Five Fun Sedans for TALL Drivers Page 3

December 29, 2009

What makes it fun?  Go for the 3.5L V-6 for the best combination of performance and fuel economy.  You'll get this with the Sport version, although you'll be forced to let it shift for you.  (If you have your heart set on DIY shifting, take a step down to the 2.5L I4 equipped S or SE models)  The Sport model will give you and automatic transmission with manual shift mode and a performance tuned suspension.  Acceleration is very quick, but expect plenty of torque steer from the FWD arrangement.  If you are a gadget geek (I know I am!), you will love Sync when it comes to integrating your electronics into your driving experience.

So, how's the fit?  The Fusion has lots of legroom (test car had power seats), but not what I would call too much.  I would have liked another inch or two of headroom, but I wasn't uncomfortable.  The interior is roomy and well laid out.  I was impressed, based on the overall size of the car.

Ok, what's not to like?  The Fusion isn't going to give you that edge-of-your-seat, about-to-lose-control feel of a brawny RWD sedan.  You can't get a MT with the V6.  Not the most head room.

Saab 9-5

It's just like finding a snowsuit that won't leave your wrists and ankles exposed.

The 9-5 isn't the roomiest or fastest of the bunch, and doesn't offer RWD, yet some people will just... like it.  I definitely did.  It's got unique character and solid performance and yes, it's quite comfortable for a tall driver.  With a range of trims and drivetrain options, even a wagon, there's bound to be a 9-5 to suit just about anyone's taste.

What makes it fun?  Manual transmission?  Check.  Gutsy turbo 4-banger?  Check.  Sporty handling?  Check.  Cool features?  Check.  I drove the 9-5 right after testing a 9-3 (2.0T) and expected it to feel sluggish and slushy comparatively.  After spending a few minutes with the Griffin Edition sedan, I actually preferred it over the 9-3.  There was a very noticeable difference between the 2.0T and 2.3T engine options.  I felt like I could get more aggressive with with 9-5 with confidence in its handling.  The ride was comfortable, although road noise was more apparent than in the other 4 sedans discussed here.  Some will love the 9-5, and some won't.  I absolutely think it's worth mentioning.  It's a charming and fun option for drivers limited by severe size constraints.

So, how's the fit?  I was very comfortable in the 9-5, which contributed to the pleasant driving experience.  Head and leg room didn't stack up to the CTS or A4, but weren't bad enough. Controls are laid out in an intuitive way, and the overall look of the interior is simple and uncluttered.  The Griffin Edition comes with ventilated front seats which will most certainly cool your buns.

Ok, what's not to like?  The 9-5 is priced relatively high considering what it offers.  It's the only one of the five that doesn't yet come with Bluetooth phone compatibility.  At the moment, the Saab brand is in danger of extinction.

Conclusion

Are these the only options for tall drivers?  No, they are just five that I've driven and really liked.  As with any car decision, you may have to compromise at some point to find the right balance to suit your size, taste, and budget.

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