Electric cars have been gaining a lot of traction lately. It seems like most major manufacturers are taking a crack at it. Recently, I had the opportunity to sit in a variety of them. My favorite was the Tesla Model X–and not just because it has falcon wings and can do 0-60 mph in under 3 seconds. Rather, it was the best car for tall people of the bunch.
Besides the near Jetson’s-like glass dome, the legroom is also top notch at 45″.
Though visibility and legroom are pretty awesome on the model X, the headroom is still somewhat lacking at only 39″. This number does depend though. If you’re willing to sit a bit further forward, your head may still be in the panoramic windshield zone. So you would actually have more like 41.5″ headroom. I wasn’t comfortable sitting that far forward, however. So I found the headroom to be insufficient. But I am 6′7″ with a long torso and like to sit really upright.
Nevertheless, I’d say the Model X is a fairly tall friendly car. And, from what I’ve seen so far, it’s possibly the best electric car for tall people.
Now all you have to do is find one hundred thousand dollars to shell out. Yup, that’s about what the Model X costs. The new Model 3 will cost a lot less. But sadly, it doesn’t have the panoramic windshield! It could be we wont see too many other cars with panoramic windshields given they let in a lot of heat and may be less structurally sound in certain types of collisions.
I love the idea of getting away from fossil fuels, so I’ll be keeping my eyes open for the best electric cars for tall people. In the meantime, I’ll keep driving my Honda Element, and leave my electrified transportation up to my tall e-bike.
Do you know of any other electric cars that are particularly tall friendly?
I currently drive a 2016 Model X (41.7 in headspace) and my prior car was also an EV, 2013 Nissan Leaf (41.2 in headspace).
When I was car shopping 2 years ago, the Leaf still had better headspace and ingress-egress than other sedans (besides Honda Element) and even SUV’s at dozens of dealerships and CarMax’s I visited. Only vans (and Honda Element) had better headspace in general. For Ev’s Nissan Leaf is still semi-decent for tall people.
But In terms of visibility, Model X is an exponential improvement over Nissan Leaf, much more than the 0.5in difference in headspace. For Leaf I have to regularly crouch down to see red lights. Model X I now drive sitting pretty straight and never have this problem, and my bad lower back issues from past years haven’t recurred so far.
For the Model X I have the driver’s seat angled and forward enough for my head to be located under the panoramic roof. I guess my legs are not as long comparatively, but my torso is extra long when sitting (I have big buttocks). For sharing the car with a short person, this car has saved seat profiles, so it will auto switch seat settings based on whose key approaches the car.
Many newer cars including Model X have autopilot/autobraking features. When I enable autopilot and don’t use my feet to brake, I change my sitting position to cross my ankles over each other. This is my most comfortable sitting position when not being able to stretch my legs out fully, and it really helps in long road trips. Hidden benefit of autobraking for people with longer legs that many are not aware of.
Falcoln wing doors for the back are great for tall people ergonomics. It’s great for loading and unloading coats and bags in back seat. I don’t have baby seats but with falcoln wing doors it’s supposed to be much easier for taller people to set up the seats and buckle up their children. If someone else is the driver, the ease of ingress-egress for tall person to sit in the back is enormous (but front seats need to be pushed forward for enough leg space though).
Model X was way over my budget, but I don’t regret spending over my budget if it saves on the pain and cost to treat long term lower back issue more frequently. (Buying an adjustable bed and sleeping in zero gravity position being the other major change besides different car)
I was hoping a model X owner would comment! Your bit about the auto-breaking is really interesting. I know I take on a more comfortable position when I put cruise control on, but it’s a bit risky without auto-breaking too. As cars get ever more autonomous, it seems we tall people will inadvertently be able to get more comfortable.
I forgot to try standing under the Falcon wings. Can you stand up straight under them? How tall are you by the way?
You sleep in Zero gravity position? Neat. I do some computer work from this position (built myself what I call a zero gravity computer bed), but have only taken naps in it 🙂
Model X is for sure expensive, but hard to put a price on health and decreasing carbon footprint! Thanks for writing in, very helpful information for any other tall people considering going electric!
I’m about 6’3 and I would guesstimate about 6’4 under falcon wing door at standard air suspension height, if air suspension set at very high it might be another 1.5 inch higher. So unfortunately you’ll probably bump your head still.
I am 6′ 6″ and have a 2016 Honda Accord. I installed seat extenders (I got mine from a company called Extend My Seat) and, although the leg room behind the driver’s seat is minimal, I have an amazing amount of room.
6’9″ and another Honda Accord owner (2014 Sport 6spd). No seat extenders necessary. Looking at a model S for the family. (2 kids, one boy is nearly as tall as me at 14).
Unless that 6’9″ is all legs then I definitely suggest just sitting in something taller to compare (like the Ford Transit Connect Wagon), noting how much more upright you can sit and whether your posture is better. Over time, even a bit of poor posture can be problematic for the spine’s discs. That being said, if you are certain on going electric then the Model S is a decent choice. Good luck Titan!
6’4, 330lbs(at the time, lost a ton of lbs since) and post spinal surgery with two metal rods and a back that is muscularly out of line so chronic pain
The most comfortable vehicle Ive ever been in is the large Buick Sedans(Park Avenue, Lesabre). Both were like sitting on a really comfortable couch. I have a huge back and the wide seats were amazing! Also more than enough leg room and easy to get in and out of. The arm rest helped big time as well.
Besides that, the most legroom Ive ever had was strangely in a Mini Cooper. Yes. Two door mini. It was just so hard to get in and out of and there was no arm rest to help keep my back square and comfortable. When I first sat down in it and had to push the seat forward I started laughing so hard I almost lost my breath.
Kia Optima also was easy to get in and out of and had wonderful legroom. They have a hybrid and eventually will have an electric and that will probably be the first EV I buy unless Tesla’s Model 3 comes down in price.
I found both the Scion XB and the Honda Element to be very uncomfortable.