If you’re over six-feet tall, headroom in your vehicle is not just a luxury, it’s a necessity. Sometimes it actually interferes with your choice of vehicle. A particular vehicle may have the style, amenities, and power you desire, but as soon as you get in, you realize that the sunroof may need to stay permanently open for you to be able to drive it. Not to mention the vehicles that leave just enough legroom for your knees to brush up against your earlobes when you turn. For those of you who face this buying dilemma, here are a few helpful tips on choosing your next car if you are taller your average bear.
The big three offering the most headroom are pickups, minivans, and SUVs. Pickups lead the way with an average space of 44.4”. SUVs and minivans are just behind that at 42.5” each. Obviously pickups are going to be fairly sufficient on legroom as well, as long as you’re going with a full-size and not sitting in the rear seat. The short end is going to be in coupes, convertibles (with the top up, of course), and small sedans. These can range anywhere from 35” to 39” in headroom and be even more compact in the leg area. Not to mention, many base-price smaller sedans don’t feature a tilt/telescoping steering wheel. Large sedans are an option, but you’ll want to search for one that doesn’t feature a severely sloping roof.
Rear seating could be the biggest problem if you’re of the heightened persuasion. If you’ll be riding in the rear seat often, or have friends or family members who will, you’ll definitely want to stick with an SUV or a minivan. Remember, crossover SUVs drive more like sedans, but typically feature taller roofs; this can make your decision much easier.
If you can’t opt for power seats, and you really should since they can make comfort much easier to attain, then you should at least search for a driver’s seat that offers height adjustment. This feature will not only aid in headroom, it can also make it much easier for mirror adjustment, windshield visibility, and steering wheel comfort. Also, make sure you look at how far the rearward travel of your seat will impede on rear passengers. Most taller people will be most comfortable with their seats in the all-the-way-back position. This can seriously hamper legroom in the rear of many vehicles. Doing so could turn your five-passenger sedan into a three-passenger sardine can. An SUV can not only help with this problem, if you opt for one that has second-row seats which adjust fore and aft, it will all but negate the issue.
The types of interior features won’t really matter much as much as the location. As we mentioned before, it will help a great deal if you choose a vehicle that offers a tilt/telescoping steering wheel. This can do away with many issues you may come across in seating. The other issue with interior features can only be resolved by actually sitting in a vehicle. Most will have the controls for the heater, radio, navigation system, and Bluetooth nicely displayed in a panel above the center console. These controls can be in a burdensome position for many taller drivers. The only way to tell if it’s comfortable for your position is to actually test drive the vehicle. Another way to avoid this issue is to find a vehicle that offers radio and Bluetooth controls directly on the steering wheel. This feature is typically only available on upgraded models.
Where you’re really going to want to look at this area is in the sedan market. Taller drivers are more apt to sustain leg injuries and neck injuries without airbags in the proper areas. You’re going to want side-curtain airbags and a vehicle that performs well in side-impact and front driver-side crash tests. Again, SUVs typically perform well in these areas, but full-size SUVs do run a higher risk of rollover. Crossovers would be a good option here, too.