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It’s true, size does matter.

Posted in Best of, Car Buying, General, News, Rants & Raves by MrAngry | February 23rd, 2011 | 8 Responses |

Size Matters

Here at Ridelust.com we test drive a lot of cars. Everything from sub-compacts like the Ford Fiesta, to big hulking brutes like the Cadillac Escalade ESV. We live with these cars as our daily drivers for the better part of a week and in that time rack up between 100 – 1000 miles. Things like performance, economy, price and fun factor all come into play, as does one other very important piece of the puzzle – size. At 6’4″ 250 lbs I’m bigger than your average road tester, so to me size matters. Believe it or not, it also matters for those who ride with me. For instance, I used to have an old Saab 900 SET, it was a great car but was narrow as all hell. In fact when I was sitting next to friends it wouldn’t be uncommon for our shoulders to almost touch. Combine that with the fact that we’d also be fighting for the armrest and well, you can how it would lead to problems.

Size Does Matter

Keep in mind though that just because a vehicle is physically large, that doesn’t mean that its interior is. For example the 2011 Cadillac Escalade that I tested not too long ago had a surprisingly cramped drivers compartment, whereas something like the new 2011 Buick Regal provided all day comfort. For guys like me comfort is the first thing I look at first when purchasing a car, followed by price and performance. Truth be told it’s a bitch and there are days I wished I was a more normal 5’10”. Since we get a large variety of enthusiasts on this site, I simply began to wonder how import the issue of size, both inside and out, played a part in your car buying decisions. I’m curious, so post up!

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8 Responses

  1. Size matters a lot to me but I have the opposite problem from you. I am actually very small and I find that in most cars I have really poor visibility and can’t see at all when changing lanes, even with the seats raised ALL the way up. It also could be the way the windows are built, my current car doesn’t have a divider between the front and back window (it’s all glass); so I have great visibility. I drove a C300 once and could not see at all when changing lanes! Same in a S-class. However, I can see in my old CLK320 and I had good visibility in my old Accord too. Visibility is very important to me.

  2. Adam says:

    Very important. I’m 6’4″ with shoes on and carry my own heft as well.

    I somehow manage to drive an 05 Civic but not without problems in pulling up the handbreak and smashing the passenger’s elbow in the process :P

    When helping my mother pick out a car, I sat in the front seat and she sat in the seat directly behind me. We only picked out a car where we were both comfortable.

  3. Jen says:

    Very important. Not necessarily for me, but my husband is 6’1″ and likes to stretch. My son is taller than all the kids his age and he’s only going to grow bigger. So whatever I get next has to be able to accommodate them both for many years to come. It’s a pain, because I don’t want to drive something big, I prefer smaller cars, so my options are more limited

  4. ptschett says:

    Interior space/comfort is one of the reasons that I own a Challenger now instead of the 2011 Mustang that I was anxiously awaiting a year ago. I’m only 6-foot-even but even at my height, when I test-drove the Mustang I needed the seat almost all the way back and with the seat bottom tilted as rearward as could be; then I had to decide whether to pull the seat forward a little bit so I could reach every control on the dash, or stay sitting in that position and have an awkward reach to things further away like the far side of the radio. It reminded me of my ’73 Cougar’s ergonomics, to be honest.

    Now with the Challenger and its telescoping wheel I have a lot more room to adjust, and I don’t have to make the kind of tradeoffs the Mustang would have required.

  5. Lee says:

    I’m 6’5 and space is very important to me, my family just got a 2004 Audi TT and am finding it a bit tight and despite the fun it is to drive I can only handle a couple hours before it becomes annoying. I think I am gonna try to get a nice Toyota fj62 as my car.

  6. eddie_454 says:

    too bad your so big mike how about a sports car that has a bulge on the roof for some extra headroom,i think i saw one on legends of motorsport,so it can be done.

  7. Will says:

    I’m 6’1″ and in some vehicles I feel way too crowded. There are some vehicles though that feel great. Not cramped up and plenty of room for me and friends.

    I drive a 93 MR2 and it’s just perfect. I have head room, legs aren’t cramped, and I have wiggle room to move around. If I were a few inches taller I would definately have a problem.

    Driving in my friend’s Miata though I feel like a circus clown. No leg room, seat all the way back and reclined and i’m still barely touching his hardtop. If I were to drive it and have a steering wheel in front of me I would have no room at all and if I were ever to be in a wreck, odds are I would be killed.

  8. Canrith says:

    At 5’10” I fit comfortably in almost every car, but there have been a few exceptions (*cough* exige *cough*) that I have been willing to feel a bit cramped to enjoy riding in. The biggest problem is when I have to sit in an awkward way to have every control that matters in reach. So ergonomics over size for me.