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BBC Autos

The Quora Column

The best cars for tall drivers

The 2015 Mini Cooper S, a car with surprising head- and legroom. (BMW Group)

The 2015 Mini Cooper S, a car with surprising head- and legroom. (BMW Group)

The vertically gifted do not always have it so easy. Yes, they can pull items from the top shelf, and their probability of dunking a basketball is much higher than most. But when cantilevering their bodies into a vehicle, those advantages quickly disappear.

To learn what tall company drive, BBC Autos checked in with Quora, the online question and answer community, for some insight. Not surprisingly, SUVs and pickup trucks loomed large among responses,  but there also were some surprisingly compact options for the long of limb and torso.

Bigger isn't always better

Quora user Mike Schroll gets his 6ft 4in frame into a Volkswagen Rabbit. He said it's "roomier for me than any SUV I've ever sat in." And that comfort is no accident. The 2015 version of the Rabbit, the Golf, has 38.4in of headroom and 41.2in of legroom  for its front passengers – - more headroom than the 2014 Toyota Sequoia  and more legroom than the 2014 Ford Expedition full-size SUVs.

2015 Volkswagen Golf. (Volkswagen of America)

2015 Volkswagen Golf. (Volkswagen of America)

At 6ft 2in, Gary Payton also thinks smaller cars can be a better fit for taller people than SUVs. " You don't have to buy a gas-guzzling SUV," he wrote, noting that many Japanese and Korean carmakers make good use of space. "Even the old Toyota Echo is roomy," he said, referencing a subcompact sedan previously sold in North America. Indeed, the 2005 Toyota Echo has slightly more front legroom than a 2014 Jeep Wrangler – if only by one-tenth of an inch.

2004 Toyota Echo. (Toyota Motor Sales)

2004 Toyota Echo. (Toyota Motor Sales)

Umakanth Puppala chose an unexpected small vehicle as well. At 6ft 3in, he says his Mini Cooper S has more room than a Ford F-150 pickup truck. "I went for the Mini after searching around for cars for tall people and didn't believe it at first. Then I took a test drive," he said. Surprisingly, the Mini's front legroom specs beat the F-150 by just a fraction of an inch. The 2014 Ford beats the Mini in all interior room categories, although headroom is on a virtual par, with the F-150 edging the Mini by just under an inch.

Don't forget the shoulders

Quora user Will Brodnax notes there's more than just head- and legroom to consider when purchasing a vehicle, and being 6ft 4in and "built like a tank", Brodnax should know. "Legroom is pretty universal these days, but overall comfort is what I crave in a car. My shoulders usually don't touch the seat back, which is a problem," he wrote.

Brodnax says most sedans and compact cars are out of the question for him, which would disqualify surprisingly roomy cars such as the Minis Cooper, and Volkswagen Golf. His ride? A 2003 Toyota Tundra mid-size pickup truck. Many cars cannotmatch trucks’ generous shoulder room, and Brodnax's Tundra is particularly generous, with 62.4in of seat wingspan.

2004 Toyota Tundra. (Toyota Motor Sales)

2004 Toyota Tundra. (Toyota Motor Sales)

But for tall drivers who may not be built like tanks, you may have more vehicle options than you might have known.

Are you a tall driver? What is your vehicle of choice? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter.