I was recently approached by a coworker asking if I knew if a taller person can drive a Porsche 356 comfortably. He is about 6’4” tall and enjoys motorcycles and wants to get into sports cars. He is hoping to purchase a classic 356 coupe.
He mentioned that he wasn’t sure if such a small car would fit him. He knows that I’ve had the chance to drive all of Porsche’s modern sports car lineup and that my daily driver is an early Porsche Boxster. His opinion of the Boxster is that he definitely couldn’t fit into it, but this is all based on the outside appearance and not sitting inside.
So, can a taller driver enjoy driving a Porsche?
I’m happy to say the answer is yes and many taller folks drive them everyday. However, some models are a little more friendly than others and you may need some slight adjustment to make it work just right.
Sure in general, performance cars are designed for a 5’10” male, but that doesn’t mean everyone else is excluded. Below we list a few Porsches that work well for the taller driver and some that will be a tighter fit.
1. Porsche 356
The Porsche 356 is the original model to be sold as a Porsche. The classic sports car may have originally shared many parts with a Volkswagen Type 1, but it evolved into quite a fun performance machine.
One of the great things about the 356 is that there is a surprising amount of space for taller drivers. 6’5” drivers can be fairly comfortable in a coupe version of the rear-engined sports car. We’ve even heard of a 6’8” driver that was able to drive it fairly comfortably. Of course if you are that tall it can be a bit difficult to get in and out of a coupe. Convertibles are easier to get into (especially if the top is down), however, it can be a little unnerving when the top of your head is taller than the windshield.
2. Porsche 911
The Porsche 911 is the car that you think of when you think of the German performance car maker. It has been with us for over 50 years and each evolution continues to improve the formula.
The 911 has continually gained available space for its driver. Taller drivers have a decent amount of space in the early cars, but the 997 and 991 generations provide the most room. Coupes without sunroofs allow for more headroom and a 6’3” driver can often drive with a helmet allowing for track day fun. I personally know someone that is 6’5” tall and he daily drives a 993 coupe. The car is a little snug for him, but he has no issues driving the air-cooled sports car.
3. Porsche 928
The Porsche 928 is probably the best GT car ever made. It handles like little else and just eats up the miles with ease thanks in part to its V8 engine. Some years of production the 928 was the fastest car in the world (in terms of top speed).
For taller drivers the 928 provides plenty of leg room and just enough head room. For drivers 6’4” and shorter the 928 has enough space. However, if you are are taller (especially if much of your height is in the torso) and you want to have a track day, wearing a helmet may not be possible.
4. Porsche 924, 944, 968
The 924, 944 and 968 are Porsche’s front-engined four-cylinder sports cars. The well handling vehicles provide great driving experiences in an almost perfectly balanced package. The turbocharged versions of each provides a good amount of power as do the 3.0-liter 944 S2 and 968 models.
The Porsche 924, 944 and 968 have a similar interior. Driver’s 6’4” and shorter fit well in the fun driving machine. The headroom is a little tight for taller drivers, but a well adjusted seat can help provide the needed space.
5. Porsche 912
The Porsche 912 has styling similar to the early 911. The main difference is that it is powered by an air-cooled flat-four engine that is based on the engine found in the 356C.
Since the Porsche 912 is similar to the early 911 the availability space is the same as in the 911. A driver 6’3” or shorter fits fairly comfortably and we’ve heard of taller people driving them, but the taller the driver the more snug it becomes.
Those are the Porsche models that work well for taller drivers. Now for a few that are a bit more work for a longer driver.
1. Porsche Boxster
The Porsche Boxster is a perfect balanced mid-engined sports car that allows that wind in the hair feeling. From the beginning the roadster has been all about the curves. As the model has evolved it has turned into quite the sports car, especially in the 981 Boxster Spyder form. The 981 Spyder is lighter than the S and GTS models and it gets a flat-six sourced from the 911 Carrera S. Where the Boxster started life as the entry level Porsche, when the 718 Boxster and Cayman were released it moved up the model lineup over the Cayman.
For taller drivers the Boxster has limited space. Earlier examples are a tight fight for drivers over 6’ tall. Installing the GT3 center console delete does help, but because of engine placement you are more limited in how much you can adjust the chair. Newer examples provide a little bit more space, but taller drivers still may find it difficult to get enough space to drive comfortably.
2. Porsche Cayman
The Cayman started out as more than just a hardtop boxster. The first generation was introduced above the Boxster in the model lineup, filling the gap between the Boxster and the 911. This that pre-718 Caymans all offered a bit more power than their Boxster sibling. The result is a fine driving machine that offers a lot of performance for the money. With the introduction of the 718 Cayman, the coupe has become the entry level Porsche sports car, but it offers the same power outputs and performance as the more expensive Boxtser.
For taller drivers the Cayman offers decent head room, especially in 981 generation and 718 Cayman forms. The one issue is that the layout is similar to that of the Boxster. When you put the seat all the way back, someone over 6’ can’t adjust the back much due to the engine placement. This greatly limits how you need to sit and provides less head room. Wearing a helmet for a track day can be very difficult for people over 6’2”.
3. Porsche 914
The 914 was Porsche’s first foray into the mid-engines production car market. They had made other mid-engined race cars, some of which were sold for the road, but nothing on the production scale of the 914. The 914 proved a great handling car with unique styling. The 914/6 provided plenty of performance in its day, but even the lower displacement flat-fours offered a fun toss-able driving experience.
As with the Boxster and Cayman, the biggest issue in the 914 is with engine placement. While we’ve heard of taller drivers piloting the car, it is difficult to get in a comfortable driving position. You quickly start to run out of space to adjust the seat. We’ve heard of a few drivers 6’3” or taller removing the seat padding and replacing it with super thin 1” thick padding. Not the best for long trips, but it can be made to work for an occasional spirited drive.
For a performance car maker, Porsche has a number of models that will work for taller drivers. The front and rear-engined cars offer the most room, but their mid-engined sports cars offer less available seat adjustment.
Our advice is to test drive any car to make sure it works for your height before purchasing it. If you are just seeing how you would fit in a particular model, you can contact your local chapter of the Porsche Club of America or Porsche Owner’s Club. They can often connect you with an owner of a particular model Porsche and you may be able to sit in the car and see if it fits. Cars and Coffee events and dealerships are also a good way to try it out, although a dealer may try to talk you into buying it right away even if you aren’t quite ready.
We hope this helps some of our taller readers that would like a Porsche sports car in their garage. Make sure to share it with anyone you know that is taller and needs a Porsche. If you are a taller driver we would love to hear your thoughts. Scroll down to the comments and let us know what you drive and how you fit in it.