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Best Vehicles for Taller Larger Drivers



  • orbit9090orbit9090 Posts: 110
    To summarize:
    The vehicles with the greatest available H2 measurement (ingress\egress) are the easiest to get in and out of.


  • 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: 16,895
    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; '08 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: 16,895
    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; '08 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: 5,424
    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.

  • texasestexases Posts: 5,424
    Bob-Try out the Ford Edge, it's not as high as the Explorer, I think. If not that, then maybe something like a CR-V or a Highlander? I don't know where to find those detailed dimensions, though.'s auto section gets you to the basic measurements.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Scion xB is supposedly very roomy inside and appears to me to be lower to the ground than many cars. I haven't seen the 08s, thoughm so I'm talking about the older ones. Honda Fit may be a possibility, but I think they are hard to find these days.
  • Bob,

    I agree with the recommendation about the Fit as long as you don't need driver's leg room. It seems to have good height and cargo capacity, without being high off the ground.

    The Matrix or Vibe also have a higher roofline, so they have better cargo capacity than most hatchbacks (because of the vertical advantage) without being high off the ground. They also have much better driver's leg room than the fit. Observe that the current generation (2008 and earlier) have somewhat different rear hatch dimensions, so you'd probably want to evaluate that based on your wheelchair storage needs.

    VW's new Jetta wagon will be out in the spring, so that will be another option.

  • My friend wanted to get a lotus exige and he is around 6 feet 4 and the legroom issue isn't such a problem to me. For me I would be thinking a little sportscar like the Mazda Miata he has would be too small for me since I'm 6 feet 4.
  • Hi,

    I went to the 2008 model year auto show in SF Bay Area in early Dec and thought these comments may be useful.

    I'm 6 3, inseam 34. My prior car was the 4 door-sedan 1997 Integra GSR where I could clear the standard sun roof pretty well (the 2 dr Integra wasn't good). I guess the seats are more bucket-like. It's pretty funny when I get out, cause people expect a smaller/shorter guy...

    I think they've changed the seating in the new cars with more upright seating, which is not good for persons looking for headroom.

    The best was Altima--regular and hybrid. Great legroom and headroom. Can't be beat in that category. Good mileage.

    On most cars, my eye level is at the blue tint area to blue tint-front windshield seam.

    For Honda, I didn't fit well in the Civic. Accord was just over the tolerance level. The Fit--no good. The Element was excellent. Honda CRV is good.

    Amongst Toyota, the Camry wasn't good for my headroom. The Prius and Corolla were out. RAV4 was very good (same mileage and category as the Honda CRV).

    In Mazda, Matrix 3 headroom was at the top of the window.

    Scion was totally smaller and couldn't fit in any model comfortably. I guess they made a major change in the 2008 model...?

    Good luck.
  • I am fairly proportional - from a distance I look like a 6' guy who weighs about 250.

    The surprise is - a 2002 Ford Escort - I tried on both the 4 door sedan and the 2 door ZX2 coupe. And I could drive both. Now I'm not saying I was comfortable, but it is nothing short of a miracle to find that I can fit in a car that gets around 30mpg and can be bought for less than an arm and a leg.
  • I have combed the internet looking for lists of cars to try out... here is our situation.

    My husband is often referred to as "Andre the Giant". He is 6' 10" and about 475lbs. He has a beer belly and large hips. He has a very long legs too. (by the way I'm 6'2 myself!). My husband is on disability because of his weight and bad legs, they have been broken many times and he has had many surgeries on them.. so driving a car with cramped legs is NOT an option.

    We are looking for a used car, something from 1999-2003.. preferbally something that would go for around $5,000.00 - 8,000.00. Something V6 thats good on gas would be a plus.

    My husband jokes that he are going to have to buy a Hummer to shuttle his big but around.. it really bothers him, and we just want a normal car,suv, or even a van, no trucks.He often says he just wants what those big 'ole football players drive around in.. those guys are huge, they must have cars that fit them.

    As you can assume we really need something where the front seat slides far back, and there is lots of headroom. Also would need tilt steering.. and the console between the seats where he rests his "gas pedal" leg against should be comfortable. We rented a brand new minivan for our beach trip, (can't remember the model) it was cramped and my husbands leg had a huge bruise on the side of his leg under his knee from leaning against the console/dash/divider.

    He also gets very discouraged (and embarrassed) to go to car lot after car lot.. just to sit in a car. So he wanted me to ask online and see if there are recommendations for superlarge and extra roomy models out there?

    Thank you!
  • 719b719b Posts: 216
    take your car to any certified company that retrofits cars for the handicapped. they will move the seat track back to give you more leg room.
    another suggestion is to buy a vehicle that sits high so he won't have to bend down too low to get in... like a small suv.
  • pwhphdpwhphd Posts: 1
    For someone 6'10 and 457 lbs. with a "beer belly" or someone that is disabled with hip and knee or amputee problems...I can't believe anyone would even mention cars like Escort, Miata, Honda CRV, etc.

    Short of a Hummer, the largest and most accessible egress and driver headroom, hip room, and shoulder room is the full sized General Motors SUVs [GMC Yukon, Chevrolet Tahoe, Cadillac Escalade, etc.] These SUVs have the largest doors, highest headroom, tilt steering wheels, adjustable power seats, and models built before 2003 without consoles are absolutely the most spacious on the road.

    Equipped with a 350 engine they get the best mileage [although not very good] of other large SUVs by Ford, et. al.

    I have a 1998 and have compared it to every other SUV and NOTHING comes anywhere close to the spacious egress and sitting area! The power seats change the seating dynamics of every vehicle and other than retrofitting with relocating the seat further back from the dash - no other alternative is likely to be desirable.
  • orbit9090orbit9090 Posts: 110
    Now with gas prices over $4 per gallon, I can't believe anyone would even mention vehicles like GMC Yukon, Chevrolet Tahoe, Cadillac Escalade, etc.

    Regarding Scion xB:
    At 6'2, ingress\egress measurement (H2) is indeed a very important consideration, but once inside, some manufacturers can sure mess up a good thing. I tried out a 2008 Scion xB, and while it was fairly easy to climb in, it sure wasn't very comfortable to drive. The xB's pedals are too close to the driver unless the seat is pushed all the way back, but then the steering wheel is too far away (no telescopic feature). No sale here.

    Regarding Elantra SE:
    Solid, economical car. With telescopic wheel feature, offered good tall driver comfort, but I do wish the roof was a few inches taller.

    >> The vehicles with the greatest available H2 measurement (ingress\egress) are the easiest to get in and out of.
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