Good Cars for Tall People from the 2015 Detroit Auto Show

Hyundai Sonata

There’s this idea out there that all big and tall people should stick to big and tall things, and not want the opposite. Baloney, I say.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told by shorter people that I “need” a big truck or an SUV. Think Silverado or Tahoe. They’ve told me that the fact that I currently drive a Honda Civic is funny. Hotwheel. Clown car. Roller skate. I’ve heard them all. And I’m here to proclaim:

I don’t want a big truck

I live in the suburbs, not on a ranch. I don’t have construction materials to haul. I can’t afford a boat or RV. And if I had one, I’m sure I’d leave all of my crap in the bed out in the rain on a regular basis. A large SUV? I can’t find that many people who want to spend extended time with me in one space.

I drive a compact car and love it. Sure I’d like to graduate to full size sedan someday. But enough of that. I give to you the results of the #bigguytest at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show. These cars are in no particular order. But they’re all good cars for tall people:

If you’d like to see guides by segment, check out my guides on mid-sized sedans and compact cars for tall drivers.

2015 MINI Cooper Countryman

Front leg room: 40.4 inches
Front shoulder room: 52.8 inches
Front Head Room: 39.9 inchesMINI Cooper Countryman_mini
MSRP:
From $22,750

It sounds ridiculous that a vehicle with “mini” as a name could be suitable for a tall person. But the MINI Cooper Countryman was one of my favorite vehicles at the show. With the seat adjusted properly the Countryman easily fits a 6’7″ driver, and there’s even leg room in the back for your friends. On the downside, there’s not a ton of storage space. So while your friends will fit, their bags will not. MINI also offers plenty of ways that you can customize this vehicle.

2015 Chevrolet Colorado

Front leg Room: 41.3 inches
Front shoulder room: 57.5 inches
Front head room: 39.5 inches2015 Chevrolet Colorado at the Detroit Auto Show
MSRP: From $20,120

Okay, so I said that I didn’t need a big truck. A small truck is an entirely different story. And the Chevy Colorado is the only vehicle at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show in which I had to scoot the seat up. The cab is extremely comfortable, and I feel like you wouldn’t have to work in the construction business in order to feel like this truck fits your style. One catch: whoever is sitting behind you will be having a bad day unless they’re a small child.

2015 Subaru Forester

Front leg room: 43.0 inches
Front shoulder room: 57.0 inchesSubaru Forester at the Detroit Auto Show
Front head room: 41.4 inches
MSRP: From $22,195

My fiance and I have long eyed the Subaru Forester, and in large part that’s because the Forester is so comfortable, even with a tall guy at the helm. Aside from its roominess, it has the storage of a great road trip vehicle. You can even throw a tent on top of it and turn the Forester into a camping companion. I’ve never thought the Forester looks all that great, but it’s a vehicle that just checks all the right boxes.

2015 Nissan Juke

Front leg room: 42.1 inches
Front shoulder room: 53.6 inchesNissan Juke at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show
Front head room: 39.6 inches
MSRP: From $20,250

After driving my fiance’s Nissan Juke for a while, I can attest that it’s a tall person-friendly vehicle. I will say that while a big guy will fit in this car, it’s not exactly your best bet if you plan on doing a lot of road-tripping. After a few hours it tends to feel a bit cramped (even my short fiance agrees). Nevertheless, it’s a good fuel-efficient vehicle with a decent amount of storage, and the turbo version is sporty.

2015 Hyundai Sonata

Front leg room: 45.5 inches
Front shoulder room:
57.9 inchesHyundai Sonata
Front head room:
40.4 inches
MSRP:
 From $21,150

The Hyundai Sonata offers the most front leg room of any vehicle on the list. And it was perhaps the biggest auto show surprise for me. Many of us have lived under the impression that Hyundai is “cheap” without having ever been in one. The interior of this vehicle feels anything but, and at 6’7″ I felt like I had plenty of room to move around.

There were plenty of other vehicles at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show that you could probably shoehorn a guy like me into. And i’d be insane not to show you this photo:

Volkswagen Beetle at 2015 Detroit Auto Show

 

The photo on the left was included in a Volkswagen Ad created to show that even though Wilt Chamberlain couldn’t fit in the Volkswagen people, many other people could. Well at the Detroit Auto Show I put the 2015 Volkswagen Beetle to the test, and I fit comfortably.

Alright tall people. It’s your turn.

There are a lot more cars out there than I’ve pointed out in this post. Let me know which car, truck or SUV you love, and whether or not you can stuff your long legs into it.

Want to see more tall-friendly cars by segment? Check out these posts:

Tell a friend!

72 comments

  • Joe Sullivan

    I enjoyed the irony behind your roomiest choice.

  • Big Vinny fro Philadelphia

    The Fiat 500L is roomy for me at 6′ 10′ 345lbs

    • Saige

      I’m having a laugh reading this because I’m a 5’6″ woman who has a hard time finding a car because my head hits the ceiling of most of them…even in many of the models you shared.

      For me, I need a car without a sloping roof at the front. I sit closer than someone as tall as you but I have a long torso and ample bum so I need a lot of headroom up there in the front.

      Been driving a Kia Soul for 6-years because it has an open, boxy, roomy feel. Works great for my brother who is 6’4″, too (but leaves no space for passenger behind him.)

      I hit my head on the ceiling of all the smaller crossover SUVs such as Rav4, CRV and Kia Sportage. The Soul is an awesome size for taller and bulkier people, great on gas, comes with lots of technology in base models. I love my Soul but am giving it up this year for a Sorento…because I live in New England and now need a better vehicle for the snow.

      I was pleasantly surprised driving my boss’s Civic a few weeks ago because the seat lowered much lower than in other vehicles which gave me plenty of headroom.

      Anyhoo…input from an average height woman with a long torso, round bottom and huge head ;)

      • Will Eifert

        Hi, Saige. Thanks for reading. Since you were okay with the boxy look, I’d recommend that you give the Scion xB a test-drive sometime. There’s a shocking amount of room in it and I want to say it’s the most adaptable to people of various body types.

  • Diana Norcross

    I wish you had also looked at the front passenger seat in these cars. Because my eyesight is better than his, I do 99% of the driving while my 6′ 4″ husband telescopes his 36″ inseam legs into the space next to me. I’ve tried him in every car my friends have, all epic fails: Ford Flex, Audi Q5, BMW3, Toyota Avalon, Toyota Rav, Honda CR-V. We don’t need an SUV, but we’ll get one if necessary. We’re in a 99 Camry right now and can’t drive distances longer than two hours because it’s downright uncomfortable! I can’t wait to get on a used car lot and tell the guy what we’re looking for… Thanks for listening.

    • Will Eifert

      Thanks for reading, Diana! Check out this post I wrote on mid-size sedans (I’ll eventually get to each segment): http://www.willeifert.com/automotive/best-mid-size-sedans-for-tall-drivers/. It’s all about the numbers, there. I’d say have him sit in a Kia Optima or Hyundai Sonata and see if that works for him. Those two sedans don’t have a lot of rear passenger space but in this case it seems like you just need to find something for him to get those long legs into! Let me know how it goes!

      • gopi

        Chevy silverado, i can cross my legs almost as a 6 5 280lb man

      • Nadina

        Will, Please help me too! Tall kids… three of them. My oldest is 13 and she is 5’10, with two more daughters coming up right behind her and they are both 5’7ish and they are 12… I need to know what’s the most roomy for passengers. Even mini vans are a little cramped for my oldest at this point. And we still have a few years of Mom chauffeuring, short of a mini bus… I’m not sure what I’m looking for. Thank you for your insight! :)

    • Ron

      Dianna N.,

      I am 6’3″ and 220 lbs. In the call to fuel economy in the late 70’s, my wife an I tried a Sentra, 50 mpg highway in the day. However I broke the front seat welds twice trying to wedge in and out. After 2 years of that we went up to a Pontiac Parisienne in 1985 :-) Before and after this fiasco, (Sentra) we drove big block 8 cylinder vehicles and with the improvement of horsepower, my wife v-6 on occasion. I have driven Lincoln Town Cars since 1995, when I lost a job and had to dump car payments. So for 20 years I have enjoyed the roominess of Town Cars, and like you mentioned, always used. The latest, a 2004, we purchased 8 months out of titling as a Fleet vehicle. Have driven it for 11.3 years, just replacing the original water pump and spark plugs last month! We get 24 to 25 mpg highway, with five folks in the car. (on cruise) Few vehicles can hold 5 to six adults in two rows and when they do, they lose bragging rights for highway mpg. So far the only vehicle that can hold its own to the comfort of the Town Car is the Ford Flex. Lincoln has the Transport or MKT which has replaced the Town Car-L series for Limo services as the Town Car went out of production in 2010-11. I am surprised the Flex is on your NoNo list. I love the Mini-Cooper, takes me back to my youth and Go-Karts. At 63 years of age, I am not as loose and have arthritis issues, so need a shoe horn to get in and can opener to get out. Great room once you’re inside. Will have to look at the Chevy Colorado, as it’s driver interior dimensions seem favorable and it is higher off the ground than the Mini. However I prefer a Trunk and not all the noise of things rattling in back like a station wagon or SUV. My wife has a 2013 Ford Explorer which she loves and it is roomy for me. It rides like a truck except on smooth surfaces. Great on highways and good viewing for anticipating traffic concerns. We feel very secure while traveling. Living in a suburb of Chicago, we do a lot of local driving, but have taken it to the East coast twice this year, once last year, to Florida, and the East coast the October we bought it. Great for hauling trailers up to 6,000 lbs.

    • Clint Teinert

      I have a Nissan Maxima. Altima is roomy also. The only none SUV that I could fit into and travel with 6’7′ or more friends.

      • Brooks

        I need to let everyone know about the new sonata! It’s amazing. I’m 6’9″ and I test drove every car under the sun… The sonata has more shoulder and head room than any full size I looked at… More than the g80, Cadillac XTS, Ford Taurus, etc. On top of that the rear legroom is unbelievable. With me in driving position, a full grown adult can sit behind me. I’m truly in awe. Best fitting car I ever drove.

        The tough thing for me was rear legroom behind me for someone else to sit. There are 11 inches before you get to the next seat. There were 9″ on the Cadillac XTS, 7″ on the Mazda 6 ( and shoulder issues) and 5″ on the Cadillac CTS (what I drive now)

  • Handsome Henry

    At 6′ 3″ & 280, I’ve avoided ‘swoopy’ cars. Started with a ’75 Civic, Hyundai Pony, Chevy Nova, Camry(s), Avalon, Highlander, Subaru Forester, BMW 5, to an Acura TL now. Never a problem finding a car that fit, but now, really want a 2016 Golf R…and my wife & daughter have referenced the episode of The Simpsons re:tall guy/small car. Will-is the Golf a mistake? It goes on sale in the third quarter of 2015 here.

    • Will Eifert

      Thanks for reading, Henry! “Swoopy” is a good way to describe cars to look out for. It seems like that styling is only getting more popular and it can steal away head room.

      Check out this post that I did on compacts: http://www.willeifert.com/automotive/best-compact-cars-for-tall-drivers/. Of course it covers the 2015 Golf. I’ve yet to see the dimensions of the 16 model. Also check out this, on mid-size sedans: http://www.willeifert.com/automotive/best-mid-size-sedans-for-tall-drivers/.

      The 15 Golf scores pretty low in leg room compared to other compacts. Now that doesn’t mean that it won’t be comfortable for you. In fact at 6’3″ you’ve got more wiggle room than guys like me.

      The bottom line is that it’s only a mistake if you don’t drive it and then don’t buy it. I’ve found that some of the cars I’ve reviewed looked small by the numbers, but with the right seat and steering wheel configuration were not too bad. Wait till it comes out, take a day off (it’s always less hassle around noon or one o’clock) and drive it. That said:

      If you’re really stuck on a VW, the Jetta beats the Golf in front leg room by about 5 inches and has more rear legroom. You sacrifice a bit in headroom, though. Personally, I’ve been inside the 15 Jetta and they are pretty comfortable at 6’7″. There you’re only talking a bit more in base MSRP as well. And it looks hot, and I mean hot, in red.

      If you’re not stuck on VW, take a look at some of the other compacts in that post if that’s the size you’re looking for. You’ll be surprised about some of the room you can get. From the progression of the cars you’ve owned it looks like you’re shopping more in the luxury segment, and that’s good motivation for me to take a stab at luxury vehicles as well. If you test drive any of these I’d love to hear how it went.

      • Handsome Henry

        Jetta is a good suggestion. In fact my wife’s car is a 2009 Jetta TDI. We both really like it.

        I like the idea of the Golf R because it’s a sports car without looking like one-approx. 300 h.p./290 torque in a light weight package. Never owned anything like it-BMW 5 was the closest.

        I’m also a safety nut & won’t consider anything that isn’t a Top Safety Pick +-the Legacy, etc., presumably the Golf R.

        • Will Eifert

          It’s good to be a safety nut! I was checking through the IIHS top safety picks for 2015 to find something closer to what you’re getting at. The Legacy would be a good choice. It’s a bit heavier but the horsepower is a bit better. Perhaps if price isn’t as big of an issue you might take a look at the Audi A6. It’s a TSP+ and doesn’t look, IMO, too “swoopy.” Heavier and more expensive, yes, but more power. If you buy one you’ll make me jealous, so at least there’s one person that would have car envy for you.

          The 15 Golf, at least, isn’t a TSP+.

          • Handsome Henry

            no, but Golf r will have the whole vw “eyesight” suite, so…maybe. The Legacy was originally my first choice, but the reason I have only owned 1 Subaru is that our ’99 Forrester was good for 45 minutes only-then my wife’s back and mine started hurting. I have noticed a minority of reviews referring to a similar issue with the 2015 Legacy…so a half day test drive is in order. I do prefer a smaller, sportier car. I enjoy car shopping but it is difficult.

          • Handsome Henry

            no, but Golf r will have the whole vw “eyesight” suite, so…maybe. The Legacy was originally my first choice, but the reason I have only owned 1 Subaru is that our ’99 Forrester was good for 45 minutes only-then my wife’s back and mine started hurting. I have noticed a minority of reviews referring to a similar issue with the 2015 Legacy…so a half day test drive is in order. I do prefer a smaller, sportier car. I enjoy car shopping but it is difficult. I was surprised when you said the Golf has 5 inches less leg room than the Jetta-doesn’t sound good. The A6 is a little too expensive for me, I think. The BMW 5 in my past was a company car-I’m retired now.

      • Joshua Lingel

        I’m 6’11” and finding cars is difficult. I drive a 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee and it has been one of the best vehicles I have owned in terms of space on the inside. Legroom is awesome, headroom is great. I can have my seat all the way back and people can sit behind me, plus if I need to put the rear seat down to put something in the back, it folds flat even with my seat all the way back. I drove a Chevy Tahoe that didn’t have that kind of space.
        My car before that was a 2007 Camry which I loved, but when they changed they body style, they made it too cramped for my legs in the center console area.
        Right now I am searching for a small car as a second car for my wife, but I also want to be able to drive it. I am looking for a hatchback, and as I recall, about 5 years ago I tried the Golf or Rabbit or whatever it was called then and I didn’t fit well, I hope they gave it a little more space.
        I personally love the Mini Countryman, but my wife doesn’t plus as much room as there is inside, I feel like I need a giant shoehorn to pop me out of the small driver side door.

        • Will Eifert

          Thanks for reading, Josh. Isn’t it interesting that vehicles that should be giving you a lot of space (like the Tahoe) don’t. I got a chance to look around the 15 Jeep Grand Cherokee at this show and it was roomy and extremely comfortable. In terms of small hatchbacks, the Veloster Offers some decent leg room. But of course with compacts head room is so often an issue. I’d look at small or compact SUVs as well.

          • Joshua Lingel

            Yeah, I think I want to look at the Subaru XV Crosstrek, I’m hoping there is enough space in there for me.

          • Diana

            My 6’4″ husband could not fit into a Crosstrek–of course, I’m checking the passenger seat for him (my eyesight is better and I do most of the driving). I recently came across a website called Extend My Seat that manufactures extensions, allowing seats to slide further back. Have you heard of this innovation? Technically you could purchase any car you like and, for a price, get them to make it workable for you. I”m thinking of getting a Subaru Forester…
            Good luck!
            D

          • Will Eifert

            I couldn’t fit in the Crosstrek either, though I sure wish that I could! I do, however, fit in the Forester, which is a vehicle fairly high up on our wish list.

          • marcos cianflone

            Hello. I’m 6’6″ and drive a Tiguan without sunrrof (always without), and I’m happy with it, better headroom than my wife’s Jetta. For me headroom is more important than legroom. Nissan Altima is also a great car for tall people, but it’s becoming smaller each new generation. I drove a 2012 and was roominess. I’ve read a lot about Ford Transit, a know is ugly, but has a huge headroom.

          • Will Eifert

            I’ve driven the Tiguan and enjoyed the headroom. The only thing I didn’t like about the Tiguan were the seats. In all crossovers today you sit a bit more upright, and it was fine on short trips but a little uncomfortable on long drives. And the seats weren’t very wide, but then again I’ve probably got a wider rear end than most. The Ford Flex also has decent room.

  • Mike McCutcheon

    I have been a faithful reader of Road and Track, Car and Driver and Automobile for over 40 years. I am 6′ 6″
    tall. Why don’t the mags put in legroom specs any more?

    • Will Eifert

      That’s a great question! If I knew more about auto magazines, I’d have a better answer. But if I could give it a speculative shot, I’d say that practicality isn’t the sexy part of a product, and only people like you and I have a dire need to know leg room specs.

      • Joshua

        I honestly don’t think it matters anyway. I’ve tried out so many cars that say they have the most legroom and the specs look great, but I just don’t fit. Like the Jeep Wrangler, the specs look great, but the dash comes down too low and they don’t measure things like that. Best option is to go to the dealers and check out the cars.

        • sheldon

          After much research, including this website, I decided on a Subaru Legacy. I was more than a little uneasy with my local dealer as he had no car to test drive-supposedly because of the car’s popularity, so I went to the next closest dealer. I did a normal test drive, then a one hour drive. It was during the latter, at the 30 minute mark, that my back started aching-the end of the Subaru and the start of the Lexus NX, with its comfortable seats & slight sportiness-and obstructed views. We got ALL the safety gear & I can say as an anti-SUV guy, that the safety gear does deal with the obstructed views effectively. The Top Safety Pick+ Subaru (Superior) was replaced with a Top Safety Pick+:(Advanced) NX, but having the better rating in the Subaru meant back pain.

      • Mike McCutcheon

        No, but it sure helps narrow down who gets my $40 – 70K

        • Will Eifert

          I agree. I’ve worked with a lot if dealer websites and talked with a lot of dealers, and it strikes me that not many of them approach practical issues like this. They’re real issues that buyers deal with.

          How well does the car fit a car seat? Would your dog cage fit in the back?

          Magazines and TV shows cover the sexy stuff. But when am I or the the other average buyers going to have the money for a Lamborghini?

          So that’s what motivates me to write these little posts here and there.

  • Jeff

    I find it interesting that the Forester made the list. I am also 6’7″ and tried the Forester. I always position the bottom of the seat as far down in the back and up in the front as I can as it provides the most support for my thighs. I noticed, however that when I did this in the Forester and made the seat as comfortable as possible that I could not adjust the rear view mirror to see out the back! The mirror literally could not tilt up anymore and so if I were to be driving it I would have to duck my head down to see anything behind me! In its fully upright position I was staring directly at the headrests of the backseat with only a sliver of the road above them. This factor made the car a no go for me.
    I am still looking for a car but I am more concerned with knee room than leg room. I find that I can pretty much fit myself into most things but the things that bug the crap out of me are when my knees are hitting consoles or door panels. I can deal with my shins leaning on the console because, lets face it there is no way around that. But

  • Jeff

    I find it interesting that the Forester made the list. I am also 6’7″ and tried the Forester. I always position the bottom of the seat as far down in the back and up in the front as I can as it provides the most support for my thighs. I noticed, however that when I did this in the Forester and made the seat as comfortable as possible that I could not adjust the rear view mirror to see out the back! The mirror literally could not tilt up anymore and so if I were to be driving it I would have to duck my head down to see anything behind me! In its fully upright position I was staring directly at the headrests of the backseat with only a sliver of the road above them. This factor made the car a no go for me.
    I am still looking for a car but I am more concerned with knee room than leg room. I find that I can pretty much fit myself into most things but the things that bug the crap out of me are when my knees are hitting consoles or door panels. I can deal with my shins leaning on the console because, lets face it there is no way around that. But when my knees are digging into the door or the parking brake then its over. I hope I can find a car soon. I will try out the kia and hyundia options soon.

    • Finally, somebody hit on the dimension that is critical for most of us — knee room. After all, the knee joint needs to move about, up and down, and side to side, in order for drivers not to cramp. So a tunnel 10 feet long means nothing in meeting this need. The only vehicle that solved the passenger side knee room needed expanse for me was the SLX or SRX, the Cadillac suv-wagon from the mid 2005 era. After that they changed the body style radically to look more like every other SUV on the market.

      So, I agree with Jeff. Knee Room, both side to side and from floor up to mid-chest, as if doing a cannonball by grabbing your ankles together and lifting both legs straight up, and if you can do that completely clear of glove boxes or panels, then 90% of the long distance driving (over 100 miles) is solved.

      The head room is a no brainer. The leg room either is long enough or not long enough. The shoulder room is important so you’re not squeezed in. Yet, that “Knee Room” is the qualifier that no one seems to talk about, because it’s the knees that give out on a person after 100 miles, especially if arthritis is an issue.

      I supposed people with back issues might put back support ahead in priority to Knee Room, but back support seems move solved than this lack of Knee Room.

  • I’m 6′ 7″ 275 lbs, and when I went looking for cars in 2014 I was very disappointed at how few cars I could fit in. There were only two cars I felt somewhat comfortable in: the Ford CMAX and the Ford Escape. I chose the CMAX. When people see me they assume I drove some huge truck, and that it would seem counterintuitive that I would own a CMAX. After 20,000 miles I am still very happy with my CMAX, but out of curiosity might try out some of the cited models to see if they are more comfortable.

    • Sean

      Yeah I’m 6’9 and wirey and my parents C-Max fits me perfectly. The head room and leg room is amazing and the MPG is great too especially if you have the Energi version. I’m looking to buy a car and I have my eye on the 2006 Scion Xb. I haven’t sat in it yet but it is supposed to have amazing head room (46.1 in) and good leg room (45 in.) I have sat in the 2008 2nd Gen and it was fairly nice.

  • I am 6 ft 10 in and weigh 345#. I have driven a Pontiac G6 the last 7 years. Other than small doors getting in and out, by far the roomiest vehicle I have ever driven. Smart design in front seats allow for ample leg room in back as well. Sadly Pontiac stopped production. I will start the hunt for my next car soon, dreading it.

    • Will Eifert

      You definitely have more of a challenge than I. I’ve definitely found that even if there’s enough leg room once you’re in the vehicle, it can be difficult to get into that position! I think ultimately it’s about what you’d wind up satisfied with. I love mid-sized sedans, but I can’t deny that most if not all mid-sized sedans that I’ve liked have virtually no leg room behind the driver with the seat fully extended. Really the only example I’ve seen thus far in which the back seat passenger has a fighting chance at comfort is the Scion XB, and I see that as an acquired taste, aesthetically.

      Good luck in starting the hunt. As I’m writing this I’ve been working on the 2016 version of this report.

    • Matt

      I’m 6’9″ and 220 lbs. I’ve had three Pontiacs so far. I have to start searching outside of that now that Pontiacs are no longer made. So I feel your pain. I had a dealer once tell me “at you’re height, if you want a car you’ll either need a Pontiac or a Buick, and you don’t look old enough to want a Buick, so let’s go look at Pontiacs.” No sure what car I’ll get next.

      • Will Eifert

        Thanks for commenting, Matt! Got a chuckle out of what your dealer said. I’ve gotten the same advice from many people, and as far as I can tell a Buick is a very roomy choice. I’ve yet to drive the Buick models, but I they’re rumored to be a pretty nice ride. I guess whether or not you buy one at a young age depends on how well you think they’ve changed their image to attract young shoppers. Unfortunately for Buick the new commercials don’t keep elderly folks from enjoying the upgrades!

        Which Pontiac models have you owned, and how did you like them?

  • David G

    I am short compared to some of you guys at only 6’5″ 295 :-), but my issue is rarely leg room. My big problem is always head room and head rest issues. If I tilt the seat so far back for my head to clear the roof, I can no longer reach the steering wheel. Also, the head rests often hit me at the top of my back.

    My 2005 Expedition was just T-Boned so I have started shopping in earnest and I don’t want another truck based SUV. Unfortunately, I do need something bigger than these cars as it will be the family hauler for trips. I’ve heard good things about the Dodge Durango and Toyota Sienna. I will give those a try.

    Anybody have any other ideas for slightly larger family haulers?

  • I used your lists as a starting point when I was looking for a new car late last year. I’m 6’6″ and 280 lbs and tried most of the vehicles on your list. I really liked the 2016 Subaru Forester and Legacy but the way the center console is designed it was rubbing my right leg the wrong way. So I decided to buy the 2016 Honda CR-V AWD SE and love it! I was surprised the CR-V wasn’t on your list since it has the headroom, legroom, cargo room and sales figures to match!

    • Will Eifert

      Hi Sean. Glad that you found a comfortable vehicle. Try as I may I can’t get in every vehicle at the auto shows, so it’s good to have people like you finding examples of vehicles that work for drivers our size. Keen observation on the Forester. I love the overall room of the vehicle, especially head room. And the way that the cabin is design it just gives you the feeling of having room to breathe. But one trade-off is that that console rubs on your right leg. I’m starting to think that there must be a measurement I could use to describe the ideal right leg console relationship. Thanks for reading and again I’m happy that the CR-V has proven to be a good vehicle. I’ll have to take a test drive in it sometime.

      • The measurement that needs to be originated or established “to describe the ideal right leg console relationship” is the Knee Room measurement. My other post in reply to Jeff tried to emphasize this measurement as being absent but being critical to avoid leg cramping at the knee, side to side, and up and down. The knee is the most active joint involved in all these space considerations in my opinion. The other joints mostly get solved by comfort or adjustability, not space.

    • Greg

      I’m happy that the CR-V worked for you, but it didn’t for me I’m 6′ 5″ 270, bought a 4WD CR-V LE 4 years ago, had to swap cars with my wife after a few months, even my 30 minute commute was giving me back pain ad right knee pain. There’s enough leg room, but the seat just feels too short.

      • Mark

        “There’s enough leg room, but the seat just feels too short.”

        THAT is the key for me, and the one that rarely gets addressed. It’s all about the length of the seat. The closer it goes to the knees, the better. I don’t know about later models, but a 2004 Forester gave me sciatica. And as someone else stated, I like the front of the seat high and the back low, but more importantly, I like height adjustment that goes up and down. Seems so many cars (especially with manual height adjustment) the seat goes up and forward when you raise it, which reduces leg room.
        So for example, in my 2012 Jetta (current car), my choices are plenty of leg room but sitting on the floor, or knees almost hitting the dashboard and sitting at a nice height.
        I had a 2003 Pathfinder with manual adjustment that only adjusted the seat cushion. It didn’t move the seatback an inch. It was perfect.

    • Sona

      Anyone have experience on older CRV models, basically 1999-2004 are the years in my current budget, and I’m 6’7″ and thin, my legs aren’t super long for my height, but they are long. I’m interested in the CRV versus the RAV4 for those years, and haven’t had a chance to test any yet

      my first care was a 97 pontiac firebird, very low seating, but decent leg room, the I drove a 2001 Ford focus, the upright seating worked out, just enough room for me. The I drove an Acura CL coupe… not a great choice, but I survived, lol

  • Jim

    also posted this in the 2016 blog of this discussion… since I’m actually hoping for a ‘used’ 2015, figured why not post twice (if allowable – thanks!)

    Glad I found this discussion ! I’m 6-5, 250 (+)… (34-36 inseam, since some have mentioned it) Every year cars get tighter. I can’t believe that some of you like / fit well in some of the mentioned cars. I had a 2000 Impala (w/bench type seat) that was great, sadly Chevy went smaller… I went to the 2008 Ford Taurus. Great room all around – I can sit behind me. But, I would’ve loved it if the drivers seat went back a little farther… My foot, has to kinda sideways to give it gas.

    Now it’s time to change again…. I was hoping the 2015 Ford Taurus would be good, Sadly I found myself looking into the door jam/separator… not too safe. Same for the new Impala… The Subaru Outback / Legacy seems to have great legroom.

    Can you (or readers) give some suggestions to larger / Full size cars? Thanks, seems most are commenting or writing about mid size or SUV’s… Thanks!!!

  • LINDA BROWN

    Any recommendations for a 25 year old 6.9 tall thin guy in a car?

    • Mike McCutcheon

      I’m 6’6″. I had a 1972 Datsun 240Z. Plenty of leg and head room. Same with the Triumph TR2 and 3.

      Sit in and drive as many cars as are in your price point. BTW the Nissan Altima has plenty of leg room, while the Rolls Corniche is awful

  • jordan poole

    I just read this post i may be a shorter fellow then alot of you but i have one big problem i have an long torso at just about 6’3 my torso is longer then my boss at 6’4 i have probably a 30″ inseam and im heavy set and it is a pain in the ass as i like to sit straight in my seats for support of my back and wide shoulders which make it difficult to sit in anything but a large suv or truck. Any recommendations would be great thanks guys.

  • Peter Schoch

    I just sat in a 2016 Mini Countryman. At 6′ 2″ and 240 lb. I did n’t fit at all. Head hit the roof, and I couldn’t get the seat far enough back to extend my legs. Very disappointing!

    • Will Eifert

      I haven’t been in the 2016 model yet. When I first got in the 15 I thought that I wouldn’t have any headroom, but I pumped the seat down and it had a huge range of motion. So by the time the seat was all the way down, I was comfortable. Also didn’t really have a leg room problem. Looking at the measurements it appears that the vehicles have the same measurements from 2015 to 2016. Perhaps you’re more legs than I am, but the headroom problem doesn’t make any sense to me unless the seat wasn’t adjusted all the way down.

  • brenda

    6’1″, 400 pounds with 49 year old body. I bought a 2000 Chevy cavalier Coupe new. It has plenty of short trip comfort. My 6’3″ 300 pound cousin bought a 2002 and drove it over 200k before he traded up to a Silverado.

  • Brooks

    I’m 6’9″ 300lbs on the dot. I like tiny cars so I thought I’d share this:
    If you want a roadster, the Mercedes SLK was a good fit. I cut the headliner out above my head, but after test driving ask the others, it was the only possibility. Don’t even try to get in a Porsche boxter. Miatas were a squeeze but possible until the newest ones. S2000s could be driven but you’d never want to own one. Alpha Romeo 4c is the same. I could get in but I wouldn’t feel comfortable trying to drive as you can’t put your head straight.

    For similar non roadsters, the Lotus elise is rough but barely drivable. The 350z was decent and drivable but legs rub the wheel. If you go 80s, the fiero was great as long as you had the sunroof. I could even wear a helmet. Unlike other sunroof cars, the fieros is above your head giving you MORE headroom.

    Corvette’s weren’t as good if a fit as other reviews suggest, but 2 extra inches emerge by going for the glass roofs in the 80-90s or removing the seat springs in the 00s. I managed with a z06 c5 for a while.

    Ferraris have plenty of room after the 360. I’ve driven the 360 and 430 without a problem and plenty of room to spare.

    Porsche 911s are OK after 2011. Before then, as long as you did NOT have nav, you can install a gt3 delete kit and free up invaluable leg room.

    The challenge with lots of cars is it isn’t a “yes or no” but with what options. I can’t do a BMW 3 series… Unless it’s a sport package. That’s because the sports package has a 2″ smaller diameter steering wheel! That 2″ makes a difference.

    Other cars I’ve owned and been fine with long term:
    2010 camaro
    2008 Cadillac CTS
    2008 Porsche Cayenne
    2011 RAM
    2005 RAM
    1999 RAM
    2005 F150
    2008 F350
    2004 GMC Sonoma
    2006 BMW sport 3
    2001 Mazda 3 (driver OK, passenger not)
    2015 Ford fusion
    2014 Ford taurus
    1993 Mitsubishi 3000gt
    2007 Jeep patriot
    2006 Jeep compass
    2014 VW golf gti (drivable but odd leg bulge)
    2003 Nissan 350z (drivable but too tight fit racing)
    2003 slk (suitable but I cut the head liner out)
    1980 camaro
    2014 Cadillac XTS
    2009 Mercedes E class
    1982 Datsun 280zx

  • thomas perez

    a little late to this post but glad i found it as i got some useful info. of all those who have posted thus far, i think i am the smurf of the group (6’1″, 185).
    headroom is not really an issue for me as is legroom; most cars i’ve owned have had an adequate amount of the former but not the latter. the roomiest and most comfortable cars i’ve driven have all been rentals: a 2015 camry and a dodge journey. i’d include the ’14 elantra but it lacked CC and a telescopic steering wheel. when you’re driving 6 hours on a road trip, those two small amenities make a big difference.
    all the best to my fellow giants in finding a ride that cradles you like a worn-in sofa.

    • Will Eifert

      Thanks for reading Thomas. Those little creature comforts can make all the difference. My old Honda Civic didn’t have cruise control. Drove it 18 hours to Oklahoma City and needless to say my right leg was shot by the time I arrived.

  • Craig

    I’m surprised there is no mention of the Chrysler LX cars. I’m 6′ 8″ 240 36″ inseam and my 300C is the ultimate tall guy car….. By far, the best driving position and comfort of any car I have owned.

  • Mighty Big

    I am 6’4 350lbs over 40yrs. I have enjoyed the chrysler sebring convertible. Great gas mileage and leg room however, my favorite for leg room head room and shoulders bar none is the Dodge Magnum! The 300c is awesome as well but for cargo and passengers the Magnum can’t be beat. I cant believe they discontinued this car…

  • Wendy McInteer

    Let me just say that we purchased a Nissan Armada just so my 6’4″ husband could finally fit comfortably into something, along with our two sons who are well on there way to matching their father’s height. Recently though, we decided to try and find a vehicle that got better gas mileage for me to drive around town, 14 mpg just wasn’t good for the budget, so the daunting task of finding a fuel efficient vehicle that would also fit this tall family, well not me, I’m only 5’3″, began. After stuffing my husband, sometime literally, into many different makes/models we finally found a vehicle that offered leg room and head room in the front and the same for the back seat. Our sons can seat behind either myself or my husband without leg room complaints. The Ford C-Max Energi fits tall people wonderfully with the added bonus of excellent gas mileage! The downside is there isn’t a lot of room for luggage but if only a trip for two then it wouldn’t be an issue. We have kept our Armada for long family trips as we still love it’s roominess and cargo room. We are so happy we found the Ford C-Max, we were beginning to lose hope we would never be able to find a vehicle that would allow us to fit all these tall people and still put gas into the tank.

  • Tom

    I’m 6’4″ and have plenty of room in my 2013 Mazda 6.

  • Nige

    My problem is that my legs are pretty long. At 6 ft 5″, I have a very difficult time fitting into the driver’s seat of most cars. Whenever I rent I have to go for the Sonata as even other so called full-sized vehicles fall short. The Kia works but their dashboards are off centre and for some reason that disorients me.

  • Al Steg

    My problem is unique. I stepped on the wrong thing and lost my left leg and have a Prothesis. The metal knee sticks out (larger door opening required) and it does not twist. I just tried the Nissan cars and the Altama was the closest but no cigar. I have a CRV and it’s still tight. Before I got the Prothesis I drove a an Element which was great to put the wheelchair behind the drivers seat but it’s dam near impossible to get in it with the fake leg. Door opening must be wide and of course the car reliable. I’ve owned Hondas for years but am currently totally off them! I owned a Fiero and it was a nightmare to keep running. So… Not too low and wide opening. Appreciate suggestions. Thanks in advance

    • Will Eifert

      Hi Al. Thanks for reading! There are a couple of measurements that I really wish manufacturers would publish. One of them is door opening size. Maybe someday I’ll find the time to run around and measure them all.

      Without feeling your situation, I don’t know if I can give you the best suggestion. I do know that one of the reasons I enjoy the Subaru Forester is that it is a pretty easy vehicle to get into, opening-wise. In terms of height, I drove a VW Tiguan and it seemed that the seat height was very convenient. The seat width in that vehicle wasn’t really to my liking, but I’ve got a pretty wide rear end and you may not. Another vehicle I’ve been in which has just a ton of room is the Scion xB.

      But based on what you were looking for, I figured I’d point you in the direction of some other posts as well. These might stir up some ideas:

      10 SUVs with the Most Ground Clearance
      10 Best Cars for Older Drivers (Note: I’m not calling you old here – simply that older drivers with painful movement are looking for easy entry, too.)
      Top 10 Vehicles for Seniors (again, no offense.)

      I hope that these help. Thanks again for commenting. One of these days I’ll work on a list of ride height vs. door opening to help you out!

  • Mark

    Will do you have any sporty car suggestions for a 6′ tall bodybuilder that’s about 275? The weight is all in the back/chest and limbs. I want a fun and sporty car under 35k but the few I’ve tried that are affordable for me (like a Hyundai Genesis coupe) don’t work for me. My back is too wide to fit within the seat side bolsters, my legs are too big to provide much clearance between my thighs and the bottom of the steering wheel, and my arms are too big to comfortably fit my left arm within the driver’s side door without it feeling jammed up against my body. “Big guy” car reviewers are usually no help to me since they are typically tall slim guys, so all I’ve been able to do is just do check cars for fitment which is getting pretty old. Thanks very much for any suggestions!

    • Arachnyd

      Check out the Mercedes SLK. I thought it had a mercedes-like wide seat instead of the narrow “sports seats” of most sports cars.

      I also found the Camaro pretty comfortable, but the newest ones have a “Sportier” seat.

      Some of us guys a little bigger than you have to make some “customizations”. If you jump on the forums for whatever car you are looking at, there are often specific customizations that can be made. Corvette guys know to take out the seat springs, Porsche 911 drivers know you can remount the seat, and I’ve seen other cars discuss removing bolsters.

      Lastly, custom seats and similar aren’t “crazy”. Often you can be in the $400 or so space. I’ve done custom seats, and custom seat brackets.

      Edmunds.com lists the BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo as the best car for wide drivers. I wouldn’t call that a real sports car but it is sporty for a sedan… in your budget if you look used. The VW Beetle is supposed to be fantastic for wider drivers. Once again, I’m a race car driver so I wouldn’t call that a “sports car”, but I wouldn’t call a Genesis Coupe one either.

      Older Miatas are possible too, but they do require some modifications, possibly a smaller stearing wheel for example. Probably not quite what you are looking for.

  • Terry McN

    +1 Jeep Grand Cherokee 2011-2016 and same year range Dodge Durango. I’m 6foot7 and 200#. Long torso. We also have a Toyota Sienna and FJ Cruiser. The FJ Cruiser has tons of head room. Jeep GC wins on leg room. Sienna ok for both. Very tough for me to find vehicles mainly due to head room. These 3 are great. Never found a sunroof I fit under (maybe a Sienna?). Jeep Wrangler has a lot of head room but my head hits the roll bar/sound bar

    Looking for a sporty car that would fit

    • Josh

      I agree with the Jeep Grand Cherokee, that’s what I drive and I am 6’11” about 320lbs. I want a Wrangler so bad but my head does hit the bar too and the leg room kind of sucks. As for sporty cars, I fit in the Challenger and my father had a 98 Corvette that had so much leg room, but the new ones I wouldn’t even be able to get in at all. The Grand Cherokee is the only suv I have found that someone can sit behind me while I’m driving and I can also put the rear seats flat if I need to. Also for sporty, I fit in the new vw golf/gti

  • JoeK

    Been searching for a new car. 6’4″250#, most cars today only have head clearance of 1.5 fingers on an coupes I’ve sat in so far… Caddy ATS(head hits), Camaro(can’t get in), Charger(getting in a challenge, fit once in), Mustang(getting in hard, tight once in), Mercedes C300(head 1.5 finger clearance), Hyndai Genesis(knees hit steering wheel getting in, no tilt), BMW 2 & 4 series(head 1.5+ finger clearance), Need coupe (2 door) for long window/door and no blind spot caused by door bar when seat all the way back. Only car found I can get in(slight bend), fit in and get out of (slight twist) is the Audi A5. 4 finger head clearance to sunroof, lots of legroom, just slight twist/duck getting in. Nothing else, any suggestions. Not interested in a truck or SUV. 60yrs old, want a luxury 2 door car…

  • Chris

    As I get older, I finally decided to give up my Monte Carlo and get a small SUV. Being 310 lbs and 6’5″ it was getting harder and harder to pull myself out of the car, especially with a 2 door in economy parking spaces.
    I spent several months walking through car lots and sitting in various cars. I will say Carmax is the best place to do this, because they keep their cars unlocked and have many brands.
    My final choice was the Chevy Equinox. I did have to learn to sit first, then turn my legs in. It’s still a little weird to me, but I love the car. I have plenty of leg, hip, and head room. I actually put the seat all the way back at first, then realized I needed to move it forward some. The windshield is angled almost perfect. I don’t have to lean froward to see the stop lights under the roof.

  • Bob

    I was always amazed how large the Ford 500/Mercury Montego platform is when you ride in it. 2005-2007. They look like a normal size car but the inside, front and back, hold more space than any non SUV I have ever driven. My daughter in college still have my 2007 Montego and use it as their daily driver. We are a tall family my son, my daughter, and myself all being 6’3″. I could have my seat all the way back and the kids could sit behind me and not have knees even touch the seat. Great car. Hate the new Taurus that replaced it. So does everyone else because I barely see them on the road.

  • Gene

    I am 6’7″ with most of it in my legs (wear 38″ inseam) with a fairly “normal” torso height. Mercedes, across the line from C class to S class, are the only cars I have found that my legs actually lie flat in supported by the seat as is supposed to be. One pet peeve of mine is the stupid dead pedal that almost all manufacturers include now that shortens the length of the footwell by 4″-6″. But for this feature most cars would actually provide sufficient room for my legs…

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