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

I just want car that!

I sat in 8-10-12 new cars the other day. None fits! All I want is to extend my legs and still be able to reach the steering wheel --but all of the cockpits I tried out would not allow that. Often the driver’s seat would travel back far enough but that chair position negated reaching the steering wheel (even when fully dropped and/or extended).

I am super standard proportionally (arms and legs) and 6’1’’ tall, 200lbs.

just some of the models I tried: toyota camry, rav, highlander, lexus crossovers,suvs and sedan, volvo sedan, subaru outback, huyndai (sp), hondas, infinity sedan… you get the idea.

Anybody, please?

Try some Ford, and GM models. I am 6’ 0" at 195, most cars fit me OK. On some I have to put the seat with a bend in my knees to reach the wheel and petals, but I find a comfortable position eventually.

The older Chevy lumina was pretty good for taller folks, but I don't know about the newer models. As UT said, Try your luck in some GM/Ford models. I hear good things about the Malibu.


I wonder if this has to do with proximity during air bag deployment?

You must have long legs and short arms. You need to find a car with a telescoping steering wheel/column. I don’t know what models to recommend, but you may have to go for a luxury vehicle.

Try a VW new Beetle.

Nissan Altima.


Try a mini-van on for size. Caravan or Sienna.

Are you limiting yourself to cars, or are SUV’s, minivans, etc, all in the game?

There are many SUV’s on the market that would most likely fit you better than a large number of cars. There are a few hybrids that even get mostly acceptable mileage.


You’re shorter them I am and I don’t have a problem in several of those vehicles you tried…I also have a 36" inseam.

I’ve tried SUV’ (Lexus, Toyota, Huyndai,and others). We have a Sienna. It’s middle of the road (bad imo) on this issue.

Thank you folks for trying to help but…Maybe I need to explain more fully:

I want to stretch out my legs!! I do not want to bend more than about 10 or 12 degrees at the knee! I don’t want to have to hold my foot in a pike position (I have foot and knee problems)

Let me give you a for instance- I have a 1968 Volvo P1800. I can stretch my legs out fully. The steering wheel is high, almost perpendicular to the ground and close enough to me so my arms are mildly, comfortably bent (can rest against the window sash).
Also, my 1986 Mercedes 560 SEL is about 80% of the fit I want. About 1 more inch on the telescoping steering wheel would be great.

The old mercedes will have to go one day here pretty soon what with gas headed to 5 or 6 dollars… So I just am baffled. Any more ideas?

So, I’m just looking for something that has that kind of fit in the drivers cockpit (but is a modern 4 or 5 seater)

You’re not tall. The problem is your expectations/needs.

" All I want is to extend my legs and still be able to reach the steering wheel…I do not want to bend more than about 10 or 12 degrees at the knee!"

That’s one ninth of a right angle. How do you plan on entering and exiting the vehicle?

Sorry about your leg problems.

is it normal for average sized people to have their legs fully extended when driving? i have never been able to sit far enough away to have my legs anything but bent 90 degrees…i would suggest a sportier car, one that puts you lower to the ground…those are gonna be american mostly…and will have other issues for you, like entry/exit problems because it is so low.

I agree that the solution may not be in a sedan but a car based suv. With it’s higher profile, more flexibility in seating is possible. In all the SUVs that I have owned, both my wife who is a foot shorter than I, and my self have always been able to comfortably drive the same car. The adjustments have much greater range IMO.

If you want your legs virtually straight, test out a Lotus, Corvette, or similar sports car. Only something designed like that will have the seats low enough you can do that. …OR… you could get a van, remove the rear seats, install a bed or very low chair, and hire a driver.

Almost all of the cars and suvs I tested, rented or sat in would have worked if the steering wheel would have just telescoped another 2,3 or 4 inches!

I just don’t understand why auto makers don’t give that kind of flexibility any more. Seems this position-type was more common 20+ years ago.

…and I’d love to hire a driver, chaissos! Then when i practice juggling oranges and tennis balls in the car I wouldn’t have to keep one eye on the road!

’course i could rack the seat SO far forward in most of those cars that it would fit a 4’11" person (and their legs could be straight!)

"I just don’t understand why auto makers don’t give that kind of
flexibility any more. Seems this position-type was more common 20+
years ago."

Not that it applies specifically to your problem, but automakers have found that if they make models that are too “flexible” in adjustments in size, accommodation and performance they decrease the turnover in the purchases of their repeat customers. More limited scope models, more markets they can reach, more sales. And, if you’re an outlier in their number crunching and don’t fit the demographic they are trying to reach, you won’t see a feature that accommodates you. ie. telescopic steering wheel of more than 2 to 4 inches. Not enough of you to be worth the engineering investment. Sorry…

Look for a vehicle with 8-way power seats. Taht way you can raise, lower, move forward/back, and tilt the seat (both back and entire seat) to find your ideal seating position. You may have especially long legs and a short torso. Your legs might be average length for someone 6'4", for instance. I have short legs and a long torso (and long arms). I find that having the 8-way power seats allows me to find a comfortable driving position easily.

You will probably have to look at some sports cars to get that kind of seating position. It sounds like you are in the vast minority of what most people find comfortable. Minivans and crossovers have what most people consider a comfortable seating position, and many cars are going the same way. Most people want a chair-like seat and loathe the feeling of sitting on the floor to drive, but this seating position is a must for a low slung sports car, so check some of those out. The Miata may be a good fit for you (at 260 pounds, it’s not so much for me), and the driving experience will leave a smile on your face that will have to be surgically removed. Reliability is good, too.

Miata…good thought. If you want to gold older, the MG and MGB had you virtually sitting on the floorpan. Not that you can find them on every street corner.