Model 3

Model 3: Tall Person Review

edited November -1 in Model 3
It has been said that tall people have to shop for cars like other people shop for suits. It is not easy to find the fit and an inch can make a big difference. Below is the information and dimensions that all of the car reviewers have so far withheld:

It is all good news! The three is actually better than the S when it comes to fitting my 6’-4” 210 lb, 36” inseam frame in comfortably, and I am in heaven. Although the seat cushion is a little shorter than I would like the back cushion is tall enough and well shaped.

Significantly, the sun visor slides completely to the door frame jamb to cover the dreaded afternoon glare spot when you have the seat back. This is not only a comfort but a safety issue and hopefully the S will follow suit.

Headroom is superior to any sedan that I have been in. This is because the structural rail between the skylight and the doors is very thin. 5 1/4” wide from door glass to skylight glass in the M3 as opposed to 9 1/2“ wide in the “S”. This means that there is clear space to the side of your head as well as directly overhead. With the seat down to the lowest spot I have 5” of clear space from the top of my head to the glass roof. (Note: get only the glass roof version). In the rear seat my head is close to the glass ( 3/4” clear) but does not touch.

The other critical dimension of course is the steering reach since that determines the real leg room.
The “S”, which is comfortable for me is “29 1/2“ from accelerator pedal the the center bottom of a fully expended steering wheel. The M3 is 29”. Slightly less than the S but more than most cars. No need for gorilla arms.

Lastly, if you have fairly decent posture, a head rest can poke your upper spine, even if it is fully extended. This happens to me in the S even though I removed padding off of the bottom edge of the headrest. Very irritating while driving. I worried that the fixed head rest in the M3 would be worse. In fact, it is significantly better (higher). The bottom of the head rest bump out clears the top of my spine by 3/4” or so.

The steering wheel is smaller but meaty and good for large hands.

I would guess people up to 6’6” would be fine. Above that I’m not sure.

Other impressions:

Exterior looks pretty much like photos. Unremarkable rear, beautiful lines (although not in the same class as the “S”) with an original and engaging front end.

The interior however is much richer and more intimate than the photos. In fact I think it is the most wonderful interior that I have seen in a car (and I have seen a lot of cars!) It feels solid and substantial but extraordinarily elegant and even seductive in a slightly feminine way. The cloth headliner is very up scale. The M3 shows how superficial the fidgety bling currently associated with automobile “luxury” really is. If you are into rolex watches, gucci bags and design as decoration you may hate it.

There are a couple of things that will take getting used to for me . The door handles, which feel wonderful to the touch, have to be approached a certain way. After many decades of looking down to see how fast you are going, looking right is going to take new muscle memory. The seats are beautiful, comfortable and environmentally responsible but I personally miss the sensual smell and feel of thick well stitched leather. Delicate piano black on the console was an unfortunate choice.

Visibility is very good forward and to the sides, OK to the rear and not good at the rear three quarters.

I am fine with the suspension although it does not damp down road imperfections as well as the the air suspension of the “S”. It drives and handles as well as the reviews say.

All in all, this car sets a standard beyond anything on the road.

My recommendation: In the long term it would probably be cheaper for the government to hand these things out everyone for free rather than pay for all of the petroleum subsidies, military costs of protecting oil, environmental damage and astronomical health costs associated with petroleum transportation.

People would be happier too.


  • Great review. Thanks for taking the time.
  • edited January 2018
    Does the rear view mirror obstruct your view of crossing traffic (right to left) at four way stops? At 6'3", it's been an issue for me in almost every car.

  • edited November -1
    No, not at all. The only view obstructions are to rear sides. Trunk lid window is set a little high. Less glare form tailgating headlights tho.
  • edited January 2018
    B.Noing: Thanks for the review!

    The government could provide a five bedroom house on the coast, healthcare for life, and the Tesla product of choice to every military veteran for 1/10th of 1% of what is spent each year on the armament industry.

    Strange how some think of that sort of thing as 'a handout'...
  • edited January 2018
  • edited November -1
    This “Tall person review” is actually one of the best overall reviews I have seen so far. I’m the same height and build and was going to make some of the same comments but it’s all covered here. The only extra “tall person” comment I would make is that I have confirmed I can sleep comfortably in the back with the rear seats folded down.

    I’ll second the critique of the piano black center console. My wife sets her purses there and their bling scratches the delicate black. My Model S looks horrible now, still protecting Model 3 but it won’t last. I would pay for an open pore wood upgrade.
  • Thank you--I am tall, my wife is only 5'4. Any short people have a review yet?
  • edited January 2018
    In my current tiny yaris, (6'2") i have to literally slouch forward because my field of view is between about -20º and 2º. Cant see any stoplights. My head is about 2" from the side frame of the car, so i get an instant feeling of claustrophobia when i sit back and straight. My legs are cramped, and my arms have to reach out for the wheel, because this car was designed for someone who is a foot shorter than me. The wheel also does not move in and out, only up and down. I cannot wait to get out of this thing.
  • edited January 2018

    Does your wife want a yaris? lmao
  • edited January 2018
    Geoff: I once had a Girlfriend that stood 5'-3" tall. I would tease her from time-to-time about being short (I'm not very tall at 6'-1"). One day we were in a huge crowd at SeaWorld and I noticed something. I asked her to look around. She didn't see it. It turned out she was head and shoulders taller than everyone else around us, entire Families of people there, hundreds of them, including full grown men and women that fell below her line of sight. She smiled when I pointed that out to her. I whispered in her ear, "I'll never call you short again." Because compared to all of them, she was an Amazonian, no longer a Micronian, and taller than everyone.
  • How is the seating in the back? my biggest worry. im pretty much your same measurements.
  • edited January 2018
    Thank you. At 6'2" I'm not that tall but surprisingly some vehicles are headbangers. My wife had a Dodge Caliber which was absolutely horrible for me to drive. On the other hand my current commute car, a Toyota Yaris, has plenty of headroom although smaller. Glad to hear the M3 will be roomy enough. It's the first time I've ordered a car I haven't sit in yet :)
  • edited July 2018
    How much room is there between the driver's seat and the front of the back seat when you have the driver's seat in your normal position? I am about the same height and want to make sure there is enough room for teenagers in the back seat when I drive.
  • edited July 2018
    @ben.brenden: "How much room is there between the driver's seat and the front of the back seat when you have the driver's seat in your normal position? I am about the same height and want to make sure there is enough room for teenagers in the back seat when I drive."
    I have my driver’s seat all the way back and there’s still plenty of room to sit behind me.
  • edited July 2018
    I'm 6'4", 220 lbs., and fit nicely into our new Model 3.
  • edited July 2018
    Nice review. For my taste, the bottom seat cushion is lacking for a tall person, and I'm only 5 ft. 11. Needs more length from the hips to the knees, and width also.
  • edited July 2018
    I thought the 3 sat better, and got in & out better, than the S. I'm not all that tall, but large (6'-2", 255 lbs) and stiffer than I used to be.....about 40 years and 50 lbs ago loved my MG Midget.....
    The 3 I though could have sat a little farther from the steering wheel, but it was tolerable. It's also possible in the showroom that I didn't have the seat position adjusted as well as it could have been.

    Nice review, B.Noing - thanks
  • edited July 2018
    I am 6'7" and have had our Model S for 3 years....looking at selling it and getting the 3..some benefits, like others have said I more easily can get into the 3 than my S, legroom obviously is more in the S, more creature comforts in 3, longer range (have 70D), ect....S benefits more room in general, have 10 year old son, nav in two places is nice, free SC for life, if have 1-2 year longer loan on 3 than current loan on S, less per month, less cost insurance, more excise tax, would you sell S or get 3??? If I designed the 3 it would be blue, dual motor, aero rims, long range battery, upgrade interior...thoughts??
  • edited July 2019
    I'm 6'4 215, with most of my most being legs. The M3 is definitely one of the best new cars I've found after trying hundreds of cars. Which is why I got it. But there are still a lot of improvements that could be made.

    If the model 3 steering wheel came out another couple inches it could reach my hands when I have the eat all the way back instead of me having to stretch out. I'm trying to find a way to get a steering wheel extender currently. I haven't found a kit yet but it looks like the Tesla may share the steering wheel guts from newer Mercedes.

    The center console is narrower than most other cars which is great but I wish they made it even smaller and/or left out that huge storage area under the display and just make it open so you could stretch your legs a bit more.

    The right armrest does not slide back so it doesn't really help too much when you have the seat all the way back.

    When raising the seat it pushes you towards the front instead of just going up and down.

    The frame between the driver's side doors is pretty wide and is blocking a good chunk of view. Wish they started the doors a little more towards the rear of the car.

    All and all
  • edited July 2019
    Love the comfort and seat in my 3. I am 6'5" and 230 lbs. Most comfortable car, outside of an old school Caddy, that I have ever driven. Easy Entry, best added feature. I love it. Used to be a pretzel getting out of my old SUV after a drive from MD to NYC. Now, I feel great. I am sure this has something to do with using EAP on the NJ Turnpike :) and having that wonderful stereo. Anyway, wish for better visibility out the rear window but other than that, my back and I love our 3. Have a nice day.
  • edited July 2019
    Another 6'4" Model 3 owner. Great review. You hit the key points, thanks.
    Visibility in the Model 3 is superior than in the S. My only complaint is I keeping
    banging my knee on the Model 3 screen.
  • edited July 2019
    I am 6'5'' and I find the model 3 seat very comfortable, even after long drives.
  • edited November -1
    I’m 5 11 1/2, and, well... umm...

    ok, forget it.
  • Thanks for the report it has calmed my mind quite well. I have an M 3 on order for early September and will not be able to sit in it until that it's delivered here in coastal Maine. I'm 6 foot 3 and about 190 pounds so there should be no problem.

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