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Best Vehicles for Tall and/or Large Drivers

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  • naganaga Posts: 2
    Regarding extender rails: my parents had extenders put in their '96 Pontiac minivan. They went to a company that modifies vehicles for people with disabilities. Cost? $110

    Before that my 5'10" mom couldn't get comfortable in this van. Now it has more legroom than even I could possibly use (I'm 6'6"). A great service. This was in Burnsville, Minnesota, if anyone's interested.
  • bigfurbigfur Posts: 649
    I live in Lakeville and work in Birnsville, what is the shop's name and phone#?
  • daybwdaybw Posts: 1
    98' Passat GLX with power seats,
    ahhhh room galore!
    (for a 6'5" guy at the end of a three year quest to find a car that fits)
  • I'm 6'7" and we are buying a Toyota Avalon. TONS of room for legs and head and butt (don't ask) and a bench seat so your right leg doesn't rub against something all the time. I think I have driven every car available under 30 grand, and this is the roomiest. No question. Otherwise, get a Civic or a Metro. Lots of head and leg room. Pretty narrow, though.
  • We just got a Gold '98 Pontiac Grand Prix GT and that suckaz got room!! The seat goes waaayy back but theres no way anyone can sit behind me who's over 3' tall, when someone else is driving the rear legroom is good though. It's a great looking car, (a lot better looking then those cookie cutter Asian cars), great excelleration (even w/out the supercharger), and we got every single feature excluding the sunroof and supercharger for under $23,000. You just gotta negotiate;)
  • bigfurbigfur Posts: 649
    if its in burnsville it should be the 612.
  • MencharMenchar Posts: 5
    How about the '98 Cadillac Seville? Anyone know if a 6'4" 34 inch inseam person fits in it? With sunroof? Believe it or not, I fit into an '84 VW Rabbit GTI. I did tear out the headliner after it started to sag after 12 years or so and rub my head. I've put 187,000 on the VW and looking at Seville.
  • I'm cross-posting this from topic #478 re: short drivers since my answer is pertinent here.

    My wife have always have difficulty finding a car
    that satisfies both (I'm 6'1" and she's 5' exactly). We finally found a very satisfying car in the new VW Passat. Sticking only to the erogonimcs here are the features:

    telescoping/tilt wheel

    fully adjustable seats: height, length, slant,
    and lumbar support.

    View is very good for both of us.

    Fully adjustable seatbelt height with pretensioners.

    Pedals have good grip pads and are large. Left
    footrest position works (finally!) for both of us.

    Seats are comfortable for long drives. We do a lot
    of long-distance driving.

    Lots of headroom (important for tall partners)

    Locking headrests

    Rear trunk lid is an easy lift-over.

    Easy step-in for driver and rear seat passengers.
    (my wife is very particular about this, so we opted out of SUV's and vans),

    Something important for her height, which tall
    people don't often consider is a center visor which blocks the sun between the driver and passenger visor.
  • The New Beetle has more headroom than any car I have driven. Any tall people tried it yet?
  • I'm 6'4", 220 lb guy who's all arms and legs (36"
    inseam, 39" reach...), so headroom is rarely an
    issue. Legroom, and having others sit behind me,
    are the problems. I'm driving a '95 Eclipse GS-T
    now, and with enough seat adjustments, and
    acrobatics, I can fit. I'll be shopping for a
    sports sedan soon and I am considering several
    vehicles. Price range will be in the low to mid
    20's for a new car, or I may wait a couple years
    and buy used '98/99 car that started around
    $28-30K. I'd prefer a 5 speed, or a manumatic
    (which, unfortunately, I hear too often is more
    hype than fun) but, I guess, would concede to
    buying an automatic if it proved to be "worth" it
    somehow. So...with that said, the list consists of
    the 1999 Chysler 300M(used), 1998 Dodge Intrepid
    ES, Olds Intrigue, Olds Alero, 1997-99 Maxima SE
    (used), Camry V6 5 speed (new 2 door or 4 door) or
    the latest Lexus ES300 (used). I'd consider the
    new BMW 3 seires, or the Audi A4, but they seem too
    small. I don't want me or my growing family to
    outgrow this next car. Are there any opinions on
    whether the big domestic sedans listed would be a
    mistake? I ask because no one has mentioned the
    Intrepid/300M as an option for the very tall
    shoppers.....

    Marlon
  • At 6'3" I have the same problem. We rented a Ford Contour recently, and for such a small car, the headroom is very good.
  • izeroizero Posts: 1
    dasent, you could probably fit in the A4 due to it's seat travel, but forget anyone sitting behind you when you fit.

    The old 3-Series didn't fit me at all...
  • Dasent --

    I'm not that tall (only 5-11), but I have a tall upper body, and I've driven most of the cars that you described.

    1999 Chysler 300M(used) Lots of features, but surprisingly not as "polished" as you would expect given the features and the price.

    1998 Dodge Intrepid ES -- In my humble opinion doesn't handle or brake as well as other cars. Very slick styling however, and not that expensive for the size/features.

    Olds Intrigue -- I found that the base car could handle a little better, and the GLS was a little harsh (I have the same reaction to the Grand Prix GTP). However, very reasonably priced, and nice looking inside.

    Olds Alero _ Perhaps a little small for someone quite as big as you. I really liked this car, but it is NOISY. (Does anyone else think so?)

    1997-99 Maxima SE -- I love the pickup on a Maxima and I think it's a very nice car. I'd only like to get something a little different from what so many people seem to be getting. Still, there's little not to like. The only other thing that I can think of is the lack of traction control until the 1999 model.

    Camry V6 5 speed (new 2 door or 4 door) -- Do you really fit into a Camry? I don't.

    Lexus ES300 (used) -- I don't think that I (or you) fit into a Lexus ES 300 either, although maybe with the seat all the way down. (It should be the same size as a Toyota, I suppose.)

    BMW 3 series and the Audi A4 are truly small. I wouldn't consider them.

    The Audi A6 is nice, but it has terrible low end pickup (going 0 to 30 seems to take forever), and I find the inside so "busy", that it's not all that relaxing ... Of course, much of the auto press loves it, and the wood trim and "atmospheres" are very nice. (One other thing -- I believe that the Audi can be very expensive for body work because of that fancy laser welding, etc. Consumers Reports spent 2-3 times a much as other similar cars to repair the damage of its "bumper basher"; Car & Driver had a similar comment about repairing an A8)

    You'd really have to thread yourself into a BMW 3 series. You could consider the 5's, but they are a lot more money.

    Have you considered the Saab 9-5 or the new Acura TL? These are both plenty big enough, and both are fun to drive and nice looking on the inside. Both also have good lease promotions going on right now (in the $399 range).

    The VW Passat also has good headroom, but it's a little tight for your knees.

    Lots of luck!
  • slorenzenslorenzen Posts: 307
    How about the Avalon? I'm 6'2", but long in the torso, and I fit fine in this car. No 5-speed, however...
  • dasentdasent Posts: 2
    Thanks for all the info fmilder, and the others that contributed. I guess I forgot to mention that my wife's car is the 4 cyl Toyota Camry LE with auto. Nice, comfortable, reliable transpo, but very boring. I couldn't imagine having an Avalon also (no offense). I may never find a reason to leave the house! The Camry 5-speed is too rare to find, and not exciting enough to warrant the trouble to find one. I've tried...

    My parents drive the ES300 ('95). It is a bit tight behind me, but I do love to drive it when I'm home! Head room is no problem, as usual.

    I still love the 300M though, but could compromise for the Intrepid. I drove 300M back to back with the ES300, and thought it felt similar, if not better. But there's always their reputation. After a few years, who knows how good the Chryslers will hold up. Father Time will...

    I'd worry too much with the Contour due to its reputation.

    The Intrigue doesn't seem to be holding up well for Edmunds' test.

    The Maxima, and Passat seem like good bets. I probably can't go wrong with the ES300 or TL either.

    Thanks again.
  • malibu1malibu1 Posts: 52
    I'm 6'3" and have a 1998 Chevrolet Malibu LS. Plenty of headroom and the legroom is just as spacious. The interior of the Malibu is quite bit larger than the Altima, Accord or Camry. Peppy little car also with a very rigid and tight body. Check it out.

    Malibu1
  • I'm 6'3" and can't find enough headroom in many modern-day cars. For example, I could use another 4 to 6 inches in the 98 Riviera. Best car I ever had for headroom, legroom, and rear seat is my 92 Continental. Just ordered a 300M, and the headroom in that barely suffices. Good legroom however.
  • As far as legroom goes, the Grand Marquis is the best. (Identical mechanically to the Ford LTD and Lincoln Town Car). At about 6' 1", I'm probably short for this group of people, but I can scoot the seat far enough back that I have a hard time reaching pedals and the wheel, and I have enough headroom to wear a Stetson hat in the car. I know somebody recommended a Bonneville, but the Grand Marquis/LTD is much roomier, and priced less. My mother owns a Bonneville, and while it is a nice, reliable car (only trouble was dead battery and me getting it hit by a Dodge Ram), it is much much smaller than my Grand Marquis. Bonneville is what the industry calls a "midsize car" while the Grand Marquis is "full size." And backseat legroom in the Grand Marquis, while not quite a spacious as the front (no car is) is more than enough for me. I can see I'm rambling again, so I'll shut up now.
    R. Allen
  • I am 6'6" and in the market for a new car. Does
    anyone know of good places to look on the web or
    just a good car for tall people?
  • Just kidding, mackayt....

    Actually, I think you will find "headroom" measurements listed in each vehicle's specifications here on Edmunds. So you can just "browse", but the website folks (which I am not) can probably help you more if you give a little more detail: For example, do you prefer sedan, coupe, van(! hint, hint), or SUV. Family or individual? etc.

    Good luck, cause I know it's hard. I'm 6'3.5" and know all too well why they call it a "headliner".

    Of course, my last car was a Miata (ah... I miss it) and my new vehicle is a Jeep Cherokee 4DR/4WD (well, I have extreme tastes), so I use tremendous coping techniques ;^)
  • I'm 6'5" tall (36 inch inseam, 38 arms). I have sat in and tested most of the cars mentioned above. I decided to buy a Passat. It has gobs of headroom, even with the sunroof. The legroom is also quite good, even in the back with the front seat adjusted for my long legs.

    I thought the 300M was huge inside, but also felt huge behind the wheel. The A4 is a little tighter up front than the Passat, but the rear legroom is much less. The 1999 BMW 3-series felt too small overall in just about every dimension. I think the BMW feels smaller than it really is.

    Check out the Passat, but be warned... availability can be a real problem, especially if you like leather interior. I've got one on order.
  • bill7bill7 Posts: 4
    richard927, you're 6-3 and you fit in a Miata? Wow! I never considered a Miata because I'm 6-2 and assumed I wouldn't be comfortable.

    mackayt, I think Swedish cars (Saab, Volvo) tend to have a bit more headroom than others. Maybe check out the Saab 9-5. Actually, I think a BMW 5-series (just picking a car at random here) might fit a 6-5 person, with no sunroof and sport seats. An Infiniti I30 might have even a bit more headroom. It depends on how long your torso is vs. your legs.

    If you try one car yourself, you then can compare headroom specs.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,116
    Headroom specs are good, but one can be fooled by them, because we are all tall in different ways...some have long legs, others long torso...also, the curve of the roofline can give you headroom in certain spots and none a few inches to the left...also width of the seats is important (for instance, on the Audi A6 the car looked great on paper for me at 6'2 & 1/2", but in reality felt very cramped inside, with no place to splay out my knees or elbows---long legs, tall arms, etc.).

    Some of the cars i thought were quite comfy included the BMW 5-Series, the Lexus GS300 and the Volvo S80. I love Miatas but can't drive one, but I fit okay in an Alfa Spyder. Go figure...

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  • bill7 said: "richard927, you're 6-3 and you fit in a Miata? Wow! I never considered a Miata because I'm 6-2 and assumed I wouldn't be comfortable."

    Yeah, 6'3"+ and over 260#! I put over 30K on my Miata in two years and loved every minute. Of course, it was garaged both at home and at work so it spent 80% of its life with the top down, thus making it very easy to get into and out of on a daily basis.

    It was a fantastic car! Perfectly built, never had a problem of any kind whatsoever. It just wasn't "family-friendly."

    Before it I had a Mazda 626 (that saved my life even as it was destroyed in a driverside crash--someone else ran a light), it too was perfectly assembled and without the slightest mechanical flaw.

    But I've always wanted a Jeep, and now that's what I am in. It fits well, too. Only different.
  • reBMWreBMW Posts: 26
    6'2", 35" inseam, 36" sleeve, 220lb. i must proclaim - do not buy a bmw 3 series if you are much over 5'11". i have creamed my head more times that i care to actually say getting into one those cars (new and used) and i drove an rx-7 years ago. i would suggest the bmw 740iL because it has room to rent, safety, style, and is peppy for a huge car. if you can't swing the price new, give some thought to used because 740iLs coming off of 3 or 4 years leases are often very attractively priced. oh, and just say no to the a4 or a6, they are small inside and feel smaller the longer you're in one.
  • I recently purchased a new car. In the shopping process(took a year) I tried a lot of cars. I am 6'3" with 34" inseam and 37" sleeve length. The Intrigue fit me the best. The Passat was 2nd. The new Silverado Pickup was OK. The Chevy Malibu was surprisingly sized and I think I could have lived with it or the Silverado if I wanted those vehicles. The Mercury Grande Marquee and Ford Crown Vic were short on legroom for me. The Toyota Avalon was way short.

    I ended up buying the Passat and am glad I did but I think the Intrique favors a tall driver by a small margin.

    Other vehicles tried: Ford F150 P/U, Olds 88, Toyota Camry, Dodge Intrepid, Chrysler LHS, Dodge Sebring, Chevy Lumina, Ford Taurus.

    I noticed that power seats can work for or against the tall driver. The Dodge Intrepid is fine with regular seats but loses legroom with power seats. Try the model you like with power seats and without to get an accurate picture. Also the legroom figures given in the spec sections of car tests give very little insight into the actual space in the vehicle. When you get close to something that fits, the position of the accelerator pedal make a difference also.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,116
    Gee, I need a photo of you in that Miata...I almost needed to call CHP and get the "Jaws of LIfe" to chop me out of my friend's Miata...my leg jams up under the steering wheel and my head hits the top bows.

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  • Mr_Shiftright,

    I'll see what I can do.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,116
    Well, okay, Richard, I believe you...ladies and gentlemen, how DOES he do it?

    I may have mentioned that I went shopping for a friend to help them buy a luxury-type sedan, and while the headroom was okay on all of them, some had a fairly agressive downward (from centerline to the side windows) curve, and if I moved my head to the left, it would contact the headliner or top of the door frame. I could see myself getting bonked on rough roads...also, being proportionally wide to my height, I find both the BMW 3 Series and the Audi A6 too cramped...no room for my elbows unless I raised the seat way up high, thereby aggravating the headroom issue.

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  • Hey, guys.... just test drove a number of cars and would like to pass the info on. I'm 6'4" with a 36" inseam and swore the next car I bought would have a sunroof (something I've had to do without). The Saab 9-5 is probably the roomiest for both front and rear passengers. Loved it! Tons of headroom and more than enough legroom.

    I was shocked at how much legroom the Audi A4 had...I actually had to move the seat up a bit. The telescoping steering wheel helps. But don't even think of transporting adults in the back seat for long periods of time. The Passat is basically the same car so is probably just as roomy, but with more rear passenger room.

    The new 3-series BMWs had enough leg and headroom but seemed cramped overall. Not for the claustrophobic. They are classified as compacts, after all. But that's the first time I've been in a 3-series (with a sunroof even) and my head didn't hit the roof (and it was a hoot to drive).

    Finally, I drove the new Acura TL and found that it also had enough leg and headroom, but without much to spare. I guess I'm a bit biased toward European cars and found the Acura luxurious (not to mention a bargain) but lacking in panache.

    Overall, I found many more choices available to me than I thought existed before I started looking. Good luck!
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