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Best Vehicles for Tall and/or Large Drivers

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  • jobiekjobiek Posts: 4
    I can help. I am 6'-6" My inseam is 36 inches. I tried out virtually car at the Minneapolis, MN Auto Show. These are the new cars I fit in. When I say fit in I mean comfortably and could drive a long distance.
    1. 2007 Toyota Avalon
    2. 2007 Nissan Altima
    3. 2007 VW Passat
    4. 2007 VW Jetta including the GLI
    5. 2007 VW GTI
    6. 2007 VW EOS
    7. 2007 VW Rabbit
    8. 2007 Mini Cooper Coupe (not convertible as the 2007 rag top is the 2006 style body)

    If you want a great reliable used car try out a 2003 or 2004 Toyota Avalon XLS. Not a pretty car but very plush on the inside. Besides who cares what it looks like on the outside when you're riding in pure luxury and comfort.

    Joe
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Helpful post - thanks. Some of those are surprising.
  • vey helpful! they have a new nissan altima hybrid out now, however this is nissan's first hybrid car, and im sure all the bugs arent worked out of it. thanks for the tips. we will be going to the vw dealership to test drive i'm sure!
  • longleglongleg Posts: 9
    I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of the Saturn Astra this fall. The specs indicate great driver's leg room, and this review by a 6'3" driver is very promising.
  • sbohlsonsbohlson Posts: 2
    I sure it has already been mentioned, but the Scion Xb has a ton of driver and passenger space. I'm 6'6" about 250lbs. I fit comfortably and have two kids in the back seat with plenty of room. Not much storage space and the looks are not for everyone. It does make a good commuter car.
  • orbit9090orbit9090 Posts: 110
    Re: Cars For Tall People \ Vehicles for Tall Drivers

    - For 2008 the Ford Five Hundred will be called Taurus, and it's twin, the Mercury Montego, will be called Sable.
    - The Scion Xb and Saturn VUE will be all-new for 2008. Measurements on chart apply to the 2007 models.
    >
    Cars For Tall People \ Vehicles for Tall Drivers

    image
  • longleglongleg Posts: 9
    Orbit - I am curious where this chart comes from. If it is something you are maintaining, do you have one that gives preference to driver's legroom?

    The biggest problem I have as a tall driver is the driver's leg room and lack of leg support. Given that, I have to take exception to the Honda Fit. It has a particularly short driver's seat travel, regardless of what the numbers look like. As mentioned in a previous post, the VW Rabbit and Jetta models have much better than average leg room/support (too bad their current fuel economy is worse than average.)
  • orbit9090orbit9090 Posts: 110
    I'm 6'2" tall.
    I agree with you, longleg, that legroom measurements can be misleading. For example, the Honda Pilot (not on the chart) is rated with 83.3" legroom but feels totally cramped to me (It feels like the seat needs to go back another six inches). However, a Saturn VUE with a rated 81.9" has legroom so spacious that I had to move the seat forward 2" to comfortably reach the pedals. The 2007 VUE has tons of headroom too, and it has excellent ingress\egress.

    Best thing to do is find a few tall vehicles you can easily get in-and-out of, then determine if the legroom setup is also comfortable.
  • xsquid99xsquid99 Posts: 2
    I'm surprised I haven't seen the BMW 3-series mentioned much in this thread, and when I have seen it mentioned people assume its not good for tall drivers. I'm 6'6", 36" inseam, 215 lbs and my BMW 325Ci is the most comfortable car I have ever driven with regards to legroom. The seat goes back so dang far that most people who sit in the car after I get out cannot even reach the pedals.

    Unfortunately the time has come for me to get another car, and I dont want to buy another bimmer because the reliability and maintenance costs have driven me insane. My search continues...
  • orbit9090orbit9090 Posts: 110
    >>I'm surprised I haven't seen the BMW 3-series mentioned much in this thread

    No suprise to me. The BMW 3-series is way too low - you have to scrunch down and bend your neck to get in-and-out - :sick: or else bang your head. Because Ingress\Egress is so important to tall people, low BMW sedans are definitely not a good choice...except maybe the convertible with the top always kept down.
  • xsquid99xsquid99 Posts: 2
    No suprise to me. The BMW 3-series is way too low - you have to scrunch down and bend your neck to get in-and-out - or else bang your head. Because Ingress\Egress is so important to tall people, low BMW sedans are definitely not a good choice...except maybe the convertible with the top always kept down.

    Right, because the .01% of your time that you spend getting into and out of your car is just as important as the 99.9% of your time that you actually spend driving it. Sorry, I definitely fail to see the logic in your response. I commmute 2 hours each day, so actual DRIVING POSITION means everything to me. Besides, I've never hit my head getting into or out of my car.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,228
    I think the height issue is one reason why SUVs became so popular with many buyers (not just big and tall ones) - you just slide right in and out instead of having to fold yourself in and out of a sedan or coupe.

    Moderator
    Need help navigating? stever@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • caba1011caba1011 Posts: 1
    Anyone know how comfortable a Mercedes 350 2 door convertible would be for a tall guy? I saw one that I like (a 1982) but my husband is 6'6" and skeptical about fitting.
    By the way, he is very comfortable in his GMC pickup truck and OK in our family Chevy Trailblazer.
  • dewalt22dewalt22 Posts: 1
    need help finding a van to fit myself and all my rec gear im 6'8" and 295lbs looking for uesd one under 3000 to 5000 blue book price range
  • jsteigjsteig Posts: 1
    6'8" 300lbs, Pilot fit well, lots of head/leg room. And for me the critical dimension is room between the steering wheel and the console for my right knee to fit. Telescoping steering wheel helps alot (not on the Pilot).
  • I am a very large person with a leg brace needing another car. I need a car that has 22 inches between the steering wheel and the seat. I want automatic, cruise control, tilt steering wheel. I need the seat to be high enough off the ground to be easy to get out of the car. I prefer not to have a center console. I have tried the Ford Five Hundred and Mercury Sable both are easy to get in and out of. But I want a car with 30 MPG, any suggestions? Any one know about the Scion xb?
  • orbit9090orbit9090 Posts: 110
    xsquid99 wrote: Right, because the .01% of your time that you spend getting into and out of your car is just as important as the 99.9% of your time... driving it... I've never hit my head getting into or out of my car.

    xsquid99, you must a have a perfectly healthy spine. Congratulations.

    I gather you are simply not conscious of how much you bend your back & neck while squeezing into cars.

    Regardless, having to "scrunch down" 8 to 12 times per day getting in and out of a car is harmful to the neck and back.
  • orbit9090orbit9090 Posts: 110
    Ingress/Egress, also known as Sliding Entry, involves simulating an occupant’s movements while entering (ingress) and exiting (egress) a vehicle.

    Seat cushion height (ground to seat) is an important factor. Additionally, the greater the distance between the seat cushion and the roof line, the more comfortable the Ingress/Egress.

    Consumer Reports publishes a less specific measurement called "Door Top to Ground" for comparison.

    Ease of Ingress/Egress is becoming increasingly more important as the population grows taller (on average) and lives to drive to an older age. Back & neck problems such as degenerative-arthritis-of-the-spine make it difficult for many people to deal with repetitive ingress/egress discomfort caused by low slung vehicles.

    The Ingress/Egress test is an entirely different test than "headroom" or "legroom" which merely measures capacity once the occupant has already climbed inside the vehicle.
  • orbit9090orbit9090 Posts: 110
    Steve_ said: 'I think the height issue is one reason why SUVs became so popular with many buyers (not just big and tall ones) - you just slide right in and out instead of having to fold yourself in and out of a sedan or coupe.'

    Fortunately, some inexpensive and efficient new cars, such as the Toyota Yaris hatchback, Honda Fit, & Nissan Versa (aka.Renault Clio) offer 60" in height, which provides fairly comfortable Ingress\Egress. Legroom is adequate for those under 6'3". The Kia Rondo is also generously tall for its price.
  • irismgirismg Posts: 345
    My cousin is 6 foot 6, 350 lbs, and he won't fit in anything but a Suburban. Subcompact is out of the question. He needs a V8 just to carry HIM around!
  • orbit9090orbit9090 Posts: 110
    To summarize:
    The vehicles with the greatest available H2 measurement (ingress\egress) are the easiest to get in and out of.

    image

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  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,110
    People may be interested in the full page behind that diagram which is part of this more complete article on car seats.

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,226
    i'm surprised I never spotted this topic before. Anyway, at 6'5", the most comfortable vehicle I ever owned was my '98 Volvo S70.

    For the first 7 or 8 years after getting my license, I thought trucks were all I could ever be comfortable in. Plus I came from a truck family, so it was just natural. I owned a Jeep CJ7, Toyota 4runner, and Dodge Dakota in that time. Then I realized I really hated truck handling. So I went to a mazda 626. My mistake was getting one without the power seat. It was fine on a short commute, but then when I started driving more than 100 miles a day, I realized how horrible it was. Then I got my Volvo. Wow!! What a difference! Since that time, I am convinced that just about any mid-size or larger vehicle with an 8-way seat can work for us tall drivers.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • orbit9090orbit9090 Posts: 110
    Volvo, VW, BMW, whatever...Most mid-size sedans are typically the same once inside, as long as you don't wrench you back or neck scrunching down to get into the things. :sick:

    In fact, a little Hyundai Accent is just fine once settled in, and no harder to climb in-or-out of than any other typical sedan. Still, tall cars and most SUVs have better ingress\egress.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,226
    In fact, a little Hyundai Accent is just fine once settled in

    well, no. For a tall driver, your knees would be resting against the center console and door, maybe even hitting the steering wheel, and your head may be hitting the roof. Trust me, after driving even a decent sized mid-sized sedan for 25k miles per year, it is NOT comfortable without a fully-adjustable seat. I traded that car with a permanent dent in the side of the center console where my knee was always pressed against.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • orbit9090orbit9090 Posts: 110
    While for-aft leg room is just fine in most small sedans, people with a "wide stance", like senator Larry Craig, may indeed want to stick with a Buick or something.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,110
    We have resigned ourselves to the fact that such a stinging indictment is off topic here and we shouldn't let this stall our efforts to discuss legitimate issues. You can talk about Senator Craig in the Politics topic. :)

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • I checked out the '08 Matrix and Vibe (same car) and it seems like they might have improved the adjustability of the driver's seat. Where I was previously able to create adequate leg room only with the height adjuster in the VW Rabbit, the Matr-ibe/Vi-trix now seems to have the same range of adjustment. I don't recall that from the '07 that I previously tested. I was really hoping GM would deliver the new Astras this year, but I might not bother to wait any longer.
  • texasestexases Posts: 5,541
    I got an Altima loaner (no sunroof), and it had great headroom. I'm 6'5", 34" inseam, so headroom is my major issue. If it's yours, give the Altima a try.
  • bob2bob2 Posts: 10
    I am an amputee with both feet amputated above the ankle. I also have had to have a hip replacement on the right side. Suffice it to say, I have a very difficult time getting in and out of a vehicle/suv and having some level of comfort after I have gotten in. I am looking for some advice on vehicles that have the most entry and interior room. My wife and I were in Nashville the other day and we had rented a Ford Explorer to acommodate my wheelchair. The vehicle was too high and I could not get into it. I ideally think we would purchase some sort of suv or maybe a sedan with easy entry and interior room. Also can you suggest a site that gives detailed vehicle dimensions, particularly from the ground to the bottom of the vehicle. Thanks in advance for the help.

    Bob
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