Fuel efficient car for a large driver?

Basically, my question is what would be some reasonably fuel efficient and inexpensive cars, that are very roomy - at least for the driver. He’s a pretty big guy in all directions; perhaps 6’4 in height.

(It would probably end up being purchased used, but at this point I’d prefer to have at least one current-year model to have him sit in just to prove such cars even exist. I BELIEVE they exist, but maybe I just don’t appreciate the plight of those bigger than me.)

More background: MOST highly efficient cars are just wildly claustrophobic for him, and he tends to actually bump himself on the ceiling, so he’s avoided the whole genre.

For specific reasons he’s likely to continue to have a very large, ~10 mpg pickup truck available for any large hauling – which means the space in the economy car essentially doesn’t matter at all anywhere BUT the driver; a trunk isn’t even mandatory.

The car needs to have 4 seatbelts, but everybody else but the driver is both much smaller and doesn’t mind being cramped. (Otherwise, if it was appropriate for all weather, the solution is essentially a motorcycle!)

Any help is appreciated. Thanks!

PS. New to CarTalk, hope this is the kind of question I’m supposed to be asking here.

Good question, I’m looking for the same kind of car (6’5"). Two that come to mind are the current Scion xB and the Honda Fit. I fit in both, and am considering both. If he tries the xB, make sure he adjusts the seat to its lowest setting. I found plenty of room. It gets about 25/32 city/hwy mpg, has plenty of room for 4. The Fit gets about 33/40 city/hwy mpg, slightly less room, smaller engine.

Believe it or not, a Crown Vic will deliver 26-28mpg on the highway at 65-70 mph. Maximum comfort.

Or check out a Nissam Stanza, Maxima, Altima…

The Scion xB comes to mind especially the first generation.

Another car that taller people seem to like and feel roomy in the front seat is the VW New Beetle.

I find the new gen xB just as roomy. Yes, the mpg’s down, but the safety of the first edition is suspect, it was so light because there’s not much to it.

I’m a pretty tall guy with a 35 inch inseam and the roomiest small car I sat in at the Auto Show when it came to Boston was the Mini Cooper by far. I pretty much sat in every car from every manufacturer and it was the only small car I had to move the seat FORWARD in haha. The boxy Scion had great headroom, but the leg room wansn’t too impressive.

Oh, and don’t even bother looking at Suzuki-I was folded up like a pretzel with the seat all the way back.

Yep, I can vouch for the Mini, too. If he wants a fun car to drive, that would be #1 on the list.

The VW New Beetle has very large door openings and a high ceiling. It is the car of choice for the largest man I know, and he’s a very big guy.

Another suggestion, if he wants a sedan, is the Toyota Avalon

Large Cozy Coupe

I remember listening to a guy who called into Car Talk. The way I remember it, he was very large and needed to find a comfortable, but efficient car. He “staked out” a doughnut shop, waiting for other large people to park and go into the shop. He watched as they got in and out of their cars to see if it was an easy transition or a difficult task. He too found the New Beetle to be a candidate, checked it out, and I believe he bought one.

I agree that maybe the VW would fit the bill. Also, the doughnut shop “stake out” idea might turn up other possibilities.

A high school friend of mine (large and 6’3"+) found my “old” Beetle to be very comfortable for a few reasons. It had large door openings and high ceiling, as stated by mcparadise and the seats were high (good for long legs) and the seats went back quite far.

I’m not THAT large (6’2" and about 230) but most newer cars seem a little cramped for me. The challenge in my case is torso length; I have no problem with legroom but I hate for my head to be brushing up against the roof. My daily driver is a 97 Malibu and it’s just about perfect - lots of headroom. The best new car I’ve driven lately (I rent a lot for business) was a Mazda 6. At the 350 mile point I was tapping the fuel gauge to make sure it was working b/c it was just below 1/2 tank. At 495 miles the ‘find gas soon’ light came on and it took just under 16 gallons. Considering that I’d been driving it like a rental car, I was pretty impressed with that mileage. This was a V-6 automatic; plenty of pep for city traffic, open road cruising and freeway merging. Well thought out interior with minimal blind spots and all the controls were right where I expected to find them.

No to the Honda Fit. I have a 30 inch inseam and I’m 5’10" tall, there is no leg room for me at all in that.
My only advice is to go around to dealerships and let them know you’re just looking for leg and head room for vehicles.

You can ask any question that you like but I must say, after being here and there for a while, go shopping.

VW New Beetle.