Listings from the Big & Tall section
The NBA Playoffs are right around the corner, and while our tallest and most athletic humans thrive on the hardwood, basketball players are not ideally suited for driving. It seems like Shaquille O’Neal can fit behind the wheel of a Buick, but this is certainly not true for most vehicles.
Cars are not one-size-fits-all, which can pose a challenge for taller-than-average people choosing a car to rent or buy. Swoopy, modern rooflines can limit headroom and lack of legroom can actually be a real danger to drivers. In the spirit of safety and comfort, we’ve compiled some vehicles that come optimized for people Steph Curry-sized and up.
The Wrangler is high off the ground and has a minimalist, utilitarian interior that maximizes space for the driver and the passengers. It is one of the only SUVs that comes in convertible form, and the soft top is easily removed for essentially unlimited headroom. Most other convertibles are based on tight coupes meant for performance driving, so the Wrangler has a leg and a head up on the open-air competition. For a time, Lebron could be seen cruising around Cleveland in an orange Wrangler Unlimited, so you know it’s fit for a king. For those who really want all the space they can get, the doors can come off for unrivaled, almost worrisome accessibility.
The Kia Optima is a midsize sedan popular more for its styling and affordability, but it offers some of the most headroom in its class. The 2016 model boasts 40 inches of headroom and a very generous 45.5 inches of legroom in the front. Add to that a remarkably high-quality interior, and you’ve got yourself a sedan even Blake Griffin can get into. Though, we’ve mostly seen him jumping over the Optima or standing out of the sunroof.
Tesla Model X
Environmentally-friendly giants can have a tough time finding a plug-in hybrid to accommodate their long limbs, but the Model X is the exception. A solid 41 inches of both head and legroom in the front is a good start. The second row only loses an inch in headroom and two inches for the feet, so you can almost fit a whole starting five in the Model X. Just watch out that you don’t hit your head on those falcon wing doors while they’re unfolding.
The Highlander is Toyota’s midsize SUV, but it has been growing in recent years. Without the optional moonroof, the front row gets 41 inches of headroom and a whopping 44 inches of legroom. With an extremely considerate 59 inches of shoulder room in the front and middle rows, broad-shouldered power forwards can sit next to each other without having to box out. A solid eight inches of ground clearance also makes stepping in and out of the Highlander a breeze.
Surprised? Honda’s subcompact surely isn’t known for its overall size, but it does have a reputation for being remarkably spacious and comfortable inside. Up front, the 39.5 inches of headroom doesn’t seem that significant, but considering the 2017 Fit’s overall dimensions, it’s dead impressive. The driver and front passenger also enjoy 41.4 inches of legroom for ballers looking for zippy city driving. True to its name, the Fit also has some of the most cargo space in its class. Tall people: don’t sleep on the Fit.
SUVs are generally a good bet for larger people, but can get pricey as they increase in size. The 2017 Subaru Forester is not the largest SUV, but it starts at a reasonable $23,470, and has ample room for long people and their 200cm powder skis. The Forester offers a very Subaru-like 41.4 inches of headroom and 43 inches of legroom.
Ram 1500 Crew Cab
Pickup trucks tend to be large, but many fall short in offering comfort for the second row. The Ram 1500 Crew Cab has nearly identically spacious head and legroom for the front and back rows, a wide body, and four really wide doors. A big step up into the cab acts as a de facto height requirement for this truck, but that shouldn’t worry any NBA starters.