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Best Vehicles for Tall and/or Large Drivers

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  • n0tyn0ty Posts: 1
    My wife and I have two Toyota Sienna Minivans (2004 & 2005). We're large (350 lbs), but we fit nicely into them. What a fabulous car! I have 145,000 miles on mine (2004) and it's like brand new! It was garaged the whole time, and doesn't have any rust. Make sure to use full synthetic oil, have it changed regularly, and the engine will last forever!
  • crash99crash99 Posts: 1
    That's actually incorrect advice for Toyotas. My first Toyota was a 1971 Crown, My last one was a 1984 Supra. All of my Toyotas went over 150,000 miles. The Supra went to 183,000.

    All were sold with engines that pretty much "ran like new". All had oil changes between 7000 and 12000 mile intervals. None were ever exposed to synthetic oil.

    When the manufacturer recommends oil changes every 7500 miles, it's a conservative recommendation. Changing oil more frequently will have little benefit. The most critical thing you can do for your Toyota when it comes to oil is to make sure it is never more than a quart low.

    If you keep oil in your engine in a Toyota, the car will rust well before the engine ever fails.
  • I dont think its safe for some one 300lb to ride around in a honda small car , any time your in the car and sitting next to driver and your arms and butt is touching the person the car is to small my god what would happen if they crash? I just hate to see 300-500 pound people gettibg in and out of real small cars just to say I have a car. :sick: :mad: :(
  • dovo329dovo329 Posts: 1
    I'm 6'7" 230 lbs so not gigantic but I am above the mass production bell curve.

    I found the kia soul to be roomy as my head doesn't hit the roof, my knees aren't wedged in, I can drive the manual transmission relatively comfortable, the seats are significantly higher than most cars so that helps with blood circulation and comfort, the headrest will actually keep my head from whiplashing back (first time I've found that to be the case in a car) fitting where it's supposed to, and it's also one of the most inexpensive new cars available.

    So I'd recommend trying this model out and adding it to your list.
  • I'm 6'5, 385. I have driven a 2006 Mini Cooper S for the last 5 years and it is the most comfortable unmodified car I have ever owned. The front seats can slide all the way into contact with the rear, and I have heard of people as tall as 6'9-6'10 finding it to be comfortable to drive. Cargo space is limited and fuel economy isn't as good as many other subcompacts but it is a LOT of fun to drive and it does very well in crash tests (both simulated and the real 70 mph multicontact wreck I walked away from a few years ago AND after which my Mini was repaired). I have a feeling that it my bad mileage in it is because I just can't resist pushing it hard.

    When I was looking to buy, the other cars on my shortlist were the Mazda 6, VW Golf, and Dodge Magnum. The roomiest driver appointment was the VW, by far. But there were no R32's left to test drive and peaky the 1.8T was extremely underwhelming to drive. The Magnum/Charger was comfortable as well but priced way too high for me at the time and I was also dissatisfied by the lack of any manual transmission offerings. The Mazda6 was a big surprise. It was far roomier than other cars in its class and with the V6, it was pretty quick, too. I never got to drive the Speed6 variant but I know I would have loved it. The big downside that pushed me back to the Mini dealership was the Mazda's airbag-equipped B-pillars ecclipsing the shoulder space of a seat moved all the way back.
  • bajababajaba Posts: 3
    I'm 6'11" and currently drive a Chrysler intrepid '98 which i find very roomy inside but to get in and out of this thing can be agony sometimes as its so low to the ground. I'd love to get something more economical as well but the main priority is getting something that fits--any idea's?
    Have been thinking on a minivan and have heard that some of the new small cars fit tall people but someone close to 7 feet probably not. I have in the past driven VW rabbit and nissan sentra both of which i found not too bad. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,520
    edited July 2011
    I was going to suggest VW (Golf or GTI, although I suggest Golf because the sculpted seat in the GTI makes exit a bit more difficult), as it really is better situated for taller drivers (I'm 6'5" and can put on my helmet while in the car and don't even need to adjust the seat down to its lowest position). A salesman once suggested to me that German cars in general are designed to accomodate taller folks than Japanese cars (for instance).

    This is unconfirmed, but someone I work with recently purchased a Kia Soul and tells me it has a tremendous amount of headroom, too (he's probably around 6'2").

    '13 Stang GT; '15 Fit; '98 Volvo S70; '14 Town&Country

  • bajababajaba Posts: 3
    thanks for the suggestions, the VW's do seem to fit quite well, I haven't tried the KIA soul yet but have taken a peek in a few and the only thing that concerns me is the dash that sticks out, I find when that occurs its too tight for my leg between the steering column and dash. Again thanks for the reply much appreciated
  • Have not tried vws. Nissan cube is nice for my body type, short legs long torso. I weigh about 600 lbs and currently drive a 96 ford windstar and a 91 caddy deville coupe. I have been looking for a new car and i believe there has never been a car designed with someone my size in mind which really there wouldnt be a great demand for them but it would seem that in designing something comfortable for someone my size everyone smaller would benefit. Cars and trucks that im able to get into, not so much be comfortable driving. Coupes including the cobalt, cavalier, and monte carlo. Ive not found a sedan that im able to get into except for a grand marquis i have not had a chance to try its sister cars. Ford taurus, kia rio, pt cruiser, g6, jeep liberty, dodge caravan, chevy minivan, toyota tacoma ext and crew cab, do not work due to the following reason. Usually the distance between the steering wheel and the B pillar are what stops me from getting into most cars and minivans. Ive gotten into a 2006 Ford Freestar and a 2005 Nissan Quest, Honda Oddessy was about the right size it seems , even drove the quest and enjoyed it but as far as being safe in an accident i do not believe there is a car made where the airbag is far enough from me to deploy without hitting me. Ext and crew cab trucks from ford and chevy, only two ive had a chance to try, seemed to have the most room of anything ive tried. The honda element was almost big enough except for the steering wheel. Well I hope this helps someone thats looking for a vehicle.
  • benb2benb2 Posts: 1
    edited September 2011
    I'm 6'5", 250, of a large build all around and have a bad back. I wanted to share some observations I've made while shopping for a new car.

    I drive a LOT, averaging 25k/year, and need something comfortable for long trips. I owned a Honda Fit, but the ergonomics and seats were so uncomfortable I traded it in within a year. I very much liked my Edge, but it was sadly totaled two weeks ago. New minivans are all too expensive for me, and many used cars don't make financial sense for long-term/high-use ownership. Trucks are all out because of Chicago laws that restrict open-bed vehicles from certain important roads.

    There are several standouts for me for driving position and comfort, but all lack fuel economy and become very expensive to own. The Ford Edge (and other Ford SUVs) combined good entry and ergonomics for me but are very expensive to fuel. The CX-7 and 9 are also comfy but require premium gas. The GMC Acadia (and GM sisters) are similar - comfortable, spacious and thirsty.

    The Maxima and Altima offer a lot of front-seat room/adjustability and are on the short list. The Jetta TDI Sportwagen offers great value and has been saved from the cost-cutting shortcuts seen on the sedans, but it's a car I basically have to fall to get into. Getting in and out of low cars every day is not good for us tall folk. Subaru's Outback and Forester are both close on price to the Jetta (TDI trim) and are nicer to get in and out of, but suffer from a lousy-feeling drivetrain. The Mazda 6 is comfortable if there is no sunroof.

    The other cheaper SUV/hatches are either too small or have glaring flaws. The Cube is enormous inside but is rubbish to drive. Loud, hard, slow. The Scion Xb's dash is set too low for me and I have a hard time reaching the controls. The Mini Cooper fits very well but has a harsh ride for long trips - I regularly spend 3+ hours in my car a day.

    Right now I'm leaning towards the TDI because it ends up being a couple hundred dollars LESS a month to run than the others, thanks to the great mileage. I'm a bit of a corner-case, being tall and driving so many miles, so my options are even fewer than for most. On top of it all, I play music and have to move large equipment around so a hatch is almost a must (I could just rent a van when needed). My uncle in Sweden drives a Ford Mondeo diesel wagon and I have been green with envy ever since driving it. The Mazda 6 is basically the same car but you can't get a wagon version in the states, nor a diesel. I'll just have to deal with the poor entry/exit.
  • Well, my search for a tall person vehicle has been ongoing for years. I keep looking and still drive my 2000 ford f-150 until we find something else. The worst, as a group, are vehicles with sunroofs- no headroom. Also, the mid-size cars seem to be worse than smaller cars.

    You would think that pickup trucks would be the best-think again. Some trucks are good- the ford f-150 being one, and the fords older than 2003 are best. Some trucks have enough headroom but the windshield is too short, or the roof slopes down too far. Examples : NissanTitan, Toyota Tundra after 2007, Chev Silverado. I can't see stop signs from these vehicles.

    In suv's the Subaru Forester has OK headroom but the seats are terrible. The Honda CRV in models without sunroof have decent headroom and good windshield visibility. I would have bought one if they still came equipped with a manual 5 speed. The Honda Pilot has enough headroom in models without sunroof, but I didn't find the seats to be very good- the lumbar is too low for a tall guy.

    In cars, it's hard to beat the headroom in the Volkswagen new Beetle. Otherwise, I haven't found a passenger car I can sit in- either as a passenger or a driver......cheers, 2Grumpy.
  • hey you should look into the mini cooper as long as u dont push it to the max it is fun to drive handles nice an is roomy. You have 3 more inches on me but i test drove one an am now looking into buying one also the kia soul is a comfy car for us taller guys. I hope this helps u out. peace
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,261
    A reporter would like to interview anyone who has used Edmunds.com's Car Match.

    Please email pr@edmunds.com by November 4, 2011 with your daytime phone number and a comment about your experience.

    Moderator
    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • I'm 6'7", 300lbs and recently traded in my 2008 Toyota Camry Hybrid (which was surpisingly comfortable but tough getting in and out of) for a 2012 Chevy Equinox 2LT. I absolutely love this car. It has a moonroof and I still have plenty of headroom, enough to do the fist test and pass. The rear seat slides back and reclines to give passengers more leg room if you typically have the drivers seat pushed all the way back. I have tons of leg room with the seat all the way back, but I can comfortably move it forward a few inches if I had to. Even with my seat all the way back, I had a 6'1" adult sitting behind me with no issues.

    Very comfortable leather seat with lumbar and heat, nav system is terrific and the dash lights up in an Ice Blue color that looks fantastic at night. Throw in the power liftgate and backup camera and I was sold! I was between this and the 2011 Subaru Outback, but this had more legroom and was more comfortable overall. I'm averaging 26mpg so far, which isn't bad for an AWD vehicle. My right knee doesn't rest against the center console like in my Toyota, there is plenty of room. Overall I couldn't be happier and I get tons of compliments. Great option for a tall person that has decent fuel economy, all wheel drive and lots of room, even with the moonroof!! :shades:
  • After my previous post, We went back and tried another Honda Pilot. We ended up buying one, an EX, ( no sunroof ) and all I had to do to get comfortable is put a pad behind my back to make the bulge from the lumbar support hit me a bit higher. The rest of the vehicle is so good, that this is a small inconvenience. We are enjoying the utility of the Pilot, and no headroom problems at all. By the way, it is a better driver than most people would guess.....2Grumpy.
  • Well, I am 6'6" and 270 lbs. Long torso so headroom is premium. Best car I ever had for fit was my 2006 BMW 330I but too expensive to own.

    I traded the BMW in for a 2011 Kia Optima. This is a GREAT car for the $'s. VERY roomy both leg room and head room and still room in the back seat. Only drawback is that the seats aren't terrific for thigh support (a little short). But all in all, for the $'s, you should really check it out.

    Oh, and a 200 hp 4 cyl that gets 35 mpg on the highway. Mine was $23K out the door, brand new.
  • Tall guys: get the seat track moved back. Cost me $200 for a Nissan Rogue, and I got five extra inches. My Dad did the same, at the same company in the mid-80's for his car.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,261
    What kind of shop did it? Auto body or dealer or indy mechanic?

    Was there any discussion about liability concerns? Did you happen to ask your insurance company if there was any problem with moving the seat track?

    Moderator
    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,520
    Problem with just moving it back is that it puts you further from the steering wheel. As it is, I find wheels don't telescope enough for my comfort. I bring the seat forward to where I'm compromising a bit of leg comfort so I don't have to have my arms stretched out to full extension (which is a detriment to car control).

    '13 Stang GT; '15 Fit; '98 Volvo S70; '14 Town&Country

  • it would be helpful to have a website where all the vehicles are listed and an option to sort the list by one or more key fields.

    1) Driver head room
    2) Driver leg room
    3) Average MPG
    4) Standard Warranty length
    5) Price

    It is a real pain sorting through all the MFG hype just to find a few key elements.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,261
    Hm, you can go the Car Finder tool here and sort by body style, price and mpg. The take four choices and compare them. Once you do that you look at the warranty and the head leg room measurements.

    It's a start even though you can't first sort by head room.

    Moderator
    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • chris_s_2010chris_s_2010 Posts: 2
    edited February 2012
    I am 6'4" and my son is 6'6". I needed a "new" used car that would work for both of us and have adequate leg and headroom in both the front and back seats. I wanted a sedan that was relatively new and had decent fuel economy. In the end, I bought a 2010 Camry Hybrid and I am very happy with it.

    One Saturday morning, I took my son with me and we did a tour of the local car dealers trying out all of the sedans we could find. This included Camry, Accord, Hyundai, Kia and Ford Fusion. I liked the Hyundai Sonata and that was my first choice based on looks. According to the specs on paper, it has the best front legroom (45.5"), good front headroom (40"), average rear headroom but relatively poor rear legroom. The front seat does have good leg and head room. If you don't use the back seat much (at least for tall people), then this would be a pretty good choice for a tall driver. With the sloping roof line, the back seat would not be comfortable for six-footers. The only model choice is the GL because all of the rest have a sunroof and that makes the front headroom inadequate. The GL does not come with an electric driver's seat (it may be an option if you buy it new). It does have an adjustable steering wheel. I still liked the car but it felt a bit cramped overall, even sitting in the front seat.

    We tried the Kia (same basic car as the Hyundai), the Accord (they didn't have one in stock without a sunroof) and the Fusion (felt cramped - especially in the back). I already have an older Camry and I really like it (even though front legroom is limited). A newer Camry wasn't at the top of my list because the interior dimensions on paper just seemed average, Toyota has been having some reliability issues and the styling was pretty conservative. Once we sat in it, there was no turning back. Initially we tried a 2012 and it is a bit larger than the older models but not by much. The front leg and headroom was very good and with the electric driver's seat (and adjustable steering wheel), it made it even better. With a squarer roof line than the Sonata (and most other sedans), the back seat was also very good for leg and head room. We started looking for used Camry's and I found a 2010 Hybrid that we liked so we bought it. We just finished a vacation trip to Florida in it and we found it to be very comfortable and at 40+ mpg, very efficient as well. Luggage room in the trunk is a bit limited because of the battery pack but the car fit three adults and our luggage quite adequately. For local use, it can comfortably fit 4 or even 5 adults with adequate headroom for six-footers in front and back.

    In conclusion, I recommend the Camry, and especially the Hybrid for its interior room as well as its efficiency. I did quite a bit of research on the Camry Hybrid and found that it has an excellent reliability record. The Toyota engineers seem to have done a really good job on this car. Unlike the Prius, the Camry Hybrid feels pretty much like a normal car. It has a lot of technology in it but this hasn't lead to lots of failures or expensive replacement of parts. With 2 engines and dual braking systems, many key parts aren't under as much stress as they would be in a normal gas engine car. The battery pack was designed to last for the life of the car and so far, that seems to be the case. I also learned that you have to try them out to get a real feel for the interior room. I still don't understand how the Sonata and the Camry can both be rated as having the same rear headroom (37.8") when they are, in fact, so different. There are quite a few Camry Hybrids so it isn't too hard to find a used one at a fairly reasonable price. I ended up paying about the same as I was expecting to pay for a used 2011 (non-hybrid) Sonata.
  • I am 6'7" approx 450ish. I currently drive a 2006 Dodge Ram Quad Cab which is far and away the most roomiest vehicle I have ever driven. I just bought a 2012 Kia Soul for my daughter who is 5'8" and took the opportunity to "try on" Kia's SUV line. Given that I am evenly split (long legs long torso) nothing was really comfortable as a daily driver. I have several friends who bring by their trucks to see how I fit the Ford Series is hard on head room but ok on leg room. I test drove a 2011 Chevrolet Avalanche and was completely impressed.

    I am in the market for a mid-sized SUV to replace my truck. The cost of fuel is KILLING me at 14 miles per gallon. I am going to try Honda, GMC and Hyundai. I am hoping to stay 27k or less. Due to injuries sustained while I was military, cars are just too painful to get in and out of...that being said, my ex did get me to try her 2011 Yaris and she got a great laugh, it just was not designed for a guy with a 60" chest.
  • So...after alot of research I finally went and purchased a 2012 GMC Terrain (SLE2). At 6'7" and girthy..."trying on" the car is always mandatory. It makes the shorter sales people celebrate that they are not taller and can be quite a laugh. I first went and tried the 2012 Hyundai Santa Fe. It was a little short on head and legroom, though trying a model with power seats gave me about an inch to spare, but my knees were about 1/2" from the dash. I just could not imagine a long drive without road rage. I went next to GMC and tried the terrain. It has about 2 1/2" more leg room than my Full-Sized Dodge Ram 1500 (quad cab) and about equal headroom. The hip room is snug but comfortable (God, I need to lose weight) and the shoulders had suprising room. I was going to try the equinox, but found out it is 3" more narrow than the terrain. While I was there, I sat in their full sized GMC SUV and OMG...what room!!!. But I was determined not to pay almost $40k for my new car plus the economy would ave left me only a little better than staying in my truck.

    What fits in a car is very different depending on your build, I am cursed with a long body and a 36" inseam and a 60" chest. I wish car dealers would tailor advertising a little toward our market. I found the Terrain easy to get in and out of with a tilt/telescoping wheel. It sits high enough to not be hard on my knees but low enough that I am not climbing into it. It uses E85 fuel so I am anticipating an almost $200 a month drop in fuel costs by moving from my Dodge to this. At a $29k sticker price for the SLE2 package with power/heater seats and AWD It was an easy sell.
  • Hello bigguy72712 - I found the exact same thing that you did with the GMC Terrain!! I am 6'7" with a 37" inseam and virtually gave up on finding an SUV with decent leg room and head room. It was by accident (literally) that I found the GMC Terrain. Our car was hit while at a stop light and we got the Terrain as a rental vehicle - I could not believe how much leg room there is once the seat is all the way back and tilted! I can almost stretch my 37" inseam legs all the way out (seat back AND tilted back), and with the telescoping steering wheel, I can just reach the wheel. More room than any car (although the new Buick Regal has almost as much, but less shoulder room). Also, the back seat slides forward/aft so with the back seat all the way back, there's a little room behind me (the driver) as well.

    For all you tall folks out there, please try the GMC Terrain (or the sister vehicle the Chevrolet Equinox - 2010 on) if you need leg and head room, you will be pleasantly surprised.
    Thank you GM for puting some leg room in your vehicles - if you put the seat back further, you can always slide the seat up if your short, but you can never slide it back...
  • I am 6'5, over 300, 34" inseam, 56" chest. The point isn't only what car is comfortable once you are in it, but getting in and out. I normally drive a 2009 Suburban (which I hate as it's slow, pondering handling and not that much room for how big it is) and it had to go in the body shop for 4 days, during which time I got a rental. I tried a Chrysler 200. I couldn't even get in the car. A Chevy Impala was better, but the door opening was not long enough and swinging my legs in was a biotch. I settled on a Hyundai Sonata as I could get out of it better than the other two, but it was not a breeze.

    It seems to me that newer cars have both lower roof lines and even lower openings, probably for more structural rigidity to hold up better in a crash. The thing is, it makes ingress and egress a pain, no matter what the ergos are once you get in and out of a car.

    My handicap is that I had my neck fused on three levels in January. I really don't want to have to get a truck as they are slow, handle poorly and get bad gas mileage. Oh well. I really wanted that SS Camaro, but it won't work. :/.
  • 2grumpy2grumpy Posts: 3
    The Ford Transit small van has 51 inches of headroom. Now there's a vehicle for tall people. The tall vehicle height and small engine will likely keep this van off the highway, but as a city vehicle, I don't think you can find anything else with more headroom.
  • A van? Shoot me now.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,261
    edited March 2012
    I see a few on the highway but not many. I like the looks. Not your typical minivan by any means. Just wish it had a 5 speed MT.

    image

    Moderator
    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 29,808
    The one at our local car show in 2010 did have a manual transmission.. they don't offer them, now?

    I mostly see them outfitted as light delivery vehicles... for florists, etc...

    MODERATOR
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