Tall drivers and passengers often struggle to find cars that provide enough headroom, legroom and overall space to fit their larger frames comfortably. Most cars are designed for average-height individuals, with an average range of 5’2″ to 5’10” in mind. This can make it challenging for taller individuals over 6 feet to find vehicles spacious enough to accommodate their needs.
Hatchback cars offer a solution for tall drivers. Hatchbacks provide ample head and legroom due to their boxy design, allowing taller individuals to fit more comfortably. They also tend to have easier access getting in and out due to their higher roofline.
This article provides an overview of the best hatchback options on the market for tall drivers and passengers over 6 feet tall. It covers key factors like headroom, legroom, ingress/egress, trunk space and top picks suited for taller builds. The goal is to help tall consumers find the right hatchback that can comfortably accommodate their needs.
Having adequate headroom is crucial for tall drivers in order to comfortably drive a hatchback. The ideal headroom clearance for tall drivers is around 40 inches or more. This allows enough room so that tall drivers do not bump their head on the roof.
Some hatchbacks known for having ample headroom include the 2021 Nissan Versa, which has 39.5 inches of front headroom, and the Toyota Corolla, which has an impressive 42 inches of front headroom. The Honda Fit is another model often recommended for tall drivers thanks to its high roofline and generous headroom.
There are a few tips drivers can use to gain a bit more headroom in a hatchback. Adjusting the seat height down and reclining the seat back slightly can allow for more head clearance. Removable seat cushions can lower a seat while still providing lumbar support. Aftermarket modifications like lowering seat brackets also offer extra headroom for tall drivers.
Legroom is crucial for tall drivers to feel comfortable behind the wheel. Ideal legroom measurements for tall drivers exceed 42 inches, allowing space between the seat and the pedals even with the seat slid back. Hatchbacks like the Hyundai Ioniq, Toyota Prius, and Honda Fit offer the most generous legroom dimensions in their class.
Adjustable seats that raise up and slide back are important features for tall drivers. Power seats with lumbar support also help customize the fit. Another useful modification is pedal extenders, which move the pedals a few inches farther away. Aftermarket extenders bolt onto the existing pedals to provide extra space for long legs.
Getting In and Out
Hatchbacks with wide-opening doors, thoughtfully positioned interior handles, and a high roofline can make ingress and egress much easier for tall drivers. According to this article, cars like the Hyundai i20 and Maruti Suzuki Baleno have wide opening doors that allow tall drivers to get in and out without ducking down too much. The Baleno also has grab handles on the A-pillar that make getting in even easier. Meanwhile, cars with a high roofline and upright seating position like the Honda Jazz and Toyota Yaris don’t require as much bending to get into the driver’s seat.
Overall, looking for hatchbacks with wide door openings, conveniently positioned handles, and good headroom clearance will make getting in and out of the vehicle much easier for tall drivers.
Tall drivers and passengers often need more cargo space to fit their long legs and larger frames. When evaluating hatchbacks, pay close attention to cargo volume and dimensions.
The 2022 Mazda 3 hatchback offers 20.1 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats, expanding to 47.1 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down (2022 Mazda 3 Hatchback Cargo Space Dimensions – Reddit). The cargo area is 36.3 inches long and can accommodate large items like golf clubs or strollers. The 60/40 split fold-down rear seats increase maximum cargo capacity for taller passengers.
The 2019 Ford Fiesta hatchback offers 15.4 cubic feet of cargo volume behind the rear seats. With the rear seats folded down, space expands to 25.2 cubic feet (2019 Ford Fiesta Sedan and Hatchback Cargo Space – Akins Ford). While less spacious than the Mazda 3, the Fiesta still provides ample room for groceries and other everyday items. The fold-flat rear seats allow fitting bulkier items when needed.
When it comes to hatchbacks that accommodate tall drivers, there are several models that stand out. Here are some of the top recommendations:
The Honda Fit has ample headroom and legroom up front, even for taller drivers over 6 feet. The upright driving position provides a good view out, and the hatchback layout means easy access in and out. Pros for tall drivers include the spacious front cabin and fold-down rear seats for extra cargo space. Drawbacks are the small backseat and limited headroom in the back. The Fit gets excellent gas mileage (up to 36 mpg highway) and has good safety ratings.
With its boxy shape, the Kia Soul delivers plenty of head and legroom in both rows. The front seats are mounted higher to allow more foot room underneath. Taller drivers can find a comfortable driving position thanks to the height-adjustable driver’s seat and tilt/telescoping steering wheel. The Soul offers excellent value and fuel efficiency, with models that get 30+ mpg. Drawbacks are a harsher ride quality and cheap interior materials in lower trims.
A long-time favorite for tall drivers, the Volkswagen Golf provides ample room both front and back. The driver’s seat offers a wide range of adjustments to accommodate taller frames. Adults can comfortably sit in the backseat even with a taller driver up front. The Golf delivers satisfying performance and handling, upscale interior materials, and excellent safety ratings. Fuel efficiency is also solid, with most models getting around 30 mpg combined. The main drawbacks are the higher pricing and costly maintenance.
When test driving a hatchback as a tall driver, there are a few key things to look out for:
Properly adjust the driver’s seat position to accommodate your height. Make sure the seat moves back far enough so your legs aren’t cramped. Check that the seat raises up enough so your head isn’t hitting the ceiling. Refer to the owner’s manual to understand all the seat adjustments available.
Check your headroom by sitting upright in the driver’s seat. Your head should have a few inches of clearance from the roof. Move around a bit to ensure ample room.
Verify adequate legroom by pushing the seat all the way back. Make sure your legs aren’t hitting the bottom of the steering wheel. There should be a couple inches between your knees and the dash.
Check your visibility by looking out the front windshield and adjusting the rearview mirror. You want good visibility out the front and sides without any major blindspots.
Take note of how easy it is to get in and out of the car. Make sure you don’t hit your head on the roof when entering or exiting the vehicle.
Take the hatchback on an extended test drive of at least 20-30 minutes. Get a feel for how comfortable the seating position is over time.
Bring another tall passenger along for the test drive. Have them get in the front and back seats to evaluate spaciousness.
Tall drivers can make several aftermarket modifications to give themselves more room and better comfort in their vehicles. Some popular modifications include:
Seat bracket extenders can be installed to lower the driver’s seat and provide more headroom. Companies like Cleveland Pap can customize seat brackets to fit tall drivers of varying heights.
Extended steering wheels
Standard steering wheels often sit too close to tall drivers, forcing them to hunch over. Steering wheel extensions and telescopic adapters can add 2-4 inches of extra reach to create a more comfortable driving position. Brands like Tall Life offer extended steering wheels for tall folks.
Tall drivers can have trouble fully pressing down on pedals if their knees are already bent in the footwell. Pedal extenders help bring the pedals closer for easier use. Extenders are available for the brake, clutch, and gas pedals.
Top 5 Picks
Based on research, here are 5 top-rated hatchback models that provide ample headroom, legroom, and overall comfort for tall drivers:
1. Kia Soul
The Kia Soul provides excellent headroom and legroom in both the front and back seats, with 40.2 inches of front headroom and 39.1 inches in the rear. The boxy design makes getting in and out a breeze. The Soul has excellent visibility and offers ample cargo space of 24.2 cubic feet.
2. Honda Fit
The Honda Fit hatchback is very roomy inside, especially in the front row. It provides an impressive 40.4 inches of front headroom and 38.3 inches of legroom. The Magic Seat system allows the rear seats to fold completely flat for maximum cargo capacity. The Fit is affordable, fuel efficient, and fun to drive.
3. Volkswagen Golf
With 39.3 inches of headroom and 41.2 inches of front legroom, the VW Golf gives tall drivers ample space. The raised seating position enhances comfort and visibility. The Golf provides excellent handling and offers useful technology like blind spot monitoring. Cargo space measures 22.8 cubic feet.
4. Toyota Prius
Known for its fuel efficiency, the Toyota Prius also caters well to tall drivers. It provides 38.6 inches of headroom in front and 37.4 inches in the rear. Legroom measures 42.5 inches up front. The Prius has good outward visibility and lots of adjustments to fit tall frames. Cargo space is ample at 27.4 cubic feet.
5. Nissan LEAF
Nissan’s electric LEAF hatchback offers a surprising amount of interior room for an affordable EV. Front headroom measures 41.2 inches, while front legroom is 42.1 inches. The backseat is also spacious. With fold-down rear seats, the LEAF provides 23.6 cubic feet of cargo capacity. Range is up to 149 miles per charge.
In summary, there are many hatchback options out there for tall drivers and passengers. Key factors to consider include headroom, legroom, ease of entry/exit, and trunk space. Test driving different models is crucial to find the right fit. Aftermarket modifications like seat brackets and steering wheel adjustments can also help maximize interior space.
For tall car buyers, focus on test driving hatchbacks like the Honda Fit, Hyundai Elantra GT, Volkswagen Golf, Kia Soul, and Toyota Prius. Sit in the driver’s seat and backseat to assess roominess. Check that you have good head clearance and that the legroom accommodates your height. Adjust the seat to your liking and see if you can comfortably reach the pedals and steering wheel. Have a tall passenger get in and out of the backseat as well. These test drives will help determine the most comfortable hatchback for your height.