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Old 12th June 2017, 18:01   #1
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Default Which car has the best seats?

Hi

Was looking at the front seats of my Duster and was wondering idly "Could I have managed 4500 km in 15 days on that seat?" (Different story. Post coming up soon!).

In the said road trip from Bangalore to all over Madhya Pradesh, we had taken the Crysta and my friend had come in his X5. There was absolutely no fatigue whatsoever.

I did spend about 8-10 hours in the X5 as well, both front & the back. The front seats were better than the Innova by a large margin and the rear seat was very comfortable for 2 people. I guess you get what you pay for!

Now the big question for you:

Which is the best you have sat on (front or rear) in any car sold in India? Why?

Front Seat: BMW X5
In my opinion, while the Innova's front seat was absolutely tops for comfort in long distance drives. (Glad to report that the Crysta has continued the tradition and has made minor improvements as well). There is no fatigue, good back & side support and decent under thigh support, my recent BMW X5 experience has convinced me that it has the best front seat that I have ever experienced. Maan, the sheer width of the seat; absolutely brilliant support wherever you need it; Ability to electronically control support where it is not adequate. All these make it the best seat on the road!

Rear Seat: Skoda Superb
For the rear seat (I dont have too much experience with the rear seats. I am always the designated driver) I would pick the Skoda Superb. The reason is the leg room & the plushness of the interior

Last edited by GTO : 13th June 2017 at 15:00. Reason: small typo
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Old 12th June 2017, 19:03   #2
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Default re: Which car has the best seats?

I would classify them based on the budget -

Only the drivers seat -
a) <10 Lakhs.
Maruti Swift and siblings (Dzire,Baleno,Ritz,Ignis,Ciaz,Brezza etc.)
b) >10 Lakhs & <20 Lakhs.
XUV500. The wide range of adjustment options simply pampers the driver.
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Old 12th June 2017, 19:52   #3
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Default re: Which car has the best seats?

The seats on the top end Hexa are fantastic.

They are XXL in size, very well countered and have excellent side and shoulder support. The seat compound, whatever they have used, just works. Plus, adjustable lumbar support rocks!
Add that to the huge space, sun blinds, excellent ride quality and chiller of an AC, and you have a car with genuine A+ comfort levels. I can confirm as I suffer from slip disc. I have a hard time driving most cars for anything more than short local commutes. With the Hexa though, I can drive for hours and hours together.

These seats are sourced from Lear Corporation of USA. Another point of note is that the leatherette material is from Mercedes vendor Benecke-Kaliko. I have no incidence of sweaty or itchy backside to report of, even in the current 48 degree Delhi heat.

Best part: front and middle row have same seats. Both rows are equally good.

Last edited by Shreyans_Jain : 12th June 2017 at 20:03.
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Old 12th June 2017, 19:55   #4
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Default re: Which car has the best seats?

Absolutely the sportiest seats that I have sat and driven in, has to be the Global Fiesta's.

But the most comfortable ones have got to be the ones in the Innova, the height gives them a really good advantage, and they seem extremely comfortable to me.

PS: It is totally another thing that the same Fiesta's rear seats were one of the worst seats I had to sit in
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Old 12th June 2017, 21:11   #5
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Default re: Which car has the best seats?

For comfort, nothing absolutely nothing beats Volvo seats. Have driven or have been driven in pretty much everything in the premium segment and by far Volvo seats are the best in the business.
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Old 13th June 2017, 00:07   #6
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Default re: Which car has the best seats?

MY SEAT REVIEWS:

Santro Xing: Good quality fabric seat material that still looks good as new after 14 years now. All seats are firm, which is good for long drives. However, driver seat and steering position is not great for tall drivers like me (6 foot 1 inches). It's best to take breaks every 1.5 hours before one starts getting muscle cramps.

Chevrolet Optra: High quality leather seats which remained soft & supple even after 6 years. The driver seat and steering position was good for long drives, with no back or leg aches. The rear seat of Optra was a bit upright though. Not so great for dozing off in the back seat.

Which car has the best seats?-dsc01909.jpg

Honda City (3rd Gen): Beige fabric seat is dirt magnet and very difficult to maintain well. The driver seat is nicely bolstered and steering position is good enough for long drives. The wide rear seat is comfortable but you sit a bit too low.

Honda Civic: It's almost never talked about, but Honda Civic has excellent rear seat comfort - whether it is seat angle or seating material softness. Driver's seat and steering position is great if you are young and fit, not just 'young at heart'. The 8 year old leather seat had hardened a lot and developed cracks too. Low seating position coupled with old seats meant very bad lower back pain, despite the seat having lumbar support.

Which car has the best seats?-img_2583.jpg

Tata Vista: One of the rare hatchbacks to have compact SUV like high driving position. The seat material is soft, which feels comfortable on short drives. However, something is off with the ergonomics for tall drivers - if you move the seat forward, your knee hits the dashboard. If you move the seat backward, you need to 'reach' for the steering and after sometime, your shoulders hurt!

Honda BRV: Good height/recline adjustment, front/back movement range and steering position makes for a comfortable driving position for tall drivers. However, the driver's seat does not have much side bolstering. Another fly in the ointment - the seats are wee bit on the softer side. Results in bum ache if you drive continuously for, say 3 hours.

Which car has the best seats?-p_20160628_125846_1_p.jpg

Suzuki A-star: Although the steering is not adjustable, finding the right driving position takes about 30 seconds even for tall drivers. Seats are comfortable enough for short drives, but longer drives (2 hrs+) results in back and knee pain.

Which car has the best seats?-dsc02061.jpg

Or, it could be that I need to hit the gym and get fit instead of complaining about car seat comfort.

Bonus Review: My work seat

Which car has the best seats?-img_20170612_224443.jpg

Made by a company called VJ Interior, costing just about Rs. 6,300 on Snapdeal - this is one of the most comfortable chairs around. The bolstering especially in the lower back area is perfect for my frame. The seat cannot be reclined though, but that does not seem to reduce the comfort factor. My kids too love the fact that they can sit on it, and go round and round.
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Old 13th June 2017, 00:28   #7
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Default re: Which car has the best seats?

The BMW 7 series rear seat is amongst the best out there, it might not have the vast legroom of the S but certainly has more than enough. BMW in the new gen and previous gen compromised on the legroom(basically let go of the cabins additional legroom space that you never use unless you are 6ft5) to give importance to seat height and pitch.Hence it has ammmazing under thigh support. Even the number of adjustments it has are more than the S.
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Old 13th June 2017, 00:40   #8
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Default re: Which car has the best seats?

Driver's Seat - Support, sportiness and adjustability I would have to say, the 18 way adjustable Porsche driver's seat. For comfort It would probably have to be the Range Rover Vogue. It's literally like being on one of those giant armchairs with a more than commanding view of the road.

Rear Seat - The best rear seat I've ever been in, is the W124 E-Class. It's like being on a sofa in your living room.
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Old 13th June 2017, 15:10   #9
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Default Re: Which car has the best seats?

Manufacturers who don't cut corners on quality usually offer good seats. That's why you'll see most Hyundais (even the cheaper ones), VWs & Fords offering good to excellent support.

Seats are an easy way for bean counters to save pennies (quality, quantity, ergonomics etc.). See the Renault Duster's basic seats. They have no business being sold in a 10 - 15 lakh car. Even Honda (now a master of cost-cutting) is inconsistent in terms of seat quality across its cars.

What I hate are super soft seats which a number of manufacturers are still selling. They usually suck at offering any support on long drives. Anyone who's owned a Civic with fabric seats will know what I'm talking about.

Among the high end cars, all of them are great. But BMW & Volvo seats are in a different league, with their seats being just perfectly contoured.
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Old 13th June 2017, 15:25   #10
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Default Re: Which car has the best seats?

Among the cars I've driven, my Vento is the hands down winner for front seat comfort. For a sub-10L car (when I bought it) it offers a lot of ways to find that perfect sitting position: seat incline, front/back and height adjustment plus rake AND reach adjustable on steering. I put in a set of good leather covers early on and they add to the grip and comfort. Have done long drives with this set-up and never felt fatigued. I'm not comparing it to the BMWs or Mercs since have never driven one long enough to try and get REALLY comfortable!

Rear seat I love the Innova's captain seats. But the Superb and Sunny are really good as well. Recently I got an Xcent as a taxi and really liked its rear seat as well.
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Old 13th June 2017, 17:00   #11
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Default Re: Which car has the best seats?

Putting down my views on the cars I've owned from my perspective. Fronts seats only and for ref I am 6' 2"

Hyundai Santro : Seat cushining is nice and firm and has held up well after nearly 13 years of use. But the seat itself is too small. Thigh support is inadequate for tall people and bolsetering is virtually non existent. Not comfortable for long journeys

Maruti WagonR :
We had the first gen WagonR with the F10D engine. Excellent quality seats. Definitely better than the Santro in terms of comfort. Extra legroom certainly helped.

Toyota Corolla : Seat cushioning a bit too soft. Not exceptional but not bad either. I never had any complaints during long journeys.

Skoda Laura : Seat quality much better than Corolla. Cushioning a bit firmer and great thigh support. Also loved the long travel range of the seats.

BMW X3 : My car comes with what BMW calls "Sport seats" with extra side bolstering which is adjustable, so it literally hugs you in place. Seat cushions are the firmest I have seen on any car I've owned. I've had back trouble in the past so generally prefer firm seats and beds but few may find these seats to be too firm. Thigh support is great and can be further improved by extending the extenders. And there are so many adjustments that you can be very precise with how you want your seat to be positioned for you. Also its a leather and cloth combination. Centre portion of the seat is a high grade fabric and sides are leather. Being black they are easy to maintain clean. Simply love these seats.

Which car has the best seats?-img_6737.jpg

One thing about the Sport seats is that the way the seat is contoured (both back rest and base) if someone is a bit on the plus size, the seat can be very uncomfortable. One of my uncles had to be moved to the back seat as he was too wide for the side bolstering to accommodate him. My advice : Never buy cars specced with sport seats unless you have actually sat in one and tested it, esp those on the heavy side.

VW Polo :
Surprisingly I am not too happy with the Polo's seats. I find them to be too soft and lacking in support.

Last edited by GTO : 14th June 2017 at 10:25. Reason: Uploading image as attachment so that it doesn't break the page layout
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Old 13th June 2017, 17:41   #12
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Default Re: Which car has the best seats?

Can anyone think of a way of way to compare experiences? Obviously, we can only talk about the cars we have experienced. Other than reviewers, very rarely would we get a chance to do it back-to-back among various cars.

Even if I do a basic aggregate of the 'votes' till now, I doubt we will be able to arrive at a normalized selection. For what it is worth, this is the tabulation of votes.

Seat Survey.xlsx

No valid conclusions can be drawn. Looks like people like BMW front seats. And, unsurprisingly, the rear seats of cars > 25 lakhs or even 15 lakhs.

Does anybody know if seats from one car can be moved to another? For example will the Innova/ Crysta seats fit the Duster? Or the X5, the Crysta?

I am not talking about the electronics; just the basic mechanical seat.
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Old 13th June 2017, 17:49   #13
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Default Re: Which car has the best seats?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Santoshbhat View Post
Putting down my views on the cars I've owned from my perspective. Fronts seats only and for ref I am 6' 2"

VW Polo :[/u][/b] Surprisingly I am not too happy with the Polo's seats. I find them to be too soft and lacking in support.
I completely agree with this bit - I absolutely loathe the polo seats when driving for longer than an hour. I get severe pain in my back when driving for longer durations. For short commutes to office, its not too much of an issue though.

The strange bit is that the sport seats in the GTI are absolutely awesome. Wish we could buy them and put them in my polo.
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Old 13th June 2017, 18:05   #14
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Default Re: Which car has the best seats?

In < 10 lacs bracket - one of the best front seats i have been in is the Maruti Ertiga. It has right amount of side bolstering, underthigh support and that coupled with a high seating position is just spot on for effortless driving.

Among the worst - it has to be Chevrolet Spark. The seat base slopes downward leaving absolutely no underthigh support. Also, if you are tall - your knee would keep hitting the center console. Wonder if the GM engineers got any course in ergonomics.

Worthy mention for Maruti DZire seats - specially the new Dzire. The seats are not too soft or too hard, with perfect support from all sides and decent underthigh support.
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Old 13th June 2017, 18:39   #15
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Default Re: Which car has the best seats?

I doubt there will be any conclusion on which is the BEST seat, but we'll definitely get to know some of the cars with good seats on this thread.

One of the good seats in the sub 10L would belong to the Swift / Dzire (front seats) I'd say. Used to do 600 kms one shot with 2-3 mini breaks and never had back pain.

Among the rear seats, Safari's has to be one of the best!! A rare case where I prefef to be in the middle / rear seat to the front seat.

Among the bad ones, Wagon R has to be one - absolutely flat seats with no support. I have had just one long to & fro trip (Kerala - Bangy) but hated it to the core while I used to have a blast in Swift. For that matter any Maruti cars below Swift has not so great seats.

While previous i20 seats are good, I wanted someone to push me out of the car after being in the driver's seat for a day - the low seats can tire you well.

These feedback is after experiencing a lot of cars below 15L - don't have any experience with cars above that as I recollect.

Last edited by swiftnfurious : 13th June 2017 at 18:41.
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