Comfort is a common measure prospective car buyers use when evaluating potential purchases. And for tall drivers, comfort is often one of the most important criteria for choosing a vehicle. A recent Consumer Reports piece evaluated how well-designed some popular models are for tall and short drivers. But Toyota enthusiasts, beware! The brand has two models listed among the worst for tall drivers.
The best models for tall drivers
Defining tall drivers as drivers standing 6’2″ and up, Consumer Reports‘ “Best and Worst Cars for Tall and Short Drivers” looks at height-related comfort. CR evaluated ease of entering and exiting these models, seat comfort, and other points and came up with a list of the 10 best vehicles for tall drivers. BMW boasts the most models on the list, including the X7, X5, and 7 Series. Audi has two: the A8 and Q7. And all other brands have a single entry. The remaining models are the Porsche Cayenne, Honda Pilot, Genesis G90, Volvo XC90, and Land Rover Range Rover.
Some vehicles are likely unsurprising entries on this list. The Range Rover, for example, is well known as a sizable and spacious vehicle. It also has an adjustable ride height for easier driver access. Similarly, SUVs like the Pilot, XC90, Q7, and Cayenne benefit from generous front legroom, power-adjustable seats, and easy access. You’d expect that of SUVs, but they surprisingly don’t dominate this list.
If you’re looking for a sedan that’s good for tall drivers, Consumer Reports recommends the A8, G90, and 7 Series, whose cabins are also exceptionally spacious. Speaking of BMW, the brand’s two listed SUVs not only handle well but also provide a great deal of driving comfort through pleasant power-adjustable seats and generous legroom, along with an upright and elevated driving position and telescoping steering wheel.
The worst models for tall drivers
On the opposite end of the spectrum are cars that are the worst for tall drivers. They include the Hyundai Veloster, Honda Insight, Porsche 718 Boxster, Nissan Z, Toyota Supra, and Mazda MX-5 Miata. The Veloster, Z, and Supra are sports cars, and the Boxster and Miata are roadsters, so you’d expect them to offer tight cabins. The Insight is a compact car and must be incredibly cramped to be the only vehicle in its segment listed as one of the worst for tall drivers.
An electric vehicle also made the list: the Chevrolet Bolt. EVs often sacrifice cabin space for the lithium-ion battery that powers them. However, Consumer Reports notes the center stack compromises knee space for tall drivers. Further, CR stresses the seats’ cheapness and lack of back support, impairing the driving experience.
Surprisingly, a few SUVs and trucks also appear on the list, including the Toyota Tacoma and the Jeep Wrangler and Gladiator. Consumer Reports says the telescoping wheel in both models doesn’t provide enough range, and taller drivers don’t have enough headroom.
As for the Toyota Tacoma, it fared worse. Reviewers noted the seating and ceiling were too low. Further, cramped legroom means some drivers’ knees will regularly scrape the dash despite the power-adjustable seating option. And the seats, Consumer Reports notes, don’t provide much upper leg support or back support, although you can upgrade to a firmer seat. Still, these flaws don’t make the Tacoma ideal for taller drivers.
Other notable entries
Consumer Reports also lists the best vehicles for short drivers, and there’s some interesting overlap. The three BMW models best for tall drivers are also great for short drivers. Subaru and Lexus each have two models on this list: the Outback and Forester and the RX and ES, respectively. The rest of the spots go to Honda (Odyssey), Volkswagen (Tiguan), and Volvo (XC90).
On the flip side, the Gladiator and Wrangler also appear on the “10 Worst Cars for Short Drivers” list. And they brought a friend: the Jeep Renegade. The Toyota Tacoma also makes this list as well, along with the Mazda MX-5 Miata and Nissan Z. The roadsters suffer from quarters cramped enough that short drivers feel boxed-in as well. The Chevrolet Camaro, Mitsubishi Mirage, GMC Canyon, and Nissan Titan round out the list. The latter of the two being SUVs, their inclusion perhaps isn’t surprising. Moreover, the Camaro’s lack of cabin space and its access issues are common for its segment. The Mirage, however, suffers from high seating that you can’t lower fully, along with a lack of a telescoping steering wheel.
Not that the Mirage is great for taller drivers, given a center stack that will minimize available legroom. It’s not the most comfortable ride if you’re 6’2″ or taller. And if you are, you’ll want a car with adjustable seating, decent ground clearance, wide doors, a telescoping steering wheel, and plenty of headroom and legroom for a comfortable ride.