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Old 27th January 2017, 11:53   #1
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Question What's stopping manufacturers from offering adjustable rear seats?

Dear Bhpians,

I am 6.2 foot and the driving position i find OK is at the seats pushed to the last bit of the slider. This always renders the passenger who has to sit behind me folding their legs as acute as possible and doing variety of stunts along the journey.,

I always wondered, what if we can push back the rear seats as well as similar to the front seats and use up that empty boot space whenever required !

And i am very sure i am not the only one with this problem !

1. Need your views on Whats stopping Indian car manufacturers from coming up with reach/length & pushback/angle adjustable rear seats?

2. And are there any after mods anybody has done to their vehicles on this aspect ?

3. And slightly off the topic, i found Tata Zest to have the best under thigh support and seating comfort upon driving several hatchbacks and sedans under budget 10L. Am i the only 6+ footer with this opinion ? voice out please

PS: I drive a Hyundai Santro GLS which goes easy on my headroom at-least if not for my leg room !

Last edited by Tamarind : 27th January 2017 at 11:53. Reason: Numbered the questions for easy addressing
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Old 27th January 2017, 12:17   #2
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Default Re: Whats stopping manufacturers from comingup with reach/length & pushback/angle adjustable rear se

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tamarind View Post
Dear Bhpians,

I am 6.2 foot and the driving position i find OK is at the seats pushed to the last bit of the slider. This always renders the passenger who has to sit behind me folding their legs as acute as possible and doing variety of stunts along the journey.,

And I am very sure I am not the only one with this problem!

I found Tata Zest to have the best under thigh support and seating comfort upon driving several hatchbacks and sedans under budget 10L. Am I the only 6+ footer with this opinion? voice out, please
Hyundai discontinued the telescopic steering adjustment after they faced rattling issues. This may be the reason some Car makers do not offer this feature. The average height of Indians or Indian couples is difficult to approximate, but we definitely run short of boot space during shopping, this may be the reason why no car maker wants to take a chance with boot space. One of my cousins owns an Innova, all his family members including him are about 5'4", you put him inside any car, he will never complain about leg room. My BIL is 6'2" when he is driving his Duster, only his kids can sit behind him. Tata cars have always offered excellent front and rear seats, all official reviews highlight this factor. It is a coincidence that I brought out this point today in my comparison between Duster and Eco Sport.
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Old 27th January 2017, 12:55   #3
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Default Re: Whats stopping manufacturers from comingup with reach/length & pushback/angle adjustable rear se

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The average height of Indians or Indian couples is difficult to approximate, but we definitely run short of boot space during shopping, this may be the reason why no car maker wants to take a chance with boot space.
Exactly, so providing a slider to push the seats to front or back similar to the sliders offered for the front seats are going to increase the versatility of the car as per user needs

Not every day i go on a shopping spree, but when i do, i can put the rear seats in normal position using the boot space for bags. But in other days when i do not need the boot space i can push back the rear seats and use them to free up more leg space for rear passengers right ! ?

I am sure manufactures are not doing this for some specific reason in INDIA, not sure what it is.

Say for example: Suzuki Ignis which is sold in western, has this feature but the ones sold in INDIA doesn't !
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Old 27th January 2017, 13:55   #4
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Default Re: Whats stopping manufacturers from comingup with reach/length & pushback/angle adjustable rear se

I have a few theories and it mostly has to do with greed Most asian car companies might be taking into account average height which is not that much in the east asian region to warrant such a feature. In first world countries in the west, people make the money to afford larger cars. Just look at how cars like the Camry or Accord have evolved to grow bigger and bigger with each new generation. Lastly, if manufacturers offered such a feature in their small budget hatchbacks, they could lose potential customers for their bigger cars.
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Old 27th January 2017, 14:11   #5
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Default Re: Whats stopping manufacturers from comingup with reach/length & pushback/angle adjustable rear se

Greed of the manufacturers is the main reason. Also Asian cars are generally made for smaller built people overall.

One more thing, very few cars in the Indian market have seat height adjustment for the front passenger. I cannot understand why.
It is not as if only the person sitting in the driving seat is likely to be short and have a need for this feature. Passengers also could wish to have a better, more commanding view of the world outside!

The Skoda Fabia Elegance variant (at least those which were sold between 2007-2009) used to have this feature, simply because it is a normal feature in most cars sold in Europe.

Here in the later Indian versions, for some reason they stopped this, which in my opinion was silly because it really can't have made much of a difference in terms of "savings" for them, since anyway the cars were being assembled here from CKD kits.

Same thing with this "El Cheapo" concept, that these manufacturers adopt in India, of giving us only a single Driver Airbag in many of these cars. Or maybe only 2 front airbags in what is purported to be the TOP SPEC Variant of many car models.

Bottomline; Manufacturers are greedy fellows and will always try to get away with giving as little as possible while charging consumers as much as the market will take. Thats the nature of the beast!

The above is also one of the reasons why the Innova and Creta and Tucson and Jeep and CRV and Fortuner and Endeavour and so on, are all priced so horribly high, here in India.
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Old 27th January 2017, 14:33   #6
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Default Re: Whats stopping manufacturers from comingup with reach/length & pushback/angle adjustable rear se

I noticed this difference in the rear seat position of Ignis sold in India and UK.
Attached Thumbnails
What's stopping manufacturers from offering adjustable rear seats?-ignis_eur_ind.pptx.jpg  

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Old 27th January 2017, 14:37   #7
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Default Re: Whats stopping manufacturers from comingup with reach/length & pushback/angle adjustable rear se

Quote:
Originally Posted by deehunk View Post
I noticed this difference in the rear seat position of Ignis sold in India and UK.
I think this is an illusion created by the angle at which the photos are taken.
Doesn't really look to be plausible.
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Old 27th January 2017, 14:38   #8
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Default Re: Whats stopping manufacturers from comingup with reach/length & pushback/angle adjustable rear se

In a hatchback, it is either impossible or very expensive to have length adjustable rear seats because of the rear wheel well blocking the movement of rear seat.

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If you are willing to lose a seat, and have a narrow rear seat (4 seater), then it is possible to have a sliding rear seat in a hatchback. The seats can then slip past the rear wheel well.

However, 7 seater SUV/MPVs can have adjustable middle row seats because rear wheels are placed further behind, close to 3rd row seats. So the middle row seats can move fore and aft.

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Last edited by smartcat : 27th January 2017 at 14:52.
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Old 27th January 2017, 14:44   #9
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Default Re: Whats stopping manufacturers from comingup with reach/length & pushback/angle adjustable rear se

Quote:
Originally Posted by shankar.balan View Post
I think this is an illusion created by the angle at which the photos are taken.
Doesn't really look to be plausible.
Agree, difficult to conclude unless we see the car.

Last edited by deehunk : 27th January 2017 at 14:46.
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Old 27th January 2017, 15:53   #10
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Default Re: Whats stopping manufacturers from comingup with reach/length & pushback/angle adjustable rear se

Quote:
Originally Posted by shankar.balan View Post
I think this is an illusion created by the angle at which the photos are taken.
Doesn't really look to be plausible.
The Euro spec Ignis actually has sliding rear seats.

If you observe the above 2 images carefully, you can make out that Indian spec Ignis has fixed rear seats with 60:40 split folding, whereas the Euro spec Ignis has sliding rear seats with 50:50 split folding.

IIRC, the first generation WagonR sold in India also had 50:50 split folding and sliding rear seats. It lost this feature when it was facelifted.

In a country like India, most customers would rather have a fixed 3 passenger rear seat (or a 60:40 split seat) than sliding and folding (50:50 split) rear seat.

Rohan
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Old 27th January 2017, 17:04   #11
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Default Re: Whats stopping manufacturers from comingup with reach/length & pushback/angle adjustable rear se

Quote:
Originally Posted by rohan_iitr View Post

IIRC, the first generation WagonR sold in India also had 50:50 split folding and sliding rear seats. It lost this feature when it was facelifted.
The Wagon R had a reclining backrest. The seats don't slide.
At-least that's the case in my 2003 Wagon R.
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Old 27th January 2017, 17:21   #12
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Default Re: Whats stopping manufacturers from comingup with reach/length & pushback/angle adjustable rear se

Yes, it is a very practical feature.

But the problem with Indian models is: the back seat of most of the cars will be already at the farthest position, as people will be looking for rear leg room (and possibility of seating 4 there) while shopping for cars. Any sliding functionality for the rear seat will then help only in increasing the boot space by just reducing the rear legroom.
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Old 27th January 2017, 17:34   #13
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Default Re: Whats stopping manufacturers from comingup with reach/length & pushback/angle adjustable rear se

Quote:
Originally Posted by rohan_iitr View Post
IIRC, the first generation WagonR sold in India also had 50:50 split folding and sliding rear seats. It lost this feature when it was facelifted.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cooldude1988765 View Post
The Wagon R had a reclining backrest. The seats don't slide.
At-least that's the case in my 2003 Wagon R.
Exactly, I second that. Older WagonR 1.1 had rear bucket seats, which can be reclined individually, but could not be moved fore and aft. It was the case for our WagonR 2005 model too.

Coming back to the topic here, most hatchbacks have the boot floor level much higher than the rear seat floor level, almost at the seat base level. This might have done to accommodate the spare wheel.
Normally hatchbacks have low GC, in which case externally mounting the spare under the chassis like the MUVs are out of question.
This would limit the movement of the rear seat.
But, no one stopped them from providing a more comfortable rear seat with reclining features at least, though we Indian takes pride to be chauffeur driven, the prize is always for the chauffeur.

Last edited by PetrolRider : 27th January 2017 at 17:41.
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Old 28th January 2017, 07:23   #14
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The Yeti, which is really just a large-ish hatch, has some good stuff happening in the rear seats.
They can be reclined to a decent extent but cannot be slid fore and aft though they are placed quite well back in the vehicle already.
However, the really good thing is that each of the three seats in the rear are completely independent of each other and can be folded, rolled over or completely removed as per the preference.
And in case one knocks off the middle seat one can make two Captain seats at the rear - a very comfortable 4 seater vehicle with luggage space too.
Saying that, the same effect can be achieved by simply folding down the middle seat to create a comfy armrest for the 2 passengers at the rear.

Most of these vehicles anyway are not really 5 seaters. They are most comfortable for everyone, as 4 seaters.

Carrying no more than 4 people including the driver, makes for a far more comfortable and balanced drive experience, hence I never ever use the vehicle as a 5 seater.

If all the 'hot hatches' were to understand and take this type of design philosophy forward, consumers would enjoy super flexibility and Im sure the sales of these silly 'cut short' sedans with a halfwit dicky boot would feel the pinch.
To me personally a large hatch with a low loading lip is always going to be a better design than a silly cut short sedan with a useless boot and no folding rear seats...
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Old 28th January 2017, 08:31   #15
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Default Re: Whats stopping manufacturers from comingup with reach/length & pushback/angle adjustable rear se

I really don't think it's practical to have sliding seats in hatchbacks and sedans because of the reasons pointed out be smartcat- there isn't too much room to slide your seat due to the wheel wells and suspension hardware.

Reclining seats are also of no use (again in hatchbacks and sedans). They have a very limited range and the range of positions varies from upright to relaxed. If three people are using the backseat, the position depends on the majority vote as the center person will definitely feel uncomfortable if the two portions are at different angles. We have never used the reclining seats in our 2006 Getz- yes it has the feature and we have left it at the most relaxed position. Different story that our driver had broken the lever sometime in 2008, but we had hardly used it before that too. I'm sure there'll hardly be any people adjusting the recline in the Corolla too.

That said, this feature is incredibly useful in MPVs and 7 seater SUVs (not crossovers.) Renault Lodgy got a lot of flak on the forum when sliding seats were not standard equipment and rightly so.

I think adjustable seats with different configurations are not popular in India and not many people use their cars for transporting surf boards, cycles, beach umbrellas etc on a regular basis. People who own the aforementioned items generally have a huge car to carry them around.
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