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Tue Sep 3, 2013, 08:59 PM

Car shopping for a tall guy

Last Thursday my husband was t-boned in Atlanta. We're assuming his SUV is totaled - 2002 model with ~140,000 miles in average condition with all panels on both sides crunched (it rolled over on the driver's side after being hit on the passenger side), broken windows, etc. No one was hurt so that part is good.

I'm looking for suggestions for vehicles with enough leg room for a 6'1"+ guy with long legs. A good friend sells used cars and brought out a Honda CRV for us to look at. Great little SUV, but nowhere near enough leg room for my husband. Because we tend to carry a lot of stuff around I'd like a small SUV, hatchback or station wagon, but we'd settle for a sedan. He also gives rides to events to friends so we need four doors and a roomy back seat.

Anybody have any suggestions for vehicles for us to look for?

47 replies, 3236 views

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Arrow 47 replies Author Time Post
Reply Car shopping for a tall guy (Original post)
csziggy Sep 2013 OP
onehandle Sep 2013 #1
csziggy Sep 2013 #5
narnian60 Sep 2013 #42
onehandle Sep 2013 #43
narnian60 Sep 2013 #45
Gidney N Cloyd Sep 2013 #2
Throd Sep 2013 #3
csziggy Sep 2013 #6
flvegan Sep 2013 #4
csziggy Sep 2013 #8
flvegan Sep 2013 #10
csziggy Sep 2013 #13
flvegan Sep 2013 #14
csziggy Sep 2013 #15
fortyfeetunder Sep 2013 #23
csziggy Sep 2013 #25
Agschmid Sep 2013 #46
benld74 Sep 2013 #7
csziggy Sep 2013 #9
DebJ Sep 2013 #11
csziggy Sep 2013 #12
trof Sep 2013 #47
Heddi Sep 2013 #16
gvstn Sep 2013 #18
Heddi Sep 2013 #19
gvstn Sep 2013 #20
Heddi Sep 2013 #22
tanyev Sep 2013 #44
Manifestor_of_Light Sep 2013 #17
MiddleFingerMom Sep 2013 #21
csziggy Sep 2013 #26
mnhtnbb Sep 2013 #24
csziggy Sep 2013 #27
mnhtnbb Sep 2013 #28
csziggy Sep 2013 #29
NightWatcher Sep 2013 #30
csziggy Sep 2013 #31
NightWatcher Sep 2013 #32
csziggy Sep 2013 #34
mrmpa Sep 2013 #33
csziggy Sep 2013 #35
kentauros Sep 2013 #36
madmom Sep 2013 #37
discntnt_irny_srcsm Sep 2013 #38
riderinthestorm Sep 2013 #39
csziggy Sep 2013 #40
riderinthestorm Sep 2013 #41

Response to csziggy (Original post)

Tue Sep 3, 2013, 09:11 PM

1. 2012+ Camaro.

I'm a 6 foot plus a hair animal. My 2012 Camaro is the first car I've ever owned that I actually had to scoot the seat forward slightly.

Also, it's the first vehicle to get a 5-Star Safety Rating. Bought mine in Atlanta.

The 2012 Camaro Coupe Becomes the First Vehicle of Any Class to Earn a Perfect NHTSA 5-Star Safety Ratinga.
http://www.chevrolet.com/culture/article/camaro-vehicle-safety-rating.html

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Response to onehandle (Reply #1)

Tue Sep 3, 2013, 09:25 PM

5. LOL! A Camaro wouldn't make it up our driveway!

We need something with ground clearance that can handle rough roads. While we're not actively showing horses or traveling back roads, we do birdwatching and go down some rough roads.

I also forgot - until we find out if the insurance company will give us anything for the wrecked car, our budget is under $5000.

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Response to onehandle (Reply #1)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 06:00 PM

42. Yes, plenty of front seat room,

but have you tried getting in your back seat????

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Response to narnian60 (Reply #42)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 06:02 PM

43. It's a two-seater, as far as I'm concerned.

Leaving shortly to get sushi with my wife.

Neither of us will be in the back seat.

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Response to onehandle (Reply #43)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 06:11 PM

45. I was kidding.

OP wanted a roomy back seat & when I saw your comment, I just had to laugh because I know what the Camaro's back seat is like---non-existent. Hadn't heard about the 5 star rating. Hope it applies to my 2011???

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Tue Sep 3, 2013, 09:13 PM

2. I replaced my 2002 Vue with a 2013 Santa Fe Sport a few weeks ago...

It's a little bit roomier than the Vue and the driver's seat seems infinitely adjustable. I'm shorter than your husband but I can't imagine a 6'1" guy not finding a comfortable setting.

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Tue Sep 3, 2013, 09:14 PM

3. '54 DeSoto Firedome

You won't even have to take of your hat.

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Response to Throd (Reply #3)

Tue Sep 3, 2013, 09:27 PM

6. Now there's a thought

I wish I still had the 1958 Buick Special I drove in high school - it would have been plenty big enough for my husband! AND it had plenty of space for luggage or whatever we'd want to carry.

To bad Mom's not ready to give up her 1977 Cadillac Sedan D'ville - it's also be plenty big - and it has less than 50,000 miles on it.

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Tue Sep 3, 2013, 09:21 PM

4. Mazdaspeed 3. Hatchback, roomy, fun.

*snicker*

Or, if 4WD suits you, the Subaru WRX STi is a nice hatchback. Also fun.

The CRV is a good ride, but it (depending on the year you saw) is largely a bigger body on a somewhat modified Civic chassis.

This is a tough question without a price range, but there you go.

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Response to flvegan (Reply #4)

Tue Sep 3, 2013, 09:30 PM

8. Hadn't thought about a Subaru - they're supposed to be good

The one we looked at was a 2000 with really low mileage for one that age. Engine sounded good, body and interior in primo condition. I knew about the Civic chassis but it has enough clearance to handle driving up the farm driveway.

It's really a shame that the seat just won't go back far enough on the CRV - it fit our budget, or what we have until we find out if the insurance will give us anything for the wrecked car. We've got about $5,000 now - and can add any insurance money to that.

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Response to csziggy (Reply #8)

Tue Sep 3, 2013, 09:37 PM

10. Subarus are excellent.

Damn near bulletproof.

The CRV is a Honda, so it is also excellent and would last until the end times most likely. But, if he doesn't fit comfortably, it won't work.

Good luck to you in your search!

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Response to flvegan (Reply #10)

Tue Sep 3, 2013, 09:53 PM

13. I've known several letter carriers that had Subarus and swore by them

Great cars.

If I were getting one for me, that CRV would have stayed. Someone else recommended a Honda Pilot - the gas mileage seems better than the Envoy we're replacing, so maybe we'll try one out if we can find one in our budget.

Thanks!

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Response to csziggy (Reply #13)

Tue Sep 3, 2013, 10:11 PM

14. Honda Pilot is a great vehicle. I'd rather a Nissan XTerra for the money, though.

You won't go wrong with either.

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Response to flvegan (Reply #14)

Tue Sep 3, 2013, 10:23 PM

15. I'll add the Nissan to my list, then

One of my favorite cars in college was a Datsun station wagon. Bullet proof little car, it carried all over the national forest here, forged streams, never balked at going through sand, mud, whatever. I was sorry Datsun changed their name, but maybe they still make good cars.

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Response to csziggy (Reply #8)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 01:47 AM

23. You can always adjust the seat tracks.

Look into it. We didn't have to for the family giants but it is doable.

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Response to fortyfeetunder (Reply #23)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 08:52 AM

25. I thought about that

My grandmother was under five feet tall before osteoporosis. She owned the 1958 Buick Special I was given in high school and the dealer jacked up the seat so she could see over the steering wheel. When she sold the car to my Dad, he had the seat put back to the original position.

The only problem is that my husband travels with friends and would need the leg space behind the driver's seat for one of them - and his friends are not small people, either.

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Response to csziggy (Reply #8)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 06:20 PM

46. +1 for Subaru!

Outback is a great wagon model, otherwise I'd reccomend the Legacy sedan. I love mine.

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Tue Sep 3, 2013, 09:30 PM

7. Honda Pilot has the room

I drive one a 2005 and I'm 6'3'' 35" inseam.

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Response to benld74 (Reply #7)

Tue Sep 3, 2013, 09:32 PM

9. How's the gas mileage? I've heard they're not great

But we're replacing a GMC Envoy that got maybe 20 mpg on a good day.

Our friend has several Pilots on his lot, but they may be beyond our budget.

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Tue Sep 3, 2013, 09:38 PM

11. Vehicles these days have a lot more leg room. What, only 6'1"?

Hubby is 6'7", son is 7" (not his son, just mine), daughter is 6', sister is 6'9". I'm the shrimp at 5'10".
Son also wears size 19 shoe, try fitting that onto a gas pedal. But he has a small used Chevy, a few years old, and is doing fine in it.
Ten years ago he couldn't fit into anything behind the wheel except a truck or a van.

I just totaled my Dodge Caravan. It was my third van, the other two were Plymouth Voyagers; two of the three
were used a purchase. Those things last forever. I loved my van, but can't afford any vehicle at all now for some
years. The one I totaled was a 1999, just totaled it in July, value $2700 less $1000 deductible means no car until
hubby gets on Medicare (the $1525 a month in health insurance would buy how many brand new cars???)

But I just loved those vans. Lots of room...not only leg room, but head room. And I could fit just about ANYTHING in
them; moved myself and my two children twice using just the van, everything except one large dresser and a roll-top
desk. And get this: I COULD NEVER EVER AFFORD MAINTENANCE ON THEM. They got oil changes once a year in a good
year, never had a transmission fluid change. Almost got 200,000 on all of them. Goodness I want another one now!

Also, unlike cars, you can step out of the van; in a car I always feel like I am pulling myself out of a hole to get out. And
in the van you aren't sitting with your knees above your hips...something that drives
my sciatica into pain for days...even in my husband's rather roomy 2007 Toyota Camry Hybrid.

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Response to DebJ (Reply #11)

Tue Sep 3, 2013, 09:51 PM

12. We had a Dodge Caravan years ago

It was comfortable and roomy, as you say, but the suspension wasn't happy with our farm road or the dirt roads my husband drove for his job. Now he's doing more paved road driving so maybe a van or minivan is a possibility.

I do prefer a vehicle that sits up above the road. Even though I got new knees last year, I still don't like climbing out of a sedan or short car. And with my back problems, I empathize with your sciatica!

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Response to csziggy (Reply #12)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 06:26 PM

47. We've had Caravans since they came out in 1984. I'm 6'3".

Lots of room everywhere.
Carries 7 passengers comfortably.
Most versatile vehicle I've ever seen.
I love them.

We always buy a year old used one when we hit 100,000 miles, but they're usually good for 200,000.

Currently have an '05.
$3000 from a private party.
Power sliding side doors and rear hatch with key fob.
Second row 'captain's seats' and rear bench seat fold down into floor.
CARGO VAN!

When the seats are up, there's incredible storage in the spaces they fold down into.

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Tue Sep 3, 2013, 11:51 PM

16. We have a Subaru Forester. Husband is 5'11"

and he fits nicely.

And we go camping a lot and we go all out when we camp....double cots, stove, bring our own firewood, etc. And the forester holds it all plus some.

We filled that buddy up and drove it from Seattle to Philadelphia packed to the gills and it held *A LOT*



edited to add: Not only does it give decent leg room but it's very tall. We had a Jetta Wagon and the headroom difference between the Jetta and the Forester is...amazing.

Our bumper recently had to get repaired and we had a Hundai Tucson SUV as a rental. I found it had more legroom than the Subaru, held a bit more than the subaru did, but had nasty NASTY blind-spots when driving.

Driving the Forester is like driving a fish bowl. NO blind spots...the whole thing is a window. I like that, actually.

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Response to Heddi (Reply #16)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 12:29 AM

18. I'm curious

Why did you choose the Forester over the Outback? I've been looking for a small SUV but need a good amount of cargo space, Electric scooter and manual wheelchair (the wheel chair takes up a surprising amount of space because of height if standing up--I haven't figured out a perfect solution with any make/model car to get it all in the cargo area). The Honda CRV seems too small but the Forester also seems a bit small. The newest Outbacks look more like an SUV than a station wagon and seem to have a bit more cargo space--but I haven't gone to a showroom to see exactly what is what. I've pretty much taken the Forester off my list and am deciding between an Outback and the critically maligned but slightly larger Tribeca. Did you choose the Forester over the Outback for any particular reason?

Thanks for any insight.

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Response to gvstn (Reply #18)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 12:34 AM

19. I like the squareness of the Forester over the Wagony looking Outback

I like that the Foresters are higher off the ground and we don't need *that* much space. We're DINKS -- dual income no kids. No dogs either. Maybe if we had a spawn or dog or both we'd get an Outback, but it was too much space for us.

I have driven an Outback though and they're niiiiice. So nice I drove it twice Same handling as the Forester, but again, we just didn't need that much room and I didn't know if it would be *too* hard to park in an urban, parallel parking environment. As it is, the Forester is just a few inches longer than our old Jetta sedan, so parallel parking isn't an issue

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Response to Heddi (Reply #19)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 12:50 AM

20. Thanks!

I definitely see the advantages of the Forester as that was one of my first choices as a small SUV. I also liked the height as I don't like lifting the scooter (100 lbs. + ) into the trunk of my Camry. I just noticed the Outback went to more SUV styling in the last year or two and may be a better choice for me. The Nissan Murano was a good choice too but I'll have to look at them both when I get serious to replace. I had seen where Forester advertised as now "roomier" but the Outback still has a bit more cargo space which I really think I need.

Thanks for your reply, I haven't actually test driven any of these vehicles and am only going by statistics in magazines. It is interesting that the Outback feels so much larger to you when driving it. I really thought there was only a small difference in size between it and the Forester. It is always surprising how different a car feels when looking through the rear-view mirror than when looking at it from the outside.

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Response to gvstn (Reply #20)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 01:02 AM

22. If you don't want high-pressure from salespeople when you test drive

you can always look at similar cars for sale on Craigslist and take them for a roll. We did that when we were buying our Jetta and unsure if we wanted a Jetta, or take a plunge and get a New Beetle.

We went to the lot and the salespeople were like "Well let's run a credit check and see how much financing we can get you..." "come on in and sit down and let's talk about your options..."

um no, I just want to test drive. They wanted me to drive the car out of the lot with my name on the title. And I don't need financing, as we buy all our cars with cash.

So we were like "fuck this shit" and just started driving them from Craigslist. No pressure.

And cars do feel so differently than the stats in the book. Techincally the Jetta Wagon and Forester are very similar in size but driving both of them daily there's a huge difference, I feel, at least in the way the car feels. I mean, I know what we take camping and I *know* that I can fit more comfortably into the Forester than we could the Jetta, and no stats will tell me differently. Our tent is the same, cots are the same, etc. It just fits better.

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Response to gvstn (Reply #20)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 06:10 PM

44. We have a Forester (mine) and an Outback (hubby's)

Love them both. I don't know the exact measurements, but his Outback does feel larger. He got it because he takes his recumbent bike out to a trail on the weekends. Bike fits in the back easily with the back seat down. Both have a good road feel and have been very reliable.

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Tue Sep 3, 2013, 11:58 PM

17. Volvos are super up-down-forward-backward seat adjustable.

Or at least they used to be.

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 12:52 AM

21. PLENTY of leg room in this baby.

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If you dress 'em up in enormous shoes and red rubber noses, there's room for about 15 of your friends, too..
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Response to MiddleFingerMom (Reply #21)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 08:58 AM

26. LOL!

Nice sun roof, too!

A note - the wrecked Envoy had a sunroof, which I always hated. But after the wreck, it still opened and that is how my husband got out of the car. Much more convenient than waiting for someone to tip the thing back up - the doors on the up side were caved in by the impact.

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 08:52 AM

24. One good way to test drive different makes at the same dealer is go to Carmax

I've bought from Carmax and sold to Carmax. Wasn't pressured a lot--like some dealers.
And they will transfer a particular car from another Carmax dealer--sometimes for nothing--
depending upon the distance.

You can check out any inventory on line. www.carmax.com

BTW--the co-founder of Carmax endorsed Obama last election.

Good luck! Glad no one was hurt.

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Response to mnhtnbb (Reply #24)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 09:05 AM

27. Hmm - Carmax seems to list over our budget

Their lowest tier is $10,000 - more than I have in cash right now. I might be able to add a little, but not that much.

It was such a relief that no one was hurt - the wreck was two days after my father's funeral and I was staying with my Mom to make sure she was OK. I couldn't have handled another hospital stay after spending a week watching my father fade.

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Response to csziggy (Reply #27)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 09:24 AM

28. Oh, gee. I'm so sorry about the loss of your father.

Why does stuff like car hassles always seem to happen when you are least prepared to deal with it?

Even if Carmax is over your budget, it's still a good place to try out/compare different makes/models
at the same time.

Good luck!

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Response to mnhtnbb (Reply #28)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 09:33 AM

29. Thank you - I have not wanted to talk about it here

I blame the accident on my husband's stress from dealing with the situation in my family.

I'll look more at Carmax - I think that was the service I used to locate my Suburban years ago.

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 09:45 AM

30. We have a Sequoia and I have an old f150

We test drove the Toyota minivan and it had a ton of room.

Big guys needs big room. I'm 6'5"

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Response to NightWatcher (Reply #30)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 11:21 AM

31. My "truck" is a GMC Suburban 2500

As the Car Talk guys once said, it is great for the altitudinally disadvantaged, plus it can handle hauling my four horse stock trailer with four big mares loaded. And it is very comfortable for my husband to drive.

But he needs a smaller vehicle to commute to work. The CRV was a nice size for commuting, but not for someone as long legged as my husband. I'll look at the Sequoia, but I think it's too large for what we're looking for.

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Response to csziggy (Reply #31)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 11:25 AM

32. I had to use a crv for a week and that was horrible

Believe it or not the last two cars I owned before I went to truck were both Toyota corollas. The Matrix and Venzas look pretty good

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Response to NightWatcher (Reply #32)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 11:43 AM

34. We didn't even test drive the CRV

My husband got in, made sure the seat was as far back as it would go and said it wouldn't work. His knees were touching the dash and it was uncomfortable for him for even those few minutes of just sitting!

The sales guy is a good friend of ours and will look around for us. Now that he has a good idea of how much leg room my husband needs, he can gauge before we even drive to the lot to look. Since he lives close to us, he drove the CRV out to the farm and can do that for future prospects.

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 11:36 AM

33. My 6'7" nephew does well........

in a KIA Soul. Kind of fits your need.

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Response to mrmpa (Reply #33)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 11:45 AM

35. I've been sort of interested in the KIA

A couple of friends have the Soul and are happy with it. We'll have to see if any come available in our price range, though. So far I have found a single one on a local used car lot!

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 11:57 AM

36. Jeremy Clarkson (of Top Gear) is 6'-5"

and he fits in the world's smallest production car:


as well as this custom-car he had made for him:





Basically, you should be able to fit in most cars. I'm 6'-1", and have driven many different vehicles, including my father's old 1964 MGB. You're practically on the floor in a car like that, yet there's still plenty of leg room

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 04:02 PM

37. We recently purchased a 2010 Charger.. my Hubby is

6"4" and has a bum leg (doesn't bend to well..motorcycle accident) There is more than ample room. He even moves the seat forward a bit when driving. There is also plenty of leg room in the backseat for two grown, tall adults, spacious trunk. We went from a Jeep Grand Cherokee to the Charger and we both think we have more room in the Charger. On top of all that it is fun to drive!



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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 04:15 PM

38. I had a...

...'66 Caprice wagon that would take a 4'x8' with the back seat folded down. Got between 6 and 9 mpg, depending on what was on the radio.

A 2003 HUMMER H2 goes for about $7500 in a private sale.

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 04:25 PM

39. My 6'4 husband fits fine in our Honda CRV but LOVES the Volvo most

There's a lot more "controls" for the seats and they can be tilted, adjusted, raised, lowered and send back to accomodate pretty much any body size or type.

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Response to riderinthestorm (Reply #39)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 04:30 PM

40. What year CRV? The one we looked at was a 2000

Low mileage in great shape with a great price - but the driver seat just wouldn't go back far enough for my husband.

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Response to csziggy (Reply #40)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 04:45 PM

41. 1999. Its got 289k miles on it and its STILL going....

been through a couple of teens and across the country more than a few times.

I will say though the seats are very uncomfortable for both of us. We gave it up to my oldest daughter in 2005 to go to school, and bought another car because we were both getting shooting pains up our legs after as short a time as an hour.

My husband has a 36" inseam so I'm wondering if the car you were looking at has some kind of defect in getting the seat back far enough.

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