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Best Vehicles for Tall and/or Large Drivers



  • 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: 116
    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.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Hi orbit9090! We've had a couple of questions about the chart you posted here: orbit9090, "Best Vehicles for Taller/Larger Drivers" #723, 29 Mar 2007 6:25 pm.

    Could you tell us what exactly the 2007 Choice Awards are and who awards them? And the source for that chart?

    Thanks for your help!!
  • webgruntwebgrunt Posts: 3
    I wish I could recommend something specific, but I'm in the same boat. However, I believe there is no option for him other than going to car lot after car lot.. just to sit in a car. The reason is because even if you do find someone near his height and weight, they are likely to not have the same comfort needs as him. For example, two guys who are 6' 2" and 200 LB might have opposite opinions about which seating positions are comfortable.

    I am able to drive my car without undue difficulty or discomfort, but I still have a size problem: The door simply isn't big enough--I have to squeeze in, which means by butt wears out the rubber door-strip deal as I slide across it to get in. I'm 6' 2", 400 LBs and drive a 2003 Toyota Corolla. A truck would be best (including an SUV or van, which actually are trucks) but I hate gas guzzlers and parking outside (My "two-car" garage is barely big enough for my Corolla and my wife's Matrix--no way would an SUV or van fit in there.)

    After eliminating gas hogs, I think a mid-size two-door would be the best option for me.
  • webgruntwebgrunt Posts: 3
    Are you sure about those numbers? 80 inches is over six and a half feet. That's way too much legroom for anyone, even Robert Wadlow would have to stretch to reach the pedals.
  • webgruntwebgrunt Posts: 3
    "I've never hit my head getting into or out of my car."

    Neither have I, but I've hurt my back getting into my car.
  • I am 6.0 feet tall and weigh 450 lbs. I drive a 1999 Ford Windstar which I really like. I sit tall in the seat and have plenty of head room. But it's getting ready to hit the 10 year mark. I hate to go car looking without looking at specific models. I went looking one day and the sales persons wanted to put me in things I could not possible fit in and the most expensive models they had.
    Does anyone have any experience with the Ford Freestar, Honda Element, or Buick Rendezvous ? Maybe even what year to look at?
    Thanks everyone!
  • orbit9090orbit9090 Posts: 116
    The dimensions were taken from manufacturer specifications, which are also published by The 2007 chart was created to brand the statistical information into an easy to understand format. Hope this helps! :)
  • You may want to look into something german made. The price may be a little bit more, but the space should be there. Recently i have been looking at cars myself, i am 6'5 310lb. The most spacious sedan that i sat in was probably the BMW 3 series. Most cars i automaticly just put the seat as far back as it goes, because i need the room. With the BMW, i found myself needing to scoot forward. This car definatly had the leg space, but as far as width goes, it was good for what i liked, if you need extra room you may want to look into the 5 series... once again, a little more priced but you will get a bigger car.
  • I am 6'2" and 360 ... not small, but not overly fat, I guess. I am looking for something right now, and going from car lot to car lot is about my only option right now. Anyone have any suggestions on sedans from 2006-2008, preferably ones that rate well used?
  • aggie76aggie76 Posts: 266
    I'm nearly your size and absolutely love my 2004 LS430, which is the same size as later models till it changed significantly two years ago. Great interior room, have to pull seat forward to reach pedals plus it has great value.
  • Jnorman... I suppose there are multiples of vehicles out there that would fit your bill.. From a personal experience I can tell you that I'm just a tad over 6 feet tall and tip the scales at 280. 2 years ago when I was car shopping I was ready to buy the Buick Lucerne. In fact had the car picked out and was supposed to sign the papers that day.. but my wife talked me into going to look at the Avalon. I have to tell you, I only went to humor her, after all, nobody my size would be comfortable in a "toyota".. WRONG. I don't have the specs, but I can assure you that my 07 xls is vastly more comfortable to me than the Lucerne was. Not to mention I got V-8 performance from a 6 banger and inproved gas mileage. However I will say the Lucerne had more of a pleasant ride, by that I mean a "softer" ride. I feel the road in my Avy where as in the Buick it's a little more of a luxurious ride... But all things considered ( and interior room was one of those things ) I found the avy to be my choice in this price range. Hope this helps.

  • First, Thanks for all the posts. I am a 6'3", 350lb guy looking for a vehicle for me and three kids. As a single dad it has to do it all. I see alot of the posts are focused on cars and refer to the poor mileage of trucks and SUVs. I agree, trucks and SUVs compared to cars generally get poor mileage. However, before you write off that used SUV so you can squeeze into that new ultra high mileage car, here are some things to remember;

    Make sure you look at the total cost of operating the vehicle including the initial purchase price and the ongoing gas and maintenance expense. Be honest wih yourself about how long you will keep the vehicle, and you migh find out that that extra 10 to 15 miles per gallon savings doesn't pay the premium being charged for reliable high mileage vehicles.

    As for me, right now I drive a 94 Toyota Landcruiser with 230,000 miles. Still runs great, but I will be updating it soon. I will most likely get either a Sequoia or 100 series Land Cruiser (1998 - 2007). Both these vehicles are full size SUV's with V-8's so they drink gas, however, since they don't have a lot of changes throught the model year, you can get an early model in great shape for very reasonable prices. They have room, style, and are very reliable. The GM full size SUV's are good too and cheaper, but I don't the "mushy" way they drive.

    Safety. As us big guys squeeze into smaller vehicles, we should be concerned about survivability. I know we have airbags and the sort to save us, but some times there is no substitute for more space and metal around you.

    Finanly, the "green" factor. Well I am an environmental engineer, so I know a little bit about the subject. First I will say that the larger Trucks and SUV's do have higher emmissions, so if this is a concern (and I agree it should be), then my logic potentially fails here. However, think about the emmissions you save by extending the life of a used vehicle (if it were a beer can we would call it recycling) and if you look at the fact that with our bigger cars we have a greater opportunity to car pool with more passengers, then the SUV's may not be the biggest problem. Also note that despite the current propaganda, emmisions from well maintained suv's driven by large and tall drivers is the least of our concerns. The emmisions form industrial and commercial activities has a far greater impact, but it is easier to shame us into smaller vehicles than it is to ask big business to give up just a little profit for better emmisions.

    Hope this helps.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 25,630
    I follow you on most of your points ... save one. Why does it need to be such a large, heavy SUV with a V8? I consider our XC90 quite large, although a midsize, and the 2.5L 5-cyl turbo has plenty of power if you don't need to tow anything too heavy and returns 21 mpg. Plus, its steep depreciation makes it a great used buy.

    We used to get the same in our Honda Pilot, too. But you probably wouldn't care for it if you are used to a more luxurious type of vehicle. Plus, the Honda resale value makes it less of a good buy on the used side.

    In other words, I won't tell you that you don't need an SUV, but I must question all those who feel they must have one that gets 15 mpg. (Again, unless towing heavy equipment, which is a VERY small percentage of those who own them)

    '18 BMW 330xi; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 47-car history and counting!

  • mark1mark1 Posts: 5
    Keep in mind that this is the venue for big and tall drivers, that is it's primary concern.
    Of course, the XC90 would be preferable if it fit the bill and there were no need to do the intellectual backflips to justify driving a 5000+ lb. vehicle. But there are individuals like myself who are, for instance, 6'5" & 375#, drive a 2005 Sequoia and lament the 15mpg EVERY TIME I fill the tank. Gas prices then were almost exactly what they are now (about $1.89) and, even though I did forsee a rise in prices (although not to $4.50!), I too gauged that cost as against the premium that I would have had to pay for an RX400h (the only viable alternative at the time). In my case, though, the RX just just fit. Were I making the purchase today, I would investigate a Highlander hybrid and see if a custom shop could move the drivers seat.
    The Sequoia, strangly given its size, drives very nearly like a full sized sedan. It's quite amazing. Additionally, there have been MANY times over the past 4 years that we've loaded it up with 7 people (we have the second row captains chairs) and have thus foregone the need for a second vehicle. So, while this is by no means the norm, it does offer some mental peace of mind.
    Regarding the earlier comment about recycling/replacement, althought we intended all along to keep this vehicle for a minimum of 10 yrs, current conditions may well lengthen that considerably. That, of course has little or nothing to do with its mpg but is just an added kudos to the Sequoia.
    In the end, we (she-who-must-be-obeyed is the Sequoia's primary driver) are ecstatic with the choice and are so so thankful that we didn't choose the Escalade p.o.s. that was choice #2. The only major caveat that we both agree on is the third row not folding into the floor, which I understand has been corrected in the Sequoia's current itteration.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 25,630
    Keep in mind that this is the venue for big and tall drivers, that is it's primary concern.

    Of course.
    And, at 6'5", it is a concern of mine, too. I do, however, only come in at 200 lbs.

    My only point was that a V8 is unnecessary for most. The XC90 seats 7, as does the Pilot. And both easily accomodate my height. But, then again, height isn't really the issue, is it? I also fit fine in my G35, as I did in my 350Z. The problem with those would only be for wider folks. In any case, the XC90 and Pilot shouldn't present a problem for wider folks, either.

    '18 BMW 330xi; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 47-car history and counting!

  • I am over 6'6" and weigh in at about 300lbs. I have 32" legs so basically we are talking about a car for a hairless gorilla. I have the same problem as most of us, I cannot recline the seat back without having longer arms and I hate driving laying down. We seem to be a segment of the public that the manufacturers have forgotten. Both my daughters are well over 6' and they have similar problems although their torso's are more proportional than mine.

    After a lot of looking I chose a Chevrolet Avalanche. I tried an Escalade but the sunroof was too tight for me.

    I am concerned about some of the comments I read in this blog as I see than many people want to modify their car seat mounting brackets or position. This will change the geometry of all the airbags and the seatbelts. Be very careful with this one as you may be killed by it in an accident. I agree that the manufacturers are not doing enough for us in this regard. I am sure that they do not test their vehicles with "people who enjoy good food" or those of superior stature. More is the pity. If I want to buy a North American made vehicle I guess I need to stay with trucks and large SUV's.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 25,630
    we are talking about a car for a hairless gorilla.


    I am concerned about some of the comments I read in this blog as I see than many people want to modify their car seat mounting brackets or position. This will change the geometry of all the airbags and the seatbelts.

    I think that's a good point, if you share your vehicle with someone else. But keep in mind that the airbags/seatbelt are set for average-sized folks. So if you position the seat for someone our height, then the airbag and seatbelt should still fall correctly. But, regardless, most vehicle won't let you gain more than an inch or so, anyway.

    More is the pity. If I want to buy a North American made vehicle I guess I need to stay with trucks and large SUV's.

    Well, I dunno about that. Have you ever tried an EX-L Accord, for instance? I can't say it is the most comfortable vehicle, but definitely no issues fitting in it.

    Best-fitting car I ever owned was my Volvo S70, however. Loads of seat travel and a telescoping steering wheel. I could cruise all day in perfect comfort. But, no, its not "north american made."

    Well, for a short time, they are still making the Grand Marquis or Town Car. ;)
    I know those can fit large folks.

    '18 BMW 330xi; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 47-car history and counting!

  • I just wanted to chime in. I am 6' and about 450 lbs due to a condition called lymphedema and my last car, a '95 taurus wagon was very comfortable although it sat low to the ground. It was hard to stand up to get out. The tranny went out of it and I now have a '96 jeep grand cherokee that was given to me. It is a tight fit behind the wheel but is driveable. The floor shifter is kinda hard to reach so moving the seat track back is out of the question. I also have to drive with a hand control. I saw a rating deal on another sight that rated cars for large people over 400 lbs. And, the honda odyssey was rated very roomy. Going to have to sit behind the wheel of one someday. Before I got the jeep I had to ride a taxi several times. Most of our fleet is toyota priuses. I had no trouble getting in or out of the back seat. But I doubt I could drive one because of the hand control issue.
  • oakwiltoakwilt Posts: 12
    I encourage folks to look at the Nissan Cube. It's just
    recently appeared in the showrooms and has not been
    widely advertised. I'm 6'6" and have difficulty with head and
    leg room. The Cube is small ( much like the original
    Scion XB ) but has an amazing amount of interior
    room and I felt comfortable. The price is reasonable,
    although, I suspect discounting will appear as the
    Nissan lots fill up with more Cube units. The Cube has
    quirky styling that will not appeal to everyone. Everyone
    to his own taste, I'm more interested in finding a vehicle
    that works for me than styling. I felt more secure driving
    the Cube than I did with the original Scion XB.
  • hero4hirehero4hire Posts: 1
    6'6" here with kids -- I drive a Dodge Charger and it's perfect for the height and backseat room leftover. Most head and leg room in any sedan I've driven. It is fun to drive with a little kick under the hood. Body design is fun and aggressive, and the kids love the sound when you throttle it. Three downsides - mpg is subpar (not completely unreasonable, but below average), comfort (the seats could use extra padding), and the lack of interior accoutrement (chinsy fitout...).

    All in all, definitely give it a shot. You won't regret it.
  • We are a tall bunch, not up to many of you... but we had to move to the big SUV when the boys hit 6', and more legs than body. I am hoping to downsize as they won't be living home with us in a few years (we hope). We are now 6'5" dad, 5'11" mom (36" legs), boys are 6'2" @15, and 6'3" @17, daughter 5'7" @ 11. My fear is that they are still growing. Not likely are we going to squeeze together in many cars with any degree of comfort.

    I have just recently found the Ford 500/ Mercury Montego which I drove and really liked. It has just as much back seat head and leg room as the front, I thought it was a typo. Only problem is they have discontinued the model, and apparently they were mainly fleet cars. Not many used I can find in my area. I also read about some serious design flaws with the car surging forward while breaking and other times intermittently, and frequent bad rear brake problems. I have driven the Grand Marquis and like it, but it didn't have the rear head and leg room of the Ford 500/Montego. I used to haul a lot of building materials for my husband, the builder, and I definitely enjoyed my suburbans where both (2nd and 3rd row) seats folded into the floor. None of the newer ones do that. I am trying to pass the gopher jobs onto my sons, so maybe I don't need the SUV anymore. Any other suggestions?

    I have been car pooling around town to all the sports and activities of my kids for years, and since I don't commute, I only put on about 5k miles a year. Therefore gas mileage is not a concern. I have occasionally driven a small car, and although it's possible for me alone, they will not work, as my car is the weekend trip to grandma's for the whole family still. Crash ratings are of highest concern when buying the next car.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 25,630
    The Ford 500 is now the Taurus. Suggest checking that out.

    '18 BMW 330xi; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 47-car history and counting!

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