Comfortable Seating - MartinJB1
I had a back operation last year and still suffer from lower back pain and pains in the backs of the thighs when sitting. I currently drive a C-Max automatic which is OK-ish but am keen to buy something with very comfortable, ideally electric, seats. I am not too concerned with consumption as I drive relatively low miles, nor really with size. It needs to be reliable and well-built though in addition to being comfortable. Please help! Thanks in pain.
Comfortable Seating - Bagpuss
BMWs are offered with "Comfort Seats" as an optional (and expensive) extra. I have them in my E60 and they are unbelievably comfortable. You can adjust the overall backrest angle and the angle of the top of the backrest separately as well as the lumbar support and the cushion length. You can even adjust the position of the seat heaters using the i-Drive.

If you are after a secondhand car try looking out for a BMW that had them fitted. I dare say that in the current climate, used ones are probably barely worth the ground they occupy.
Comfortable Seating - TheOilBurner
Both Saab and Volvo always rate at the top in the surveys for comfort.

Personally, I find the seats in my S80 to be awesome. The only seats I've ever found were better were the seats in the latest generation S80...

The Saabs I've driven were fine too, but I've not done enough miles in them to really tell.

Put it this way, I used to drive 60 miles a day in a Vectra and had lower back pain. With the Volvo I can drive 350 miles to Scotland without any pain at all. Brilliant!
Comfortable Seating - Sam49
Aren't Volvo seats orthopedically designed? Could be marketing puff but they are very comfortable
Comfortable Seating - Mookfish
Have to agree that Volvo and Saab seats are very comfortable, been in many saabs from the eighties onwards and never been in one that isn't comfortable, only volvo I havent been comfortable in was a 340.

I am tall and find many cars uncomfortable, other than saabs and volvos the only cars I find comfortable are executive types such as lexus or bmw 7 series.
Comfortable Seating - OldSock
I'd second the S80 for good seating - though not quite as good as the Citroën XM I once had!

Unfortunately, 'comfortable' may sometimes be confused with short-term 'squishy-squashiness' - which may not be in you best anatomical interests...
Comfortable Seating - Altea Ego
never had an issue with VAG seats. Fairly firm - lot of support, Just done a 2k mile european trip with not a whif of discomfort.
Comfortable Seating - Orson {P}
I would also suggest the Volvo seats, especially if you yourself are either tall or ..ahem.. well-upholstered.
Comfortable Seating - Pendlebury
Volvo seats tend to be very comfortable but (and this is surprising) have a look at the Honda Accord (they may cancel your order mind, looking at the treatment of a possible customer on another thread).

On the Accord, Honda have had the seats designed by Schukra who are experts in seat ergonomics. I think it is Schukra that also make the BMW comfort seats.
They are very comfortable seats and are designed to get your body/back in the right position relative to your bottom etc. HJ describes it better in the Accord CBCB. The point I am trying to make is that they have not just developed a soft seat but a very clever design to position you properly.

Found the info below off another site before the edit time was up.

"The seats were developed after Honda worked closely with Schukra, the experts in seat design. They are built to pull your pelvis into the seat for full spinal support, they also offer great lateral and under thigh support, imperative for long journeys. They are without doubt, the most comfortable seats we have ever tested."

Edited by Pendlebury on 14/11/2008 at 17:57

Comfortable Seating - rtj70
All I can offer is some experience with a few cars:

- Golf GTi 1.8T (1999) Recarro seats firm and wife found them uncomfortable
- Passat (2000) Sport was comfy for me with it's sport seats and felt you sat in the seats and my wife found them okay.
- Mondeo Ghia (2003) was not nearly as comfy and my wife on a long journey was once in agony! I always felt I sat on the seats.
- Mazda6 Sport (2007) are for me brilliant. I have done 500 miles in a day and felt fine afterwards and that is not something I would say of the Mondeo!

I am not saying look at these of course just pointing out that some cars are comfortable and some just are not. The Mazda6 Sport apparently has sport seats but they are (for me) very good. And I carry a "few more pounds" than I should ;-)

Rob
Comfortable Seating - Alby Back
That is interesting re the Mondeo Rob. I broke my lower back many years ago in a rather nasty riding accident. I was very lucky to almost fully recover. As some of you may already know I have to drive a lot. I have experimented with quite a few different vehicles including Volvos, BMWs, Mercs, Citroens, Renaults and Vauxhalls since my accident. almost all of them have me in kinks after a few hours behind the wheel. The only ones which remain comfortable all day every day are Mondeos.

I guess we are all slightly different and different cars will suit us. I must be Mondeo shaped !
Comfortable Seating - Buster Cambelt
I think that's "Volvo used to have comfortable seats". When I had a V70 it was one of the least comfortable cars I've ever been in.
Comfortable Seating - Rhytisma
Serious lumbar disc problems many years ago made me very aware of the deficiencies of most seats, especially those in cars. Changing my car has not always been practicable and new seats for what I drove also out of the question.

I found "Posture Curve" cushions extremely helpful and even had them built into arm chairs at home. Now with mild but similar problems with my current car, I have tracked down the current manufacturer of these and other aids for sufferers from back pain.

Take a look at their website and I suggest you also request their most informative and helpful brochure through the post. I feel sure that you would find some of the products extremely useful, whether or not you change your car.
Comfortable Seating - tawse
'Comfortable' seats are not necessarily best for back-pain. Also, there are other factors in a car other than the seat that may be causing you the pain.

A common problem is getting in and out of the car - if the car is the wrong size this will result in putting strain on the lower back when getting in and out, especially if the car is too small or too low. For example, many people drive a car where the cockpit is too small for either their height, their leg-length or their girth. Sometimes the seats are physically too small or too low for them. Similarly, the gap of the door itself might be too small in height and or width so you are effectively squeezing yourself in and out.

(UK narrow side by sie parking only makes this worse by not allowing enough room to fully open doors when getting in and out of the car. I always try to park somewhere where I can fully open my car door.)

Most people get in and out of their cars in pain each day but have got so used to it that they no longer consciously put 2 and 2 together and have learnt to 'live with the strain' on their lower back. Next time you get in and out of your car actually think through what is going on in that physical process and become 'aware' of your body - you may well be surprised to realise that you are indeed straining your back.

(Even people who do not think they have any problems, if they consciously think about what is going on in their bodies when they get in and out of their cars, might suddenly begin to feel a strain or even pain in their lower back, in between their shoulder-blades or in their knee, hip or ankle joints. If you wish to try this then do so repeatedly for a week or so as it might take some time to 'become aware'.)

Secondly, you should not have a seat in your car which results, when you get in or get out, your hip bone / joint going lower than your knee joint. *** This is SO IMPORTANT *** If you do then you are going to cause yourself back strain, potential back pain and also potential diaphragm / breathing problems over the long-term. This is vitally important and hence why MPVs and 4x4s do actually have a health benefit for people as you can 'slide' in and out of the seat without causing yourself any back or knee pain.

Another important aspect is that people sit so badly in their car seats, partly as a result of the above and partly because of bad posture, that the seats can have long-term damage on their breathing patterns - effectively stopping people from healthy diaphgram breathing and changing their breathing to very unhealthy and potentially serious upper chest breathing. Believe it or not but a bad seat, be it in your car or at your office, can cause this and with some people spending several hours a day in their car their car seat is vitally important. I cannot emphasis enough how damaging to your life upper chest breathing can become and it is something that builds up over time.

Sadly, all of the above are not the kind of things that you will ever read about in a car review but they should be mentioned as they are vital to long-term health.

We spend so much time in our cars, just as we do in our beds, that it is equally important to get a good and correctly sized and positioned car seat as it is to get a good bed. Sadly, you will rarely read a car review that mentions the car seats let alone go into any detail about them. Car reviewers, I have to say, are very poor on this very important issue. I actually think that there should be a campaign akin to the seat-belt and airbag campaigns to get good, quality seats into all new cars.

I believe that the Vehicle & Road Safety Centre at Loughborough University has done some very good research on car seats but I could find the info on their site otherwise I would have posted a link here.

Oh, one more thing that you can try whilst safely driving. Next time you are out and about consider where your ears are in relation to your neck/chest. If you ears are 'foward' of your neck/chest then you are effectively straining or stooped forward which is terrible posture and will most likely mean that your breathing is upper chest and is pretty poor and strained. Oh, and of course will also probably mean that you have some kind of back and/or neck strain going on if you are sat like that everytime you get in your car. Oh, and you may also have regular headaches that you can't figure out where they come from.

I could go on but you are all probably very bored by now :-)

Comfortable Seating - PoloGirl
And Tawse proves the need for a thanks button on this forum!

The seats in the Golf SE are described as comfortable, but in reality they're like squashy armchair seats that I would imagine would not be fun after a while.

The sports seats in my golf are really comfortable, but then, I like firm seats.

Sounds like you need a day out and some (long) test drives!
Comfortable Seating - tawse
And Tawse proves the need for a thanks button on this forum!



Shucks, you're making me blush... Unless you meant "Thank goodness he finally shut up!" :-)
Comfortable Seating - Alby Back
Very good stuff Tawse. I shall try to incorporate some of your advice into my seating position in the Signum. It's creasing me as opposed to the Mondeo which seems to suit my creaky back better. Did over 500 miles in the Siggy the other day and got out like an old man.
Comfortable Seating - tawse
Very good stuff Tawse. I shall try to incorporate some of your advice into my
seating position in the Signum. It's creasing me as opposed to the Mondeo which seems
to suit my creaky back better. Did over 500 miles in the Siggy the other
day and got out like an old man.


Try Yoga - very good for your back, neck and shoulder muscles. Heck, if you can find one, consider the Nintendo Wii Fit which has very good yoga exercises and is also a lot of fun.

Also consider your magnesium intake. Google 'magnesium' and 'Carolyn Dean' as a lack of it can cause all sorts of problems. 100 years ago magnesium was probably the most abundant mineral in our diet, and had been since we first crawled around the African plains, but now most people in the West have hardly any magnesium in their diets and it ain't good. One side affect of too little magnesium is muscle aches and cramps.

If you do have serious bad ache then consider finding a 'good' accupuncturist. I have known people who have wasted years of their lives in pain going down the NHS route without any cure only to find that a 'good' accupuncturist has been Heaven sent for them. Of course, it is best to treat the cause rather than the symptom hence why I am ranting on about things such as posture, breathing and stuff like magnesium.

The other bad thing about car seats is having the actual 'seat' of the seat either too long or too short. Too long and it can cause too much support so that you do not sit in a correct and relaxed way. Too short - the Toyota Verso is guilty of this IMPO - and you have very little thigh support unless you are a very short person. Probably fine in Japan but hopeless for Northern Europeans.

Also wear comfy but supportive shoes when driving - especially if you are on a long journey. Those shoes you wear for the office aren't good for driving long distances in so have a good pair of trainers for driving. I use a good pair of Nikes which have good arch support, give me more feel when driving and are incredibly comfortable. I can often be seen getting out of my car in my business suit with my white Nikes on - I get odd looks but I am comfortable. What I am saying is that even the wrong footwear when driving can do everything from tire you through to worse complaints. Keep the stilletoes for the privacy of the bedroom!

Breathing is a biggie when driving - a bad seat creates bad posture and can make it impossible to breathe from the diaphragm. This can turn you into a chest breather and can cause you to suffer from hyperventilation syndrome - this is little understood by many in the medical profession but those who do will tell you that it can cause all sorts of health problems from headaches to asthma like symptoms to panic attacks to chest pains. All because of the wrong seat.

Next time you are out and about have a look at the people around you to see who are breathing from the chest and who are breathing from the 'stomach'. I suspect most will be upper chest breathers and if you watch them they will be breathing in a swallow quick way which looks uncomfortable. Then, if you have a young child or a baby, watch them when they sleep - they will breathe from their diapghrams because that is natural and it is something that most of us revert to when we sleep unless we suffer from hyperventilation syndrome.

At the end of the day we are basically the same creatures we were 10,000 years ago... Heck, half a million years ago... and our physical and emotional aspects are designed to be running around the African plains chasing deer and running away from lion and other things that wish to eat us. We are still hunter-gathers but hunter-gathers sat behind desks working on PCs or sat in cars.

Bad car seats have a lot to answer for.

Comfortable Seating - rtj70
"Heck, if you can find one, consider the Nintendo Wii Fit which has very good yoga exercises and is also a lot of fun."

I met someone with back pain a few months back (they had dislocated something). Cause was hola hooping on a Nintendo Wii Fit! I joke not. It apparently not uncommon for people to injure themselves playing on the Wii.
Comfortable Seating - tawse
"Heck if you can find one consider the Nintendo Wii Fit which has very good
yoga exercises and is also a lot of fun."
I met someone with back pain a few months back (they had dislocated something). Cause
was hola hooping on a Nintendo Wii Fit! I joke not. It apparently not uncommon
for people to injure themselves playing on the Wii.


Believe it or not but I am actually a hula-hooper (Yes, I am a man).

I have a weighted 'sports hoop' as they are superb for aerobic activity and flexibility. They get your breathing up, they get your heart pumping and there was a very good reason why all those ladies in the 1950s had such slim waists just at the time when hooping was the craze. It is currently undergoing a huge revival and I would recommend a hula hoop for anyone who wants to get trim and fit - assuming their Doc gives the OK.

I also have a Wii Fit and the hooping on that is fun if done, IMPO, in moderation but the way you hoop on a Wii Fit is actually not the same way as which you would use a real hula hoop and I do have my doubts about the stress that it might places on your knees and back if done too energetically - which the scoring system does, IMPO, encourages you to do so.

Having said that, I think yoga on the Wii Fit is superb as are the balance games.
Comfortable Seating - Alby Back
Very intertesting Tawse. Good of you to take the time to pass that knowledge on. As I mentioned earlier, my nippy back is as a result of an injury but it must be being exacerbated by minor seating position differences. I shall think hard about whether I can change that for the better.

As an aside, is there plenty of of magnesium in fags, black coffee or gin by any chance.....

;-0

Edit - for what it's worth, I swim a lot and rarely have problems for a day or two after a decent spell in the pool. If I miss a couple of days I kind of lock up.

Edited by Humph Backbridge on 14/11/2008 at 22:04

Comfortable Seating - tawse
Very intertesting Tawse. Good of you to take the time to pass that knowledge on.
As I mentioned earlier my nippy back is as a result of an injury but
it must be being exacerbated by minor seating position differences. I shall think hard about
whether I can change that for the better.


I knew a chap who had back pain, went back and forth to the Docs, was on pain killers, eventually they decided a dangerous op was the only solution. He was on the waiting list for ages and in such pain he sought out an accupuncturist. After 6 weeks of treatment his pain was gone and when the NHS op was eventually scheduled he declined it as he felt so good. He now has about 2 courses of 6 week treatment with the needles each year now.

As an aside is there plenty of of magnesium in fags black coffee or gin
by any chance.....


Cigarettes and coffee are known 'stressors' which actually deplete the body of magnesium. As is, as I sip my Jack Daniels, alcohol.
;-0
Edit - for what it's worth I swim a lot and rarely have problems for
a day or two after a decent spell in the pool. If I miss a
couple of days I kind of lock up.


The swimming would have gently stretched you back, your muscles and the spine, and also swimming is known to greatly help correct bad breathing and bad posture so you were doing yourself a load of good there.

Have you ever gone to see an osteopath - those people are the people to go and see when you have skeletal or muscular problems as they have way more knowledge than GPs on the subject.
Comfortable Seating - Bilboman
Tawse, this has been the most interesting thread I have read in a long. long time. (Forgive my curiosity, but is your screen name anything to do with a well known "teaching" method popular in Scotland not so long ago?)
It strikes me that a lot of road rage may be attributed to drivers with extremely uncomfortable postures. I get dangerously close to road rage after too long at the wheel of my (2008 model)Focus - those infernal deah restraints: does anyone know where I can get replacement ones which are actually comfortable? I have never had such excruciating back and neck pain than with this car...
Comfortable Seating - Stuartli
The most important point is not to confuse soft seats with comfort - that's why firm seats such as in Mercedes, Saab, Volvo and similar marques prove not only comfortable, but mean you can drive further for longer without normally suffering tiredness or pain.
Comfortable Seating - tawse
Tawse this has been the most interesting thread I have read in a long. long
time. (Forgive my curiosity but is your screen name anything to do with a well
known "teaching" method popular in Scotland not so long ago?)


No, more to do with the numerous girlfriends I have had who have had a desire to dress up and act as naughty adult schoolgirls ;-) Well, OK, yes.

It strikes me that a lot of road rage may be attributed to drivers with
extremely uncomfortable postures. I get dangerously close to road rage after too long at the
wheel of my (2008 model)Focus - those infernal deah restraints: does anyone know where I
can get replacement ones which are actually comfortable? I have never had such excruciating back
and neck pain than with this car...


If you walk around with your shoulders raised or 'lifted' you will chest breathe, hence why people under stress are told to drop their shoulders, which will make you tense, aggitated, angry and can eventually result in a panic attack.

This is because when we chest breathe we do much quicker and swallow breaths than when we breath naturally via the diaphragm. This means we take into my oxygen and give out too much CO2, eventually depleting the body of CO2, which alters the blood gases and makes people feel aggitated at first, light-headed then hyped-up, angry, because adrenalin is then pumped around the body, and eventually a full scale panic attack.

Yep, you can get all that from bad posture and bad posture you get from everyday life, the chairs you sit in, the desks you sit at, the PC screens you leer at.

I am 6 foot 2 inches tall and found it impossible to sit comfortably or healthily in a Ford Focus. There is so much wrong with the cockpit IMPO but then most cars in its class - Golf, Asta, Corolla/Auris, C4, etc - are equally as poor.

A really good tip when going to buy any car is to take someone along with you of the same height and build, walk around to the passenger side of the car, look in and watch your friend get into the driver's seat and assume a driving position. You will often be surprised how uncomfortable your friend will look - that is often the car you were considering buying.
Comfortable Seating - gordonbennet
Interesting stuff Tawse, thankyou.

Strangely enough, the seats in our hilux are the most comfortable coupled with the general driving position that i've ever had, it wasn't expected but was a pleasant surprise.
We didn't go for the leather as we disliked the one and only colour of grey intending to have our own choice of colour aftermarket, but the velourish seats are so comfy and warm they will stay.

There's no height adjustment but it doesn't seem to be needed, as swmbo 5'3" unless in those higher than life heels she lives in (i'm not complaining) is as comfy and can see and drive as easily as i am at a shade over 6'.

I spend my life getting in and out of cars of all sizes, and Tawse is so right about this access thing, getting down low and simultaneously limboing under the far too shallow windscreen and then having to clamber out of the things again must cause some sort of strains over the years.
How nice to jump in and out of berlingo's and the like, that bit higher and with easy access and plenty of height and the screen pillar where it should be.

Maybe it isn't just the seats but the overall space and access that makes for the comfortable car.
I notice many of the newer designs have very high bodies with much narrower windows, maybe such cars mean that you have to sit higher than you would in an older design with larger windows (Volvo's?) in order to see out which then puts you up almost touching the roof.
Comfortable Seating - Hector Brocklebank
Very interesting thread with interesting posts from tawse and HB.

I find that old seats are also very bad for your back. Once the seat has endured X hundred thousand miles of use, there can be very little support left for the lumbar area and the base itself may have collapsed. Coupled with a poor driving position and posture, this can result in terrible discomfort after a surprisingly short time and adversely affect the driver's temperament. From personal experience, patience greatly diminishes when uncomfortable behind the wheel. When my back is sore, I long for the moment when I can get home and get out the car, and patience with other road users all but evaporates.

I agree that the Ford Focus is not the most comfortable car to spend a couple of hours in, a great shame as it is such a treat to drive. However, when your back is complaining so loudly it is hard to appreciate its accomplished driving dynamics. Can anyone recommend a car that is genuinely comfortable to spend a few hours in? Surely an auto-box must help the cause somewhat, no stamping on pedals and heaving of leavers must be a benefit on longer journeys, especially in urban environments.
Comfortable Seating - tawse
Lack of lumbar support on many car seats is just criminal IMPO. All car seats should be required to have it by law but, alas, we live in a society that prefers to treat people who are ill rather than preventing it.

I wanted to buy a CRV but did not need the top of the range CRV as I have no interest in over-priced build-in sat-navs and a sun-roof. Alas, you only get lumbar support in a CRV is you buy the top of the range spec and it is not even an option on the other models. I mention Honda here but many makes of cars suffer from this problem. It is as if seats, cockpit space and healthy driving just do not feature on the radar of car makers.

As for autos - well, yes autos are much more relaxing to drive especially in our grid-locked society. It is such a shame that the new VED charges are likely to make auto boxes prohibitively expensive for many people. If ou go look on the Prius Yahoo group one thing that keep popping up is how many people say that they find the auto box of the Prius to be a relaxing, stress-free drive. Shame the seats, IMPO, are so poor and, judging by what you can find via Google, I am not alone in thinking that.

Anyhow, as you can guess from my post, I believe that many of us are making ourselves stressed and ill from a mixture of poorly designed cockpits & seating and ourselves choosing cars which are simply too small for us.



Comfortable Seating - Alby Back
Have to say, this has become a fascinating thread for me. I had long recognised that certain cars suited me but had never managed to work out why. The info you have provided Tawse has really helped me to understand the reasons why. Excellent stuff!

I remember a hilarious inerview on TG with the actor Hugh Grant who talked about a condition he called "Golf Ball". His witty description struck a chord with me. Back along I had a couple of Golf GTis. Both cars were fitted with sort of bucket seats which tended to push your knees higher than your hips. These cars pre-dated my back injury but I do remember suffering similar discomfort to that which Grant so eloquently described. This seems to be bourne out by your findings Tawse.

Long distance driving really does find out cars though. I can sit comfortably in most things for an hour or two but some cars just hurt after long stretches and others don't. I have for example, driven the Mondeo in fairly much one hit to or from the middle of Italy on numerous occasions without serious discomfort and yet driving to Scotland in the Vauxhall has me almost in tears. I have tried to adjust the seat in the same way but for whatever reason it must be slightly different enough to set things off. Trouble is I guess that another person might well find the opposite true. For example, I know that many people, including some on this very thread, swear by Volvos and Saabs but for inexplicable reasons they kink my back terribly. I wonder if it also to do with what you are used to? Some kind of muscle memory thing going on maybe?
Comfortable Seating - tawse
Knew of a chap who developed a dull ache in his testicles which became increasingly painful and so he sought out medical help. Upon examination his testicles were fine and he was thankfully healthy.

Turned out he had, a few weeks before the pain had begun, begun placing a cushion on his office chair so that he was more raised whilst working at his desk. The addition of the cushion had put pressure in the wrong place and had caused the pain. Once the cushion was removed the pain went away. Simple as that.

Now, if a wrongly placed cushion can cause the above then what can a bad car seat do over the lifetime of someone using that car day in day out.

Imagine yourself sat in your car seat, or simply go out and do it, and place your hands on the steering wheel and your feet as they would be on the pedals. Now, observe your body position.

Are your knees higher than your hips? If so, can you breathe correctly and freely via your diaphragm? If your knees are too high in relation to your hips this is probably not possible as the diaphragm will most likely not have the room to expand and contract naturally. This is bad. Try positioning your seat and yourself so you can breathe correctly.

Are your shoulders raised or 'hunched up' - again, if so then breathing correctly is probably impossible and you are probably chest breathing whilst driving... or chest breathing 'clicks in' during your drive.... which is very bad. Try dropping your shoulders and achieving a good driving position by adjusting the seat and wheel to suit your body and NOT the other way around.

Are your ears forward of your neck / chest - as mentioned above in a previous post this is bad. Try moving your neck back so that you are not straining - 'neck crainers' are amongst the most common sites that you will see whilst sat in traffic. Next time you are in a jam have a look around you at other drivers.

Sit in car-parks and observe others getting in and out of their cars - look how many of them are actually straining to get out and 'squeezing' to get themselves in. Look how many are basically getting into a car which is too small for them. Look how many are lowering their hip joints below their knees. Look how many have to turn their heads / necks are a sharp angle to avoid hitting the roof of their car. All not good. Long-term equals very bad.

Oh, and avoid 'tight-jean' syndrome. It can be any pair of trousers or skirt - basically wearing clothes around the waist which are fashionable but really poor for the whole breathing process. If you have a tight pair of trousers then your diaphgram will not be able to do its job and you will become a chest breather. The current obsession with 6-packs and flat stomachs is also a curse in this regard.
Comfortable Seating - GroovyMucker
I found the seats in my two Volvos very comfortable.

The Accord's seats were uncomfortable, and gave me backache regularly.

The Avensis has electric seats and these are extremely comfortable. I have yet to experience any ache, and that is despite driving several hundred miles on several occasions recently.
Comfortable Seating - Alby Back
Y'see that's interesting GM, that's why I'm beginning to wonder if it's also to do with an amount of familiarity. Maybe we all get used to a certain combination of relative control positions and we develop an unconcious tolerance to that configuration?

I know you are not alone in finding Volvos great. My dad swore by his. He had 5 or 6 of them in a row and found them supremely comfortable. He was also a high mileage driver. I, sadly, just don't get on with them. In fairness, prior to my serious back injury, I didn't have this problem with many cars but subsequently I have found that I need to be very choosy about the ones I intend to use for work.
Comfortable Seating - cattleman6
GroovyMucker. Everybody is different. I am just interested. Was it the old Accord you had or the new one that has only recently appeared?
One I hired the old shape 2007 C Class and did big mileage in all conditions.I was interested that both my wife and I loved the front seats ( not tired after more than 200 mile round trips).
Comfortable Seating - Hector Brocklebank
Can anyone recommend a car that fulfils the following criteria?

-Comfortable, supportive seats suitable for long distance driving.
-A smooth ride & effective sound deadening.
-Easy access to a spacious cabin.
-Mondeo size and smaller (no expensive execs).
-Capable of 40mpg (petrol) or 50mpg (diesel).
-Suffers heavy first-year depreciation (intention of buying nearly-new).

My guess that a few of the better midi-MPV's may crop up, perhaps a Vectra? Preferably something in the sub £20k list category.

Comfortable Seating - jbif
I believe that the Vehicle & Road Safety Centre at Loughborough University has done some very good research on car seats but I could find the info on their site otherwise I would have posted a link here.


google: driving ergonomics loughborough university
www.lboro.ac.uk/departments/cd/docs_dandt/research.../

Also See here:

www.honestjohn.co.uk/index.php?url=/directories/ur...m
has the following links [first one is for the Univ. of Loughborough]

Seat comfort: www.drivingergonomics.com

Seat Support Cushions: www.ezl.co.uk; www.postureproducts.com; www.medesign.co.uk

Edited by jbif on 15/11/2008 at 19:41

Comfortable Seating - The Melting Snowman
Impossible to recommend as everyone's different. Personally I find Volvos give me neck ache but many find them great. I have found Renault seats to be excellent but a friend doesn't.
Comfortable Seating - grumpyscot
Have had a good few Volvos and many Saabs - never a complaint about seating and never a sore back no mattter what distance travelled.

Worst - A Diahutsu - after only 10 miles, I had to get out to ease the pain in my buttocks!

Comfortable Seating - DP
We have a Volvo and a Renault at the moment, and both are supremely comfortable to the extent that both SWMBO and myself notice immediately the relative lack of comfort in pretty much every car we travel in nowadays.

We drove the Renault overnight from Hants, to Northern Italy, stopping only for fuel and leg stretches / fags, and not once did either of us feel as much as a twinge of pain.

If I were really living in an ideal world though, I'd combine the Volvo's perfect seats and driving position with the Renault's chassis settings, and create what would have to be a candidate for the most comfortable mode of transport in existence anywhere.
Comfortable Seating - MartinJB1
I want to thanl everyone on this thread for their amusing and sometimes informative replies to my question. Last weekend I went to a car supermarket where you can get into the cars with the keys and switch everything on so you can test the electric seats etc. So I tried a 2005 Merc saloon, a 2006 Honda Accord and a 2005 Volvo S60. I felt that on balance the Volvo won but the cockpit was quite claustraphobic while the Merc and Honda were equally good but both had black interiors made them very gloomy. So if I can find a pre-07 Merc with electric seats at at fair price, then that would work for me. Test drive first though!
Please keep replying to this thread, it is very useful.
Comfortable Seating - DP
I love my S60, but it's biggest (probably only?) issue from a comfort point of view is a truly rubbish low speed ride. Oh, and it's cramped in the back if you're over 6ft.
Other than that, can't fault it.
Comfortable Seating - MartinJB1
That's interesting as I do a lot of miles in and around town at obviously low speeds.
Comfortable Seating - MartinJB1
Thanks for all your postings. I have finally settled for a Volvo S60 auto. Probably bigger than I need but the seats are the best I have ever sat in and an electric driver's seat was the clincher.
Comfortable Seating - Statistical outlier
Very interesting thread, and Tawse has some very interesting info. Certainly my back has been better since my osteopath pointed out that you should sit high with your knees lower than your hips if possible.

Trouble is, I think generalising seat comfort is difficult. I love teh seats in my Accord, and have done 800 miles in a day comfortably, but they kill my gf's back. Her Ka fits her like a glove, but I find it uncomfortable. Neither of us got on with the fancy seats in a hire Saab 95 we had last NY - the head rests were at least 2" too far forward.

Horses for courses really, glad the OP sounds like he has found something he gets on with.
Comfortable Seating - Altea Ego
The seats in the clio 3 are not good for long distances. After 2k miles in the Altea (firm seats) no niggles at all, she has just done 200 miles in the Clio (soft thin seats) resulting in knottted back.
Comfortable Seating - jeanshumake

in office chairs, there are three sizes - A, B, and C. If you choose the wrong size you will hate it, if you choose the right size you will love it.

Comfortable Seating - KB.

Ah, a thread only ten years old so right up to the mark. And this later contribution relates to office chairs, not car seats, so not exactly relevant either.

But as we've deviated ...... it happens I did, fairly recently, buy an office chair for myself made by a firm called Steelcase, it was the model they call Leap. I'm sat in it as we speak. ( I was hoping a decent chair would aid an aching back). It wasn't especially cheap... in fact quite the opposite but I have no recollection of the A, B, C sizing being offered - however I did just see that the Herman Miller Aeron chair is offered in those sizes. But then it probably needs to at those prices (I stopped looking when I got to £1350 - it might have gone higher still).

Edited by KB. on 17/02/2018 at 20:13

Comfortable Seating - John F

No-one has yet mentioned the most comfortable seats I have ever had - the 'comfort seat' option in my 2005 Audi A8. I wonder if it holds the record for number of electric motors in one seat? They are mechanically the same ones fitted to Bentleys. Being tall, the ability to extend its length for lower thigh support is the best feature.

Also, no-one has mentioned probably the most important factor for long journey comfort - height from the floor. Adequate height is standard for professional HGV and PSV drivers who have to spend all day in their seat. The higher, the better. This rules out most sports cars and coupes!

Comfortable Seating - badbusdriver

At a garage i used to work at in Wigan (circa 1996), we took a BMW 750il in as a part ex. I don't know how many motors was in the front seats but it certainly had electric adjustment to extend the length of the base. When i removed the front seats to properly clean them and the carpet, i couldn't believe how heavy they were!. It also had electric reclining for the rear seats and mirrors which dipped when reverse was selected (so you could see the kerb)!.

 

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