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As someone on the short side of the spectrum, I’ve come to appreciate all the fine-tuning you can do to the driver’s position these days. With everything from adjustable seat bottoms to tilt-and-telescoping steering wheels, automakers are able to make vehicles suitable for a wider range of drivers. But you know what I’d really like to see on more vehicles? Adjustable pedals. Especially on pickup trucks. Most especially on pickup trucks in households with taller and smaller drivers.

I mean, just because you’ve managed to get the seat adjusted so your feet comfortably reach the pedals, it doesn’t mean you’re a safe distance from the steering wheel – and vice versa. 

2020 F-150 XLT has adjustable pedals

The 2020 Ford F-150 is one of the only full-size trucks that offers adjustable pedals starting at the XLT trim. (Image courtesy of Ford Motor Co.)

The only true way to customize your driving position is to be able to move the pedals as well.

Unfortunately, the list of pickup trucks that offer adjustable pedals is small — and dwindling. 

For 2020, you’ll only find them on the following trucks:

  • Ford F-150 and (available at XLT trims and above)
  • Ford Super Duty (available at XLT trims and above)
  • Ram 1500 Rebel (available with Level 1 or Level 2 Equipment Group)
  • Ram 2500/3500 Laramie & Power Wagon (available with Level 1 or Level 2 Equipment Group)

It should be noted, however, that just because this feature is available on a particular truck or trim doesn’t mean they come standard – they’re usually tucked into a package of some sort.

It’s also worth noting there isn’t a single midsize truck that offers – or ever offered – this feature.

2020 Ram Power Wagon Crew Cab

2020 Ram Power Wagon is one of the few Heavy Duty pickup trucks to offer adjustable pedals. (Image courtesy of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles)

If you don’t mind buying used, however, I will point out the first-generation Nissan Titan (2003 – 2015) also offered adjustable pedals.

So why do some offer them and some don’t?

According to Ram Trucks, the company line on why the pedal option is offered is all about luxury. 

“Ram 1500 customers value the ride comfort and luxury we offer through a combination of class-leading coil or air suspension systems,” a company spokesperson said. “Features like the adjustable pedals offer a little bit more luxury across multiple trim levels and are part of an overall approach to customer comfort.”

In contrast, a representative from Nissan said the decision to remove the pedal option on Titan was based on consumer research that favored a telescoping steering wheel over adjustable pedals.

2020 Ram Rebel

The 2020 Ram Rebel is the only 1500 model with adjustable pedals. (Photo by Jill Ciminillo)

“Research showed that telescopic steering was able to ergonomically support equal or better than adjustable pedals for a wider range of occupants,” he said.

Me? I say: Why not both?

The bottom line on adjustable pedals

At 5 feet tall, I’m what they call “the fifth percentile female,” which happens to be the lowest common denominator most automakers design for. But just because I can drive something doesn’t mean it’s comfortable. 

Without the pedal option in a truck, I often end up with my leg trapped between the seat bottom and the underbelly of the dash because of the far-forward, height adjusted driving position. This is nothing a telescoping steering wheel will fix.

So, I’ve found the highest comfort level comes from having both telescoping steering wheel and adjustable pedals.

I know a lot of people have been asking about trucks with this feature, so I’d be curious to hear why you want them (or don’t) – especially since I have to assume pretty much nobody reading this is also 5 feet tall. 

Related posts:

IIHS study shows women are up to 73% more likely to be injured in crashes

Adjustable pedals in SUVs: 2021 Ford, Lincoln models are the last men standing

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Jill Ciminillo

Jill Ciminillo is a syndicated automotive writer. Jill also manages the “Drive, She Said” blog for ChicagoNow and posts reviews to DriveChicago. She is the president emeritus of the Midwest Automotive Media Association and has the distinction of being the first female president for that organization. She also serves as a judge for the Automotive Heritage Foundation Journalism Awards. Previously, Jill has been the automotive editor for the Sinclair Broadcast Group, the Chicago Sun-Times News Group and Pioneer Press Newspapers.

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36 Comments

  1. Brandon July 12, 2020

    First no rear AC vents and now no power adjustable pedals????? What is going on with these trucks these days lol. I think power adjustable pedals should at least be an option on all trucks. I have never owned a truck that has power adjustable pedals but have test driven a few that do so I see the advantages of this feature. Even though I am 6 feet tall I like the idea of power adjustable pedals because it allows you move the seat and pedals farther back thus moving your knees away from the steering column. There have been several vehicles I have driven in the past where my knee would hit the steering column but I couldn’t move the seat back further without being too far away from the pedals.

    I remember the first time I had ever seen power pedals was test driving the 2017 Super Duty. I got in the drivers seat and the person from Ford asked me “do you want to adjust the pedals?”. At the time I had no idea the advantage of that feature so I asked “What’s the point of that?” lol.

    Reply
    1. Jill Ciminillo July 13, 2020

      I’m glad short people aren’t the only ones who have the knees-to-steering-column problem. Frankly I was shocked at how few trucks had them — and not a single midsize truck??

      Reply
  2. Ric July 14, 2020

    I agree, it should be standard. I am only 4′ 14″ and I have to move my seat so far up to comfortably reach the pedal, my knees are less than 2″ from the lower dash that if I were to get in a accident, instead of the knee airbag providing cushing to my knees/legs to reduce injuries, my knees would hit the dash first then the airbag next, it would be the cause of the injury to be hit by a deploying airbag. I’ve seen people’s face who sit too close and met the rath of the steering wheel airbag.

    Reply
    1. Jill Ciminillo August 26, 2020

      This is a big worry for me as well. In a lot of Fiat Chrysler & VW products, my knees get trapped between the underbelly of the dash and the seat bottom. At best, it’s uncomfortable, at worst it’s deadly.

      Reply
      1. Ric February 7, 2021

        In fact, my previous truck(2000 tundra) the seats sits lower so I was able to seat a little further back because my legs can stretch out further. In that truck, I had 5 inches from dash to knee. When I was in a frontal crash, my knees still hit the dash. My knees was sore for weeks. My current truck is a ’11 tundra and the seats sits higher so ky legs hangs down more, because of this, I have to move my seats up further. I have less than 2 inches in this truck. And this truck has knee airbags. I can already picture my knee getting a 1, 2 punch by smacking the dash then the airbag deploying. It’s gonna look ugly. I’m not concerned about the steering wheel since I recline to have a straight arms length to the top of the steering and it’s telescopic so it’s as far forward as it will go.

        Reply
        1. Jill Ciminillo February 12, 2021

          This is definitely a topic that has us on alert. We’re looking further into the safety of adjustable pedals and if this feature would better help protect people’s knees.

          Reply
  3. Mary Lou Gordon August 23, 2020

    Thanks for your article. I am also disappointed in the lack of this feature. I like my arms extended to the steering wheel, not squished up to my chest. This means moving the seat back from the steering wheel. But then my feet don’t reach the pedals.

    I am a busty 5′ 1/2″ and get you!

    Reply
    1. Jill Ciminillo August 26, 2020

      Yeah, I feel like the telescoping steering wheel is helpful and all, but it’s not always enough to keep me from eating the steering wheel!

      Reply
  4. Karen Baldacci September 15, 2020

    I, too, am a five foot female. We own a Ford150 with adjustable pedals. For safety reasons, as well as comfort, these should be on all vehicles. At this point, will only consider purchasing a vehicle with this feature.

    Reply
    1. Jill Ciminillo September 18, 2020

      Definitely! I was shocked adjustable pedals weren’t on more trucks! Tall dudes apparently viewed this as a gimmick. #NotSoMuch

      Reply
  5. Carl September 16, 2020

    My wife is 5 ft tall and this is a must for us. We are both nurses and know full well the extent of airbag injuries by sitting to close. We may be moving to another truck manufacturer over this. Safety above all else.

    Reply
    1. Jill Ciminillo September 18, 2020

      Yeah. That is always my biggest fear when I’m driving vehicles where I sit too close to the steering wheel! I hope truck makers are paying attention — people actually want this feature!!

      Reply
  6. Carol Dallman October 11, 2020

    I’m 5’2” and 74 years old. I’ve owned a variety of different vehicles over the years, some with all the bells and whistles. But eleven years ago, I test drove a Ford F-150 with adjustable pedals and immediately fell in love. Prior to that, I didn’t know such an awesome feature even existed. I’m now in the market for a new truck and won’t even consider one without adjustable pedals. It isn’t just trucks that need them. When I drive my son’s SUV or even my daughter-in-law’s loaded Honda, I have to sit dangerously close to the steering wheel. It seems to me that adjustable pedals should be deemed a required safety feature, not a luxury, on all vehicles. As long as I’m able to get in and out of a truck, it’s a no-brainer for me: F-150 with adjustable pedals!

    Reply
    1. Tim Esterdahl October 12, 2020

      Helping people like you is exactly why we put this article together. Happy we can help!

      -Tim

      Reply
  7. Steffanie Wei October 13, 2020

    Yes, Thank You Jill for this article! I am a Nurse working with surgical patients and know very well of the injuries that can happen during an accident. My husband & I both share a 2017 Tahoe; the telescope steering wheel, adjustable seat tilt, and adjustable pedals are must-haves for the sake of safety overall. I recently test drove some trucks, surprised that it was not even an option. Every time I put on the brake, my knee hits the underbelly of the dash and by the time I was done, my knee said “I had enough!” Very disappointed that some automotive companies took this option out completely and not consider the safety of this “lowest common denominator people” do drive trucks! For this reason, they just lost a loyal customer.

    Reply
  8. Lorena Zeilman November 4, 2020

    I’m on the market for new truck, and this is a must-have feature for me. I’m a petite 4’10” woman, the necessary proximity to the steering wheel and steering column is just dangerous. I wish adjustable pedals were a safety norm, and not seen as a luxury. I was recently involved in a high speed multiple rollover accident, and my knees were crushed under the steering column/dash. Thank you for putting this list together. Now I know where to start my search for a safer vehicle.

    Reply
  9. Erin November 7, 2020

    Yesterday I test drove a 2020 Silverado. While standing on the driver’s side my salesman informed me GM no longer produces trucks with adjustable pedals. I looked at him like he was crazy as I started sliding the seat forward to reach. He said “don’t worry you don’t look funny or anything” to which I replied it’s not about looks it’s about having my face demolished by an airbag. I’m 5’1. I have always owned trucks and since my first Ford, and including the GMC I have now,
    adjustable pedals are a requirement for me. Keeping my seat and face safely away from the airbag has absolutely nothing to do with luxury, and really not much to do with comfort. For me it is all about safety. I don’t want to end up maimed by an airbag, which is why I don’t even use the telescoping wheel feature, because I’m trying to get away from the airbag, not pull it closer. I am taken aback by the removal of this feature. What’s next? Will they remove the adjustable seat bottom so I can’t flatten out the front and end up sitting with my knees elevated and heels 3″ off the floor while stretching my toes out to reach the pedals like the days of old?

    Reply
  10. Jeri January 2, 2021

    I agree with the other undersized, but no less important, persons that need to drive. I, too, am 5’2″ and struggle to drive a vehicle without adjustable pedals. Telescoping steering wheels just don’t do a thing for reaching the pedals. And pulling the seat forward enough to finally reach the pedals of a non-adjustable pedal vehicle is simply a safety hazard. My chest is wrapped around the steering wheel and my knees are wrapped under the dash. No mercy if I’m ever in an accident.
    One would think, with all the “safety” features required on vehicles these days, auto makers would get a clue that SAFETY is a HUGE issue here for the shorter-legged driver. They add in all the bells and whistles that, to my thinking, not many need or want (who needs a sunroof in a work truck?).

    Several years ago I owned a 2007 Nissan Murano with adjustable pedals; Soooo comfortable to drive and I never felt like I was going to be comprised should I be in an accident. Alas, Nissan quit the adjustable pedal thing. I wanted another Murano in 2011, but no adjustable pedals. I was talked into getting one because the salesman insisted the telescoping steering would be enough.
    Well, it wasn’t. I ended up buying handicapped pedals to attach to the pedals so I could drive it. But then, my 6′ husband couldn’t deal with the handicapped pedals. So we sold the 2011 Nissan.
    I now drive a 2015 Ford Explorer with adjustable pedals. Would have bought some sort of Chevy, but nothing was available, and the adjustable pedals were a high priority.
    Husband is now wanting to purchase a new pickup, and because we live on a farm, I need to drive it, as well. Looks like Chevy will lose a sale. We will have to look to a different auto maker.
    If I thought a campaign of letters to congress would do any good to address this SAFETY issue, I would personally write 101 letters. I believe it to be a HUGE safety problem.

    Reply
    1. Jill Ciminillo January 8, 2021

      Exactly. I just wrote a follow-up article to this one about SUVs with adjustable pedals, and I’m going to break this news to you as gently as I can … The Explorer did away with adjustable pedals for the 2020 model year. Now, only the Expedition and Lincoln Navigator have them. The F-150 has an engineer who’s about our size, and they use her to test driving dynamics. I think that’s a big reason why F-150 still has them. I think I’m going to have to dig into this issue a big more to see why automakers are doing away with them. One person I talked to mentioned that the adjustable pedals WERE a safety issue in an accident because of breaking or some such … I think I need to reach out to NHTSA or IIHS to have a deeper conversation.

      Reply
  11. chuck January 4, 2021

    I have a 2013 Chevy Avalanche with power pedals, came standard since it was the last year( Black Diamond.) This is my 5′ tall wife’s every day truck. We also had a Malibu that had them, I can’t remember the year. No longer available on a Malibu.
    Looking to only use the Avalanche now for camping. I cant find a car that has the pedals. Thanks for the Ford tip. I guess I will have to own two trucks. I cant bring myself to trade in the Avalanche.

    Reply
    1. Jill Ciminillo January 8, 2021

      Yeah. My mom had a Malibu Maxx with the adjustable pedals and LOVED them. She still asks me regularly if Chevy is bringing them back. The Tahoe & Yukon did away with the adjustable pedals for 2021 (but still have them for 2020). The Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator are the only two SUVs I’ve found that still have adjustable pedals. So, yeah, Ford FTW.

      Reply
  12. Carol G Herrera January 16, 2021

    I am a 4’ 11”, busty woman. Adjustable pedals are a must have feature for me. I currently own a 2008 Ford Explorer Limited. The adjustable pedals convinced me I had to purchase the vehicle. It disturbs me that car manufacturers do not take into consideration that there are petite woman who love to drive big vehicles (trucks and/or SUVs).

    Adjustable pedals should be a standard feature on all vehicles.

    Reply
  13. Timmy Larson January 23, 2021

    Someone needs to present this matter to the IIHS and NHTSA, pronto! An airbag to the face/chest at a close distance is certain for serious injury and possibly lethal. A tilting/telescoping steering wheel will not and cannot suffice for lack of adjustable pedals.

    Reply
    1. Jill Ciminillo February 4, 2021

      NHTSA says 10 inches is sufficiently safe from breast bone to center of wheel. But I have to say, this is a rabbit hole I’m likely to go down soon. I want to know if there are any safety issues relating to adjustable pedals — because now we have knee airbags to contend with!! Often, my knees are touching the dash when I drive. What happens when those knee airbags deploy? I’m a runner and if I destroyed my knees because of them, there would be H-E-L-L to pay.

      Reply
  14. Michelle February 2, 2021

    I had an F150 with adjustable pedals in 2008-2013. I’ve been stupid close to steering wheels ever since. Unfortunately, I also have severe issues with headrest designs as well, since I like driving sitting pretty much upright, which puts most headrests karate chopping me in my head as if I were a hunchback. Looking at pictures on Carmax, only the Chevy Colorado or Silverado look like the headrests might be ok for me. So if that’s the case, I’ll have to get pedal extensions. It’s a lot easier to fix that (for a solo driver) than to fix the headrest issue. =( I am used to being in the minority in my customer needs, but it’s no less frustrating.

    Reply
    1. Jill Ciminillo February 4, 2021

      Not that I’m condoning this … but my mother turned the headrests around in her car for just this issue. I also have a lot of headrest issues as they push my head down rather than giving support. Supper annoying. Does the new F-150 give you issues? It still has adjustable pedals, and one of the lead engineers is 5 feet tall … I had an excellent driving position in the new F-150.

      Reply
  15. Larry February 12, 2021

    My 2018 and 2019 Silverado HD has them but they are no longer available on the 2020 and later Chevy pickups. Could be an issue for my next truck due to my short wifes preference for them. Hope GM wises up and brings them back.

    Reply
    1. Jill Ciminillo February 17, 2021

      Hear, hear! Currently working on a story about IIHS findings that women experience more lower-extremity injuries than men. Though more research is needed, my takeaway: Adjustable pedals would solve a lot of this!

      Reply
  16. Christopher Walker March 17, 2021

    My wife is 4’10”. She likes the adjustable pedals on my truck. I have always preferred GMC over any other brand. More appealing to my eye. However, GM is about to lose a customer. For years they have ignored their customers. If they would simply offer things like adjustable pedals, a locking differential, etc. as an OPTION, they would greatly increase their sales. Options are what customers want. I know what I want. I certainly won’t let a manufacturer decide what I want. I will change brands.

    Reply
    1. Jill Ciminillo March 18, 2021

      Thank you for your comment. More people need to speak up about this. I talked to one automaker who specifically called adjustable pedals a gimmick because their taller MALE customers said so. OK, but what about their wives and daughters? Sometimes I feel like a one-woman band beating this drum, but when I hear others comment — especially men — it’s adding musicians to the team. I’ll keep calling attention to this issue because I’d hate for someone to miss out on a truck they really want because of one very important feature.

      Reply
  17. Colby March 28, 2021

    My wife is 5’2” I’m 6’4” looking at possibly Toyota. Supposedly adjustable pedals can be ordered on the tundra. Not sure if this is true because we have yet to set down with a dealer and build one hopefully the internet is accurate with this bit of info. My Wife is a 100% gm I on the other hand am tired of gm junk. Ford has many electrical issues and now rust problems !!! Claims for gm junk and the ford problems are from personal experience on vehicle’s serviced by the dealerships on time by the book for (sever duty) use.

    Reply
    1. Jill Ciminillo March 31, 2021

      I just checked in with Toyota to verify, but there are no adjustable pedals on their trucks, nor have there ever been. Unfortunately, Ram and Ford are your only options if the pedals are a must-have. GM did away with theirs with the redesign of their next-gen trucks. 🙁

      Reply
  18. Karen April 21, 2021

    I am a 5’0” woman working in construction with a crew cab-long box. Adjustable pedals are essential and I hate that the demographic for someone who drives a truck is set for an “average size” person. I feel like ALL vehicles should have this as a standard safety feature, ESPECIALLY on bigger vehicles! I spend more time in vehicles than I do at home, so please bring back this feature!

    Reply
    1. Jill Ciminillo May 5, 2021

      100% agree. I’ve had several tall men say they love this feature as well because of the arm-reach issue. I was floored when one automaker told me this was just a gimmick.

      Reply
  19. David May 13, 2021

    I am at opposite end of spectrum, 6’9″. Presently strongly disappointed with ram 3/4 2021 trucks where most or all models appear to lack both telescoping steering and adjustable pedals. My spouse is in the “fifth percentile” range. I can not drive the tradesman comfortably or safely due to the absence of adequate design features.

    Still shopping, ram trucks about to lose my business, if other brands have adequate features.

    Reply
  20. Rebecca May 30, 2021

    I’m a busty 4’7” and not very skinny. When I started driving I was super close to the wheel and still had to wear platform boots to reach the pedals. I drove a couple years like that before we found pedal extensions which worked well until I almost got in an accident because my shoestring got caught. In 2008 I got a 2004 Chevy Malibu Maxx which had adjustable pedals. It lasted me until 2017. I was super shocked at how difficult it was to find a vehicle. I ended up with a Ford Flex with adjustable pedals. I do love it but it worries and upsets me how much time, energy and money I have to spend to ensure that I drive safely. Can I reach the pedals? Can I see over the hood? Is the steering wheel 10” away from my chest? These aren’t luxuries, they’re safety issues. If y’all do end up petitioning or something count me in.

    Reply

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