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Could you live comfortably in a subcompact?

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Small cars are relatively cheap to own and operate. But their compactness makes them challenging to live in. Let’s take a look at one person’s solution.

The key to this setup was removing the passenger and rear seats. Some people resist doing that because it harms the car’s resale value, or because they don’t have anyplace to store the seats until it’s time to reinstall them. But are the couple of hundred bucks you may or may not make sometime in the future worth more than having a rent-free place to live right now and for several years to come? Would living miserably cramped for several years because you kept the seats installed be worth a slightly better resale price? I say do what’s good for you now, because the future isn’t guaranteed.

This Toyota Yaris is dimensionally similar to many subcompacts. It’s about four feet wide at the doors and from the front seats to the very rear of the interior. But it’s about seven feet from the dash to the rear when the passenger seat is deleted. That’s room to stretch out and sleep flat.

Removing the passenger and rear seats also allows you to build a level floor that’s lower than the seat cushions were, increasing headroom a little. Space under the floor provides storage — storage that’s out of sight, helping to keep the car uncluttered and feeling more spacious.

Your mattress could be separate cushions that can be rearranged into seating, and a low folding table can provide work and eating space.

If you aren’t lucky enough to find perfectly sized containers like this person did, duffle bags and stuff sacks can be squeezed to fit nearly any space, such as around the sides of the spare tire.

If you’re in a subcompact car, you can make it a viable option. And if you’re in a little bigger car or an SUV, and you’re willing to take out the seats, you can have plenty of space.

I hope this helps, that it gives you hope and a direction to go.

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