We are looking for a vehicle that will comfortably seat our tall family (shortest is 6’ 2") of four for road trips. Whoever drives needs to put the seat way back, so we need great legroom in the back seats. In addition to long legs, we have long torsos so headroom is often an issue as well. We all fit okay in our Honda Element, but the goofy doors are a challenge and it doesn’t have enough storage for our road trips. Oh, and we want decent gas mileage!
Scion xB, all the way (I’m 6’5", tall torso, fit great front AND rear seats)! The new one, that is. It’s very similar in overall size to the Element, same size engine, decent (not amazing) mileage. You might even fit in a Honda Fit, but that would be tight.
I cannot tell you how frustrating leg room for me has been over the years. I have had full size vans with less legroom than a Chrysler 300, or even a Ford Ranger, Let us know if you find the answer!
I would suggest a minivan, both my wife’s 98 Windstar and 2006 Sienna are fine for tall folks. Highway mpg was around 25 for both.
My Dad just got a 2007 Ford 500/Taurus. It has a much higher roof line than his 2003 Taurus. It has a huge trunk too. He has no problems with height but he’s only 6’1" though.
Compact SUVs including Escape, CRV and RAV… as well as a bunch of cross overs, generally many cars with upright seating that would give you the option of reclining slightly with result of increased head room. I have a 6’11" friend who found, surprisingly, a Dodge Dakota truck served him best.
thanks for your input. Remember, we need to put a tall driver at the wheel (6’2" to 6"7") AND tall passengers behind the driver–comfortably, for hours on the road. We also need room for all our gear when road tripping. We are thinking Ford Flex, but maybe there are vehicles we haven’t considered?
Well, now you just switched gears, from Honda Element to Ford Flex…for what you describe, the Flex would be my top choice, if the mpgs are ok with you (should be about 22 or so highway).
A Honda or Toyota van would be even better, but it sounds like vans aren’t something you like.
Don’t even consider any cars with sun roofs. A sun roof sacrifices head room.
I wish you had told us how many people you are transporting. I grew up in a tall family of 6 and my parents bought a full size van for hauling all of us. When you consider the miles per gallon per person, you get better fuel economy in a full size van holding six people than you get in a Prius with one person.
Almost any small four cylinder economy car will probably feel cramped to you, so start your search with large sedans and work up from there.
I initially wrote a “tall family of four”
Looking for options other than a full size van or a full-size SUV…
Yep, we never look at vehicles with a sun roof…
We have a minivan, but haven’t had enough headroom in the back since the kids grew over six feet (6’3" and still growing). We removed the middle seats in the minivan a couple years ago to get enough leg room for the kids (limo style) but that isn’t working anymore
The Element is “okay”, but not great for all of us at once, plus it doesn’t have enough storage while seating four.
Take a look at the Chevy Equinox and GMC Terrain. The rear seats move forward and back. I’m not sure about front leg room, but you can find that out quickly.
A few cars with surprisingly good headroom front and rear…good in the rear, should mean acceptable in the front…Ford Focus ? Amazing ! But Impala, liberty and VW Van a look ?
2003 Ford Econoline Wagon E-150 XL
2003 Nissan Altima 2.5
2003 Toyota Matrix
2003 Ford Focus ZX3 Premium
2003 Volkswagen Eurovan GLS
2003 Chevrolet Impala LS
2003 Jeep Liberty Sport
2003 Ford Focus ZTW
Can’t you get a roof rack for the Element? I think that might solve some of your cargo storage problems.
The problem with finding options other than a full size van or SUV is that your family isn’t just tall. They are huge! I don’t think anything else will be as comfortable as a large vehicle, and your family is one of the few that has a legitimate reason to own such a large vehicle.
It’s kind of funny. I believe in freedom of choice, but when I look around, I see a huge Suburban being driven by a petite person all alone, while just down the road there is a Ford Escort jam packed with a large family. That is why my advice is to make comfort a higher priority than fuel economy. Fuel economy is nice, but it shouldn’t come at the cost of comfort and safety, and if your family doesn’t have enough head room, that is a safety issue. Besides, if your kids are that large, they will probably be leaving the nest in the next four or five years, at which time you can trade in the vehicle for a roomy fuel efficient car.
I’ve got a 97 Taurus (not at all the same thing as an 07 500, which was similar only to the 08/09 Taurus) and even at 6’6", I fit very comfortably. The 500 and the 08+ Taurus were considerably larger vehicles and should have little problem fitting this family, apart from possible storage issues, but it does have a ridiculously large trunk.
I was about to suggest the Flex - considerably more storage room if you put the third row away, from what sources I see, and it has styling that might appeal to someone who likes the styling of the Element, but with normal doors.
Owners at fueleconomy.gov are reporting 22.6 mpg combined average, which is about on par with what owners of the Element are reporting. There are only 3 reports for the Flex, though, so I wouldn’t consider that to be statistically significant yet.
I know one family that has one and they love the thing - they openly will state they don’t like the styling, but they can’t stop raving about it. Of course, they also have a late 90s Mercury Sable in their driveway, so I’d take that opinion with a bit of a grain of salt, as I can’t vouch for their basis of comparison. Compared to that Sable, it should feel like a much nicer vehicle.
thanks for a lot of good info and ideas!
Been thinking about exterior storage options for the Element and this may be the way to go–except I hate the door situation with rear seat passengers. Hubby loves his Element though, so it’s here to stay.
Really appreciate your comments about going for a full-size vehicle for the coming years until the kids are off on their own. Safety and comfort are important to us and being HUGE comes with an associated price tag in so many areas!
Great news is, we are attracted to the Flex for it’s styling—we loved it during a test drive too. We may end up with one, unless one of the other posted suggestions fits us even better!
Two in our family are 6’2 and we have plenty of room even inline in our prii (2001 and 2008) depends on where your length is perhaps.
Mark another suggestion for the Flex. Unless you need to use the rear seats(As punishment maybe? :P), it should have enough leg room for all those involved. I put the driver’s seat all the way back in one, then climbed into the back seat and still had room to stretch my legs out