Hooniverse Asks- What's the Most Claustrophobic Car Sold Today?


Of all the phobias you could have Claustrophobia is probably the one that we can all best identify with. I mean others, like Agoraphobia (fear of open spaces), Coulrophobia (fear of clowns), or Ornithophobia (fear of birds), sound like things only weirdos get, although truth be told, I don’t really like clowns all that much.

Being in a confined space with no easy mode of escape however, well that gives me the shivers just thinking about it. And I’ve been in a few cars that have made me feel less than comfortable, the Bricklin and Delorean being notable examples. I like cars that give good headroom. Having hat space typically means that they also possess a good amount of glass area, and while you can’t easily make your escape through a fixed pane, at least others can share your terror via your facial expression.

Many cars today, whether through styling choice or to provide a more effective side curtain airbag experience in the event of an accident, come with a narrowed greenhouse. In fact, cars like the Camaro offer little more than a gun-slit for a windshield making their drivers feel like they’re making the last stand at the Alamo. Low roofs, wide consoles, and puffy seats, cars today seem more constraining than ever, which one do you think is the most Claustrophobic to drive?

Image source: About.com/Cars

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 64 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop files here

62 responses to “Hooniverse Asks- What's the Most Claustrophobic Car Sold Today?”

  1. DonFehlio Avatar

    I first had to make sure they do still, in fact, make this. Dat C-pillar.
    <img src="http://image.motortrend.com/f/features/consumer/1212_motor_trend_the_goods_decemeber_edition/45630948/Toyota-FJ-Cruiser-Falken-Tire-WildPeak-A-T-side.jpg&quot; width="600">

    1. pj134 Avatar

      Definitely seconded. It's funny whenever I hear someone cross shopping this and a wrangler. I always have to ask "Have you ever actually driven the FJ?" No one has said yes yet, but when they do they'll realize it's got the visibility of a bunker and rear seating arrangement of a Tacoma extended cab stuffed into a midsize SUV.
      And yet I would still consider one, knowing full well the glorious visibility that awaits me in a wrangler.

      1. DonFehlio Avatar

        I would love one of these, flaws and all. I especially love the base models with stamped steel wheels rather than alloys.

        1. pj134 Avatar

          I guess that's the true mark of a great design. Despite knowing that the truck is shit to drive, I still want one.

      2. jeepjeff Avatar

        And yet I would still consider one, knowing full well the glorious visibility that awaits me in a wrangler.
        Yep. I have no idea what the most claustrophobic car is.

  2. JayP2112 Avatar

    My brother rented an Avenger last year. Front seats are ok, but the back seats are like sitting low in a cave.
    <img src="http://www.motor-score.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Avenger-back-seat.jpg&quot; width="400">

    1. Serow Avatar

      My family rented one and my Dad hated it on the freeway. The C-pillar is way too thick compared to most sedans.

    2. salguod Avatar

      You actually sat in the front seat of an Avenger and found it OK? I had to drive a rental from Columbus to Pittsburg and it was the worst seat I've sat on in a long time.

  3. IronBallsMcG Avatar

    Graverobber, today's the day that I finally tell you that, in my opinion, "Hooniverse Asks" is consistently the best written and most entertaining post of the day and it typically evokes the most interesting comments.
    Thanks and carry on.

    1. Alff Avatar

      Agreed, just as NPOCP was consistently head and shoulders above most of the writing at that other place. The boy knows how to turn a phrase.

  4. Bryce Womeldurf Avatar

    I've sat in the back seat of a new Fiat 500 before, straddling the front seat to not crush my legs, but even that felt roomier than the front seat of a Mini. I might be exaggerating a bit, but really that back seat somehow felt more comfortable. Although there was less leg room in the Fiat, I think the Mini feels more claustrophobic due to what feels like a smaller greenhouse.
    <img src="http://www.newjerseyclassactionlawyer.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/Mini-Cooper.jpg&quot; width="600" height="334">

    1. Maxichamp Avatar

      The Mini Cooper coupe is even tighter.

      1. Bryce Womeldurf Avatar

        I forgot about that one. I've sat in one at an auto show but never driven one. But your right. No head room whatsoever.

    2. hwyengr Avatar

      Two friends and I (none of us under 6'2" and two of us over 250lbs) took my R53 Cooper S to a baseball game once. The parking lot attendant commented, "You guys look like 3 bears on a tricycle in there." Not saying that swayed my feelings for the car, but it was sold within 6 months after that.
      The Mini always seemed fine in the front. Lots of headroom, and the driver seat slid back all the way until it was practically touching the rear bench, but running more than 2 in it was always a hassle.

  5. muthalovin Avatar

    Get two 6'+ dudes in a FR-S. and I will show you the most entertaining sardine can, ever.

  6. nanoop Avatar

    Rear seats of coupes aren't meant for shaky grownups. In the front row, I feel like in a rolling coffin (or a light and friendly bunker on wheels) in an Audi TT.

    1. krazykarguy Avatar

      Seconded on the TT – the rear seats are not meant for anyone taller than 5'2", or equipped with head and/or legs. Claustrophobia, thy name is TT.

    2. MJMCG Avatar

      Agreed. The black headlining on the Mk1 does not help. Felt like a tank. As for the rear seats, herself delusionally thinks it can replace the A1. I had to run the seat back the whole way on the TT. and I'm only 5'11".

  7. TurboBrick Avatar

    Well, last time I went to the local auto show I came out of there with the impression that the winner is a new Mustang. Huge on the outside, but inside is cramped like a submarine with similar visibility.

    1. CABEZAGRANDE Avatar

      I have all kinds of space in my 06 GT (same body as any thing up though next year), and I'm not a particularly small person (5' 11", 210 lbs, very wide through the shoulder). There's sloppy amounts of room for the front seats for anyone who isn't gigantic. The only person who's ever felt cramped in my car is my friend who's 6' 6" and 320 lbs, and what's more telling is that he fit in any case, because he doesn't fit in most cars. The rear seat isn't huge, but my under-6-feet-tall friends all fit back there with no real issues. And visibilty is very good. I never have an issue seeing what I need to see. Of the modern pony cars, the Mustang is far and away the least claustrophobic.

      1. TurboBrick Avatar

        Poor choice of words… I tried a Veloster and that was genuinely small inside in a 70's Datsun kind of way, but you kind of expected it. My point of reference for Mustangs is my former '00, which was the Fox-derived SN95 body. That car was an ergonomic mess, and when measured in numbers probably is smaller than the '12 that I sat in. BUT, that new one felt like sitting in a bunker or a jet fighter cockpit and had a very claustrofobic feel to it. They were probably going for that vibe, I'm sure. I didn't have the time to check out the Camaro, but judging by outward appearance that is worse.
        My DD is an old Volvo though so that is about as open as a Mini Moke compared to anything else on the road these days.

        1. CABEZAGRANDE Avatar

          Ah, I get you now. I agree, you definitely feel very… deep.. in the car, and it's a feeling I don't necessarily enjoy. It's pretty endemic now with all modern cars and their increasingly tall belt lines. I grew up with "thin" cars that you sat a lot higher in, mostly S13 240sx coupes (I had three of them over about 6 years of driving), and it definitely felt a lot more airy and open than my Mustang, just because of how high you sit relative to the beltline, how high you are in the greenhouse. I can see your point, that even though the Mustang is the best of the modern pony cars, as a modern pony car it is a lot more "bunkerish" than about anything made before the year 2000.

  8. topdeadcentre Avatar

    Legitimately small cars with small but well-thought-out interiors don't bother me. But this article's lead picture nails it.
    The interior in the current-generation Camaro has the occupants peering out of a cramped plastic tub with tiny windows. The rear seat is not intended for humans, but instead for a lucky Labrador or adventurous Mastiff. The trunk opening is the worst design I've ever seen. There's surprisingly little space found inside what looks to be fairly roomy car on the outside.
    Strangely enough, they're selling like hotcakes.
    Wait… who sells hotcakes? Are there little kids out there with hotcake and lemonade stands? Do I need more coffee? Should I switch to decaf? Should I buy a Camaro ZL-1 convertible and join a hair-metal band?

    1. Kogashiwa Avatar

      That last question would be a good Hooniverse Asks but for the fact that the only possible answer would be "yes" and that would be the end of that.

    2. Leadbull Avatar

      I'm 6'3", and I had to sit in the backseat of one of these once… longest 5 minute car ride of my life. At least I'm skinny and can crumple up somewhat easily.

    1. FreeMan Avatar

      uncomfortable, yes. claustrophobic, I wouldn't think so. other than you knees, there isn't much blocking your view…

  9. CalculatedRisk Avatar

    When I read the post title the first thing that came to mind was the Camaro. Since that is low hanging fruit I will have to nominate a Hyundai Sonata. Its a big car and is generally very roomy. The windshield rake and enormous A-pillar make it feel very cramped. I HATE the obese pillar in late model cars. There must be a better way to hide an airbag.

    1. Alff Avatar

      Came here to post the same, so I will go with Miata. Top up, of course.

  10. P161911 Avatar

    My two nominations are recently out of production, the Hummer H2, somehow much smaller on the inside than vehicles half the size and the Dodge Caliber, just a bad design.

  11. LTDScott Avatar

    I think you nailed it with the new Camaro. I'm 6'3" 225 with a really long torso, so my head is close to the roof on many sporty cars, but somehow the Camaro I not only lack headroom, but I also feel like the beltline height is somewhere near my shoulders.
    The only car I felt more awkward in was a Chevy HHR. The tops of the windows are artificially low so the roof looks more rounded. I had to actually crane my neck in order to see the traffic light above and in front of me, because my height and the top of the windshield meant the traffic light was not visible in my normal seating position.

  12. buzzboy7 Avatar

    Vision is a big part of claustrophobia for me, not just feeling constricted. Anybody ever driven an Audi A3? Feels like it has A, B, C, D, E, F… pillars. You may as well stick you head out the window to back up.
    Also, as a nomination for the "I can't see" award goes to the Xterra. Blind spot? How about the small vision spot out the front and the rest of the car is a blind spot.

  13. Maymar Avatar

    Barring the obvious answers, I'm thinking of the current Scion xB. For a tall wagon, its visibility ranks up there with submarines. But, you know, without the sonar.

  14. Devin Avatar

    I'm not usually bothered by tight spaces, but one car is so bad for visibility and packaging that I couldn't stand it.
    <img src="http://www.auto123.com/ArtImages/104489/2009-jeep-compass-i05.jpg"&gt;
    Luckily it's not going to be sold for very much longer.

    1. dukeisduke Avatar

      It's also ugly.

      1. MVEilenstein Avatar

        Has a very Aztec look to it from this angle.

      2. Devin Avatar

        Uglier on the inside. It's just all thick pillars and tiny amounts of glass.

  15. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
    Peter Tanshanomi

    The Taurus is not a small car, and the greenhouse and headroom are fairly generous, but the Nimitz-class dashboard and massive, wraparound console make me feel as though I'm buried waist-deep in sand, or at least halfway inside a MRI scanner.
    <img src="http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b230/rudolfschenker/vwvortex/2010_taurus_18.jpg&quot; width="500">

    1. Stu_Rock Avatar

      That's my answer. What's the point of a fullsize car if it has less interior room than a subcompact? I'm just 5'9" with short legs, and when I test drove one, my legs were squeezed up against the door and console.
      I don't usually harsh on cars on Hooniverse, because every car has its merits and I respect the commenters who are able to see them. But I need to reference Roger Ebert in describing how I feel about the current Taurus: I hated this car. Hated hated hated hated hated this car. Hated it. Hated every stupid leg-cramping square inch of it. Hated the the fact that someone thought this was a good use of interior space. Hated the implied insult to car buyers by Ford's belief that it was worth more than one tenth of what they're asking for it.
      (that rant is based on his review of "North")

      1. Rover1 Avatar

        And yet, something like it is supposed to replace our current Falcon in Aus/NZ

    2. Devin Avatar

      I love a high console, though I've never actually owned a car with one. When I drove one I was incredibly comfortable because of that super tall console giving a kind of oddly comforting cocoon effect.
      I might just generally like slightly confined spaces though, at least everywhere but around my head.

    3. Danno1985 Avatar

      Agreed 100%. Its rebodied, lifted sibling, the Explorer, might even be worse. The huge roof pillars all-around (especially A-pillars), high decklid and sills, and massive console and dash exacerbate the "buried" feeling to the point that when I drove one of these, I felt very nervous about negotiating tighter parking spaces, backing up out of the driveway, heck – going around corners, because I had no clue where the corners of the car were. This is coming from someone who lives in a large city and drives an old Crown Vic daily. Ford may call this a full-size, but unlike my actual full-size, which feels at once roomy and comfortable AND has a huge greenhouse and good seating position, being in a new Taurus makes me feel as if I've been shrunk ala "Honey I Shrunk the Kids" and given a regular-sized compact car to drive. The interior still feels cramped, but the scale is bigger.

    4. LTDScott Avatar

      I felt the same way, which is definitely notable since I'm a big and tall guy. If I was average sized, I would have genuinely felt intimidated.

  16. Cdubya Avatar

    Loved my Lotus Elise but it was T-I-G-H-T!

  17. Number_Six Avatar

    The Camaro is especially egregious given that it's related to the fairly sensible Holden MonaGTO. It's as though they took away room, taste, comfort, and visibility and only gave back incrementally better handling.

    1. Rover1 Avatar

      And yet the ute version of the current Commodore is faster around any race track than a like enginned Camaro http://www.nzherald.co.nz/motoring/news/article.c… (for link to video)
      <img src="http://www.carsguide.com.au/images/uploads/Holden-ute-Commodore-VF-wide.jpg"width="600"&gt;

  18. FreeMan Avatar

    Not currently in production, but the Plymouth Prowler was scary tight with the top up. I'm all of 5'8" and that was the most uncomfortable 30 seconds of my life.

    1. jeepjeff Avatar

      I can totally believe that. However, this one has an awesome solution. (There is a Prowler that lives a couple blocks over, I've never seen its top up.)

      1. FreeMan Avatar

        granted, the sales girl was kinda cute, but we were uncomfortably close. Also, i seem to recall hitting my head on the top as i got in. i don't think I've ever done that on any vehicle. (haven't had the privilege of riding in an MG since i could get in a car by myself)

  19. DemonXanth Avatar

    <img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f2/Chevrolet_HHR_panel_front_–_03-10-2010.jpg&quot; width=500>
    We have candy, get in the HHR panel.

    1. alain Avatar

      being not a tall person myself, 5' 7", i had a HHR as a rental after my e30 was totaled and when i was looking for the e28 that replaced it. the top sheet metal part of the windshield came down so low on it, the thick a pillars, and high dash/ belt-line around the car made it feel claustrophobic in the drivers seat. felt like a bunker with limited outside visibility. i could only imagine how terribly claustrophobic the panel version would be with so much less glass. the slab sided and thick pillar cars are so terrible for visiblity, and modern sedans, when you look back, you see the back row of seats, they're elevated over the front row. the sloped back glass in a lot of sedans also contribute to that. i love how air my e30 coupe and e28 are, thin pillars, upright glass front and rear, low belt line, ergonomics over form. the least claustrophobic ever!

    2. Maymar Avatar

      I don't feel uncomfortably claustrophobic in those, but I think I'm more uncomfortable parking them than the Express, no matter how much bigger it is.

  20. MVEilenstein Avatar

    I drove an Optima in February. Although comfortable and relatively quick, I could not get past the massive pillars and the shoulder line that was literally at my shoulders. You feel like driving with blinders on, since the only real line of sight is straight out the windshield.

  21. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

    Range Rover Evoque. Glass so shallow it makes highway tolls a chore. And all while ushering in a whole new category of douchebag owners.

    1. Rover1 Avatar

      Absolutely my first choice of current vehicles. And I know that the extreme 'looks over function' compromise is costing it sales. Though, of course it's a moot point that the showcar styling gains just as many. There's no accounting for taste,( as sales of BMW X6s attest.)

  22. PushrodRWD Avatar

    Sports & pony cars that are tight on the inside are easy to put on the list (although the 04-06 GTO had great back seat room, once you got back there and delightful front seats). The one that gets me is the Dodge Charger. That is a large car and it is quite cramped in the back, especially the head room. Most of the smaller Mercedes are pretty cramped in the back (for larger cars). On the other hand the new Subaru Impreza and the last generation Volkswagon Jettas were fairly spacious for little cars.

  23. mersin escort kızlar Avatar

    “When IDF forces recognized the possibility of damage to security infrastructure and even infiltration into Israel, they opened fire. Janie & Jack ( is the high-end store of the Children’s Place-Gymboree-Janie & Jack trio, and I admit that I prefer their clothing over nearly any other store. If I could afford to dress my children in all Mini Boden, I’d do it in a heartbeat.

  24. DS Domination Review Avatar

    An intriguing discussion is worth comment. I think that you ought
    to publish more about this subject, it may not be a taboo subject but
    typically people don’t talk about these topics.
    To the next! Best wishes!!

  25. jgl.info Avatar

    We’re a group of volunteers and starting a new scheme in our community.
    Your site offered us with valuable info to work on. You have done a
    formidable job and our whole community will be grateful to you.

  26. web hosting Avatar

    I visit daily some sites and sites to read articles or reviews,
    however this web site presents feature based articles.

%d bloggers like this: