Tall guys--tell me

Very interesting…

I wouldn’t want one for a long-distance trip, but around town would be no problem at all… it didn’t feel that much less spacious than our old 98 Camry. Now the rear seat, that’s another matter altogether.

Just goes to show you how much the fit is an individual thing if one person 5’10" says it doesn’t have enough legroom but another one 6’6" and mostly leg seems to find it just fine for legroom. :slight_smile:

I have been told that the VW “new” Beetle (not the one from the '50s, '60s & '70s) is very accomodating for tall people.

Lots of headroom, and you can move the seat back for some leg room, but I suspect he may not be comfortable with the limit of how high the seat can be adjusted to. I am 5’8" or so and I would like a seat a little higher.

[i] Two door cars have longer driver's doors, that can be helpful [/i]  

In my experience the door is longer, but it is not set any further forward, but rather it is set back further to help people get in and out of the back seat.   I generally find four door cars a lot better in that regard.  They hang the door closer to the front so you get more room for putting you legs into the car.

It had the leg room, just not COMFORTABLE leg room. My 99 Civic coupe had a little bit more legroom than the 2 has. My CX-7 isn’t even all the way back and I have plenty of legroom

Note that a 4.6L V-8 Crown Vic, or its sister the Grand Marquis, will make 25 MPG on the highway at 65 MPH. I’ve owned several of them. They are great large cars. I lament Ford’s decision to cease their production.

The large Buicks, Olds, Pontiacs, and Chevys, with the 3.8L V-6 will surprise you on MPG too. I’ve seen 30 on the road with them at 70 MPH. Why drive an econobox that gets nearly the same MPG and will beat you to death?

Stay away from cars with sunroofs. The mechanism involved takes away at least an inch in headroom. I’m 6’1" and find a Jeep Grand Cherokee or Buick Riviera to lack enough headroom to be comfortable IF they are equipped with a sunroof. On the other hand, speaking of cars that will beat you to death, my tiny MGA fits me rather well. I just have more trouble getting in and out of it today than I did 43 years ago…

I am 6’ 3" with a 37" inseam and have never found anything else as comfortable as an older Chrysler, Dodge or Plymouth minivan. Avoid anything from GM. I don’t even find their trucks or vans comfortable, the floors are too high in relation to the seats and controls.

I am 6’, disproportionate long legs, bad back and knees, and the Dodge Minivan has been the best car so far. The Camry (02-06) is by far the worst so far.

I have always felt that the ideal vehicle for tall people would be a Divco delivery truck (many were used for home milk delivery) from the 1950’s. The controls were laid out so that one could drive the truck in either a sitting or standing position. I thought it would be great to have one–when my legs started to cramp from sitting behind the wheel on a long trip, I could stand up and drive.

The only problem is those trips would get much longer than they would be by car. I think those Divcos had a top speed of maybe 50 MPH downhill with a strong tailwind. See: http://www.divco.org/index.html

Not to mention the safety problems from standing up should one get in a wreck

I prefer4 doors as well, but large bellied tall folks find the door of a two door accord or civic a lot easier to get in and out of than the smaller 4 doors’s drivers door.

Hope that makes even a little sense.

When I see where my seatback is when I get out, it is obvious that I have to lean forward a lot to exit, as opposed to just turning out and standing up, my shoulders are so far back that I look out the back windows when I check left and right. It was merely meant to point out something an average size man might not think about.

You can easily check any cars you look at. A minivan or pickup does not guarantee comfort as for me it varies from model to model. I had a ford ranger short cab was plenty comfy in, and an f250 short cab at work I would love the seat to go back farther. Check out the cars you find, put the seat all the way back, and if you have trouble reaching the pedals (assuming you are like 5’ 10") and you have lots of room over your head consider it good. Another option that can help is the electronic up and down and tilt in the seat along with an adjustable tilt steering wheel.

Well, which would you rather have, safety or comfort?

I was really fascinated by these Divco delivery trucks. There was a set of pedals to operate the truck if one was seated. There was another set of pedals to operate if one was standing up. Finally, there was a spring loaded throttle control on the gearshift lever. The gearshift lever was mounted on the steering column where all good gearshift levers should be.

I’m 6’5 as well with a 36" inseam. Having replaced my car recently I can sympathize. Unfortunately the short version of my advice is what a lot of other people are going to tell you, he’s going to have to sit in one first, and specifically sit in the drivers seat. Steering wheel, pedal and center console position are very important to what makes a car comfortable to drive.

One thing that surprises me most is how important steering wheel position is. I have driven several small cars (Corrola, Camry, Neon etc) short distances and the first thing you notice is that you frequently have to splay your right knee out at the hip (right leg is fixed at the gas pedal). In a Corrola I need to go so far out that my knee blocks my view of the radio. This makes it painful to drive for an hour or more.

In my experience tilt steering and adjustable pedals are useless to tall people, I’ve never seen a medium sized person who doesn’t like the same settings I do, usually maxed out on the floor or tilted all the way up. Telescopic steering wheels and tilt seats are useful features. In many cars, especially ones with power seats, dropping the rear end of the seat pan frees up more headroom and legroom and makes an uncomfortable leg angle more bearable by supporting your thigh.

I’ve seen some complaints here about sunroofs, I’ve only driven 2 cars with sunroofs, but in my experience it really doesn’t change the headroom at all, many car roofs have some amount of bow to them where you wouldn’t have a good forward view if your head was that close to the ceiling anyway.

At any rate, I currently drive a Pontiac G6, which feels pretty roomy but the suspension is a little stiff for roadtrips. My previous car was an Olds 88, the suspension made for a much smoother ride, but honestly I think it had less real legroom even though it was a fullsize.

Personally I would just ignore looking at compact cars, Some are surprisingly comfortable in the drivers seat, but many of those are late models with high resales. Some Nissans made in the last decade are good but that would be a little newer than you seem to intend. Trucks, minivans and SUVs are an option, but some of them are traps, late model Jeeps for example are really poorly laid out, and your son may not want a gas hog. Most fullsize cars will be acceptable, some midsize cars will work too. Check out a Taurus or Sable, any fullsize Pontiac, Oldsmobile or Buick. If your son doesn’t want to be seen driving a fullsize your options are limited, Impala, maybe an Alero, or possibly a 2 door.

How old is your son? Is he in college or about to Graduate? What are his plans?

I would recommend a pick-up truck, extended cab.

I know they don’t get the best mileage, but young single men tend to have fender benders, move around alot, carry camping gear or motorcycles, or whatever they do as a hobby.[ and it is hard to fit a Keg in a car trunk.]

Whatever you do, don’t buy a new beetle. They price in parts and labor to replace a driving light will negate any fuel savings

i had a 1999 dodge intrepid but am only six foot one…i found it to be roomy. Right now I am driving a 98 ford taurus and it is roomy

My brother is 6?3?? and has always driven either a Dodge minivan or a Taurus. See if you can get your son to try a few cars to see his comfort level.

I’m 6’5" and I have yet to sit comfortably in a truck. The leg room is ok, but manufacturers tend to keep the roofs low and taller vehicles (trucks and SUVs) to reduce rollover risks.

One thing to consider is not just the head room, but the line of sight. I fit comfortably in a Tacoma, but my line of site was about 1" below the top of the windshield.

Here are cars I have owned and fit comfortably in.
91 VW Golf
97 Toyota Corolla
96 Subaru Outback
04 Toyota Sienna

Like others have said, tall guys really need to “test sit” a car to see how they fit. I drive salesmen crazy because my step in buying a car is going into the showroom and sitting in the all the cars. No interest in a test drive or a sales pitch until I know I fit.

A lot depends on how far back the drivers seat will slide and the adjustments on the seat. My old Golf had loads of room. No one could sit behind me, but I rarely had passengers.

Things tall guys have to consider:
Head and leg room
Line of sight (sometimes there is headroom, but we can’t see well because we’re looking out the top of the windshield)
Center console intrusion (can be painful on the knees)
Seat width (bucket seats are meant for small, narrow butts)
NO SUNROOFS (they take an inch off of head room)

All things considered, I would recommend a 97ish Subaru Outback. Mine had plenty of room for me and good milage for an AWD. There are TONS of them on the road, but if you live in the snow belt they’re all rusting out. I found ample spare parts for mine in the junk yard and had just replaced the doors when the tranny died. Check craigslist and you’ll find tons.

Just wanted to add that my Subaru had 210,000 miles on it when the tranny died. I would have fixed it, but it also had another $2k of routine maint due so I cut my losses.