but the styling is a bit sedate. The Buick Lacrosse is a beautiful car with lots of room - very stylish, but more expensive. If you want something a little sportier, we're starting to build a midsize Buick Regal again, which you can get with a turbo and is a really fun car to drive.

Gotta put in a plug for the Cadillac's also - they just announced support for another DMD charity. The CTS is a fantastic car. If you want more room, the DTS is the full size model, with an enormous trunk.

Send me a note here or on Facebook if you want some more specifics, or want to find out how the discount works.

Have fun!
Our Toyota Matrix is great to get in and out of.
Tamara, I am not sure how tall your son is, but I think he could still scoot into the Volvo rear-end first. My son, who is quite short, can actually do that, he just still prefers the other way. Good luck with finding a car!
I'm not going to be of any help because I'm in the same boat (DS, 9, still able to get into our minivan but with increasing difficulty) and have been wondering which direction to take with our next vehicle. I just wanted to say Thanks for posting this. I'll be watching everyone's input!
im going another way here. what about doing an accessible van now, ramp or lift would allow him no hassle entry. we loved the mini van (not sure what kind it was) that we drove as a rental, it had an easy fold out ramp that works well for an 8 yr old with dmd, removable seats for our 11 year old in a chair. just a thought, we bought a non-accessible van when austin was 9 and very quickly were scrambling for a lift van (we have 5 kids plus chair, so we went with a dodge sprinter and love it)
My son is turning 13 this Dec, and just this past summer stopped walking altogether. A year ago, I wrecked my SUV and was faced with finding a vehicle fast. Since he was still walking at the time and knowing it may be a year or so before I needed the handivan, I decided to purchase something that would accomidate everything the SUV could do but sat a little lower to the ground and have a good trade in value in a year or so. I chose the Honda Oddyseey. Even though he could not step up in the van, ( he doesnt way much at all) I would lift him and put his wheelchair ( not powered) in the back. This past summer when he stopped walking, I traded it in when I just happend to take the van in for an oil change and someone was trading their handivan. God will provide :) But I was right about the trade in value.. the Oddyseey paid for itself and we were able to slide right into a handivan with low mileage and ez lock system already built in with a great price. My advice is is that if you are not ready for that " handivan" yet, get something that has a good trade in value so you get your money back when the times comes...
I was using step stool when my kid was still walking . I have midium SUV and still works for us.Now I just need to do transfer from wheelchair and lift my son about 2 inches to put on seat( 112 lbs). I am glad now that I was walking all those 6 years , after diagnosis with 3 lbs waights in my hands. I get his wheelchair to the trunk like bag with milk.

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