Best Tall People Cars

Tall people drive cars too, right? But when you’re in the 6-foot and over club, buying a car involves more than just style and personal preference. The best cars for tall people need to be comfortable, have enough headroom and legroom, and offer a good range of seat-height and seat-track adjustments. Be sure there’s enough room in between the pedals, and in the footwell to rest your left foot. And you might want to skip the sunroof – it’s nice but eats up a few inches of coveted headroom.

Since all cars are not created equal when it comes to accommodating height, we’ve researched the best cars for tall drivers. Our list draws from car reviews and top auto experts (including some tall editors, no doubt).

2009 Pontiac Vibe 300x187 picturePontiac Vibe – This compact hatchback is the best car on our list for front-seat headroom at a comfortable 40.5 inches, with front legroom in the mid-pack at 41.6 inches. The Pontiac Vibe is an affordable alternative to MAZDA3s and Chevy HHRs, with “more interior room, cargo volume and a lower price,” according to Kelly Blue Book. In the rear, you’ll get a good 39.4 inches of headroom and a decent amount of legroom. If you can still find it on dealer lots, there’s likely a good deal to be made.

Honda Fit – One of Car and Driver’s picks for its 2010 10 Best Cars, its editors say, “It takes truly Sasquatchian dimensions to be discomforted inside.” Despite being a subcompact, the 5-passenger 2010 Honda Fit offers spaciousness, quality design and interior versatility that surpasses some of the more expensive cars. The 40.4 inches of front headroom ranks second on our list and rear headroom (39.0 inches) is third. Both front and back legroom measure slightly below the average, at 41.3 inches and 34.5 inches, respectively.

Best Cars for Tall Drivers Headroom and Legroom

Car

Model Year

FRONT SEAT

REAR SEAT

Headroom

Legroom

Headroom

Legroom

Pontiac Vibe

2009

40.5”

41.6”

39.4”

36.2”

Honda Fit

2010

40.4”

41.3”

39.0”

34.5”

Hyundai Sonata

2010

40.1”

43.7”

38.2”

37.4”

Hyundai Sonata

2011

40.0”

45.5”

37.8”

34.6”

Subaru Forester 2.5XT

2009

40.0”

43.1”

37.7”

38.0”

Scion xB

2010

40.0”

40.7”

41.2”

38.0”

Honda Accord EX-L

2008

39.0”

42.5”

37.2”

37.2”

Volkswagen New Beetle

2010

38.2”

39.4”

36.7”

33.5”

Volvo S80

2009

37.8”

41.9”

38.8”

35.0”

 

Hyundai Sonata – While the 2010 Hyundai Sonata ranks third for front headroom at 40.1 inches, and second best for front legroom (43.7 inches) and back legroom (37.4 inches), the affordable sedan is all new for 2011. Front and rear headroom in the 2011 model are comparable to the 2010 model at 40.0 inches and 37.8 inches, respectively. But the 2011 wins when it comes to front legroom, topping our list at 45.5 inches, with a fair 34.6 inches in the rear. Autoblog’s 6’2 reviewer says he “slid into the driver’s seat with plenty of room” and even needed to move the seat forward for comfort. As for the backseat, he says there’s plenty of space and legroom behind the driver.

Subaru Forester 2.5XT – subaru Forester 2.5XT 2010 300x205 pictureDrivers with longs legs and tall families will want to consider the redesigned 2009 Subaru Forester 2.5XT. It ranks third on our list for front legroom (43.1 inches) and ties the Scion xB for most rear legroom (38.0 inches), providing great foot space and legroom even if the front seats are pushed back. This compact crossover utility vehicle is on Consumer Reports’ list of 10 best cars for tall drivers. Longer and wider than previous models, it has excellent front headroom at 40.0 inches and modest rear headroom.

Scion xB – The 2010 Scion xB is a tall passenger’s dream. It ties the 2009 Subaru Forester 2.5XT for most rear legroom at 38.0 inches and the rear headroom tops our list at 41.2 inches. Front headroom is a roomy 40.0 inches and there’s adequate front legroom at 40.7 inches. Yet the real winner may be the 2006 Scion xB with an impressive 46.1 inches of front headroom and 45.3 inches of front legroom, not to mention 38 inches of rear legroom. Autobytel awarded the 2006 subcompact wagon its best pick for commuter vehicles with the most legroom.

Honda Accord EX-L honda accord exl 2010 300x200 pictureRedesigned for 2008, the midsize Honda Accord EX-L is roomier than before and larger than its competitors the Nissan Altima and Toyota Camry. Front headroom and legroom are 39.0 and 42.5 inches, respectively, and the rear dimensions are 37.2 inches for both. Consumer Reports lists the Accord EX-L in its 10 best cars for tall drivers. New Car Test Drive praises the Accord’s tall-friendly features: a tilt-and-telescoping steering column, multiple driver’s seat power adjustments, good driver’s seat support, lots of room around the front seat, and rear seats with enough “space for a six-footer to sit comfortably behind another one.” Seats in the 2008 model offer superior support than older model years, according to Consumer Guide who says, “Larger door openings and a higher roof make entering and exiting easy.”

Volkswagen New Beetle – In the compact class (or subcompact by EPA designation), the 2010 Volkswagen New Beetle offers distinctly retro looks with the latest features. Best of all, it offers tall drivers front headroom of 38.2 inches and front legroom of 39.4 inches. However, the backseat may feel tighter, with headroom and legroom of 36.7 and 33.5 inches, respectively.

Volvo S80 – volvo s80 2010 300x225 pictureIn the midsize luxury sedan category, the Volvo S80 rates as one of Consumer Reports’  10 best cars for tall drivers. New Car Test Drive calls it big, luxurious, fast, comfortable and spacious. Although it’s at the bottom of our list for front headroom (37.8 inches), the S80 has generous legroom with 41.9 inches in front and 35.0 inches in back. Edmunds says the seat comfort is sublime, with driver memory and 8-way power front seats that are “supportive enough to impress a chiropractor and comfortable for miles on end.”

Need Comfortable Front Seats With Better Thigh Support?

While ample headroom and legroom are essential, what about more comfortable front seats for tall drivers and people who need extra thigh support? Unfortunately, automakers don’t publish their seat-cushion lengths so consumers can’t easily research the best options before they head out to buy a vehicle. So what can you do? Try looking for new models that come with multi-adjustable front seats and opt for packages that include front seat-cushion extenders for the driver and passenger.

2011 Car Options for Tall People Who Want More Leg Support

  • Cadillac CTS – Introduced in 2010, Recaro performance seats are available for $2,800 as part of the Cadillac CTS Sport Sedan’s Premium and Performance packages. You’ll get 14-way adjustable seats, including adjustable front-seat back and thigh support, adjustable side bolsters and a seat cushion extender. The Recaro option is also available on 2011 CTS coupes and CTS-Vs at $3,400, but not on the CTS Sport Wagon.
  • Lexus ES 350 – Look for the optional Ultra Luxury Package to get extra thigh support with a driver’s-seat power cushion extender.
  • Toyota Avalon – The Limited package features heated and ventilated front seats, a 10-way adjustable driver’s seat with power lumbar support and power cushion extender. The driver’s seat in other packages is 8-way power-adjustable with power lumbar support.
  • Porsche Cayenne –The first full redesign since the luxury SUV’s 2003 debut gives consumers optional adaptive sport seats (standard on Turbo) that allow bottom-cushion length adjustments, as well as high and low side bolsters. Seat memory buttons are now on the door for more convenience.
  • Infiniti G37 – With an increased focus on style, performance, and overall fit and finish, the 2011 Infiniti G37 features new sport seats with thicker bolsters, manual thigh extenders like BMW’s, and torso and thigh adjustment.
  • BMW 7-Series550i Gran Turismo – Befitting these benchmark luxury models’ reputations for all-encompassing attention to detail, look for leg extension, power bolsters, active headrests and more as either standard equipment or part of a package on many 2011 BMW models, including the 7-Series and 550i Gran Turismo.

 

Note that all of the above are luxury makes and models, except for the Toyota Avalon – since you tend get what you pay for, consumers who want it all usually end up getting it all. For anyone who wants more affordable wheels with front-seat cushion extenders, there’s no easy way to create that list. Your best bet is to contact an automaker’s customer assistance or sales department and ask which models may have them.

Other good cars to add to your “best cars for tall people” shopping list include the Chevrolet MalibuChrysler PT Cruiser, Ford Escape and Ford Focus, Honda ElementInfiniti MMazda TributeMercedes-Benz E-Class, Nissan Altima and Nissan Murano, and Volvo V70 and Volvo XC70.

To start your search for the best cars for sale, visit www.iSeeCars.com, a leading search engine for finding over 2 million cars for sale from more than 11,000 websites. For useful car-buying tips, you can check out more popular articles on our blog

[Editor’s Note: This post was updated on August 31, 2010 to include information on thigh support in response to readers’ questions about seat-cushion length.]


“2008-12 Honda Accord.” Consumer Guide. Consumer Guide Auto, n.d. Web.
“2009 Honda Accord.” New Car Test Drive. New Car Test Drive, 14 June 2009. Web.
“2009 Volvo S80.” New Car Test Drive. New Car Test Drive, 15 June 2009. Web.
“2010 10 Best Cars: 2010 Honda Fit.” Car and Driver. Hearst Communications, n.d. Web.
“Best cars for tall or short drivers.” ConsumerReports.org. Consumer Reports, n.d. Web.
Chevrolet TrailBlazer and Scion xB Offer Most Legroom for Commuters Craving Extra Inches Behind the Wheel According to Autobytel QuickView Report.” Autobytel. Autobytel, 26 Sept. 2006. Press Release.
Harley, Michael. “Review: 2011 Hyundai Sonata a sweet addition to mid-size sedan segment.” Autoblog. AOL Inc., 22 Feb. 2010. Web.
KBB.com Editors. “2009 Pontiac Vibe Review.” Kelly Blue Book. Kelly Blue Book, n.d. Web.
Moses, Sam. “2009 Subaru Forester.” New Car Test Drive. New Car Test Drive, 16 May 2008. Web.
“Review of the 2009 Volvo S80.” Edmunds.com. Edmunds.com, n.d. Web.
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About Phong Ly

Phong Ly is the CEO of iSeeCars.com, a smarter car search engine he co-founded after becoming frustrated with the time-consuming process of searching for cars online. Phong is a car expert who is passionate about helping consumers find the best cars at the best deals by providing greater transparency through analytics and innovative solutions. He's been frequently featured and quoted in media such as ABC News, CNBC, Consumer Reports, USA Today, Forbes, Fortune and Reuters.

Comments

  1. Steven at April 4, 2010

    I disagree about the Forester only because the driver’s bottom seat cushion is 18.5 inches long. This is nowhere near long enough to support the legs of a tall person. They need to be 20 inches or over long and with a bit more tilt to be really comfy.

    I’m 6’5″ tall and I need custom seats.

     
  2. Dr.shanmuga sundaram at May 7, 2010

    I am in idea to buy one new car. Am 6.1 feet tall south Indian. What kind of car will suit me. My budget is $10,000 only. I have figure of volkswagen polo in my mind for me. But i didn’t have idea of its driver leg room. Can any one suggests me.

     
  3. Howie at June 17, 2010

    I dont know what research has really been done here but I am 6’4″ and have only known two cars that was amazing for tall persons. Pontiac (which is being cancelled) and Hyundia. The Hy is unbelievable, especially the sonata… I was amazed when I sat in it out the seat back and couldn’t even touch the gas pedal, tall person “bliss”. Accord, not even clost, same for subaru… the volvo I am not sure of. I am hearing that the chevy euinox is suppose to have major leg room… we will see.

     
  4. iSeeCars Team at June 20, 2010

    Howie, thanks for you feedback. we will definitely add those to the list.

     
  5. Mike at June 20, 2010

    A few other ones I can recommend, being 6′ 7″, are:

    Scion XB (at least the 2006 and 2007 years): lots of headroom, by far the best rear seats (I can sit behind someone as tall as I am) I’ve ever seen.

    VW New Beatle, also good headroom in the front, back is very cramped.

    Honda Fit is not bad either, especially for the size.

     
  6. Don at September 25, 2010

    I am six foot four and I have difficulty driving the fit. After about an hour or so my legs start to cramp. Sorry this is not a car for tall people.

     
  7. Evan at November 28, 2010

    The three 2011 VWs I road tested last week, Jetta, GTI and Golf, all had excellent legroom and headroom, though I’m not sure if VW has overcome their rep for questionable reliability. The Subaru Impreza Outback Sport had decent, though not overwhelmingly great, legroom and headroom. I’m nearly 6 foot 5 and need both. Went to a Toyota dealership last year. Of the new models under $25k (Corolla, Prius, Rav 4, Yaris, Matrix) I could only fit inside a Yaris, and I didn’t want a Yaris. Hopefully their 2011+ models will be more tall people friendly. Oh, Scion D also did not work for me. The search continues!

     
  8. Troglodad at December 29, 2010

    I just got a nice 2005 Special Edition Dodge GRand Caravan to haul the kids and inlaws around in. Alas, even with the super deluxe seats, I’m lacking about 1″ of headroom thanks to the power sunroof. At 6’5″, my hair just brushes the roof. Very annoying.

    I’ve been searching online trying to find a way to get some low profile seat brackets/rails. The ones on the van are almost 3″ high. I suppose I could fabricate something myself, but I’d rather trust a professionally-made part.

    Any ideas?

     
  9. X at January 21, 2011

    I am 6’6″ and my BMW 330i fits me perfectly. The seats are fully adjustable. BMW’s are built and designed by those clever tall germans.

     
  10. David at April 13, 2011

    I am 6 ft 6 in with 36 in inside leg ( so fairly proportionate, I think).
    Usual vehicle problems are: headroom, legroom, footroom, mirror adjustment range, rear view visibility, forward visibility (horizontal eye line at or above top of screen, or through the dark shaded part, difficult to see when the traffic light turn green without contorting the neck, door post obstructs side view, seat swab too short, head rest too low (good fulcrum for a broken neck), seat belt anchors too low, dashboard visibility through steering wheel is obstructed, steering wheel obstructs knees and doesn’t extend enough. Most sports cars are impossible – easier to see over the windscreen than through it!
    Vehicles which work for me better than most include: Honda Pilot, Ford Explorer, Ford Expedition, Ford Taurus, Porsche Cayenne, Porsche 911. (VW Taureg a bit lacking in headroom compared to Cayenne – due to taller / cheaper battery mounted under Driver’s seat – odd place for it !). Also old Saab 9000 – very good fit and the best seats ever. I can fit in and drive a Porsche Boxster – just, and forward visibility through screen is good. Headroom a problem with the soft top up, and rear visibility is then poor. I weigh 240 lb. Jeremy Clarkson of Top Gear may be 6 ft 4 in but he must have long legs and a short body !

     
  11. Aaron at May 30, 2011

    I am 6’7″, 36″ inseam. Examples in which my head is uncomfortably on the ceiling: Ford Super Duty F-250 w/ a sunroof and power-seat; Chevy Silverado, sunroof, power-seat; Dodge Ram, sunroof, power-seat; Nissan Armada; Toyota Tundra; Porsche Cayenne; Porsche 911; Mercedes E-Class; BMW 3, 5 and 6-series. Almost all of these cars/trucks would be suitable if they didn’t have sunroofs.

    I have owned or do currently own the following cars, all of which had plenty of headroom and legroom: 2006 Ford F-150 (no sunroof); 2010 Ford Mustang (no sunroof); 2009 Mercedes ML 320 (SUV)- even has a sunroof; Subaru Impreza STI (no sunroof); 2011 VW GTI – w/o sunroof, but I test drove one with a sunroof and I still had 1″ of clearance; 1999 Mini Cooper. Oddly, hatchbacks are often the way to go.

     
  12. Aaron at May 30, 2011

    Forgot to note that the Subaru was an ’08 hatchback.

     
  13. Roy at June 21, 2011

    The two cars I’ve been in that have amazing room for tall people are Honda Element and Dodge Journey. The Journey was a 2010, so I don’t know if the 2011 is the same, but at only 6’1″ I usually have to put the seat full rear and full down to be comfortable in most cars. In the Journey full rear and down was a tough reach for the pedals and made me feel short. I had to move the seat forward 2 or 3″ and up 2 or 3″ from FR/FD to be comfortable. I think a seven footer could fit comfortably. My experience with the PT Cruiser a few years back made me cross it off my list. No headroom to spare and terrible visibility for a moderately tall driver (which is how I classify myself). I don’t know if current models of the PT have improved, but I would have needed the seat about 4″ lower in the one I sat in to be comfortable and to gain acceptable visibility.

     
  14. ethan at September 17, 2011

    hey how come saab aint up there wow im 6’8″ and i own a 1995 saab 900 se convertable and i got so much leg room that when i push in the clutch my leg is almost strait although this leaves no room for the person behind me but there never is in any car….. btw 6 foot is not the “tall” anymore sadly companies need to know that

     
  15. Uriah at GH at May 24, 2012

    I heard that the new Scion FR-S can fit a 6’6″ inch individual quite comfortably. Let me know if anyone else has heard this as I am interested.

     
  16. Jodie at May 30, 2012

    My partner is 6’10″, 415 lbs, 48″ waist, and I believe he’s a 60 jacket size (not quite sure). Needless to say, he’s Hulk-sized. Bigger-than-Lou-Ferrigno-Hulk-sized.

    He’s a pretty beefy guy, evenly proportioned between legs/torso. His inseam is 38″, also, so long legs to make things even more interesting.

    We’ve had AWFUL luck trying to find a car. Right now, he drives a 2004 Chevy Colorado Extended Cab, and loves it (despite the poor MPG). The bench seat allows him to keep his leg/knee to the side of the steering wheel, since there is no way it will ever fit under any steering wheel ever.

    We’re still in the process of looking, but here are the top choices we’ve found as of now.

    2012 Chevy Colorado Crew Cab – – – – this truck is fabulous for Hulk Man (bench seat set-up). Not a ton of actual legroom per se, but plenty of space to splay lanky legs to the side of the steering wheel. Headroom is okay, the door opening is pretty big, and it gets decent gas mileage for a truck. Overall, our best fit.

    2012 Nissan Versa Sedan – – – this one has no “cockpit” set-up (protruding dashboard, bothersome center console). It feels a little like a dinky clown car, but he can drive it pretty comfortably, surprisingly. Except for the A/C knob, which pokes him in the kneecap. *sigh*

    2012 Buick Lacrosse Sedan – – – this one warranted an overnight test drive. A tight cockpit, but as the commercials attest, a Shaq-sized person can fit into it. One wonky think about Buicks (which are generally pretty large) is that the door opening is regular sized (creating some problems), while the seat goes super far back. Not a ton of leg room in the rear, with the seats far back. We’re probably not going to get this car, but it’s a roomy, though pricey, pick.

    2012 Nissan Sentra Sedan – – – this one was okay, not exceptionally comfortable, but driveable.

    2012 GMC Terrain – – – I *love* this vehicle. He can drive it okay, but for a somewhat smaller Big Person I think it’d be perfect. I can extend my legs, pointing my toes, and not touch anything in the front passenger seat. I have a 36″ inseam and am 6’0″ myself. Pretty impressive.

     
  17. Sassi at August 27, 2012

    I have an infiniti m and it fits me fine. I’m a 5’11″ female. Plus it’s hot!!!

     
  18. SoulMan at November 24, 2012

    The KIA Soul has 40.3″ front seat headroom, 42.1″ front legroom, 39.6″ rear headroom and 39″ rear leg roof. Something about the higher floor and taller roofline..plus the big window area makes this Soul seem even bigger when you’re inside! Plus the standard tilt/telescope steering wheel is nice too. I just bought a 2013 KIA Soul Exclaim model for myself because of the roomy cabin. You don’t have to sink down to get into the car…it’s floor is higher and the egress and entry is very nice!

     

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