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Old 15th September 2008, 21:25   #1
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Default Middle seat, anybody?

I always used to wonder why the back middle seat in most "5-seater" cars is always a compromise, compared to the side seats. It is surprising that even after all the advances made so far with respect to comfort, features etc, the middle seat is still given a step motherly treatment by most car makers. I felt the same while test driving the new Corolla Altis as well. The main issues I see are the following.
  • No clear designation of a middle seat in the design of the "back bench". It is almost always two seats with a "wide bordering" between them rather than 3 clearly designated seat positions.
  • Foldable arm rest which makes the seat-back virtually unusable
  • Even cars without foldable arm rest will have little back support for middle seaters.
  • Hump in the middle of the foot-well for most cars makes it uncomfortable to keep the legs comfortably. This is getting better with the "flat floor" designs now.
  • Other practical issues related to difficulty in providing proper support for the middle seat passenger including armrests, handles, "insufficient" seat belt protection etc.
Many of the issues could be resolved with a proper 3-seat bench, better design of middle armrest etc. Some of them are not easy to resolve.

Let me know your comments on the same.
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Old 15th September 2008, 21:34   #2
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The seat belt in the middle is only for a child seat, IMHO. Of course, the car companies can posture themselves.
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Old 15th September 2008, 23:52   #3
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i think the most suitable car for a middle seater is the logan. he's got ample space, the seat is wide enough and he has got his own headrest too! lol!
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Old 16th September 2008, 09:36   #4
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Speaking of headrests even Indigo has it but the same cannot be said of having ample space though. The seat is however flattish and is reasonably comfortable.
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Old 16th September 2008, 10:44   #5
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In cars like Alto, if you sit in the middle seat it's impossible to place your foot because of the hump in the floor.
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Old 16th September 2008, 10:58   #6
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usually the person sitting in the middle rear seat looks like an idiot to me. Poor felow has no controll on the windows. Even the driver hates the middle person because he/she blocks the entire rear view in the RVM !
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Old 16th September 2008, 12:28   #7
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Some car makers did attempt to help the one in the middle e.g Fiat Multipla and Honda FR-V

Fiat.co.uk | Fiat Multipla : Explore, Configure, Watch, Compare, Reviews, Finance & Accessories
Honda Car Experience
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Old 16th September 2008, 15:06   #8
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Doesn't the new Honda Civic have a flat floor at the back, to make it easier for the fifth passenger?

I remember, the previous generation Ford Taurus was the only sedan in North America to have six seatbelts in the car, 3 in front and 3 at the back.
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Old 16th September 2008, 15:24   #9
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For comfortable journey car is mean for 4 adults and 1 or 2 kids. Why expect everything comfortable. For that there is VAN or Other vehicles etc.

If car company provide comfort for middle then for sure comfort in side seats will go down considerable. Even Logan is not comfortable in the middle seat IMHO. They have just provided head rest and little width in the rear bench seat.
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Old 16th September 2008, 15:57   #10
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Not me. No middle seat for me. It becomes too congested if 3 people sit in that rear bench atleast in the small hatches (alto/spark/M800/swift). I even avoid sitting in middle in wide body vehicles like Amby leave alone current mid segment cars...Its too cramped and the hump in the middle will make the things worse. Moreover, does not have the head rest also.
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Old 16th September 2008, 16:23   #11
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I agree. Sitting in middle seat is always a pain. You dont have any "hold" and when in turns, you will be dancing in the direction of the car. Keep hitting both the guys on either side.

How about fixing a arm rest as we see in the chairs in Railway reservation etc?
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Old 16th September 2008, 16:32   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raj_5004 View Post
i think the most suitable car for a middle seater is the logan. he's got ample space, the seat is wide enough and he has got his own headrest too! lol!
On the other hand, None of Back seats have a headrest AT ALL in the Logan base model .. There is a limit to cost cutting. .. How much would an extra bit of sponge add to the cost !!
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Old 16th September 2008, 16:32   #13
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What about the Verna? I thought it is a little better, middle seat wise. And doesn't it have a adjustable head rest for the middle person as well?( in the top end version).Verna users can enlighten.
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Old 16th September 2008, 16:46   #14
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Ambassador used to have decent middle seat in the olden days. Don't know what's the position these days. HM had shifted to PUF seats some time back and I haven't sat in one lately.
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Old 16th September 2008, 18:48   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spadival View Post
On the other hand, None of Back seats have a headrest AT ALL in the Logan base model .. There is a limit to cost cutting. .. How much would an extra bit of sponge add to the cost !!
how much would plastic wheel covers cost to a manufacturer making any 3 lakh car? 500 or 600 rs? then why are there no plastic covers in base models?
i agree that in the logan, the cost cutting it taken to an extreme but that is how it is available in 5 lakhs! will anybody buy a logan for 8 lakhs?
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