Which fuel-efficient SUV can accommodate a tall driver?

I have a 6-foot 6-inch tall husband, and we need a comfortable four-wheel-drive vehicle with good gas mileage — preferably a hybrid.

Barb S., Boise

Fuel efficiency and SUVs don't typically go hand in hand, so your choices are limited, and your husband's height adds more limitations, but here are some suggestions.

2013_highlander_hybrid

The Toyota Highlander Hybrid and similar Lexus RX 450h are the best choices for fuel economy. The four-wheel-drive Highlander Hybrid has EPA ratings of 28 mpg city/highway, and the all-wheel-drive RX 450h's ratings are 30/28 city/highway. The 2014 Subaru Forester with automatic transmission is another possibility with ratings of 24/32 city/highway — not as good but still better than most SUVs.

We suggest the trio above with a footnote that they may not have enough space for your lanky spouse. That's something you will have to assess in person because it's hard for someone several inches shorter to make judgments about his needs.

All of the vehicles mentioned above have seat height adjustments as well as steering columns that telescope and tilt. By moving the driver's seat as far back as it goes and pushing the steering column as far in as possible, your husband may fit (and have enough headroom). But maybe not.

Now, about your husband. Though he is clearly complicating your life, we will assume you still want to keep him. If that is the case, then the first order of business should be to find a vehicle that accommodates his size (as well as yours) and your budget. Then you can figure out what is the best compromise on fuel economy.

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Answered by Rick Popely on April 24, 2013 in What Car Should I Buy? | Permalink

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