Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Big Man Can't Fit: Finding a Fun Car for a Big and Tall Man

Meet Kris, one of the more stand-up and genuine men my wife and I have met during our four-year stint up here in Northern Virginia. With our high opinion of Kris, we here at The Torque Retort, all 2.2 of us, would like to help Kris, who is 6'7", find something for when his Pontiac Aztek expires. Don't comment here with all the jokes about that car, he's heard them before. It did come with a dash-integrated ice chest, you know. As Clarkson said once, "Not even a Maybach has that!" It also fits Kris' frame perfectly. A Maybach might be able to do that, but since there were none available at the Washington Auto Show, we had to try more pedestrian vehicles.

When it came time for Kris to get a car, he tried and tried until his tryer was all tried out, trying to find some information about a car with expansive headroom. He tried a Jeep. No. In fact, he tried all kinds of SUVs. No. Convertibles were out of the question, because his head stuck out above the roofline. So he tried the Aztek, and it worked better than anything else. He's at 60,000 miles now, and on an American car that age, it's wise to start considering the options for the inevitable.

First, we went to Ford, my current favorite American manufacturer. We tried the Edge, and while he had room to fit inside, that was all he did, fit. Like a size 10 foot fits in a size 10 shoe. The Fusion, though smaller, seemed to have a better cabin, but while his noggin wasn't in danger, his right kneecap was. The Taurus proved to be the best fit, but Kris still had to push the seat all the way back to enjoy the Taurus' unreasonably orgasmic interior.

Kris in the Fusion
Kris in the Edge

Finding nothing to write to Grandma about, we moved over to General Motors. The first thing my wife and I thought would definitely fit Kris' frame was the Big Papa of American Excess, The Rolling Pimp Cup, Goldtooth the Assassin - the Cadillac Escalade. That thing has to be amazingly roomy, right? The first time I saw an Escalade I thought you'd need a building and zoning permit to wash it. Turns out, not so much. It didn't fit Kris much better than the Ford Edge. The Escalade's less brash cousin, the Suburban, fit Kris the same way. And then, something happened. Kris stepped into a fully loaded Equinox, and with minimal fuss, Kris fit perfectly. The Equinox, in my opinion, provides a level of excitement comparable to that of a china hutch, but if Kris were to drive one and find he wanted to purchase it, I'd be happy for him.

A Winner
Not a Winner

I really wanted to find Kris something that would provide some sportier handling than some of the others cars we found that fit him decently. I sat him down in a sexy-ass Cadillac CTS Sportwagon. Or, I tried. I'm glad my paltry 6'2" body fit, because I'm dying to try one of these bad boys. Kris, on the other hand, may have to ride on the roof. He must have felt like soda escaping a shook-up can when he was free of the Caddy's grasp. And, to be fair, even I was beginning to get uncomfortable inside it. If the cockpit got any smaller, I'd cross it off my list altogether. As an aside, Cadillac should consider offering Recaros on this CTS model, too, not just the V. You shouldn't feel like you're sitting on a pile of rocks in a Cadillac.

On our way to the imports downstairs, Kris decided to try the new Buick Lacrosse. Generally, I think Buicks are eunuchs, but this Lacrosse could set the old marque back on the less-traveled-by path the '63 Riviera started down. Kris fit quite well inside the Lacrosse. So, two wins for GM. And great job, GM, on that Buick's interior, too. Too bad the rest of your product line's interior is garbage, save for the CTS. Let's see some consistency. If you want to run neck-and-neck with the Europeans and the Japanese, you have to build better than all of them. No excuses, no other options, period. Did any of you sit inside an HHR before you let the first one out the door? What the hell were you people thinking? Do I have a right to talk to you this way? Yes, because you took my tax dollars.

The first thing we saw when we got to Import Land were all the panty-waist electrics and rice-cake-and-tap-water hybrids. I could not wait to get Kris inside a Prius, though, because I remembered the few times I sat in Priuses, I found them quite roomy. Yes. Roomy for me. Pictures and video below.

Kris Evacuates the Prius
"No, you can't leave! Drive me more!
You need your sleep!"

While the Prius' reputation as a cavernous granola mobile was proved fallible, we did find Kris fit well inside the Honda Civic Hybrid, and surprisingly well inside the Wheego Whip.

The Civic Hybrid takes nearly 13 seconds to get to 60. Just thought I'd add that. The Wheego can't even hit 60 flat out. While I am thrilled there are cars out there guys like Kris can fit in, that should be only part of the equation when looking for a car. There were no truly exciting cars with ample interior room. Where is it written a sports car or a sporty sedan has to be cramped (the S63 and Alpina B7 being two notable exceptions)? Again, no, we didn't drive any of them, but I think it's safe to assume no one with white knuckles will be driving a Wheegobutnotsowell. But it isn't all about what one blogger thinks. Here's hoping whenever Kris finds a car that fits, it does everything he wants it to do.


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  2. I did not clearly get the reason why one of the cars is a winner while the other is not.... I think they both ( cars) look classy and powerful.
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