Home » What Cars Do You Wish You Fit In? Autopian Asks

What Cars Do You Wish You Fit In? Autopian Asks

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Given the little community we’ve built here, it’s safe to say that we all want to experience more cars. Fast cars, slow cars, big cars, small cars, cars powered by electricity or gasoline or steam. Unfortunately, not all cars are built for all humans, and sometimes our dreams are dashed by ergonomic concerns. Today, let’s talk about times our dreams were dashed by physical limitations.

Oh, and not fitting in a car isn’t just for people who are tall and/or built sturdy. Sometimes, cars aren’t built for shorter people, or people with longer legs than torso, or people who are longer in their torso than their legs. To an extent, there are cars we all don’t fit in, it just is what it is.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

Take the Dodge Stealth, for example. Its a fascinatingly quick bit of ’90s cool, but I just don’t fit in the damn car. I’m not especially tall, but in a state of recline that gives me a safe reach of the steering wheel, my head hits the headliner. I adore the car, but I’m genuinely unsure if I could own one an actually fit in it safely. Shame, that.

Dodge Stealth 1991 Photos 2

Likewise, I quite like the Lexus UX. It’s a brilliant little posh hatchback for the city, but my right knee is always hard up against the plastic center console, which makes longer stints behind the wheel unworkable. Another shame, because the UX is just like a CT200h but better. Who wouldn’t want to daily that?

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So, what are some vehicles you don’t fit into? Be it ergonomic concerns or a simple lack of space, let’s hear about those cars that just aren’t compatible with you.

(Photo credits: Dodge, Lexus)

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VanGuy
VanGuy
1 month ago

Dunno if I’m weirdly proportioned or just don’t like bending my feet certain ways, especially for only being 5’9″, but I almost always have seats pushed back as far as they can go, yet get frustratingly blinded when I wish the sun visors were just an inch taller.

But I can’t say I’ve found anything I outright don’t fit in.

I recall Mr. Regular pointing out that the C8 Corvettes are outright obesity-unfriendly with how they’re laid out.

Daniel MacDonald
Daniel MacDonald
1 month ago

Oh man, at 6’4″ this hits home. A couple weeks ago, finally got to sit in a friend’s ’02 BMW M coupe, one of my long time dream cars that I’d been shopping for, only to find that I don’t comfortably fit-heart breaking.

I’d love to buy a Honda s2000, but having rented one once I can squeeze in but by the time I was in it for an hour or two I was ready to get out. And of course I can’t fit in the Miata comfortably enough to want to buy one either. Sigh…

BOSdriver
BOSdriver
1 month ago

6’4″ here as well. I have to intentionally test drive cars in an exaggerated position because normally I test drive cars later in the day. I tend to slouch a bit in the afternoon vs first thing in the morning. To best mimic my daily 5am 33-34 mile commute, that I sit up straight due to a stiff back, it is crucial to sit comically straight backed on the test drive.

There are so many cars that I just don’t fit in. Or, more importantly, I could maybe squeak into the drivers seat but no one of normal height would be comfortable in the back seat. There is a sweet spot I am living in now between car seats (which combined with a kids seems to take up as much room as me as a 6’4″-er, kids out of a booster up to maybe 5’2 – 5’4″ can sit behind me, then it all falls apart. That plus some cars have no feet space under a slammed to the floor front seat. I might only need to have a passenger behind me for less than 5% of my driving miles, but it is a requirement.

Daniel MacDonald
Daniel MacDonald
1 month ago
Reply to  BOSdriver

Yeh we’ve been shopping for a car for my wife that I’ll probably also wind up driving a lot and it’s been a good rule of thumb that if I can at least squeeze behind myself we know that’s a pretty usable back seat. But also is it just me or does it seem like everything else car seats have gotten worse even though they look fancier? Or is that just me not being 20 anymore lol. I sold my old Mazda 3 to my inlaws to use as a beater when they’re in town for a few months a year and they’re loaning it to me while we’re car shopping and I got out of it yesterday and my knee was aching and I’m limping and I’m like how the f did I drive this car for years.

ADDvanced
ADDvanced
1 month ago

The Detomaso Pantera, and possibly my favorite car ever, the Mangusta. I still think they are so very pretty, but the driving position is so bad. No human fits in them well; the pedal box is shifted towards the center of the car because the front wheel well is right in front of you. So your upper body is straight ahead, and your lower body is at an angle. I hated it.

Inthemikelane
Inthemikelane
1 month ago
Reply to  ADDvanced

Came here to ay the same thing. At 6’3″ I could barely fit in as a passenger but getting behind the wheel I just said I can’t drive this. Stunning car though, for the time.

Alan Christensen
Alan Christensen
1 month ago

Miata. Top of the windshield is about eye level for me. With the top up I need to crouch.

Just about any compact sedan with a sunroof. I hated it when I couldn’t get leather seats without a sunroof.

TheBadGiftOfTheDog
TheBadGiftOfTheDog
1 month ago

5’4″ here. I fit in or on just about everything. With some vehicles the issue I have is reaching everything. I can usually get the seat, pedals, and and steering wheel lined up fairly well if not completely comfortable. But after getting that sorted I find reaching radio or glovebox or switches almost requires unbuckling and scrabbling around for leverage.

UnseenCat
UnseenCat
1 month ago

Another sawed-off 5’4″ person here. Seat adustability in the average vehicle is sufficient that I can comfortably drive anything, from tiny sportscars to big honkin’ trucks just fine.

Except for 3rd-gen Chevy Caprices, unless there’s a power driver seat.

Why? Because the dashboard is so damn tall in them. With the manual bench seat and the cushion even slightly squashed or sagging (which means all of them…) it’s like sitting behind the tall instrument panel of a Cessna. Forward visibility is straight ahead over a cliff. Impossible to see the hood or the corners.

And yet, I had to learn parallel park in a 3rd-gen Caprice wagon in driver ed. Blind spots? It’s more like Luke Skywalker learning to swing a lightsaber with the helmet and blinder on.

Nic Periton
Nic Periton
1 month ago

I would like to fit in a Lotus Europa. At 6’6” and with a not bending leg it is not going to happen

Outofstep
Outofstep
1 month ago

I’m 6’3″ and luckily I haven’t been in too many cars I wish I fit in but off the top of my head I can think of 2. I sat in a Fiesta ST. I could probably drive it no problem. It just would have been a pain in the ass to get in and out of with the bolsters. Especially in a narrow parking spot.

The other car is a 91 RX-7 convertible. My friend had one and I loved driving it but I basically had my legs wrapped around the steering wheel. Was only suitable for the shortest of drives.

Daniel MacDonald
Daniel MacDonald
1 month ago
Reply to  Outofstep

good ( and sad ) to know on the Fiesta ST, I”m 6’4 and had been eyeing them as a possible fun daily, sigh another one out

Outofstep
Outofstep
1 month ago

I wouldn’t rule it out. Maybe you will be more comfortable in it than I was. I’d say give it a look. My biggest concern was getting in and out but sitting in the car I felt like I had a decent amount of room for its size

Daniel MacDonald
Daniel MacDonald
1 month ago
Reply to  Outofstep

Gotcha-I’ll still try to drive one then, though getting in and out of tiny cars is not getting any easier…

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
1 month ago

For my favorite TV example – Tom Selleck and Ferrari 308s.

He was entirely too tall to fit, so they did their best to work around it – they removed all the seat padding so he was basically sitting on upholstered plywood, and there are extremely few scenes where Magnum drives it with the top in place.

Even after all that, there are plenty of shots where his head is clearly sticking up past the roofline.

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
1 month ago

I’m on the fringe of being a manlet (I’m about a generously rounded 5’10) so fortunately I fit in just about everything. I am a stocky fellow though, and sometimes real hardcore sports seats are constricting. That’s actually one of the reasons why I got my Kona N over an Elantra N.

ADDvanced
ADDvanced
1 month ago

ehhhh 5’9″ is 50th percentile, so you’re actually taller than half of the population.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
1 month ago
Reply to  ADDvanced

Depends on the demographic. 5’10 is average for US non-hispanic white.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Average_human_height_by_country

UnseenCat
UnseenCat
1 month ago

That’s still well within average height range, marketing be damned.

I’m the runt at 5’4″, right there with the legendary Jackie Stewart. 🙂

Fuzzyweis
Fuzzyweis
1 month ago

I’m average tall (6′) and although I can fit in many cars it’s the comfortably part.

Like my Chevy Bolt, I have tons of headroom, but legroom I’m always shuffling my legs around, I have the seat all the way back but not super reclined, but the steering wheel doesn’t telescope back far enough, and I don’t have T-Rex arms, got about a 6′ wingspan too. I’m considering getting a steering wheel spacer. And again that’s on a car that’s fairly upright, in/out, and tons of headroom. I could bump the seat up to ease the legroom, but then I’m starting to have to duck down to see traffic lights. And this is with all the up/down options on seat and steering wheel that not all cars used to have.

I try various cars at the local yearly auto show, and there’s a few I fit comfortably but most it’s some issue. Previous generation Jeep Wranglers were not comfy, think it’s a little better with the current generation, where the roll bar is behind the driver seat was the issue, they added a little notch now. Broncos I fit ok in so there’s that, and trucks, but I like me some smaller sporty type cars but again not enough variation to get super comfy, and mainly think it’s the steering wheels.

BexleySpeed
BexleySpeed
1 month ago
Reply to  Fuzzyweis

Yes! First mention of the Jeep Wrangler. Only thing I’ve driven and could not get comfortable. My brother owned one in late 90s, my left shoulder always pressed against the door. 6′ and ~200lbs, the wife likes to complain my son’s inherited my shoulders. I also check them out at the annual car shows. I disagree about them being better now. Still too narrow for me.

Last edited 1 month ago by BexleySpeed
10001010
10001010
1 month ago

One benefit of being the most average of average heights I fit in most cars and motorcycles just fine from a tiny AZ-1 to giant F-250s. The only car I never fit properly in was my old MGB. If I moved the seat close enough to fully reach the pedals then the steering wheel was in my chest. If I scooched back a bit to put a comfortable distance between me and the wheel I couldn’t fully depress the clutch pedal without twisting my hip and stretching out my toes. The seat back was also fixed in an upright position so reclining away from the wheel wasn’t an option either.

Stig's Cousin
Stig's Cousin
1 month ago

I’m around 6’1″ so I’m not particularly tall, but I get that height by having the torso of a guy who is 6’6″ and the legs of someone who is 5’8″. I have issues with headroom in most vehicles, but unlike a tall person I can’t move the seat back and comfortably reach the wheel or pedals.

As a result, most smaller vehicles don’t fit me well. I have tried and failed to fit comfortably in several cars. The ones I can recall at the moment include the Viper (I couldn’t get in a Viper car at all), Miata (I could only get in with the top down), Boxster, Supra, Smart Fortwo, Fiat 500, Alfa Romeo 4C, and the current generation Camaro.

Fortunately, I prefer pickup trucks over sports cars. I can’t fit in most sports cars, but I can still find vehicles I enjoy driving. Still, I would like to find a vehicle like the Miata or Boxster that I actually fit in.

Last edited 1 month ago by Stig's Cousin
Dave from STL
Dave from STL
1 month ago
Reply to  Stig's Cousin

My brother from another mother! 6’2″ with a 32″ inseam and 37.5″ sleeve length over here.

I fit comfortably in next to nothing barring giant, expensive SUVs which are very inconsistent with and unnecessary for our lifestyle.

Stig's Cousin
Stig's Cousin
1 month ago
Reply to  Dave from STL

The worst part of being strangely proportioned is that tall people don’t understand why we can’t fit in a lot of cars. I was at an auto show in 2015 or so when I tried and failed to fit in a Camaro due to a lack of headroom. A guy who was 6’7″ fit in the car just fine and didn’t believe me when I said I had trouble fitting. Turns out he had a 40″ inseam compared to my 30″ inseam. Tall people don’t understand that sitting height doesn’t always correlate with standing height.

Having the torso of a giant and the limbs of a dwarf is tough, at least when it comes to buying cars and clothes.

Rob Knapp
Rob Knapp
1 month ago
Reply to  Dave from STL

My dudes! 6′ with a 30″ inseam. When we were setting up our lemons car I could sit back to back level headed with my 6′ 4 teammates. I have to bend to see traffic lights in my soon to be for sale Honda Beat and I dare not try the other ABC cars. But also my average height wife and I don’t have to slide the seat forward and back. I know a Lotus Europa is out despite my dreams.

Scruffinater
Scruffinater
1 month ago
Reply to  Rob Knapp

Damn, you guys are making me feel normal over here with my 5’10” or so height on a 30″ inseam. And I’m used to looking people up to 6’4″ in the eye when seated. I’m generally grateful for almost never lacking legroom, but I’m sympathetic to anyone not being able to achieve a decent driving position in a vehicle they like.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
1 month ago
Reply to  Dave from STL

Try a minivan

Cerberus
Cerberus
1 month ago

I’ve never been a big Miata fan, though I love that they exist and I had thought of buying an NA when they were dirt cheap to convert it into a streamliner. Technically, I fit, but I find them uncomfortably cramped and I’m only 5’11” and slim, though with longer limbs (yeah, I know, guy who’s taller than Shaq and outweighs Andre the Giant, you fit very well in your BiL’s college roommate’s cousin’s Miata—good for you). On the flip side, I fit quite well in Saab Sonnets, which are much tinier cars (of course, older cars were far more space efficient for their footprints thanks to a lack of safety and not needing 40 computers that need to be jammed in). Since it’s old cars I much prefer, there really isn’t anything else that I can think of that I like, but don’t fit in that I’ve tried.

Last edited 1 month ago by Cerberus
Daniel MacDonald
Daniel MacDonald
1 month ago
Reply to  Cerberus

Yeah it’s weird how much the proportion thing matters, I’m 6’4 and fit quite comfortably in the e30 I used to daily even thought they’re tiny by modern standards.

Jim Stock
Jim Stock
1 month ago

I have a long torso so I struggle to get into my buddy’s lifted Cherokee. Also loads of convertibles have very low roofs.

Alan Christensen
Alan Christensen
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim Stock

Another long torso guy here. I’m taller when I sit down.

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim Stock

You must have a REALLY long torso, XJs have quite good headroom. More than most of my cars actually.

Jim Stock
Jim Stock
1 month ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

it is more getting in the door opening, fine once inside.

Tasteful Noodles
Tasteful Noodles
1 month ago

Clown shoe. I’m 6’5″, so it’s not happening but I’ve always loved it.

Daniel MacDonald
Daniel MacDonald
1 month ago

Yeah I’m 6’4″ and only found out a couple weeks ago that I won’t fit in one comfortably. I was devastated it’s been my “some day” car for years

TheDrunkenWrench
TheDrunkenWrench
1 month ago

Most vans, commercial or consumer, and some trucks. At a towering 5’7″ and legs on the shorter side of the body balance, I can’t get the seat low enough to adequately straighten my bad left knee. So any stint longer than about 15 mins behind the wheel starts to load up the knee to the point of distracting levels of pain and discomfort.

So many people have lamented the previous generation Taco for it’s leg-out, low seating position. But that’s exactly the setup I prefer.

JDS
JDS
1 month ago

At 6’5″ and all torso, there are many cars I don’t fit, namely any small Honda. The car I wish I fit into is the Miata, but I can’t if the top is up. Many cars with sunroofs are difficult too.

Surprisingly, my former wife’s 2015 Mini is fine. For a smallish car, they’re surprisingly roomy inside.

ZzzZz
ZzzZz
1 month ago

I’m 6′-4″, and really wanted to daily a 718. -NOPE- There was no way. And a 911 is just way over what I wanted to spend. I ended up getting something much more sensible – an A4, and although I love this little car, I still put a longing hand on a window when I see a 718.

Shooting Brake
Shooting Brake
1 month ago

I’m 6’4”, so the list is long. Starts with Miata’s though, grew up with them and drove my Dads all the time but actually owning one is a little harder proposition. Applies to plenty of great small classics and sports cars, all of which is unfortunate because I love small light cars. Currently have a BRZ which I “just” fit in and have been pretty happy so far.

Fix It Again Tony
Fix It Again Tony
1 month ago

I fit in a Viper, but not with a helmet.
I wish I had ignored that bit of a problem and bought one, because I don’t do track days anymore and helmet is now irrelevant to me.

Andrea Petersen
Andrea Petersen
1 month ago

High beltline cars drive me insane. I’m 5’4″ and more of that is legs than torso, so I simply can’t see out very well, which doesn’t feel particularly safe to me. The biggest offender I’ve been in for this is modern Camaros.

R53forfun
R53forfun
1 month ago

My 5’2″ wife agrees with you 100%! As does 6′ tall me, for the record.

Defenestrator
Defenestrator
1 month ago

Even at 6’2″ the Camaro felt like enough of a pillbox from the passenger seat that I wouldn’t want one.

Michael Beranek
Michael Beranek
1 month ago

I spent a lot of time in Gen-2 F-body rear seats back in the day, and those were terrible. But that was nothing compared to my buddy’s 944, which had a rear seat only suited to cats.
But we’re talking about the driver’s seat here, and I’ve identified my kryptonite. The vertical distance between my butt and my heels is critical; too much, and it translates into a knee angle that approaches 90 degrees. This is no bueno.

S13 Sedan
S13 Sedan
1 month ago

I’m short by North American standards but dead on equal to the average Japanese adult male height. One of the advantages of that is that I’m yet to find a car I don’t fit in, even small Japanese cars. I was very comfortable in my Miata, even with the roof up. I’ve even driven a kei car once and while I did have the seat all the way back, a genuine first for me, I fit fine and didn’t find it really uncomfortable at all.

LTDScott
LTDScott
1 month ago

As a 6’3″ tall guy with a long torso, the list of cars I don’t fit in is pretty long. If I’m sitting in the driver’s seat of an NA or NB Miata I have to choose between sitting up straight to see over the top of the windshield, or slouching to see through it.

Surprisingly I don’t fit comfortably in the passenger seat of a new RAV4. Twice co-workers have rented them for work events and I found my head uncomfortably close to the headliner, which I wouldn’t expect in an SUV.

John Beef
John Beef
1 month ago

As someone who is 6’6″ tall, when I’m car shopping, it’s not a question of what don’t I fit in, but what do I fit in? For starters, any Toyota with a sunroof (and some without) I just don’t fit.

Brandon Forbes
Brandon Forbes
1 month ago
Reply to  John Beef

That’s what the sunroof is for. Open it up, stick your head out and you’ll be just fine!

John Beef
John Beef
1 month ago
Reply to  Brandon Forbes

If only it was wide enough!

Michael Beranek
Michael Beranek
1 month ago
Reply to  John Beef

Ah, you need the 70’s solution, the beloved T-Top.

Cerberus
Cerberus
1 month ago

I was going to mention the old school aftermarket type pop out roofs. They didn’t really take up any additional space (and I preferred the sense of occasion that came from manually removing the panel that’s lost with electric roofs).

BOSdriver
BOSdriver
1 month ago
Reply to  John Beef

A lot of headroom problems would be solved if sunroofs were just a few inches wider. It is that harsh headliner jolt downwards in most cars that occurs right over your head that messes it up.

Shooting Brake
Shooting Brake
1 month ago
Reply to  John Beef

Yeah I hate sunroofs too man, haha.

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