Wagon/Crossover/Small SUV for Tall Man

My father is in the market for a new car, particularly a station wagon, crossover, or small SUV with plenty of legroom and cargo space. We currently have a 2005 Honda CRV that he says does not have enough legroom for him, though he likes the overall size and cargo capacity. He is fond of the legroom in my 1998 Civic sedan but wants more cargo space. However, according to the specs the Civic only has 1.4 more inches of legroom. Not being tall, I don’t see how this little bit of room can make such a difference.

He is interested in the Acura TSX wagon and the Subaru Forester and Outback. Does anyone have any more suggestions?

I am 6’2" tall with long legs, and trust me, an inch makes a difference. I don’t have enough leg room in a Honda Civic. I once had a 1993 Oldsmobile 88 and I was never comfortable driving that car for long distances.
This past October, I was assigned a Ford Escape hybrid SUV for a 500 mile round trip to a convention. I found this car very comfortable to drive. My research partner, who is only 5’ 2" tall and has a very petite frame also thought the driving position was comfortable for her.

The best advice I can give is to try the car on for size just as you try on a pair of shoes.

I am only 6’ tall and some vehicles are very uncomfortable to drive. I have removed the driver’s seat and reinstalled it on firring strips to raise and extend the position rearward. One inch up and 2 inches to the rear can make a world of difference.

How tall is tall? Japanese cars tend to have less leg room compared to domestic or European cars. About the only way to know it to test a car, SUV, etc. for comfort. At 6’ I can find comfort in just about any car. My 6’5" brother likes and needs a lot more leg room and he has a Lincoln Towncar.

Perhaps the scene from the movie “Police Academy” might work for your father. A big tall police academy student named Hightower hasn’t driven a car for a long time and needs to practice. He and another academy student steal a Honda Civic. Hightower rips out the front seats and drives from the back seat.

The new (2010/2011) design Outbacks have considerably more interior room than their predecessors, despite being less than 1 inch longer than previous models. Although my '02 Outback was a marvel of reliability and durability, my one complaint was interior room that was barely adequate for my 5’10" 210 lb frame.

By contrast, my 2011 Outback is much more spacious. In fact, if I put the driver’s seat all the way back, my feet do not even reach the pedals. And, even when the driver’s seat is all the way back, legroom for back seat passengers is still more generous than on the previous design Outbacks. Additionally, the interior is 2 inches wider than previously, thus adding up to a roomy, comfortable space for both driver and passengers.

The Forester is nowhere near as roomy as the Outback, and has a much higher interior noise level than the Outback. It is a good vehicle, but it is a bit short on comfort, IMHO.

The Acura is a very good vehicle, but you should remember that it requires premium gas, whereas the Outback delivers good gas mileage on regular gas. The mpg figures are roughly the same on the Acura and the Outback.

I would suggest that your father take an extended test drive (perhaps more than one, in fact) in each of the cars that he is considering. If comfort is an important factor, only by sitting in a car for about 3 hours will he really know how comfortable it is.

Rav4, CX-7, and Escape are good starting points

If I fit, I’d go with the TSX, unless you need AWD, then a Subaru’s my choice. But only he can judge the fit. I need lots of headroom, so the Forester works great for me, but I don’t know about the legroom.

I regularly drive my friend’s Rav-4 and it has nowhere near the amount of driver legroom that the new Outback has. The legroom for rear seat passengers is comparable, but the front legroom is definitely lacking in the Rav, in comparison to the Outback.

The newer CRVs tend to have better leg room front and rear than RAV’s. Son bought a Rogue and is happier with front/rear leg room that others. He’s 6’5". But, the cargo room is suspect. I’d include the newer RAV, Escape and CRV as well on your list.

If room is paramount, I would try the Mazda5. The 2012 model will have a 6 speed. Also, Ford may be bring over the C-Max

I thought it had good leg room when I test drove one. Those 3 I listed were the 3 choices I had narrowed down before I bought my Mazda.
The new CR-V has slightly less leg room than my Civic had.