At 6-feet-6-inches tall, James Pillow hears a lot of tall jokes when he gets out of a Mini Cooper or Volkswagen Beetle. They’re not cars you’d expect a tall person to drive, and can bring to mind the dozens of circus clowns quickly exiting a tiny car that’s meant to seat four.
“But the (Mini Cooper) front seat goes all the way to the back seat and the curved ceiling of the VW gives it a ton of headroom,” says Pillow, of Tampa, Fla., who is on the road a lot for college football tradeshows for fancastle.com.
“This is because most car companies know that a compact vehicle is just that — compact,” he says. “So they make the track for the seat longer where it will actually go further back as opposed to a typical vehicle.”
The 2014 Mini has more front legroom — 41.7 inches — than the 41.4 inches in any version of the 2014 Ford F-150 truck. The Ford truck beats the Mini in all other interior dimensions, however.
Here are some other cars that fit tall people well:
Another 6-feet-6-inches tall driver, Joe Gault, also recommends a relatively small car. Gault, 29, of Santa Clarita, CA, is a former minor league pitcher for the Minnesota Twins who used to drive a Ford F-250. But he wanted a vehicle with better gas mileage for his commute to law school, and found the Prius to fit him well.
“I can drive this car comfortably with plenty of legroom and plenty of headroom,” says Gault, a marketing associate at TheGrocerGame.com.
Even at his height, Gault can sit comfortably in his Prius and can move the driver’s seat back about seven inches more if needed, and he has plenty of headroom without his head touching the ceiling, he says.
“I think the bigger stereotype with Japanese cars is that Americans don’t fit in them,” he says.
Volkswagen Jetta Diesel
Mike Argiro, a financial advisor in Wallingford, CT, who is 6-feet-4-inches tall, says he’s plenty comfortable in his 2014 Jetta Diesel. Jettas have 41.2 inches of front legroom, 38.2 inches of front headroom, and 55.2 inches of front shoulder room.
“I have plenty of headroom and legroom and there is plenty of room in the back seat for passengers,” Argiro says. “The car looks small but is deceiving inside. A great design job for the space.”
Mercedes A class
Though small in size, the Mercedes A class is ideal for taller drivers because they have high upright seats with a low seating position that provides extra headroom, says Kyle McWilton, sales executive at Lease Your Next Car, an online car leasing business in Brighton, United Kingdom.
“You don’t have to put your seat right back just to get enough legroom to be comfortable,” McWilton says.
At 6 feet tall herself, a husband at 6-feet-4-inches, and children who are 6 feet tall, Katerina Canyon has some experience with tall drivers.
Canyon says she’s driven around her brothers, who range from 6 feet to 6-feet-10-inches, and they all agree that the best car for tall drivers is the BMW 745LI. “It has multi adjustable comfort seats and plenty of legroom in front and back,” she says.
The interior measurements of the 2004 BMW series, for example, show a lot of room. It has 41.3 inches of front legroom, 39.2 inches of front headroom, and an astounding 59.3 inches of front shoulder room.