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From the 2024 Hyundai Venue to the Kia Picanto - the top 5 best small cars for tall people!

There are some small cars such as the Fiat 500 which are surprisingly good for tall people

Sure, tall people have it pretty good: they tend to be smarter, more successful, paid more, have a lower risk of heart disease, diabetes and dementia, tend to be more confident, more attractive and have better social skills, but it’s not all a bed of roses - especially when it comes to fitting into cars.

Take it from me, I’m 189cm or 6ft 2in and that’s not even really tall, but I still struggle with trying to fold myself in and out of nearly every vehicle.

Most people look at a Porsche Cayman through tears of joy, but my eyes water knowing the struggle of having to morph into the shape of a crab as I limbo into one and crawl out of it.

Yes , yes... tall world problems, I know. But for those of you who know the pain inflicted just from entering, leaving and being in some small motor vehicles, this one’s for you - the top five small cars sold in Australia for tall people.

5. Kia Picanto

The Kia Picanto is so small you could almost drive one from the living room to the loo. And at 3595mm long it has the shortest length nose-to-tailgate of any new car in Australia. 

Surprisingly, the Picanto is one of the best tiny cars on the market for tall people mainly because it’s relatively tall, too. From the ground to the roof the Picanto measures 1485mm. That’s taller than the Kia Cerato which is a largish small and with the hatch version standing at 1440mm. 

Roof height and the roofline really affect how easy or hard it is for tall folks to get in or out of a car. The Picanto’s tall, flat roofline is ideal. The doors are also tall and open wide. Avoid cars with heavily raked windscreens such as the Mazda2 and pick something like the Picanto instead.

Ride height - the seating level is also a big factor. And the Kia’s upright and fairly high driving position - for such a little car - is good, too. Ground clearance is 141mm which is also more than the Cerato’s. 

That said the Picanto is a lot narrower than a Cerato and I’ve spent the day driving one elbow-to-elbow and almost knee to knee with another equally tall car reviewer in the past.

The Picanto is not only a great little car for tall people, it’s one of the most affordable cars on the market full stop. The entry grade Picanto lists for $16,290 before on-road costs, but the version to get, I reckon, is the sporty GT Turbo for $20,790. 

4. Fiat 500

The great documentary maker Louis Theroux once rapped: “Riding in my Fiat, you really have to see it, six-feet-two in a compact, no slack, But luckily the seats go back…”

Louis knows the pain, but having recently spent a week testing the Fiat 500e - the electric version of the 500 - I can’t but be impressed by how easy this tiny car is to climb in and out of and drive.

And it is tiny at 3632mm end to end, but not quite as little as the Kia Picanto.

What makes the Fiat 500 work for tall people is its bubble-like shape which offers great headroom for the driver and front passenger.

The Fiat 500 is a five-seater, but those rear seats are really just for kids. 

Being a two-door, the doors are long and because of the bubble-like profile, the aperture when opened is huge.

The 500e’s cabin is minimalist in design with a dashboard that is set forward without any angular elements which can collide with knees. Trust me - this is a thing for tall people and some brands such as Honda have dashboard designs that have left my knees bruised.    

3. Hyundai Venue

The Venue is the smallest and most affordable SUV made by Hyundai but it’s also tall-person friendly for such a little car.

Like the Kia Picanto, the Venue has a relatively tall roofline at 1592mm high and it’s also flat. The Venue’s ground clearance is even better than the Picanto’s at 170mm and this also offers an elevated ride height. 

Recently I compared the Hyundai Venue to the Kia Stonic and found the Venue far more practical, even though both vehicles are rivals and share so many parts through their shared parent company.

The hip-point in the Venue’s seat (that’s the lowest point of the hip in relation to your knees when seated) is also high and this, too, helps with in getting in and out.  

The Venue’s wide opening doors - front and back - tops off a great small car for tall people.

2. BMW X1

The X1 is the smallest SUV made by BMW but it’s actually one of the best suited for tall people. Yep, you can keep your BMW X7 and the X5 because the X1 seems to be better thought out in terms of practicality and space.

Mind you, I’m talking about the latest generation X1 which went on sale in 2022. The old version of the X1 is nowhere near as accommodating to taller people.

At 1616mm high the X1 isn’t overly tall, but the doors are large and open wide, the roofline is high and flat, but it’s the space inside that's the biggest win for larger humans.

The X1’s cabin isn’t just cavernous, it's ergonomic from the placement of controls to the wide front seats.

You could honestly transport four giants comfortably in this SUV.

1. Suzuki Vitara

The Suzuki Vitara is one of the original small SUVs that kickstarted the planet’s SUV obsession and it’s the shape of this vehicle - which has barely changed since it first appeared in 1988 - that makes it great for tall people.

The Vitara is boxy and tall at 1775mm, but short in length at 4172mm. The wide opening and large doors offer easy access with an elevated driving position thanks to a high ground clearance of 185mm, and plenty of headroom due to the flat roofline.

Legroom in the driver’s seat of any car is only ever an issue for tall people if the steering wheel can't be adjusted clear of the thighs - that’s a problem when there’s a manual gearbox and a clutch pedal as I’ve found in some sports cars.

The Vitara has loads of legroom up front and plenty of space under the adjustable steering column.

Elbow room is more of an issue for tall people - remember you’re as tall as your arm span. The Vitara again wins here - plenty of space for our long limbs.

And while this is really only about the driver’s seat, rear legroom is also excellent in the Vitara - I can fit behind my driving position without my knees touching the seat in front.