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

adjustable pedals
The 2021 Ford Expedition is the only SUV that still comes with available adjustable pedals. (Image courtesy of Ford Motor Co.)

My mother is petite like I am, and whenever she’s looking for a new car, the first question she asks me is: What cars have adjustable pedals today? My answer: Not many.

This is especially true for 2021 models as automakers have largely done away with this feature. When I’ve asked why they would do such a thing, I’ve been told it was just a gimmick or because of telescoping steering wheels, the ability to adjust pedals is no longer necessary.

Well, I’m calling bullshit.

I previously did a story about pickup trucks in 2020 with adjustable pedals, and I came up with just four – all from Ram or Ford. I can add one more for 2021 – the Ram TRX.

That story happens to be one of our more commented posts, and I get emails and messages from readers on a regular basis about how helpful this story is and how they’d never buy a vehicle without adjustable pedals.

So, gimmick? My eye.

And when you look at SUVs, pickings get even slimmer. For 2021 there are just two SUVs (built on the same platform) with this feature: The Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator.

2020 Ram Heavy Duty adjustable pedals
2020 Ram Heavy Duty adjustable pedals (Image courtesy of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles)

How much will it cost? Well, adjustable pedals aren’t available on the base XL STX trim ($51,585). But they are an option on the XLT trim, and then they are standard starting on the mid-level Limited trim ($63,165).

As for the Navigator, they are (thankfully) standard on the base Standard trim ($76,185).

Is that it, then? Pretty much. With a caveat.

If you’re really quick, you might be able to find a 2020 Chevrolet Suburban, Tahoe or GMC Yukon with adjustable pedals. These models were redesigned for 2021, and the feature was removed. Why? Well, here’s the company line from a GM spokesperson:

“The decision was made to remove the adjustable pedals, as the seat travel on the new Tahoe and Suburban have been extended fore and aft, and, in conjunction with the telescoping steering column, was designed to fit a multitude of varying customer requirements.”

After having driven both the 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon, I’m going to say they should have kept the ability to adjust the pedals.

The bottom line on adjustable pedals

Even though seats are more adjustable and tilt/telescoping steering wheels are prevalent, there is still a need for adjustable pedals – especially on large SUVs and trucks. More often than not, when I put my seat in a far-forward position, that means I’m eating the steering wheel.

I just can’t push it far enough away to make it safe for my petite stature.

But if I could push my seat back 2 inches, adjust the pedals and leave the steering wheel pushed all the way in, that would make my driving position better and safer. As it is, in most of these vehicles, if I were ever in an accident where airbags deployed, the best-case scenario is a broken nose. I don’t want to think about the worst case.

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  1. Adjustable pedals is needed. Moving the seat far enough up even if the steering wheel can retract in, still leaves you with your knees right up against the panels. I know, I’m a short guy and to reach the pedals, me seat has to move up, I only have 1″ between my knees and the panel once I’m settled on and driving. My tundra has knee airbags, I bet that won’t feel great when it deploys.

    • Yep, you nailed the issue exactly. As a petite driver I worry about both my face and knees when it comes to airbag deployment. The more I write about adjustable pedals, the more I learn taller people have this problem, too!! It boggles my mind that automakers call this a gimmick.

  2. I have adjustable pedals in my current 2011 suburban. I test drove the 2021 today and while everything else is nice in the car…. the driver seat is the worst. I cannot reach the pedals!!! And I am 5’3. This totally sucks. I will NOT be buying until adjustable pedals are brought back. Guess I will be test driving the Expedition and Navigator now. Bummer for Chevrolet. Ford is going to attract so many petite women on this option alone. I’d rather keep my 2011 as it drives way nicer and more comfortable.

  3. I have been a Medic for a long time and seen thousands of accidents. Adjustable pedals could have prevented a lot of injuries especially in the vertically challenged population. They were unable to distance themselves far enough from the steering wheel ,and sustained injuries.For example: lung and cardiac contusions, fractured ribs from the airbag deployment. Proper positioning in the seat cannot be achieved by a seat and steering wheel adjustment .Everyone’s arm and legs very in sizes ,and you have to accommodate all driver for there safety .By eliminating this feature on vehicles as a option you have made it impossible to achieve the proper safety measures. Hopefully you will reconsider your decision.Thanks


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