For families traveling with the vertically gifted, finding a vehicle with ample rear legroom (because being tall doesn’t entitle you to sitting shotgun) can be a tall order. Since adequate legroom isn’t always thought of as a top concern with manufacturers and dealers, and the actual process of measuring legroom is complicated, just finding out which makes and models can accommodate your needs is a challenge.
Luckily, we’ve formed this guide for tall families of vehicles in your height range.
Crossovers might seem like the perfect vehicles for those looking to stretch out, but beware – not all crossovers are made equally, and even models with an extra third-row can be misleading.
(Ford Flex – Image Source)
Thankfully, there are honest deals like Ford’s Flex. With 44.3 inches of rear legroom, it’s one of the most generous of vehicles when it comes to rear seating legroom and one of the roomiest rides you’ll find yourself in overall. Not only are the second row’s captain chairs relaxing and reclining, but it also comes with premium options like a multipanel sunroof and a refrigerated second-row console.
Following in the Flex’s tire marks is Nissan’s Armada, at a cool 41.9 inches. Its large interior is complimented by plenty of storage areas and an ability to tow trailers with 395 pound-feet of torque, but its poor fuel economy can make it a less than desirable choice for road trips.
A more fuel-efficient alternative is the Mercedes-Benz GLS. The GLS comes in with 38.5 inches and 35 inches for the second and third row, respectively. It also doesn’t hurt that the GLS is one of the more beloved crossovers.
(Lincoln MKT – Image Source)
Another challenger in that realm is Lincoln’s MKT. This full-size has a second row of 41.8 inches of legroom, but the MKTs’ third row, unfortunately, has a limiting 33 inches, curbed by diminishing headroom and an encroaching cargo area.
Lincoln also happens to defeat Ford’s long-lived Explorer, with its 39.5 inches of second row stretch space (although the Explorer squeaks out an extra 0.3 inches over the MKT’s third row). The Explorer tends to tie with GMC’s Terrain (both their 2012 models had 39.8 inches of rear legroom, as was the case with that year’s Mazda CX-9), but that’s not always the case and serves as a reminder to always compare the model’s year.
While sedans may not be perfect for long road trips, there are a few that’ll gift your family with the space needed to stretch out on voyages both long and short. Buick’s 2017 full-size luxury LaCrosse makes sitting in the backseat feel like you’re in a limousine with its 40.5 inches of backseat legroom and smooth leather seats. Pair that with its Wi-Fi capabilities and your passengers are all set to watch a movie in comfort on the road.
Take a half-inch less and you’re sitting in the stylish Chrysler 300’s spacious rear passenger seats, as long as you don’t get the optional sunroof. As a bonus, you can also get the 300 in all-wheel drive. If the 300 is too bold for you and you’re looking for a more subdued ride, Chevrolet’s Impala offers around the same amount of legroom in the rear (39.8 inches) for a much better price.
(Dodge Charger – Image Source)
For a similarly sexy ride with just a little more space, Dodge’s Charger line of midsize muscle has a wide backbench with around 40 inches of legroom. That’s plenty of space for six-footers, a third passenger, or just storing gym bags.
At just over an inch shorter is Toyota’s latest Avalon. The Avalon will provide passengers with around the same level of comfort with an equally quiet cabin so you won’t have to shout at each other on the highway or over your favorite music streaming service.
An even more unlikely contestant for vehicles with great legroom, pickups generally condense backseats in favor of long front seats and long beds. Ford’s Ranger, surprises riders by offering passengers at least 39.1 inches of legroom in the back of the cabin. One of the closest competitors for this class of pickup is Suzuki’s 33.6-inch rear legroom Equator.
A Shout-Out to Compacts
(Hyundai Volester – Image Source)
No, you’re not going to find many compacts filing away at front seats or caving in trunk space to bring you an extra 4 inches or so. While you’ll rarely find compact backbenches beating 33 inches, it should be noted that the 2014 Hyundai Veloster squeezes the most of its back seat with 33.2 inches for rear leg stretching.
Move Up (Or Lean Back)
Still searching for that perfect vehicle? If none of the above hit the mark, try their earlier or later editions. Manufacturers tend to go by the rule of “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” so you generally won’t have to worry that a year difference might sink your dream and leave your taller friends or family members doubled over, bumping their head on the ceiling.