Buying a car for family prone to motion sickness: What are my options?

Should be petrol automatic as my wife wants to start driving. Should also have good ground clearance.

BHPian ram1980 recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

I own a 2012 Ford Figo 1st gen diesel. I love this car and recently have done some fixes/upgrades (fuel injector replacement, LED headlight & 9 inch android unit). So I plan to retain this car for as long as it lasts but I am looking to add a new car with below requirements:

  • Should be petrol automatic as my wife wants to start driving. Good ground clearance (>190mm); Sunroof is must (family’s only non-negotiable wish).
  • Should not cause motion sickness to the passengers ( mainly for my wife ). My igo doesn’t affect her (due to sedan-like setup and stiffer suspension?) while she faces this constraint in most other cars.
  • Should be easy for my elderly parents to ingress / egress
  • Budget should be below 20 lakhs. Looking at long term (~10 years) ownership like my current car.
  • Usage will be a mix of city and highway. Distance to the office is 15 km one way. In the city, it should be easy for a new driver (my wife is 5’2” tall ).

Following are the cars considered in the order of my current preference:

  • Nexon Petrol AMT- Yet to do test drive. I like the road presence and features offered. Dark edition looks great. I didn’t find the cabin space to be too different from my figo and I am worried about the ease of ingress / egress for my parents.
  • Kushaq / Taigun – 1.0 TSI A T. Did a test drive of Kushaq and loved the ride experience. The cabin is premium and spacious enough but stretches the budget to above 20L in the top end variant that offers sunroof
  • Slavia / Virtus – Good ground clearance (SUVish level). 1.5 lakhs cheaper than its SUV sibling. Am sure it will have less body roll than an SUV and so motion sickness should not be an issue. I feel it would be difficult for a new driver to get used to the road view and length.
  • Hyundai/Kia/Maruti CSUV options – Not considered due to soft suspension and safety concerns. Wife gets nauseated in Creta with city driving itself.
  • Magnite/ Kiger – not comfortable with these brands as they could close operations like Ford in near future.

Looking forward to your expert views and opinions on best car for my requirement.

Here’s what GTO had to say on the matter:

Try to solve the motion sickness itself. There is loads of good advice on the car sickness thread. Last thing you want is to change the car, but hear the same complaints .

Body-on-frame UVs and cars with wallowy suspensions are best avoided. You want something planted like your Figo.

Avoid the AMT as it will lead to a different kind of sickness , what with all the jerks.

Here’s what BHPian robincsamuel had to say on the matter:

I’d suggest test-driving all these cars, as comfort is subjective and varies from person to person. Even someone else with motion sickness may have a different opinion compared to your own preference. Please test ride from the rear seats as well, preferably on a road with some twists and turns.

I had a similar requirement as my wife is extremely motion sensitive and our usual route includes ghat roads. We all are comfortable on our Kia Sonet. I test-drove the cars with my family multiple times for the same reason.

Also, about Kia vehicles, my understanding is that they have a stiffer suspension setup compared to their Hyundai counterparts. So it’d be worth test-driving. I’d say, test drive all the cars you listed; don’t rule out any of them based on what you have read.

Here’s what BHPian dr.avinash had to say on the matter:

Firstly, don’t rely on short TD’s. I don’t think your wife will have immediate symptoms while sitting in any car, only long drives will let her DECIDE.

If possible check for rental cars, so that you can keep the car for 2/3 days and decide. Id suggest you may borrow your friends cars for 2/3 hours for atleast 3/4 days just to be double sure.

Or take multiple TD’s at various dealerships.

That said, i have a few cousins from Bhopal who weren’t used to Delhi’s long hour travels and felt nauseated in just 15 mins. Surprisingly in our then brand new Zen they were comfortable and not in our Esteem or other cars.

Probable reasons for the same :

  • Zen was the newest car in our garage. Maybe it still had the typical factory scent (essence).
  • It had the lightest coloured upholstery as compared to other cars that we had. (Zen MPFi has light grey interiors as compared to carb’s black).

Prefer cars that have the LIGHTEST coloured interiors, BIGGEST sunroof and LOWEST window line to make it feel as airy as possible.

Here’s what BHPian bijims had to say on the matter:

My sister has this issue, and she finds it pretty comfortable in the Kia Sonet, but it may differ from person to person and do take a long test drive on each one of the cars with your wife (do check out the back seat as well) before finalizing your purchase, Other cars worth considering would be the Kia Seltos HTX IVT which also has a much stiffer suspension than the Hyundai Creta although with a smaller sunroof, Skoda Slavia, Honda City, Hyundai Verna and similar low-slung sedans, Perhaps even the stiffer i20 N-Line may also be considered.

Here’s what BHPian Kosfactor had to say on the matter:

If a Creta was not comfortable, I’d change one thing – Driver

I know of someone who can make everyone sick with a Ciaz, it’s simply because of the way he drives in slow city traffic.

The 1.4 diesel equipped Ford vehicles can get quite loud inside in terms of NVH , I think any new Petrol vehicle would be a big upgrade and like I mentioned earlier , it’s not necessarily a car problem.

Here’s what BHPian pyrodrive had to say on the matter:

Motion sickness also depends on how the vehicle is driven, take corners too fast and people will have nausea even in a car with the best suspension.

Infact my better half gets motion sick in the honda city and even in the A3 on curvy roads. The culprit is me, I tend to take corners too fast and also the speeds are a lot higher than when I am driving the thar or the nano. Infact she never had any motion sickness in those two cars.

I, myself am prone to motion sickness too but mostly if I am in the rear seat of a tall ladder frame suv. Xylo, scorpios etc on a ghat road? Nope, unless I drive. As a people mover, Innova is best in that respect.

Here’s what BHPian fhdowntheline had to say on the matter:

No offence, but please take a hard look at how you are planning to make a major purchase based on a 10-15 min experience that could be a combination of variables apart from the car design itself i.e. road condition, traffic condition, personal health condition on the day, AC settings etc. I would venture to say that most of us never really experience a proper lengthy test drive that showcases all the dynamic behaviour of a car. It takes a few months of ownership even for an experienced driver to get to know the machine and its traits over a variety of situations. And add to this your spouse’s specific condition that may or may not manifest on a given day depending on the above mentioned factors. Please narrow down two or three cars and do multiple TDs with your spouse over a month or so before taking a call.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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