Can a Tall Person Drive a Volkswagen Golf GTI?

by Gabrielle DeSantis

Volkswagen is one of the most popular automakers in the world. So, naturally, it makes cars for almost everybody. That’s true even for tall people, at least as far as the Volkswagen Golf GTI goes. Though VW engineers probably weren’t thinking of long-legged drivers when designing the Golf GTI, it can still fit some tall people despite its small size.

Most tall people can drive an older Volkswagen Golf GTI

As with most things in life, the easiest way to find out about something is to try it. That’s exactly what Edmunds did when reviewing the 2010 Volkswagen Golf GTI. Edmunds found two tall men and persuaded them to sit in the driver’s seat. The two test subjects were 6-foot-5 Mike and 6-foot-6 Kellan.

Mike and Kellan were aware of their height and the problems it could cause when car shopping. But sitting inside a 2010 Volkswagen Golf GTI was a revelation for both. Mike, who complained about his BMW 7 Series, said the GTI solved many of the problems he had with his Beemer. Kellan, who was only 15 years old, didn’t even know where to start as far as cars that fit him went, and the GTI showed him and his mom the way forward.

Why 2-door VW Golf GTIs are great for tall people

The Volkswagen Golf GTI‘s advantages for tall people came from its standard two-door body style, Edmunds reported. The two-door configuration allowed VW to push the pillar back, making more room for a tall person to slide into the driver’s seat. A pillar positioned farther back also meant it wouldn’t block a tall person’s view as much. Furthermore, Edmunds said the GTI’s seatbelt laid better across a tall person’s shoulder.

Overall, the two-door Golf GTI had plenty of headroom and legroom, and that’s exactly what tall people want in a car. The GTI also had features that made it friendlier for tall people, including a telescopic steering wheel and plenty of space for the adjustable driver’s seat to move around. 

However, the two-door Volkswagen Golf GTI also had some drawbacks. Chief among were limited rear passenger space and cargo capacity.

VW stopped making 2-door GTIs after the 2017 model

With that being said, the biggest problem might be that Volkswagen stopped making the two-door Golf GTI after the 2017 model year, Car and Driver reported. The 2018-2021 GTI comes in only a four-door configuration, and that could remove all of its advantages for taller drivers.

Thus, they may have to choose a model that’s better suited to their body type or search for a used two-door GTI that’s a 2017 model or earlier. Buying used is still a viable option — or even a preferred one, as it can mean significant savings on the purchase price. 

For example, the 2021 Volkswagen Golf GTI starts at around $28,000. But a used 2010 model costs between $4,600 to $7,500, Edmunds reports. That’s a small price to pay to fit a taller driver.

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