Can Tall Drivers Fit in a Miata? Guide for Taller Drivers

Can Tall Drivers Fit in a Miata

The Mazda MX-5 Miata is one of the most popular and beloved sports cars of all time. With its near perfect weight balance, sophisticated double wishbone suspension, and sharp reflexes – this plucky roadster delivers unmatched driving dynamics in an affordable package.

However, there’s one question that gives many prospective Miata buyers pause:

Can tall drivers comfortably fit in the Miata?

The answer is yes – but it requires some adjustments and sacrifices. In this complete guide, we’ll cover everything taller drivers need to know about fitting inside an MX-5 Miata.

We’ll look at:

  • Miata cabin dimensions – legroom, headroom, etc.
  • How seat position affects fit for tall drivers
  • Tips and modifications for fitting tall drivers in a Miata
  • Real owner experiences – can 6’+ drivers really daily drive a Miata?
  • The best Miata models and configurations for tall drivers
  • And much more!

Let’s dig in and determine if this pint-sized roadster can accommodate long-legged drivers.

Diminutive Dimensions: Miata Cabin Space Measurements

To understand if tall drivers can fit inside the cozy Miata cockpit, we need to look at the key cabin dimensions that affect fit – legroom, headroom, shoulder room, and seat height.

The MX-5 Miata is one of the smallest 2-seat convertibles on the market. Here are the key measurements:

  • Legroom front/rear: 43.1/4.6 inches
  • Headroom with top up/down: 37.4/unlimited inches
  • Shoulder room: 52.6 inches
  • Seat height: 6.4 inches base model (up to 8.4 inches with accessories)

On paper, things look tight – especially considering the average male height is around 5′ 9″. But numbers don’t tell the whole story of whether tall drivers can comfortably drive a Miata.

Seat position adjustments, driving posture, and aftermarket modifications can work together to allow surprisingly tall drivers to fit.

Let’s look closer at how a Miata seats taller drivers next.

Seating Position: How To Fit Tall Drivers in a Miata

The Miata’s low-slung seating position contributes to its incredible handling capabilities – but makes fitting long legs inside the cockpit challenging.

Here are key adjustments tall drivers can make to seat position in a Miata:

1. Adjust Seat Position

The Miata seat slides back and forth on rails allowing some adjustment fore and aft. Sliding the seat all the way back on the rails provides maximum legroom for tall drivers.

However, taller folks may still have their knees pressed against the dash. The solution?…

2. Recline the Seat Back

Reclining the seat back, even slightly, can work wonders for gaining legroom in a Miata.

As the seat back reclines, it effectively moves the seat bottom rearward, creating several extra inches of room for knees and legs.

Recline too far and headroom decreases. But a few notches back makes a noticeable difference.

3. Remove the Headrest

The Miata’s fixed headrest further limits headroom for tall folks in the car. This removable cushion can be taken off to gain an extra inch or two of clearance.

4. Aftermarket Seats

For even greater adjustments, aftermarket Miata seats can provide additional inches of room. Brands like Sparco and Bride seats offer more recline range than the stock Miata seats.

Aftermarket seat rails also allow the seat to sit lower and/or further rearward.

Headroom and Legroom for Tall Drivers in the Miata

Now that we’ve covered adjustments to the seating position, how does that translate to actual headroom and legroom for tall drivers?


Up top, headroom is tight in the Miata – especially with the convertible top up. At 37.4 inches, drivers much over 6′ 2″ will likely brush the roof.

But the beauty of the Miata being a convertible means unlimited headroom with the top down. For tall folks, plan on dropping the top as much as possible.


The Miata’s 43.1 inches of front legroom means that with some seat adjustments, drivers up to around 6′ 5″ can fit.

But it’s snug. Treesjeans put together this excellent Miata legroom photo guide showing real owners over 6′ fitting inside various generations of Miatas.

{{Insert photo grid of tall drivers fitting in Miata legroom}}

While not spacious, there’s enough room to make it work for taller-than-average folks. No room for passengers behind you though.

Tips for Fitting Tall Drivers in a Miata

Making space for long legs and a tall torso in the Miata’s tight cockpit requires some careful adjustments. Here are more tips for maximizing room:

  • Aftermarket steering wheels allow easier entry and exit when narrowed. Most Miata owners upgrade the wheel anyway.
  • Replace door handles with pull straps to avoid knees hitting the handle.
  • Foamectomy – cut away foam from the seat bottom to lower seating position.
  • Lower seat rails from a JDM model Miata can provide an extra 1-2 inches of headroom.
  • Smaller diameter steering wheel avoids contact between knees and wheel.
  • Adjustable dead pedal can provide more footroom for the left leg.

With some clever modifications and a willingness to sacrifice roominess for sublime driving dynamics, tall folks can make an MX-5 Miata work!

Real World Experience: Tall Owners Review Miatas

Spec sheets and measurements are helpful – but do tall drivers actually enjoy daily driving and road tripping in the cozy Miata?

Let’s look at firsthand reviews from tall Miata owners.

Tall Owners Love Their Miatas

Enthusiast forums contain many posts from tall Miata owners praising the car’s driving experience – even if they don’t exactly “fit” inside.

Here’s feedback from tall owners:

  • “I’m 6’7 and 275 lbs. Not only did I fit, but the Miata is the most fun car I’ve ever driven.”
  • “I’m 6’4 and don’t fit at all. Still love cruising with the top down despite being cramped.”
  • “Took my NA Miata on a 500 mile road trip. I’m 6’3 and can barely move inside, but won’t get rid of it!”

Clearly leg and headroom take a backseat when a tall driver gets behind the wheel of a nimble, engaging Miata.

Key Takeaways from Tall Miata Owners

Digging into ownership feedback from taller drivers reveals some key tips:

  • Shop for the largest Miata that fits your budget – newer generations have slightly more room.
  • Expect to modify the seat, wheel, and interior to fit. Plan for an investment in tall driver mods.
  • Don’t expect to take more than one passenger. Ever.
  • Learn to put up with being cramped for amazing handling.
  • Open the top whenever possible for headroom.

While not ideal for tall folks, with some sacrifices, the Miata can work its magic.

Best Miata Models for Tall Drivers

If you’re shopping for a Miata as a tall driver, which generation and model year provides the most interior room?

Here’s a quick rundown from most to least spacious:

  • ND Miata (2016+): The latest ND generation offers incremental increases in interior room thanks to a slightly longer wheelbase and redesigned interior packaging. Still tight, but the most livable Miata for tall drivers.
  • NC Miata (2006-2015): Slightly larger dimensions make the NC Miata the roomiest of the first three generations. Plus it came available with an optional powered glass roof instead of a manual soft top. Easier entry and exit for tall drivers.
  • NB Miata (1999-2005): The second generation NB Miata was a touch bigger than the original NA with little impact on handling. Aftermarket seat bracing opened more legroom options too.
  • NA Miata (1990-1997): The original lightweight NA Miata offers the least room but an incredible driving experience. Expect to make significant mods to fit inside.

While newer is better in terms of space, any generation can work with enough adjustments. It comes down to condition, budget, and your affinity for old-school analogue driving dynamics!

The Bottom Line – Can Tall Drivers Fit in a Miata?

The Mazda Miata will never be considered a spacious vehicle – especially for taller drivers. But with some strategic seat adjustments, smaller modifications, and a willingness to compromise room for corner-carving agility, drivers well over 6 feet tall can enjoy the sublime driving experience.

Nothing else on the road delivers the sheer driving fun, lively dynamics, and reliability of a Miata at this price point.

So for tall drivers seeking an affordable sports car, the answer is a conditional yes – you can fit in a Miata! Be prepared to sacrifice some comfort for the privilege of piloting one of the greatest enthusiast vehicles ever made.

After testing the seat position and making some mods, tall drivers can experience corner-conquering g-forces and zooming around with the top down just like Miata owners of all shapes and sizes. Don’t let small dimensions deter you from the thrill of Miata ownership.

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