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Best Vehicles for Tall and/or Large Drivers

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  • Karen_CMKaren_CM Posts: 5,030
    Well...if we want to speculate, I wonder what kind of vehicle Yao Ming drives? He is 7' 6". I recall seeing an interview with him a couple of years ago and one portion of it was with him driving in China. I remember it was a SUV, but no clue what make/model. It must have been modified to accomodate him, but the interviewer, Lisa Ling, was sitting behind him so it still had a back seat! :confuse:

    Community Manager If you have any questions or concerns about the Forums, send me an email, karen@edmunds.com, or click on my screen name to send a personal message.

  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,109
    I believe he's driving a Toyota Sequoia - at least that's what this page says.

    image

    I wonder whether he had to modify the pedals?

    tidester, host
  • This is a bit lengthy because believe me right about now, I know your misery. I have an additional requirement as well--it's needs to fit in my one-car garage due to Florida weather. Between the two of them...it's a nightmare :)

    Let's put it this way--I have a '98 Intrigue since new and at the time I didn't realize just how much legroom this car had...until I started looking for a replacement!! This car has more Legroom than anything I've tried, of any style, as long as you get the power seat that tilts it any way you need. If you get it without the sunroof, you should definitely have enough headroom as well. Believe me, I've checked them all and for me this is the best there is. Even the BOSE stereo of that vintage runs rings around the cheaper units today--and I'm rather picky. Obviously not made anymore, look for a 2002 with low miles--or Special Edition if you can find it.

    The key to that car is in the tilting wheel that tilts only on axis and not the whole column up and down--you'll know what I mean if you've tried it. Also, it is a large mid-size car and the seat track has more room to move (195" long). The Impala is the closest they now make to the lamented Intrigue--Buick doesn't quite cut it--but of course it is too large for my garage (201" long). It's now looking like I'm going to drive my Intrigue until the wheels fall off it.
    I definitely would not say i have had the best of luck with the "incidentals" of my '98 (A/C broken, power windows broken, etc), but mechanically it's been a dream with no complaints there.

    Here's what you can take OUT of the equation and your shopping list if your proportions are close to mine and you don't want to get into iffy seat modifications:

    ANY Hyundai (high hopes for Azera were dashed in seconds)
    ANY Honda except maybe Ridgeline
    ANY Toyota (heard 2007 Camry SE had more seat track but haven't seen SE)
    ANY Subaru
    ANY Acura (including MDX)
    ANY Infinity except M35/45 seemed to be pretty roomy but $$$
    ANY Lexus
    ANY GM other than Impala and maybe Buick. New Saturn Aura is a beaut though and wish it fit

    Basically shopping is either considered very frustrating, or very easy.

    Olds Intrigue, Chevy Impala, Infinity M35/45...oh, and '86 Camry had a lot of LR too.

    Good luck...I'm sure you're having as much fun as I am shopping. Hope this helps in your search.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Good post - thanks for all that great info!
  • Since you're a lot taller and bigger than me, I'm curious what your view is on the bench v. bucket seat/center console issue is. It seems like you don't mind a cener console on the floor between the driver's and front passenger's seat. Thanks.
  • smith1smith1 Posts: 283
    The 2007 Camry (all models) does have a LOT of seat track extension. More than the current Avalon, which as a likely future Avalon buyer I find annoying. The Avalon has more hip and shoulder room however.
  • I have talked on other boards and gotten some suggestions, but found this and thought I would try here, too.
    Not real big, 6'1", 240lbs, but fused vertabrae with metal rods from hip to thoracic spine. Arthritic, 65 years old and need to sit up straight. I have been dring minvans and SUVs, but am interested in looking for a sedan. The best I have found is the Ford 500, but have issues with FoMoCo.
    Anyone here have some suggestions? :confuse:
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    I understand how you can develop "issues" with a particular brand (I have stayed away from GM vehicles since 1983, though I would consider one now except their current sedan options haven't been anything to get me excited, not their current reliability)

    However, I would suggest you reconsider Ford 500. It has a very proven engine, a lot of engineering input from Volvo, particularly in the safety structure area, and there appear to have been very few quality or reliability issues on it to date. About the only knock on it is a few people think it is underpowered, and the styling is too sedate, but you will likely find the power sufficient and styling is clean on it, if not exciting. You don't drive styling, anyways. Plus, 500 is affordable.
  • know how they measure legroom, but it never seems to work

    going off pure numbers in this stuff hardly ever works

    you have to go sit in everything
    and try everything
    you would be surprised what you fit into and what you don't
  • smith1smith1 Posts: 283
    I absolutely agree. The manufacturer legroom numbers are meaningless because each mfr figures it differently. Consumer Reports attempts to measure each car the same way, but I still find you can't go by their numbers. You have to try each car.
  • Any tall ones tried the Honda Element? Plenty of extra headroom.
  • nowakj66nowakj66 Posts: 709
    Headroom has always been good on Elements. I am 6' 4" and I was pleasantly suprised that for me, for whatever reason, the 2007 Element SC seems to have less steering wheel interference with my legs than prior models.
  • At theautochannel.com using their Rank-By-Specs, you can get a list of vehicles sorted by dozens of specifications including legroom. You can also choose the list by type of vehicles.
  • smith1smith1 Posts: 283
    Problem is, they use the mfr's legroom specs and as stated above they are not measured consistently.
  • My husband and I are in the midst of car search. Nice to see this string of people with similar problems. He is 6'6". We have two small kids in car seats, so additional requirements. AND, we'd love something diesel or hybrid. Fat Chance! He drives a faithful '94 Explorer now. Here's what we've found, thinking maybe it can help someone.

    I drive a Subaru WRX (2002). He can drive it due to very adjustable seat. Zero room behind him. And, he wouldn't last long-distance. The seats are not comfortable. But, its ok.

    New Explorer - No. So many SUV's are so 'puffy' inside now all the space is gone. The new Explorers look really plastic now too. Off the list. Along with Suburban, etc.

    Chevy Impala - rented one at Disneyland and almost came home and bought one. HUGE trunk, good room for kids. He was pretty comfortable. Was not something we had thought of before, but is on our list still.

    Volvo XC90 - current front runner for us. Good kid room. OK back space, and third seat. OK for husband. As with all cars, mirror in the middle of sight path. I think you learn to deal with that though. Reliability issues with this car, so hoping the Yamaha engine is better.

    Volvo wagons - no

    Honda Element - GREAT IN EVERY WAY - EXCEPT! Knees on dash. Why on earth they make the car enormous, and then make the useless dash stick out I'll never fathom. No.

    Mercedes R - Yes. We found this car to be nearly perfect. Right up until you have to pay for it. Figures! Great room in front, and in back. Comes as diesel. Too bad. Need winning lotto ticket.

    Volkswagen Toureg. Adequate. Could work. Cant afford the diesel, though they are back this year, so maybe some used in a year or two. Similar mirror issue to volvo.

    Volkswagen Bug - this actually works ok! Doesn't suit our lifestyle now, and my husband looks like he's exiting a clown car, but it works. Great seat and steering wheel.

    Dodge Magnum. Hard to see out, but great leg room. I think OK head room. Eats too much gas for us, but otherwise, could work.

    Good luck fellow tall drivers.
  • TOYOTA FJ CRUISER

    I am 6'5 and 400lbs so I fit the taller and larger part of this. Low console allows for hip room, tons of leg and head room. I have about the biggest shoulders of anyone i have ever met and I have room inside. I understand it is a niche vehicle, but it fits our needs and it has the things I want (4x4, power)
  • nowakj66nowakj66 Posts: 709
    Try a Honda Oddyssey. I am 6' 4" and I do not need the seat all the way back.

    Great room and safety for kids too. Better mileage than an SUV.
  • I'm 6'4" and bought a 2007 Buick Lucerne without a sunroof. Plenty of head and legroom for me.
  • hardhawkhardhawk Posts: 702
    I am 6'4" and love my Magnum. Plenty of room for me in both rows and good luggage capacity. Love my Hemi engine as well and still get 25 MPG on the highway. Another car you may want to check out this summer will be the former Ford 500 which will be renamed Taurus with the early 2008 model this summer. Incredible room in both rows, a trunk larger than a Lincoln Town Car, and with the 2008 model a more powerful engine that will correct the biggest problem with the car. Add in the AWD option if you need it and you have a great car. It is conservatively styled, but sure is big on room and value.
  • cabluecablue Posts: 48
    We have the same problem. My husband is 6'6" with long legs. We've eliminated the cadillac srx and audi a6. He just doesn't fit. Volvo xc90 is okay. Acura mdx he really likes. But our final pick is the new BMW x5 for our wants and needs. He felt very comfortable in this. Of course, our Suburban works well as does his Lincoln LS without sunroof, which is his daily driver. He's very happy with that car. :shades:
  • I've checked a few more as my Intrigue is beginning to "intrigue" me more and more as to how long it will last :)

    Reminder: 6'8" tall with 38-40" inseam. Basically car shopping is a nightmare.

    First more to cross off: Dodge Nitro and Avenger are a joke. Suzuki and Mitsubishi new SUVs, Nissan Altima and Maxima aren't much better. I couldn't believe I couldn't fit into an FJ Cruiser either. Now for cars I can't fit in ANY Nissan, ANY Toyota, ANY Honda/Acura. Fords don't come close and is best summed up with this experience with the new Mustang. "Wow...this is a nice-scaled model, now can I see the real car?" Oh what fun. My mantra: not going the "modify seat" route so if I brush the steering wheel with my knee at all as I work the pedals it's out--no matter what the dealer throws my way.

    All the big Chrysler/Dodge cars are definitely roomy enough as if they were custom-built--300, Magnum, Charger. However, they do not fit into my "one car" garage--WAY too wide.

    KIA--now this was quite a surprise! I get very close to fitting both the ('06.5-'07) Optima and the Amanti. The Amanti may look even more "grandfatherly" than a Buick (if that's possible) and apparently Infiniti (audio) didn't feel this buyer's segment knew what mp3 was. HOWEVER, this thing has the good kind of "GM" steering wheel tilt and the hot Azera 260HP powerplant under the hood. It's worth a look! The Optima has the regular tilt/telescope (comes close) and been outfitted with an underpowered V6 (get the I4), but a KILLER stereo in it complete with tape deck--and yes mp3. I'm picky and I was very impressed--one of the best stocks I've heard with a potent sub. And there's that warranty. KIA is "1988 Hyundai Excel" (owned by H) no longer that's for sure--if you are tall and car shopping I would check these out for sure.

    My choice as the the later-model cars start to come down in price is the Infiniti M35--this one fits both me AND my garage. I remember trying it at a car show and it had way more room than the (Nissan) Altima or Maxima--it also has some serious performance and amenities. Now if it would just get better mileage...and they would dump the overrated BOSE systems and get the far superior...Infiniti (of course!)

    Good luck all
  • I recently purchased a 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited without a sunroof. I am 6'4" and over 300lbs. Room for 2 car seats in the 2nd row. Nice vehicle.

    Our other car is a 2005 Volvo XC90. I fit in that also. The XC90 also has the third row seats. So we can put one of the kids in the third row and I can put the seat all the way back when I drive.

    Hope this is helpful. When I was shopping I also tested and fit in the VW Passat and Hyundai Sonata. I did not fit in the Hyundai Azera or any Honda products.

    I traded a 2004 Ford Expedition for the Hyundai. The Expedition had more comfort and room but was a major lemon.
  • cabluecablue Posts: 48
    How is the xc90 if the kids are in the 2nd row? My kids would be in the 2nd row. Are you still comfortable to drive with someone behind you? Also, is it true that you cannot play a cd you burned at home in the cd player? That's what a salesman told me. I found that surprising.
    Thanks! :shades:
  • orbit9090orbit9090 Posts: 110
    Check out the SATURN VUE with the available adjustable seat height and NO Sunroof.

    The Saturn Vue has better ingress\egress height (distance between roof rail and seat cushion) than every vehicle I have tried except the quirky Honda Element, and the Vue also has amazing legroom. :shades:
  • orbit9090orbit9090 Posts: 110
    Cars For Tall People \ Vehicles for Tall Drivers
    image
  • dwsmidwsmi Posts: 1
    There was recently a car show in Memphis & Ford is re-naming the 500 as the Taurus & is putting in their new 3.5L Duratec V6 with the new 6 speed transmission that has just come out on the "Edge". That might be another reason to consider the vehicle. Ford is also re-naming the "Freestyle"(wagon looking vehicle) :) as a Taurus X & this will also have the same engine & transmission.
  • jim150jim150 Posts: 1
    We searched for a car my 6'-6" 300+ lbs son could drive occasionally, and have this to report:

    Definitely, you need to actually try out the car - published dimensions don't help much. Look for tilt and telescoping steering wheel, and power seats.

    Short list of vehicles that fit:
    2007 Nissan Altima with power seat (tilt, telescoping).
    2007 Camry with power seat (tilt, telescoping).
    2007 Ford Fusion with power seat (tilt, telescoping).

    TOO SMALL, even with power seat etc:
    Ford 500, Hyundai Sonata.
    All Kias, all Suzukis, all Subarus, all Hondas, all Mitsubishis, Hyundais. All Toyotas (except Camry).

    We could not find any small or medium SUV that fit -
    not RAV4, Highlander, Pilot, CRV, Ford Escape.

    One more thing: don't count on the sales person to know their products: the first Ford dealer showed me several vehicles, but not the Fusion. The first Toyota dealer didn't even suggest the Camry.
  • jaymagicjaymagic Posts: 309
    I 6'2" and over 300lbs unfortunately. I have an 07 Azera Ltd and have no trouble getting in (electric tele and tilt wheel) and getting a comfortable seating postion. Still plenty of room behind me.
  • Hi- my husband is 6'6 with very long legs and we have been searching for the perfect car for months now. he drives a honda accord, about 100 miles per day to and from work, so we need something large enough for him and with relatively good gas mileage as well, so far, the only thing he has really liked is the acura tl, but even that gas mileage isnt the greatest. any suggestions on a good commuter car could be? also, he loves the new toyota tundra, as his test on any car is to get into the back and see if he fits. does anyone have the new tundra or experienced it and if so, how is it?
  • hardhawkhardhawk Posts: 702
    He would be overjoyed to ride in the back of the new Tundra Crewmaxx pickup. It has as much or more rear seat room than the Dodge Ram Megacab. It really is roomy. Poor mileage, however.
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