A big part of what makes the cranks seem "short" is that the bottom bracket height is very high. On one hand, you might argue it helps improve clearance but really it's a function of the design with relatively large wheels.
Because the bottom bracket is so high up, your legs can't stretch as far down as they might and so you have to raise the seat height, which then brings in a whole cluster of other problems.
Sheldon Brown actually wrote about this problem here: https://www.sheldonbrown.com/upgrade.html
Traditional bikes for road use normally had bottom brackets about 10
5/8" from the road. Everybody knew that they shouldn't pedal while
leaning sharply into a high-speed corner.
When mountain bikes became the default style of bike for most buyers,
people got used to 11 1/2", 12 1/2" or even higher bottom brackets.
This is a good thing for serious off-road riding, giving better
clearance for logs, rocks, ruts and other obstacles.
Once the marketplace had become accustomed to high bottom brackets,
manufacturers became afraid to sell bikes with low ones any more. The
nightmare was that some clueless rider with a good lawyer would pedal
through a high-speed corner, catch a pedal, spin out and crash. In
court, the shyster could point to all the other bikes on the market
with high bottom brackets, and accuse the manufacturer of making an
abnormal, unsafe bike.
A high bottom bracket has no real virtue for most on-road use, and
actually represents a fairly serious drawback for the typical rider. A
higher bottom bracket should require a higher saddle. The higher
saddle precludes putting a toe down when stopping for a red light,
stop sign, etc. This is a cumulatively major inconvenience for
cyclists who ride in built-up areas. It generally makes starting and
stopping noticeably more awkward. (See: Starting and Stopping.)
Many cyclists, unaware of this change in geometry, adjust their saddle
height as they always did, with respect to their reach to the ground.
This results in their saddles' being too low for efficient pedaling,
which is harmful to the knees and encourages excessive standing