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Best Vehicles for Tall and/or Large Drivers



  • a roomy A4?! i'm only 5'11" but when i put the driver's seat back to where i was comfortable, i found that i could not fit into the seat behind it! my legs literally could not get in without nearly twisting an ankle. the dealer gave me this sheepish grin and said "yeah, it can get a bit tight back there if you put the seat so far back."

    what BS! trust me, the A4 is one tiny car. i'd imagine the same goes for the passat.
  • I was referring to FRONT passenger room only in the A4. :-) If you look at my posting again, I commented on the lack of rear passenger room. But it's still fun to drive. And yes, the Passat has more rear seat room than the A4. Enjoy!
  • prebmwprebmw Posts: 23
    I totally agree with Big Jim. My 16 year old son is 6'5" and 210lbs. He drives a Saab 9000 with plenty of room to spare. We are looking for a new family car and tried a new Passat - he fit in the back seat with room to spare. He was also very comfortable in the Saab 9-5 (unfortunately, dad was not comfortable with the price). We presently have a '98 Camry that he barely fits in. If you can get by with two doors, he has ten tons of room in the front seat of my New Beetle.
  • A car that surprised me is the Oldsmobile Intrigue My son is 6' 4" and has a large build, he fits with room to spare. He is 17 and really likes everything about the car
  • The Passat is not "really short on legroom"

    I have a '99 Passat and one of the reasons I bought it was the legroom. The Intrique was a bit better but the Passat is solid in the legroom department.

    If you have the front seats all the way back, the legroom in the rear does get tight from an adult standpoint. No question about that.
  • I agree with edachel....the Passat for me has more than enough leg room. Unlike notmyrealname, my experience was so bad with the 9-3 that I couldn't even take it for a test drive because I could barely bend my leg. Sad, because my current 900 is fine. Prebmw: those 9-5's are pretty nice, eh? :-) A little out of my price range, too. I'm also interested in the 1999 Accord Coupe, and will probably try to get out for a test drive this weekend. My past experiences with Hondas have not been great as far as leg and headroom, but notmy's posting gives me hope. Ciao!
  • Took a test drive in the 99 Accord Coupe today. Adequate head and leg room....but didn't like the car. Too bad, cuz I really liked the styling. Very comfy, though. The ride was just a bit "boat-like" for my tastes. Back to the VW dealer. Happy Holidays all.
  • I'm a 6'4" female, and like most tall females, all leg! I've got about a 36-37" inseam, and cars are definitely something of a problem at times. For the past 4 years I've driven Explorers and LOVED THEM. I could push the driver's seat all the way back and STILL put a 6'2" person COMFORTABLY behind me. But, having driven a truck for so long, I was craving to get back into a sedan / coupe and get back to the FUN of driving. You want to try a tough match? 37" inseam, driving stick, and heels. Hah! THAT'S a demanding legroom experience! But, like so many before, the 98 Passat won, hands down, for best fit in it's class (and it's a pistol to drive!).

    I normally live by several rules, and in 4 years time I found that they didn't change much - so I though I'd pass `em on...

    1. Coupes have longer seat tracks than sedans
    2. Understand that if you are 6'3" or taller and insist on a sedan you will turn it into a coupe anyway because nothing less than a midget can fit in behind you.
    3. If you really really need all 4 doors - get an SUV. They're not that expensive. And FORD makes the best, most comfortable one on the market. Even my 6'9" boyfriend fit comfortably driving.
    4. Coupes/Sedans: Almost anything German/Swedish beats out anything American/Japanese for legroom & overall comfort (except for the 90's Jetta, which put decent seat tracks, yet NO YOKE on teh steering column so you felt like you were a mile away from the wheel!!)

    Good Luck!
  • Check the Saab 9-3 Series for a new car and
    old Saab 900 Series thru 97-98. I'm 6'4"
    and drive a 98 900S w/ sunroof. Absolutely
    no problems with the clearance-even wearing
    baseball cap or outback hat when traveling
    to fly-fishing locales.

    Used 900 Series 97-98 can be found well under
  • MarkusMarkus Posts: 2

    I am 6'3, and looking for a European-made car that will fit my frame. The Passat fits great, but it is a little pricey for me, as I am looking to spend under 20K. I was thinking along the lines of a used Saab, I have test driven a used 900S coupe, and it fit great. But I found it strange that when I recently sat in a 9-3, and it didn't fit me at all.
    The only other contenders seem to be the Passat or a used A4. Also, has anyone had success with leg and head room in the Volvo 850?

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Hopefully next week I will have a chance to drive a New Jetta. If that fits my body and budget, it could be the solution..

  • Markus:

    I currently have a 1990 Saab 900 and I fit fine in it (I'm 6'4" and 36" inseam) and have had the same problem as you with the new 9-3....I don't fit at all! I test drove the new Jetta and had plenty of room. Did you like it?? I thought it was a fantastic car. I had test drove the A4 and thought the Jetta was much quieter. If VW gets its act together and starts importing the GLX, I think I've found my new car. Good luck.
  • Jim -

    I actually just test drove the new Jetta last week. My first impression was that it is a very nice car, handles great and has generious interior space and comfort. While I was waiting in the showroom for the guy to pull my test car around, I took turns hopping back and forth from the Passat to the Jetta. The Passat seems to have a bit more room, which is no surprise. The jetta had just enough leg room for me, but I would love the extra few inches which are available in the Passat. Head room is great in the Jetta though. I also felt the driving position was a bit higher in the Jetta than in the Passat.
    How did you feel about the Jetta's performance? I thought the 5-speed had reasonable pick-up, but to me the engine just seemed a bit wheezy and under-powered. I haven't test-driven the Audi A4 yet, but I think that is next on my list. I assume it will be comparable to the Passat.
    I have also been toying with the idea of getting a used Saab. How has your '90 model held up through the years? Do you think I would be getting myself into a money pit, if I bought a '91 or '92 900? I have never driven a Saab from that generation, but I had always wanted one. I will probably ask around the Saab topic, once the discussion on corporate market strategy winds down over there.

    Good luck, and let me know what you decide!

    - Mark
  • 20992099 Posts: 63
    I'm 6'7" with a 36-37 inseam and am having a difficult time finding a new car that I fit in comfortably. My '89 Buick LeSabre has 124,000 miles and counting and its getting tired. It's been a reasonably good car, great mileage, lots of room, but the drivers seat is like mush (probably due to my size). I went to the Auto show in Cleveland last week and must have tried almost everything there. The cars I was most comfortable in were a 1999 Buick LeSabre (also tried the new 2000 LeSabre, but it actually had less leg room in my opinion), the 1999 Buick Century..lots of legroom in front with the seat all the way back but it makes the backseat useless, and the Dodge Ram pick-up. The Infiniti Q45 was pretty roomy, but not as much as the above. I must be longer from the hip to the knee than most tall people as my knees were hitting the dash with the seat all the way back in the Mercury Grand Marquis, Pontiac Bonneville, Lexus LS400, Audis and Mercedes. The Malibu was also roomy, but cheaper looking than the Buick Century. Olds Intrigue had more room than the 88 IMHO but any car without a bench seat is tight for me. Tried the Avalon but it has the same room in the front as my wifes Camry which is okay to ride in but hard to drive for me.
  • JettamanJettaman Posts: 6
    I've purchased a new Jetta and am picking it up tomorrow. I'm 6'2, but most of my height is in my torso, so headroom is always a major considertion for me. As I was looking for new cars, I had to rule out several for this reason. The Jetta actual headroom is adequate (minus the sunroof of course), but it's the line of vision that causes me a bit of a problem. The roofline of the new Jetta slopes down to meet the windshield, so that my line of vision is distracted by the sun visor, which is right AT my line of vision. I like the car enough, however, to have purchased it. To compensate, I am removing the sun visor (never use one anyway), and then I'm A-OK.
  • tt66tt66 Posts: 9
    Well here it goes.
    My wife has her heart bent on a sunroof in our next new vehicle. I am interested in moving back into a sedan now that we have had our fun with an SUV for 8 years.

    I am 6'6" with a 35-36" inseam. A car with a sunroof was going to be difficult and expensive. But I have managed to uncover some surprises. Order from least to most expensive (roughly)and all with power sunroofs (factory installed not add on):
    Chevy Malibu (I haven't driven it but seem to fit in front passenger seat fine. I have driven a none sunroof version as a rental car. Decent car for the the reasonable price.)

    VW Beetle: Wins the award for maximum headroom. Just not functional enough in other ways.

    VW Passat: This one surprised me. The manual height adjustment is a breeze to use and I still had several heights I could set without bumping my head. I drove this car in Scotland for 400 miles. Loved it. Test drove in the US and liked it as well. I would choose the V6 over the 1.8 Turbo 4. You really have to wind the 4 up to get the power. Handles very well. Comfortable interior with enough features and no extra fat. Worlds worst cup holders. Spilled several drinks in Scotland. My wife feels thrown around a little too much on corners (seats don't seam to hold her in place well when I get in the fun mood)

    Saab 9-5: If only I was 6'5". My wife really wanted this one. I really liked the 5speed on the 4 cylinder. But that liner brushing the top of my head would drive me nuts before 8-10 years are up.

    Audi A6 Quattro: Well equipped, enough room. Fantastic winter traction through heavy snow. Quiet with just a little engine noise out the muffler in the back. Smooth handling. With the Autostick (Tiptronic) transmission it moves pretty well but you can feel the weightiness of the car. Cornering is much smoother in this car vs. the Passat. Number 2 on the car choice list.

    Volvo S80 2.9 and T6: Third best headroom after the Beatle and Passat. Best legroom. The power seat really moves a long ways. T-6 is wonderful balance of power and smoothness. Excellent transmission. Super seats although the A-6 seats provided a little longer seat cushion for leg support. Now we have to decide if we really want to spend $40k. This is the car if we do.

    I fit in the Mercedes E series and S series, BMW 5 series but these generally go beyond reasonable investment in a depreciating asset (Especially when living where they use salt on the winter roads).
    Do not fit in Audi A8 (older body style with flat roof vs. A6 rounded roof) or A4. No to all Japanese and other American sedans with sunroofs although I haven't been in a Lexus 400 recently to know.

    Hope this is useful to any of you in the 2 meter height range.
    tt66 (tall tom 6'6")
  • lex28lex28 Posts: 5
    I'm looking for a midsize import car with a sunroof or moonroof that will have enough head room for me. I'm 6' and i'd like at least 2" of extra head room so i won't feel like i have to slouch to be confortable. Any suggestion would be appreciated.
  • The Volvo S80 T6 with sunroof has very good headroom (front seat AND back seat). It's also the first car I've owned that I didn't need to put the seat all the way back to get sufficient leg room.
  • glennvdwglennvdw Posts: 2
    The '90 Taurus bought used when I entered grad school 7 years ago has served its purpose. It's getting me to the finish line (which has taken
    longer than expected). I fit very well in it.
    6'7", 36 inseam. Liked the car, didn't like the reliability. And the next big repair will probably end the car's term of service. I've been looking for the next car.

    Looking at used cars in the '96-'97 range. So far the best has been aHonda Accord V6 LX well-equipped. I was shocked to find that I fit comfortably in the car even with the sunroof. The seats sat very low in the car, with both legs and head fitting nicely. And yes, I could fully extend my legs without the acrobatic squirm even most large cars require.

    I test drove an Avalon, but found that the space between the brake pedal and the center column was not wide enough to confidently put my foot through. Every time I went to the accelerator, I found myself brushing the edge of the brake pedal. Distracting enough that I really couldn't get a feel for the rest of the car. Never found a bench seat version to try. Has anybody else noticed this problem in the Avalon? Does it exist in the Camry's?

    Still have the Passat to try, but the Accord felt good on the road, and looks to be the next long-term car for me. The Chrysler large
    cars look promising, but after the Taurus, and Chrysler's history with the Concorde et al. line, I want several years of reliable service before I go for one.
  • timadamstimadams Posts: 294
    I am 6' 3", with headroom being more of a problem than legroom. I bought a 98 Honda Accord partly because of the tremendous amount of front and back seat headroom and legroom. If you are familiar only with older Accords, you will be amazed at the new generation Accord (1998 and newer). Plenty of room for tall drivers and passengers.
  • timadamstimadams Posts: 294
    p.s. I skipped the sunroof mostly due to the headroom issue. (I really don't like sunroofs, anyway).
  • mortifymortify Posts: 9
    I just drove the BMW 323i, and the legroom is AMAZING! I own a new Passat, which has good leg room, but the BMW is completely different. Of course NO ONE can sit behind you with your seat back that far.

    I have a full review on my web site:
  • AtmaGLAtmaGL Posts: 1
    I drive a 1987 Cadillac Brougham that i've done various modifications to. However, the interior is enormous. i can fit 6 ppl COMFORTABLY in the car. but, unfortunately to some people, this car would be too long at 219.5"
  • jengojengo Posts: 1
    I recently purchased a 1995 Saturn SL1-- it's on the small side, but has enough leg room for my boyfriend, who is 6'4", to sit comfortably. One possible problem, however, is the airbag, which is situated directly in front of his knees when he's in the passenger seat. I assume that when it deploys, it expands upward, but I can't help but wonder if it would pulverize his kneecaps if it ever went off. The seat doesn't move back far enough for him to keep his legs straight. He can splay his knees to straddle the airbag, but that gets uncomfortable. Has anyone else run into this problem?
  • kdikdi Posts: 1
    6'8" (38" inseam) fits well in a recently purchased 99' Passat GLX 5 speed. I tried to fit in so many at a car show about 2 years ago. The popular Japanese cars were out of the question (Accord, Maxima, Camry). However, the Avalon did have good leg room front and back. But guess which one had a V-6 with manual transmission.
  • richvonrichvon Posts: 2
    I just bought a Contour SE with a 5 speed. I'm 6'6" and 215 lbs (36" inseam and 37" sleave). I fit comfortably but only with the power driver's seat (which seems to go lower and further back than the standard ones). I have about 2" of clearance for my head and my knee doesn't bump the steering wheel when using the clutch. I also considered:

    Accord, 626, Maxima, Altima, Cougar

    I'm very happy with my choice.
  • microrepairmicrorepair Eastern MassachusettsPosts: 508
    I am 6'3" with 32" inseam. So I guess I may be a little longer in the torso than some of you people with the 35-39" inseams.. I have lots of problems with headroom (and the upper edge of the door openings) on many, many cars. I absolutely do not fit into any BMW, Infinity, Jaguar, Lexus, etc. I tried every model last year because I wanted to buy an upscale used car. I ended up with a MB E320 sedan in which the headroom and legroom are adequte for me. Not spacious, but I have taken a 1000 mile trip and it was very comfortable.

    Over the last few years I've looked at many cars since my wife needed a car a couple of years ago. Some that I fit into were Taurus, Intrepid (97 & 99), Concorde, Camry, Accord, 98 Neon (YES, a NEON!), a 99 Mazda 626, and a few others. I can squeeze into a Contour, Stratus, and a Saturn, but I couldn't live in them for more than a few miles. None of the above had sunroofs, and that is the problem with most of the upscale cars for me. They only come with sunroofs. The only exception is that a Lexus sales person told me that in Florida, Lexus delivers cars with optional sunroofs due to the extreme sun/heat, but the rest of the country gets mandatory sunroofs. Sunroofs eat up 2-4 inches of headroom and makes it impossible for long torso people to sit in them.

    Someone earlier mentioned a Maxima. It's got lots of headroom but my problem with the Maxima was knee room! The steering wheel wouldn't go high enough to get off my knees/legs. If you've got 35" inseam, you probably won't fit in the a Maxima or many other Nissan products. My son has the Pathfinder and it has the same problem; plenty of headroom, but the wheel is into my knees!

    Another person earlier mentioned the Seville. A friend of mine has 96 or 97 Seville and it has gobs of room. Headroom AND legroom. So much so that I also considered getting one.

    I've been meaing to look at the Passat and therefore was pleased to read that many of think it is roomy. I may be going to Europe this year and was trying to figure out what car I could afford to rent that might fit me. Maybe I've found it ??

    There are times when I wish I were "only" 6' tall.....
  • irelandireland Posts: 1
    I'm thinking of upgrading my taurus with after-market seats. I'm looking for a seat that doesn't curve forward to support my head at a level with my shoulder blades. I'm 6' 3" and need a head rest that will support my head not my lower neck. Anybody got any info out there?
  • mick6mick6 Posts: 1
    At 6'7" (36" in seam) I have found my '96 Volvo 850 (no sunroof) to be a roomy and comfortable car. No complaints to date. I also squeeze into a '97 Jetta (with sunroof) although the seat is reclined a bit. The Volvo is with me for the long haul, the Jetta is a short timer although more fun to drive.
  • edwhitmanedwhitman Posts: 1
    I sympathize with the other tall people in this forum. I am 6'2" with a 32" inseam, so I also run into problems with cars with sunroofs.

    The most comfortable car I have ever driven is my current Volvo 850 wagon. No sunroof. Incredibly comfortable seats with great lumbar support. Great leg room, too. The new Audi A6 is also pretty good. The Volvo S80 is just as comfortable as my 850, even with a sunroof.

    I can't even fit into the backseat of an Infiniti or VW. I also got leg cramps trying the back seat of an Audi A4. Honda Accords with sunroofs brush the top of my head, unless I recline the seat in a funny position that man was not meant to drive in for long.

    I sat in a Porshe Boxster in the showroom, with the top down. The upper rim of the windshield was at the level of the bridge of my nose!

    Anyway, its good to know there are others out there with the same problem. Salespeople still look at me funny when I insist on sitting in the back seat of cars on the showroom, usually before I sit in the front seat--I don't want to start to like a car only to find out it is miserable in the back seat.
  • mortifymortify Posts: 9
    My '99 Passat had good leg room and GREAT head room, but I just test drove a '99 323, and I can't believe how much leg room is available. It's truly impressive.
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