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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Citrus
Citrus
1 month ago

Ford Fiesta ST and Ford Focus ST: I hear they’re great, I am too wide for the Recaros that they come with. I tried to sit in both at the local Ford store, I could not without pain.

Toyotas (all): I do not know why but Toyotas seem to be designed specifically against my body type – I have lots of leg. There isn’t a Toyota model I especially want, but they are ubiquitous as Ubers.

Last edited 1 month ago by Citrus
Mike Smith
Mike Smith
1 month ago
Reply to  Citrus

I’ve become convinced that Recaro’s are the devil’s work. A buddy of mine back in the day had an ’07 (I think?) WRX STI with Recaro’s, which converted a stiff riding but otherwise reasonably comfortable car into a masochist’s funhouse – the stupid bolsters felt like you were riding on a mostly-open bench vice.
News flash – even your super-cool-guy 200 treadwear trackday tires are not going to generate enough grip to fling you bodily out of your seat while cornering. The common refrain you’d read in the old car enthusiast rags about ‘insufficient bolstering for spirited driving’ is all a bunch of nonsense – the last car built where that could even conceivably be an issue would be a bench seat car without seatbelts. Goodness sakes…

Morgan Thomas
Morgan Thomas
1 month ago

I’m 6’1″ with relatively long legs for my height, so I fit in most things, including a lot of small old Datsuns I’ve owned, but have had to get used to having the seat all the way back and driving with very bent knees. I lust after an Autozam AZ-1, but am probably glad they are out of my budget as I am sure I would find it hard to get remotely comfortable in one. And with the state of my knees (both crunch when I walk and I wear knee braces full time at work) even getting into my Fairlane can sometimes be difficult/painful, so I think folding myself into a Kei car is probably out of the question.

Carbon Fiber Sasquatch
Carbon Fiber Sasquatch
1 month ago

Fiesta ST. I weirdly don’t fit. Like, if I get the seat where the pedals work for me, the steering wheel and mirrors can’t be where I want them. I really want a green FiST but I don’t know if I could live with one

RataTejas
RataTejas
1 month ago

Anything small.

We need a series, instead of will it dog, or kid, will it fat-ass. 😀

Sometimes the problem is entry size, sometimes it’s once you’re in. I have an M3, getting in can sometimes be tight, but once inside it’s a delightful place to be. Miata, just no.

LBA Oak
LBA Oak
1 month ago
Reply to  RataTejas

I like the idea of will it fat ass. I’d volunteer if they needed as I live not too far from torch and am a big guy.

Tarragon
Tarragon
1 month ago

I think my answer is just about anything small.

I’m currently auto crossing my daily driver because I can fit in it with my helmet on. It’s not really an appropriate vehicle but as I like to say, it’s still better than I am.

I am trying to find something that’s a better, more permanent choice. Trying to find the magic combination of appropriate, I fit, I can afford, and I can maintain (aka afford) is difficult.

Just about every time I see a possibility I ask if I can sit in the car. So far the list of vehicles that I fit in is much smaller than the list I can’t.

  • C5 corvette, but not the C5 Z06, or any other generation
  • BMW Z4 (e89) but not (g29)
  • RX-8 if I can find a sport model so that there is no sun roof
  • Porsche Boxster

And that’s it so far, there’s others I need to try so the list *could* grow. A 20 year old corvette and cars that are crazy expensive to maintain. Yay!

Daniel MacDonald
Daniel MacDonald
1 month ago
Reply to  Tarragon

I feel ya, I’ve been shopping for a fun sporty car and realizing that I’m basically stuck with german sport sedans (and apparently the boxster) because most 2 doors won’t fit me 🙁

Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
1 month ago

The Aston-Martin Vanquish. They’re SO pretty, but I’m too short for it. The rear-view mirror is nearly at my head-level if my seat is up far enough to reach the clutch.

I don’t fit in the Countach, either, but I kinda don’t mind that one. I’m okay letting someone else drive those, haha.

Clueless_jalop
Clueless_jalop
1 month ago
Reply to  Stef Schrader

Wait, you mean it’s not normal to have the rear-view mirror at eye level, or slightly below? I honestly don’t mind it too much, but it can be a rather awkward blind spot if you’re passing a highway on-ramp or are at a funky intersection.

Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
1 month ago
Reply to  Clueless_jalop

I’m like, parallel to it. Looking over doesn’t work as well when it’s nearly as far back from the front of the windshield as your head.

(Not height-wise — I’m still short! — but like, next to it on the other axis.)

Last edited 1 month ago by Stef Schrader
Clueless_jalop
Clueless_jalop
1 month ago
Reply to  Stef Schrader

Ah, gotcha.

Spikedlemon
Spikedlemon
1 month ago

A car with a sunroof*

The frame rail takes up far too much headspace, and even when it’s over far enough to comfortably drive: my head sits so high within the vehicle that I can’t see properly through the windscreen – or, I imagine what my head would hit if there were a collision.

*Subaru and VW excepted. Both those brands offer excellent headroom, esp. Subaru.

Dodsworth
Dodsworth
1 month ago

Mazda Miata. Years ago my sister had one and I knew I would buy one for my retirement. I’m 6 feet tall and 215 pounds with a 32 inch inseam. But there’s a huge difference being fifty five and sixty five. I found a used one and upon climbing in I knew it was over. Didn’t even drive it. I bought a Mustang and a vanity plate that said MX5XL.

Sklooner
Sklooner
1 month ago

I remember trying out a 240sx when new, my head kept hitting the sunroof surround, the salesman said that I would ‘get used to it’ umm nope and I am not that tall either

Clueless_jalop
Clueless_jalop
1 month ago
Reply to  Sklooner

“You’ll get used to your head smashing into the sunroof” Yeah, no, that’s a load of crap. You can get used to it, but that doesn’t make it any less hard on your neck from keeping it bent out of the way, and you still notice every single time you go over a large bump.

Sklooner
Sklooner
1 month ago
Reply to  Clueless_jalop

Yeah I think he was trying to make a sale

Ed Dale
Ed Dale
1 month ago

The Mazda Miata. The classic answer to fun drives on curvy roads, autocrossing, time trials and track days. I am too big to be comfortable.

Shelby Cobra (replicas) – When I sit in one, the steering wheel rubs on my belly. Tried a Factory Five and a Hunter with the longer wheel base. Just too big.

James Carson
James Carson
1 month ago

6’5 long legs and body 250 lbs. Any miata, s2000, I can comfortably fit in most corvettes though. These are the majors as there are too many others to list.

Inthemikelane
Inthemikelane
1 month ago

I’ve had a few smaller cars I fit in just fine at 6’3″. Isuzu Impulse for example, which once I was in, a little tight, but I could get it to just the right position.

The one I really wanted to fit in was an Audi TT. Seriously wanted to buy one, but could barely deal with on a test drive.

Rollin Hand
Rollin Hand
1 month ago

Well, finally a question that fits me.

I am a man who takes up more than his fair share of space at 6′ 3.5″ and (gulp) 350 pounds. Add in the fat..uh FACT that I am slightly short legged and top heavy as hell, and I don’t fit in much, especially if it has a sunroof.

A Miata would be the obvious answer, but even when I was much lighter than I am now, I couldn’t get into one without leaving my arm outside the door.

So, my choice is a C4 or C5 Corvette. They are cheap enough that I could afford one that needs a small amount of love, and then enjoy it. But I won’t get that chance unless I lose roughly the weight of a Buick.

Honourable mention to the Elantra N. This could be my next daily if I fit. But I don’t. C’est la vie.

Harvey Firebirdman
Harvey Firebirdman
1 month ago

I am 5′ 7″ so I wouldn’t say there is much that I couldn’t fit in. Though I haven’t sat in a Kei car yet but would really like an Auztozam or cappuccino some day and I am sure I would fit fine.

Russ Evenhuis
Russ Evenhuis
1 month ago

I’m 6’4 and sturdily built at around 250 pounds. Currently shopping for a convertible and finding out a lot. I can fit in a Miata reasonably enough but probably not for a long trip. I drove my mom’s 2005 T-Bird, the top of the windshield hits me right at eye level. I had a 2000 Mustang but had to sell it, it was pretty comfortable. I got to ride in and drive a friend’s gen 1 Viper last weekend, it was a blast but sitting at an angle to get around the engine and transmission was not comfortable for a long drive. I’m going to test drive a Jag F-Type this weekend, we shall see.

Mike Harrell
Mike Harrell
1 month ago

I was disappointed to discover a few years ago as a passenger that a Berkeley Sports doesn’t have nearly enough leg room for me because now I assume this is probably also true for the Berkeley T60, which otherwise looks like a lot of fun. Fortunately my even smaller KV fits just fine, so it’s not always clear in advance what will work and what won’t:

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/52763070823_2cfb092975_c.jpg

Marty Densch
Marty Densch
1 month ago

Not that I wish I fit in it but I wrote an article for the local paper about a guy who owns a Maxton Rollerskate. After the interview he insisted on taking me for a ride. Getting in was challenging enough as the car just has a cut down section of the body you have to climb over and then drop down onto the seat. The seating position is pretty tight so you’re out of luck if you tend to fidget. It’s also narrow so driver and passenger are riding shoulder to shoulder. The big challenge is climbing out. You have to try to push your body up the seat back far enough to pull a leg out from the footwell and then find a way to get it over the cutdown along the side. There’s no graceful way to do. It was worth the ride but I can’t see owing one.

RCAddiction
RCAddiction
1 month ago

Beck Spyder.

mic drop

Last edited 1 month ago by RCAddiction
Jatkat
Jatkat
1 month ago

I’m about 6 foot 3, and approximately 230 lbs. My legs are suuuuper long though, so even if a vehicle supports my height, my legs feel a little squished. Some cars are better than others about this. My 95 K2500 has a single cab, and I feel pretty cramped. Seats are comfy enough to make up for this. My Grand Marquis is perfect, but it should be, its massive. Weirdly, my little suzukis do really well too, likely because they are so upright.

I’d love to fit comfortably in most sports cars. Corvette seems to fit me pretty well (AS IT SHOULD MURICA), but especially old British stuff and Miatas not so much.

OFFLINE
OFFLINE
1 month ago

I’m too tall and have too large a foot size for a Lotus Elise to work, which makes me sad. I did track one once, but kept missing shifts because of the petal spacing and spent as much time looking over the windshield as through it. Still… I love that car; it’s god’s own go-cart.

Parsko
Parsko
1 month ago

Physically, none. I fit into a Cappuccino.

Financially…. anything over $40k?? $30k if I want to buy other things. $20k if I’m honest.

David Handy
David Handy
1 month ago

6′ 255lbs….I fit in my NA Miata well enough, just had to remove the sunvisors. Kinda want a Cappucino, though, and no way I’m fitting in that.

Urban Runabout
Urban Runabout
1 month ago

The red VW Beetle pedal car that I got for my 4th Birthday.
I absolutely loved that little car.

Also the 5th gen Honda Prelude.
My feet did not fit inside the pedal box.

Last edited 1 month ago by Urban Runabout
IRegertNothing, Esq.
IRegertNothing, Esq.
1 month ago

I am the generic 5’9” man that everything is designed for, so nothing feels too small for me. I did feel kind of like an elf when driving a GMC Topkick just because there was so much more space around me than I am used to. It didn’t help that the big beast rode like a bounce house and had a brake pedal that you hand to press waaaay the hell down before the brakes would do anything. Flooring that pedal for an urgent stop would have required some scooting to get the extra reach.

Matthew Lange
Matthew Lange
1 month ago

Miata. I’ve tried NA, NB and ND and I cannot get comfortable in any of them.

Lew Schiller
Lew Schiller
1 month ago
Reply to  Matthew Lange

Same, and same for a friend who isn’t as tall. He solved it with a Z3 though.

JumboG
JumboG
1 month ago
Reply to  Lew Schiller

My answer was a ‘Z’ model BMW. I tried the Z3 and not enough head room. I tried the Z4 and not enough leg room. Bought an e46 convertible.

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