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Old 07-04-2017, 12:10   #1
Snark
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The Rear Legroom Thread

Ok guys, what have you been sitting in lately, because here is my problem. I have a 2002 MY03 build Leon 20VT which I absolutely love. Bought as a "small family car" back when children started arriving, but they are getting bigger. I am 6'5" and have the driver's seat in the fully back position and daughter number 2 is now getting squashed. We took a couple of trips to a "Car Giant" plus a whole pile of dealers to see if we could fit better in something new, our key targets were (1) can I fit behind the wheel comfortably and if so (2) can daughter #2 cross her legs when sitting behind me without standing on her head and doing a cartwheel in the back seat and (3) it has to fit in London traffic and parking spots and not be lunking great people carrier with no acceleration. Been spoiled by my 20VT, I don't want to go too far "backwards" on the drivability front.

It turns out that rear legroom has very little if anything to do with the look and size of a car from the outside, here are some of the things we tried.

New Leon Mk3 1.4. Ok, a little better than my 20VT but we wanted something with a bit more grunt.
New Leon Mk3 1.8, worse than the 1.4 ! Looks like the seats on the higher spec
models eat into the legroom more . Same on both the estate and hatchback.
Seat Ateca, Ok, about the same as the Leon
Skoda Octavia Estate, so-so.
Ford Focus, quite marginal
VW Golf, ok-ish, similar to my 2002 Leon so not really an "upgrade".
VW Touareg and Tiguan, surprisingly small inside given huge exteriors.
Audi A3, way too small
Audi S6 saloon - huge ! The one car I didn't need the seat full back in, but way to big and expensive for what we need.
Audi Q3 and Q5, only ok-ish, surprisingly small inside given external size.
Hyundai i30 and Tucson, both marginal
Toyota Auris and Verso, not great for a big driver, marginal headroom.
Honda Civic, not great for a big driver, marginal headroom.

Put off by driver space on Japanese cars at that point until the wife forced me into a Nissan dealer.
Nissan Pulsar N-Tec 1.6, currently the leader, has astonishing amount of rear legroom for a hatchback but at the cost of a bit less boot space than the Leon.

Anyone in the same boat, what did you end up going for ?

Cheers, Snark
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Old 07-04-2017, 17:51   #2
Husbandofstinky
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If you want loads of space and a massive amount and rear legroom I can vouch for a Superb. You can't beat it. If rear legroom's your thing then that's the ticket.

They are a comfort wagon and far from a sporty ride but if the Octavia was an option then possibly a consideration.

Before the Superb it was a toss between the VRS estate or the Superb. The Octavia felt very much like the Leon but the Superb was a totally different kettle of fish

Running costs with the Superb have been great (47mpg running around locally and well into the 50's on a run). A 170 mapped and its pretty nippy too but it is an A road machine.

Personally I would go for a VRS as it feels so close to the Leon. It should be better on the legroom too.
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Old 08-04-2017, 21:32   #3
martin j.
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If you masses of rear legroom the best car I have been for some time that won't cost one of those legs you want to stretch out is a Kia Optima, try one.
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Old 18-04-2017, 17:36   #4
craig_v520v
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I have my drivers seat quite leaned back but atm its still ok with my 5 year old behind me in my mk2 toledo . One car i did have that had really good rear legroom was the mk4 mondeo mine was the titanium x sport 2.2 tdci so all the goodies too (still miss it now lol)

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