Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Car for a fat guy

I’m, err, large, and I don’t mean tall. Any suggestions on a car that might let a little sunlight between the steering wheel and my stomach? I’m looking for something not more than a few years old (maybe new) and not really larger than an Accord. Thanks.

Daniel Pinkwater, noted children’s author and big man, came on the show a few years back and told Tom and Ray about his search for a car that would fit him. Believe it or not, he found the new VW Beetle was the best fit for him.

Here’s Daniel Pinkwater’s story in his own words:

Luckily, most cars have steering wheels that telescope as well as tilt. Look for that, as some only tilt. Seat width is obviously important and domestics are better at that than most imports. The exception being the larger imports. I know you didn’t want anything too big, but two cars that are uncommonly spacious and only trivially bigger than an Accord are the Toyota Avalon and Hyundai Azera. Both seem to have been designed for American builds. On the domestic front, the Taurus is very comfy, but probably too big. The Fusion is a classic mid-sized and worth check out for its excellent reliability. There is a new, more stylish Fusion due out soon. It’s basically a European Ford Mondeo, so the seats may not suit as well. But they might, since it is a classic sales reps company car. They drive a lot so seats matter to them. We’ll see. Most Japanese and Korean cars have narrow seats, but the Hyundai Sonata and Kia Optima (a beauty) seemed pretty big. Hope this helps.

I don’t know how you feel about the PT Cruiser, and obviously it isn’t made anymore, but a friend’s family has a very obese family member (400+ lbs) and they looked at many cars before settling on this one because it was the easiest for her to get in and out of.

Other than that, I’d look for something with a high seating position, like a truck or SUV, definitely not something low with bucket seats.

onw big man to anouther the pt cruiser has no room inside for me
the VW beetle is very roomey for me i’m 6-4 and about 400lbs with a 56-58" waist. my car right now is a 2000 300m it has very wide seats between the councel and the doors. also the 1st Scion XB the little school bus has a lot of room inside for a small car.

I work with a guy who’s very large…5’10…and I guess…over 350lbs. He drives a Kia Soul. He fits fine in it.

Shaquille O’Neal does a commercial for the Buick LaCrosse and he seems to fit just fine. I would guess there might have been some modifications to the seat but maybe not.

Check out a Chevrolet HHR. I know a large person who drives one.

Shaq does not fit in the buick. on the last camera shot note how his knees grapple the steering wheel. There is no room for his hands to turn the wheel. Pure marketing garbage.

You’re really gonna have to try each out for individual fit and function.
I know several large people and each one has a different preference about ingress and egress.
One hates to climb down into and up out of a vehicle but is ok with climbing up into a pickup with running boards.
Another wants a vehicle hight to just lean over into the seat and not climb down or up.
For the other the tilting wheel is great, when up can get in and out of an SUV.

These days any vehicle can fool you from the outside with all the ergonomic adjustments the newer ones have and a regular size guy like me may never before have taken notice for such parameters.

I strongly suggest one with adjustable pedals.
When sitting farther back from the wheel you may find it quite a reach to push the brake pedal correctly.

Waay to individual of a fit for us to comment.
When shopping , tell the salesman it’s gonna take a lot of test fits so it could be a long day, and a bad fit is a no-sale and not to bother with all the financing, discount and other bull untill you find one that fits.

No fit - no sale ?
My 83 year old dad took along his upright bass violin…no fit - no sale.
not only did it need to fit without damage but HE needed to be able to do it easily.
A couple of places had sales people who didn’t seem to want to be bothered with such so he told them straight out " then you won’t get my business nor anyone I talk to." and walked out .
When he found a gracious sales person who would take time for him, guess where he bought from ?
Yep , didn’t matter the vehicle brand.

The OP specifically said NOT TALL. Last I knew Shaq was kinda tall. Shaq’s car wouldn’t be a good example of what the OP is looking for.

I tend to agree with Nebin somewhat. YOu’ll notice we never see Shaq get INTO the car.