Looking for vehicle reccomendations for a BIG guy

At about 6’ 6" and nearly 400 pounds, I’m a big guy. I’ve been searching on the Internet for vehicle suggestions, and I find a lot of articles about vehicles that are good for tall people (and a few for big people,) but not much for big and tall both. Not only do I need something that I fit in while driving, but I need something that is tall enough that I can get in and out of it without too much trouble. I currently drive a 1997 Ford F-150 Super Cab about 50 miles per day. While I fit well in the truck, I am looking for a vehicle that gets better gas mileage and is more friendly for driving my 2 and 6 year-old boys around in (though our other vehicle is a Town and Country minivan, so more often the kids ride in that.) I’m also trying to find a used vehicle that I can purchase for under $10,000.

I went to the dealership and sat in a 2008 Chevy Equinox and a couple other similar vehicles. While they have enough head and leg room, they seem to be very narrow. The door handle of the Equinox pressed into my left knee so hard that it left a bruise after the short test drive! The salesman told me that vehicles now-a-days are just that way because of all the extra safety features they put into the doors–side impact airbags and such.

I also sat in a Toyota RAV4, Honda CRV and Mitsubishi Outlander and those were all even tighter than the Equinox.

Other than the door handle crushing my knee, I really liked the Equinox and it seems to fit my other requirements. It gets decent gas millage, it was tall enough that I could get in and out of it easily enough, I had enough head and leg room, the kids could ride safely in the back, and I can find used ones in my price range. Before I decide to settle on it and buy a pillow for my knee, I thought I’d ask if anyone has any suggestions for other vehicles that I should take a look at.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions!

The vehicle you want does not exist. To accommodate a large person, the vehicle has to be large. To be fuel efficient, the vehicle has to be small(er). Were I in your shoes, I’d be looking at Econolines.

I’m a big guy and I was comfortable in a Saturn Vue. The mileage was around 22, I think, for the AWD version. A FWD would have better mileage. Be careful that if you get one with a VTi (variable automatic transmission) you only get 2007 or later. The earlier VTi’s were crap.

A buddy of mine is 6’ 4", 280 lbs, and he’s comfortable in his F150, double-cab, and in his V6 Taurus. He’s also driven (he said very) comfortably in my 4Runner. The Taurus is obviously the best MPG of the 3, it’s still not what I’d call a high MPG vehicle. He’s not quite a large as you are, but he’s a pretty big guy.

There are others, most are sedans, but you seem to be leaning towards SUV’s.

My 2006 Passat 2L T4 6-speed manual holds my 6’3, 325 body with room to spare. I even have to pull the seat forward a bit to be comfortable. Headroom is unbelievable.
In truth, it’s the wife’s car, and she drives quite conservatively, so the car gets 28 on average, and up to 33 on a trip. She refuses to use cruise control, so I think that the MPG could even be a bit better than that.

How 'bout a Hello Kitty smart car? http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/blog/shutdown_corner/post/Antonio-Garay-The-nose-tackle-who-drives-a-Hell?urn=nfl-wp8318. No idea if it would have room for both of your sons.

Best car for a big man is a Crown Vic or Mercury, or Town Car. They aren’t economy cars but get decent milage. We have a '99 Town Car with 197K miles and I think it is going to last forever. Every option works.

Chevrolet HHR? I know a large diameter person who has one. I don’t know about the height part but it might work for you.

How about a VW bug…

Thanks for all the comments and suggestions. I am leaning more toward a mid-size crossover SUV than a car because the extra height makes it easier to get in and out of. I went and checked out a Vue at a local dealer (thanks StrongDreamsWaitHere.) I think that might be a winner. The driver seat fit was similar to the Equinox, but it didn’t have the annoying door handle jamming into my knee issue that the Equinox did.

I have tried an HHR. My in-laws have one that I drive on occasion. I actually fit pretty well in it, but the visibility is bad for tall people. I had to lean over to see when the light would turn green. I had similar issues with a Pacifica.

Thanks again for all the suggestions.