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libspero

Grumble About Car Seats

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The last three cars I have had have been really pretty uncomfortable after long stints on the motorway.

Have I just been getting the wrong cars or has anyone else noticed car seats getting less comfortable of late?

I have put it down to the cheap foam they all use now to replace the old sprung seats.. anyone else thought / noticed this?

Any recommendations for a comfortable car?

My history:

2004 - Ford Mondeo (super comfy)

2006 - VW Passat (pretty comfy)

2007 - VW Passat (pretty comfy)

2010 - Audi A3 (Starting to get uncomfortable but bearable)

2012 - Ford Focus (Real ass numbing after 2-3 hours)

2014 - Mazda CX5 (About the same as the Audi.. uncomfortable after 2-3 hours)

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The last three cars I have had have been really pretty uncomfortable after long stints on the motorway.

Have I just been getting the wrong cars or has anyone else noticed car seats getting less comfortable of late?

I have put it down to the cheap foam they all use now to replace the old sprung seats.. anyone else thought / noticed this?

Any recommendations for a comfortable car?

My history:

2004 - Ford Mondeo (super comfy)

2006 - VW Passat (pretty comfy)

2007 - VW Passat (pretty comfy)

2010 - Audi A3 (Starting to get uncomfortable but bearable)

2012 - Ford Focus (Real ass numbing after 2-3 hours)

2014 - Mazda CX5 (About the same as the Audi.. uncomfortable after 2-3 hours)

I notice that the comfy ones were the real rep mobiles wheras more recently you've been running school run type things, could that be related?

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Drove to the Pyrenees and back in my humble 2004 Berlingo. Bear in mind I was towing, and it's a non-turbo diesel. This was NOT a quick drive across the continent. :lol: No back or other complaints at all.

Guess I'm just 'ard.

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Going through the same thing with back discomfort. I change my car about every 3/4 months due to the amount of mileage I do with my work. Last 5 cars

1. Subaru Outback- 2013.Great deep electrical leather seat, so if it got uncomfortable I could move it slightly which helped. Seemed to be a good quality sponge used on the Subarus. Had a good few as I worked for part of the IM group.

2.VW Passat Tech S- 2011

3. VW Passat Tech S- 2011. Decided to put my hair shirt on due to having a new employer and mistakenly took the same car consecutively. The seat in this nearly put me in hospital. In the end I was begging my boss to get me out of it. Speaking to other people who have owned Passat apparently this is reasonably common. It probably didn't help that it was the lowest spec possible so probably had the worst chair in.

4. 520d SE- 2011. Went for the upgrade and this felt like driving your best armchair around after the Passat. Large rake on the seat tilt & electric seats again a massive help. Would say that the leather did get a touch warm under cheek after a long drive as it seemed particularly smooth if this makes sense.Headrest could be adjusted to give permanent support a feature sadly missing on most cars. Drove this all the way to France with no back problems.

5. Mercedes E220 SE- 2011. Not a great rake on the tilt which is electric and seating position feels quite high even on the lowest setting. A better quality leather than the BMW. Headrest nowhere near as good as the BMW as the seat has to be reclined too far to give permanent support. It does have a lumbar support which the last car I had which got one was the Subaru, once again helop because of varying the driving position on long runs. Still getting used to the Merc.

As you can tell car seats are quite important to me, I spend on average 3 & 1/2 hours a day in the car and cover about a 1000 miles a week.

I am probably going to go back to a 5 Series again next time and if I can find one that has got sports seats and lumbar support that will be a bonus.

Thames Valley plod had to change their Vectra seats as they were too uncomfortable!

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Apparently putting on considerable weight helps a little. But the extra butt padding tends to literally get outweighed by the extra mass it has to support. So. Don't try major weight gain.

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Volvo; job done. The best seats I have ever had in a car.

The real problem, and I am not joking, is that they are so good it would make me seriously question ANY other make of car if I want a replacement. I have done several journeys of over 600 miles in a day and my only issues have been general fatigue; I am no spring chicken. Volvo seats are the business.

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I notice that the comfy ones were the real rep mobiles wheras more recently you've been running school run type things, could that be related?

Yes.. Good observation. I thought that as well until the Mazda, as another poster mentioned I expected the 4WD Chelsea-tractor to be more comfortable.. but it isn't. Which after a long journey today led to my grumble about the state of modern car seats.

TBH I might go back to a rep mobile.. I just prefer cars with a shorter wheel base generally (laziness / easier to park / don't need a big car).

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Going through the same thing with back discomfort. I change my car about every 3/4 months due to the amount of mileage I do with my work.

-SNIP-

Great anecdotes.. thanks!

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It's a good thread, as although a degree of personal fit will help it does seem that car manufacturers can get it quite wrong. I guess recent trends in wheel sizes/ tyre profiles and firm suspension dont give much leeway for borderline ropey seats.

Relative's old V70 leather was extremely good as others have also said- supportive but soft in the right places. Dunno if the S40 has similar confort, might be worth a look at replacement time.

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Volvo; job done. The best seats I have ever had in a car.

I've fairly recently changed from a Vectra (cloth) to a Volvo S40 (leather) and I think the Volvo is less comfortable than the Vectra was for journeys over about two hours--my bottom starts to go numb, so I've put a cushion on the seat and that's helped a lot. I've wondered whether it's just because leather is firmer than cloth seats? Anyway, although I quite like the Volvo, I wouldn't have said 'best seats ever' in my experience.

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Ford Focus - Very good, slightly firm (european ST model). Did long trips without problems.

Is it safe to assume it was an older model (about 5+ years ago now)?

It was part of what made me question changes in modern seat design. I have a friend who had what is now about a 10 year old Focus and he said it was really comfortable (and from very vague memory I think on the odd occasion I went in it I would have agreed).

The one I had is still the current model and it was brutally hard on the bum (anything over a couple hours drive). I ended up putting a foam seat pad on top but even that didn't seem to help very much.

I think another factor is probably the suspension. The most comfortable car I had drove like a barge (old Ford Mondeo), the worst car was the Focus, but the suspension/handling was fantastic.

I guess my ideal car would have a firm ride and sprung seats to dampen the bumps. I'm not sure if these still exist?

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I've fairly recently changed from a Vectra (cloth) to a Volvo S40 (leather) and I think the Volvo is less comfortable than the Vectra was for journeys over about two hours--my bottom starts to go numb, so I've put a cushion on the seat and that's helped a lot. I've wondered whether it's just because leather is firmer than cloth seats? Anyway, although I quite like the Volvo, I wouldn't have said 'best seats ever' in my experience.

S range Volvos are not the best. The V70 is where the luxury is. Lovely, broad seats. Very comfortable.

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I've fairly recently changed from a Vectra (cloth) to a Volvo S40 (leather) and I think the Volvo is less comfortable than the Vectra was for journeys over about two hours--my bottom starts to go numb, so I've put a cushion on the seat and that's helped a lot. I've wondered whether it's just because leather is firmer than cloth seats? Anyway, although I quite like the Volvo, I wouldn't have said 'best seats ever' in my experience.

That's because it's a Ford focus, not a Volvo.

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It's a fairly old Volvo ('03). I didn't think Volvos became Fords until more recently.

Yes, that will be the pre-focus version. The later one is 50%+ Ford/Mazda/Volvo shared.

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Most seats are actually made by a handful of manufacturers like Recaro so if you if you find a particular seat disagreeable the chances are you will across the whole range of marques they supply.

Rather than 'wasting' money on a car with decent seats may I tentatively suggest making a massage bead cover for your existing seat from large vitamin D tablets threaded on bits of old string, from parcels, you've been collecting in a drawer.

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