It is hard for tall people to find clothes that fit. But finding tall people cars might take it to a whole other level. One of the many good things about being a professional athlete is that at every team, you are about to receive a car to drive around. Teams have sponsor deals with different car dealers in the area and therefore they can offer a car to most, if not all, players on the team. Sometimes, a certain team car model and brand is already decided and that can be a blessing or a nightmare for a guy my size.
I am not writing this blog post to brag about the cars I have driven in my career. I am writing to tell my experience about each car and help the people (even if few) that are my height, or close to it, chose theirs.
Without further ado, here are the cars:
At Mons, I got to drive a Dacia Duster. It was a great car for a guy my size. I could fit comfortably and it was a pleasure to drive. All of our players got one and at our home games, all the cars were sitting together in the player’s parking spots. I have to say that it was great marketing for the car dealer shop and the brand as well.
The driving quality is great especially on any kind of road. Fuel efficiency is acceptable. Handling is superb as long as you do not push the vehicle too hard. You can take some hard turns and feel confident if you are below 80 km/h. Above that is risky since you can feel there is a tendency to understeer and roll because of the ground clearance and lack of ESP. Braking feels confident when needed. Bumps and rough roads are no problem for this vehicle as long as you don’t go too fast, the suspension does its work. Acceleration is great for a car this size (2.0 engine) but the transmission needs some tweaking. The car has an ultra-low first gear which is annoying when you start at a traffic light since within seconds you will need to change gears. Better to start on 2nd gear. After 3rd gear, the transmission feels OK. 6th gear feels like 5th gear since at 100km/h you are reaching 3k RPM.
In the interior, there is a little too much plastic. Lots of space both in the front and rear seats. For long trips, you may get tired since there is not enough space to stretch your legs. Trunk space is great if you do not plan to travel with lots of stuff. Two full-size luggage fits in great. The sound quality of the sound system is great. It comes with USB, Bluetooth, and steering column controls.
Remember when I said that a team is set on a specific car model and brand? That was the case in Leiden. Over there I got to drive a Toyota Yaris Hybrid. For those who do not know, this car is small. Actually it is very small for a guy my size. The only way I was able to drive it was because it was automatic because otherwise, you could not change the gears because my knee was in the way. Luckily I did not have to drive far, and I did not make any long trips. But a car is better than no car. I was happy that I got one that could take me from point A to point B.
Fast-forwarding to the next season, in Mechelen, the story was about to repeat. I was about to get a Ford Focus, I believe, but I do not remember which model exactly. It was small nevertheless. I talked with the manager of the team saying that I could not drive the car and if there is a way to get a bigger one. Luckily, I got to drive this Skoda Octavia which was great! It was so easy to drive and the leg space was great also. Not perfect, but coming from a Toyota Yaris to this, was a big jump.
CB Breogan was sponsored by a Hyundai dealership, and I got to drive this (almost) brand new Hyundai Tucson which had only 4.000km (2500miles). The car was full-option, great seats, great mileage, great comfort, great everything! It was by far the best car I have ever driven. Obviously big cars are made for big men. But not all of them are a great fit. For me, this was the perfect car. I would definitely consider it for a personal purchase sometime in the future.