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Old 04-18-2009, 08:56 AM   #1
wornways
 
Drives: 2009 Yaris Sedan Stickshift
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Ukiah, CA, USA
Posts: 25
The Yaris Steering Wheel

I'm wondering if it's possible to have the Yaris steering wheel extended out about an inch, possibly two.

In every way I love my new 2009 Yaris Sedan, but my god I can't reach the steering wheel when my legs are comfortable, and if I straighten the seat so I'm closer to it my head is jammed into the roof of the car. If I move the seat closer my legs are buckled up so tight I can't operate the pedals. If I drop the steering wheel down so I can reach the top more comfortably, it cuts off the circulation in my legs. And trying to drive with my arms stretched full-length before me--and I'm still hunched a bit--leaves my shoulders terribly cramped and sore, which cuts sharply into my reaction time.

I've noticed the seat is much higher off the floorboard than I'd expect for a small sedan. In fact, I'm so high up that the rear view mirror blocks my view of any oncoming traffic from the right at intersections, forcing me to duck my head down all the time as I drive. This could easily be remedied by being able to lean the seat back a bit more, but then I wouldn't be able to reach the steering wheel at all, period.

If I could hold onto the bottom of the steering wheel as I drove I don't think there would be much of a problem, but this silly "Toyota T" steering wheel puts that bottom of the T right there where it makes the most sense to have a hand rest. In fact, out of the 20 or so cars I've driven throughout my life, this is the only car I've ever been in that doesn't have a place to hold the steering wheel at the bottom.

So what can I do? What are my options?

Are there replacement options for the front seats that ride closer to the floorboard?

Are there replacement options for the steering wheel? A smaller steering wheel? A telescoping steering wheel? One with a grip on the bottom?

Can the stock steering wheel be extended out an inch or two? Can it be flipped so the bottom of the T faces up, leaving me a place to hold onto at the bottom?

I'm only 6' tall! Imagine how bad it must be for someone taller. I should have taken it as a bad sign when the salesman tried to sale me a car with only 200miles on it that was returned by the buyer because it was "too small". I don't have the money to be able to return this car, so I'm going to have to live with it.

Any help would be massively appreciated.
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Old 04-18-2009, 09:13 AM   #2
41magmag41
 
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Have you checked to make sure your driver's seat is in the all the way down position. You raise or lower the seat a little, I believe. You may want to check that.
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Old 04-18-2009, 09:22 AM   #3
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Funny, no advice but I'm short (5') and would love it if I could extend the steering wheel out an inch or two. It would be more comfortable for me, too.
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Old 04-18-2009, 09:38 AM   #4
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I'd imagine your only option is an aftermarket wheel, which is illegal for on-road use :(

You may also be able to have something like this adapted:
http://www.allstarperformance.com/product.htm?prod=401

Either that or some horrendously expensive custom wheel.
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Old 04-18-2009, 09:44 AM   #5
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There was a modification that changed the seat cushion angle which some people have done by installing longer bolts and washers..... which has an effect on the steering angle too. There is another member who had his seat rails modiifed for a change too.
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Old 04-18-2009, 10:54 AM   #6
wornways
 
Drives: 2009 Yaris Sedan Stickshift
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Location: Ukiah, CA, USA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schleppy View Post
I'd imagine your only option is an aftermarket wheel, which is illegal for on-road use :(

You may also be able to have something like this adapted:
http://www.allstarperformance.com/product.htm?prod=401

Either that or some horrendously expensive custom wheel.
Very, very nice. Great feedback. I'll print that page up and bring it to the dealer and ask if they can install it for me. :) This might be just the thing. There are four extension options! Is that hole in the middle for the air bag? I mean, does this extender make it possible to extend an air-bag equipped steering column?
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Old 04-18-2009, 10:55 AM   #7
wornways
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 41magmag41 View Post
Have you checked to make sure your driver's seat is in the all the way down position. You raise or lower the seat a little, I believe. You may want to check that.
Ah yes, it's all the way down. Down as I can get it. :)

---Mr. Torso
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Old 04-18-2009, 10:56 AM   #8
wornways
 
Drives: 2009 Yaris Sedan Stickshift
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob_VT View Post
There was a modification that changed the seat cushion angle which some people have done by installing longer bolts and washers..... which has an effect on the steering angle too. There is another member who had his seat rails modiifed for a change too.
Were these modifications discussed here? If so, would you know the links? :)
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Old 04-18-2009, 02:06 PM   #9
427chev
 
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Virtually every review of the Yaris rips on the "awkward" driving position in general and the long reach for the steering wheel in particular.

I am 5'-11" and wear a 32" long pant; I've made it workable, but think I'd be in trouble if my legs were just an inch or so longer.

I had a very good upholsterer redo my seat. He firmed up the lower cushion by adding a new support mesh and he also firmed up the seat=back and built up the lumbar region a bit. I paid him $125, which I think is the best $125 I've ever spent on anything. The seat is FAR more supportive (feels more like a TRUE "sport seat"). I sit about 1/2" higher because of the stiffened lower cushion, which seems to have improved the steering wheel reach issue to some degree.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wornways View Post
I'm wondering if it's possible to have the Yaris steering wheel extended out about an inch, possibly two.

In every way I love my new 2009 Yaris Sedan, but my god I can't reach the steering wheel when my legs are comfortable, and if I straighten the seat so I'm closer to it my head is jammed into the roof of the car. If I move the seat closer my legs are buckled up so tight I can't operate the pedals. If I drop the steering wheel down so I can reach the top more comfortably, it cuts off the circulation in my legs. And trying to drive with my arms stretched full-length before me--and I'm still hunched a bit--leaves my shoulders terribly cramped and sore, which cuts sharply into my reaction time.

I've noticed the seat is much higher off the floorboard than I'd expect for a small sedan. In fact, I'm so high up that the rear view mirror blocks my view of any oncoming traffic from the right at intersections, forcing me to duck my head down all the time as I drive. This could easily be remedied by being able to lean the seat back a bit more, but then I wouldn't be able to reach the steering wheel at all, period.

If I could hold onto the bottom of the steering wheel as I drove I don't think there would be much of a problem, but this silly "Toyota T" steering wheel puts that bottom of the T right there where it makes the most sense to have a hand rest. In fact, out of the 20 or so cars I've driven throughout my life, this is the only car I've ever been in that doesn't have a place to hold the steering wheel at the bottom.

So what can I do? What are my options?

Are there replacement options for the front seats that ride closer to the floorboard?

Are there replacement options for the steering wheel? A smaller steering wheel? A telescoping steering wheel? One with a grip on the bottom?

Can the stock steering wheel be extended out an inch or two? Can it be flipped so the bottom of the T faces up, leaving me a place to hold onto at the bottom?

I'm only 6' tall! Imagine how bad it must be for someone taller. I should have taken it as a bad sign when the salesman tried to sale me a car with only 200miles on it that was returned by the buyer because it was "too small". I don't have the money to be able to return this car, so I'm going to have to live with it.

Any help would be massively appreciated.
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2009 Base model Bayou Blue 3 door hatch, 5 speed manual trans, Option Group D, factory floor mats, accessory mud guards, TRD shocks/springs/rear bar, TRD leather wrapped shift knob, Pioneer FH-P8000BT "double DIN" head unit & 4 Infiniti Kappa speakers, stainless steel license plate screws, Toyota stainless exhaust tip, enhanced driver's seat (professional upholsterer added spring mesh to lower seat cushion which DRAMATICALLY improved support/comfort and also built up lumbar region in seat back for more aggressive lumbar support. Seat Mod Cost: $125; the seat "feels" $350 better.)
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Old 04-18-2009, 02:18 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wornways View Post
Were these modifications discussed here? If so, would you know the links? :)
http://www.yarisworld.com/forums/showthread.php?t=9833
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Old 02-21-2012, 07:48 PM   #11
avlisk
 
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I just went for my first Yaris test drive. The seats were finally comfortable (for a Toyota). But, I couldn't get the seat/pedal/steering wheel combo comfortable. The steering wheel is too far away. No telescoping feature offered. Too bad, as almost everything else (no tach) is great for me. I'll have to look elsewhere or wait till the 2013 to see if they offer what I want/need.
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Old 02-21-2012, 08:34 PM   #12
I PHANT0M I
 
Drives: 2010 Toyota Yaris
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wornways View Post
I'm wondering if it's possible to have the Yaris steering wheel extended out about an inch, possibly two.

In every way I love my new 2009 Yaris Sedan, but my god I can't reach the steering wheel when my legs are comfortable, and if I straighten the seat so I'm closer to it my head is jammed into the roof of the car. If I move the seat closer my legs are buckled up so tight I can't operate the pedals. If I drop the steering wheel down so I can reach the top more comfortably, it cuts off the circulation in my legs. And trying to drive with my arms stretched full-length before me--and I'm still hunched a bit--leaves my shoulders terribly cramped and sore, which cuts sharply into my reaction time.

I've noticed the seat is much higher off the floorboard than I'd expect for a small sedan. In fact, I'm so high up that the rear view mirror blocks my view of any oncoming traffic from the right at intersections, forcing me to duck my head down all the time as I drive. This could easily be remedied by being able to lean the seat back a bit more, but then I wouldn't be able to reach the steering wheel at all, period.

If I could hold onto the bottom of the steering wheel as I drove I don't think there would be much of a problem, but this silly "Toyota T" steering wheel puts that bottom of the T right there where it makes the most sense to have a hand rest. In fact, out of the 20 or so cars I've driven throughout my life, this is the only car I've ever been in that doesn't have a place to hold the steering wheel at the bottom.

So what can I do? What are my options?

Are there replacement options for the front seats that ride closer to the floorboard?

Are there replacement options for the steering wheel? A smaller steering wheel? A telescoping steering wheel? One with a grip on the bottom?

Can the stock steering wheel be extended out an inch or two? Can it be flipped so the bottom of the T faces up, leaving me a place to hold onto at the bottom?

I'm only 6' tall! Imagine how bad it must be for someone taller. I should have taken it as a bad sign when the salesman tried to sale me a car with only 200miles on it that was returned by the buyer because it was "too small". I don't have the money to be able to return this car, so I'm going to have to live with it.

Any help would be massively appreciated.
I feel you man i'm 6'7 and its hard for me to get it in a comfortable position for me lol consider yourself lucky my friend
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Old 10-09-2012, 01:41 PM   #13
ThomEdwardDudgeon
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Drives: 2012 Yaris Sedan
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Location: Bay Minette, AL
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This might help...

After removing the clamp bracket that allows you to tilt the wheel, then using a 2-inch plumbing stay, you can move the column up about an inch, which, for a 6.2 guy like me made all the difference in the world. I was seriously considering taking a hit on it and trading it for another car. It's really comfortable now. Holler if you wanna do it and I'll walk you through the process. Better yet, if somebody sees my earlier post on it and can take pictures, that'd probably help a lot of folks.
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