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Hooniverse Asks- In Your Experience, What Car or Truck has had the Best Seats?

Robert Emslie January 22, 2013 Hooniverse Asks 112 Comments




I really lament the passing of Saab. It’s not that I must only drive cars born of Jets, it’s just that, when slogging though an auto show Saab was always the best place to park my weary keister. I’ve been hitting up car shows for nigh on 30 years now and can tell you from experience that the thin carpet – or worse, unyielding concrete floors – of most convention centers can really get your dogs barking.

But that never bothered me. I could spend the eight or ten hours it took to slide in and out of every car on display secure in the knowledge that Saab was only ever a few halls away with their amazingly cosseting seats. It was like traipsing through the mall knowing that a Brookstone with their insanely expensive – but always sample-able – massaging chairs was just around the corner.

Sadly Saab’s no more, and car shows, at least for me, will never be the same. But what about you, have you found a particular manufacturer that manufactures thrones that are a cut above, seats that treat your ass better than a ten dollar hooker and keep you coming back for more? What, in your experience is the car or truck that gives the best seat?

Image: [©2013 Juan Barnett, All Rights Reserved]

  • lilpoindexter

    I had a 1987 Tempo GLS two door…the "sporty" version…with red stripes on the outside and the interior…the seats were really good for a bottom feeder with red stripes.

    • Alcology

      Yeah, the tempo I had, a 92, had really comfortable seats.

    • Ford basically used the same seats on Escort GTs, Mustang GTs, and T-Bird Turbo Coupes too. I used to have a set in my LTD.

    • I love that the first answer in this thread is an '87 Tempo.

      • Vairship

        And yet FTF didn't show up!
        Maybe we didn't say the spell right?
        Ford Tempo
        Ford Tempo
        Ford Tempo

  • I was surprised at how comfortable the seats are in my 2011 Silverado. It is the base model with cloth seats. They are wide enough in the seat and shoulder area, with just enough support, and the seat base is long enough for my Homer Simpson sized frame. Much better than the seats in my wife's Trailblazer.

    If the truck had cruise control and some locking (or at least covered) storage (besides the back seat) I would probably prefer to take it on long trips.

  • OA5599
    • fodder650

      I'm confused is that what I think it is?! I guess for the longer trips.

      • Vavon

        Yes, it really is a Champagne cooler…

        • fodder650

          Oh well then my mind is in the gutter.

          • Scandinavian Flick

            Well, to be more accurate, it was a toilet that was used to chill champagne, but it was built as a toilet…

            "Under the back seat was a toilet that was mostly used to keep the champagne chilled."
            Source: http://www.coachbuild.com/index.php?option=com_ga

            • Dean Bigglesworth

              The fact that it was mostly used to chill champagne is a bit worrying.

              • Scandinavian Flick

                Occasionally it was used to warm it…


        • Van_Sarockin

          Ice bucket AND proctological tool.

  • mr. mzs zsm msz esq

    Volvo seats were always very comfortable to me, even the ones in the '60s were good. I drove from Chicago to St. Louis and back with no pain (though I did replace the webbing prior to that trip). Did you know that they even had adjustable (with a screwdriver) lumbar support? And they kept getting better. I would say that the '98 electric driver's seats in the ?70s and ?90s were a real high point for comfort. I have never spent enough seat time in any newer Volvo though to say for certain about those.

    • I must say the many Volvo´s I´ve had I enjoyed much the 142/144/145 seats from 71 and 72.
      <img src="http://sphotos-b.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/374523_3568839949401_1257217520_n.jpg&quot; width="600">
      My shop in the Netherlands back in the eigthies.

    • Dean Bigglesworth

      Volvo seats are certainly the most comfortable seats i've sat in. The velour seats in my 740 are really comfortable, but the leather seats in new S80/V70 are by far the most comfortable seat's i've sat in.
      <img src="http://zeocars.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/Volvo-S80-Executive-interior-seat-5.jpg&quot; width="500" img>

      As for the worst seats i've sat in, my -03 Focus is up there.

      • eam3

        Volvo hands down. They are incredibly comfortable, need no additional adjustment and you can drive the car for 10 hours straight and get out with zero fatigue. I have driven everything from Audis to Volkswagens long distance and nothing compares to Volvo seats. Whenever we had to go on long trips, my wife's S60 T5 was the easy choice.

      • FuzzyPlushroom

        Definitely my Volvo 740's, with the 850 close behind, at least if the power seat still works. 240s have good seats, too, if you adjust their height to suit you and the foam padding isn't all shot to Hell.

    • Scandinavian Flick

      The more current ones would be leagues more comfortable if they didn't sit so damn high… /tallpeopleproblems

      That said, the seats themselves are very comfortable, as long as they don't have the signature gansta lean going on. I will now take this moment to brag about the full set of 240 R-Sport seat covers I have in storage, complete with side bolster padding. So rare, I have a hard time finding a picture of them…

      <img src="http://i757.photobucket.com/albums/xx214/volvo244_album/IMAG0330.jpg&quot; width="350">

    • Sjalabais

      Couldn't agree more. Ten years ago a family emergency made me drive my then-dd '77 242 for 19 hours straight. Amazingly, it went well and couldn't have gone better. Same with my '71 145 – people comment on it. Spring seats with just perfect support. Lumbar adjustment was done not with a screwdriver, but a normal adjustment wheel in the Volvo's I had, also in my '93 245.

      Stark contrast: My current '96 Nissan Primera. I know I've had ugly rants about this one before, but I just came home after a two hour drive from the mountains. I'm sure my body aches 50% because of the short-people-soft-seats and 50% because of skiing all days.

      • Scandinavian Flick

        Thanks for reminding me of the lumbar support on Volvo seats. That was fantastic when it worked… I'm so glad the seats I put in my 242 were recently restored and have great functionality. Just thinking about it makes me want to get it running even more.

      • mr. mzs zsm msz esq

        In the old ones there is a metal grommet with hole on the sides. You stick a skinny flat head in there and turn to adjust.

        • Sjalabais

          Ok, I didn't know. My oldest one was the '71, and I have never had the chance to study an older Volvo's seat.

  • Oh man, I sat in a new Jaaaaag recently, and didn't want to leave. So. Damn. Plush. It was nicer than any furniture I have ever sat on, ever.

    • JayP2112

      Same here. I didn't want to climb out of the XJ at the autoshow.

      • Exactly. I looked up and there was a line of eager middle-aged dudes eyeing me with pleading eyes. It was awesome.

        • JayP2112

          The XJ was my 11 yr old's fav of the show.

          Yes, really.

      • skitter

        The fronts in the XJ were nice, but I thought the back seat was small and almost bench-hard.

        Best for me, still, was the 5 piece collection in the Volvo S60R.

  • pj134

    I want couches made of Saab foam. It's heavenly…

  • You did say "best," not "most comfortable."
    <img src="http://world-viewer.com/data_images/subaru-brat/subaru-brat-11.jpg"width=500&gt;

    • Irishzombieman

      One of the craziest rides o'm'life was in the jump seat of a puke green Brat. Those bike grips come in handy.

  • Mechanically Inept

    The seats in the third-generation Chrysler minivans (1996-2000) were comfortable as all get out. While I cannot speak for the comfort of higher-end models with fancy features like CD players, power windows and locks, dual (!) sliding doors, etc. I will say that the base model had the most comfortable front and back seats of any car I've ever been in. I drove a base-model 1997 Caravan through high school and my first two years of college and real employment, and that car was like a couch on wheels.

    After I finally blew the transmission at 152k miles with one too many brake torque burnouts, I kept the rear benches before selling the car for scrap. They will now dutifully serve out the rest of their lives as couches in the guys' cabin at a summer camp in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

    • racer139

      It must be the dront driver and passenger seats you are reffering too. I took a two and a half hour drive in the wayy back seats and when we arrived at our destination I didnt want to get back in for the return trip, the seats where very upright and thinly padded, My mothers 92( ish) pontiac was worlds better with its way back having individual buckets that a person could be in for hours and not feel like arthritus had taken over their whole body on arrival.

  • DemonXanth

    My 1991 Grand Prix had dual bench seats. I drove from east of Sacramento to south of LA one day and ended up MORE rested than when I started the trip. I was feeling good enough that I could've turned around and driven back.

    • JayP2112

      The standard seats in my plainjane GT are better than most I've had to sit in. No problems after 15+hr marathons.

  • $kaycog

    The best seat is the one behind the steering wheel.

  • Vavon
    • Devin

      David Guetta? The DJ guy? He's a seat designer too?

      • Dean Bigglesworth

        I haven't heard about the "David Guetta" edition of the Ibiza, but apparently it's a standard Ibiza SC FAP Sport(hahaha) with matte black finish, tinted lights, black wheels, and some stickers.

        Here it is, on Autoblog Español http://es.autoblog.com/photos/seat-ibiza-sc-by-da
        <img src="http://viciomotor.es/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/ibiza-sc-david-getta-00.jpg&quot; width="400" img="">

        • Devin

          FAP Sport… someone seriously needs to get the people in SEAT's marketing department an internet connection.

          • Dean Bigglesworth

            It's a rather unfortunate acronym of Filtre à particules(DPF), so nearly all modern French diesel cars are FAPs.Thankfully they don't put actual FAP badges on the cars… I took the picture from a Spanish site but looks like it's for some kind of French competition where one lucky winner gets a FAP.

            • Vavon

              You were saying…

              <img src="http://static.fjcdn.com/pictures/Partner_ae8757_2404742.jpg"&gt;
              It really can't get any better than this!

              • Dean Bigglesworth

                It really can't. The Partner FAP is the best kind.

              • mr. mzs zsm msz esq

                Ha ha ha! That's the funniest thing I've seen all day. It's a Peugeot too! But now I wonder, why they call it 'fap' here in USA anyway? Also, did anyone notice the funny photoshop up top with the two uncovered answers, that was silly too! Silly is good.

                • bhtooefr

                  I think it's actually a loanword from Japanese – it came from manga translations, and was popularized by that segment of the English-speaking Internet.

  • vwminispeedster

    Citroen DS. Front, back, doesn't matter. Comfy as a cloud. Even when you take it away from the hydropneumatic cocoon they are still the best thing ever. Ask the LeMons judges. I bring a DS couch to the CA events and their butts are always satisfied. Or something.

    • I came here to say the same thing….The front seats in my Dad's DS21 Pallas are the absolutely most comfortable and cushy I have ever had the pleasure of sitting in. The Recaros on my E30's ran a strong 2nd place to the best seats in the house. Although, I can't totally disagree with $kaycog.

  • dukeisduke

    I really liked the seats in my '78 Audi Fox. Super stiff foam, with just the right amount of lumbar support. And a grippy velour for cornering.

    • JayP2112

      I was about to give a nod to the seats in my '83 and '88 5000s. Those were good seats and another chance to regret selling both of those cars for a song. 🙁

      • There's a reason (several actually) those cars sell for a song. You're right about the seats, though. Those in my '84 were far better than those in the Acura Legend that succeeded it.

        • JayP2112

          The '83 was sold for $200. Dad was driving it when the front bushing went south. The toe would change randomly.
          About a year later I saw it on the highway- fixed and was sporting a turbo front spoiler. Probably went another 100k.

          The '88 I traded (gave) when the A4 came in. Nothing really and I'd pay to have it back. One of the techs said someone from Germany was buying old German cars for cheap and mine went with him back to Germany. I hope.

          Those cars were tight and solid. The interiors were even better than the BMWs of the same era. Who can argue with 3 ash trays that open at the same rate?

  • SSurfer321

    My F150 has good clothe seats. The King Ranch F150 has leather barca loungers up front.

    <img src="http://www.propickupmag.com/files/2012/09/C3500713F150_KR_Seatback_mnF.jpg&quot;, width=500>
    IMG from propickupmag.com


      YES. King's Ranch seats, no matter the generation, are always amazing.

    • $kaycog

      I've ridden in a King Ranch F150……….I didn't want to leave. The seat is more comfortable than my Lazy Boy recliner at home.

    • njhoon

      I was going to say my friends F250 King Ranch had really nice seats. They were like Lazy Boys.

  • Devin

    My 8 year old self had decided on the C4 Corvette, but I haven't actually sat on them since.

    My current self was quite smitten with the new Taurus and its massaging seats, but also admits I needs to sit in more things.

  • BradleyBrownell

    Audis have always had the best, most comfortable seating in the world. I could sit in the seats in my S6 for days on end. If it was better on fuel, it'd be the best road trip car ever.


    The seats in my 2000 XJR. Flat out THE best seats I've ever experienced. They are simply a wonderful blend of comfort and support for shenannigans. I've taken a 1000 mile round trip in them, 15 hours in the saddle at a go, and was comfortable the entire time, nary a back pain in sight. And yet they are bolstered enough that I was firmly planted the entire lap when I autocrossed it. And dat connolly leather smell… If they just had forced cooling, they would be the greatest seats ever.

  • topdeadcentre

    It's good to be the Pope…
    <img src="http://www.mercedesclass.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/458843.jpg&quot; width="350/">
    1930 Mercedes, created for Pope Pius XI

  • wisc47

    For a short period of time in high school I drove a Volvo 850 (named Vivian) and those were some of those most comfortable seats I ever sat in. Plus they were heated! Anyways, my sister drove it with an oil leak and the engine seized up. It was a total write off. I miss it…

    <img src="http://farm5.staticflickr.com/4094/4935048899_1818623bd4.jpg"&gt;

    • JayP2112

      A pal had an S80 and those seats were great. He said the seats sealed the deal.

  • Manic_King
  • racer139

    Ill out my vote in for the volvo s70 and 90 the seats are some of the best for long drives. The leather is much softer than the earlier 850 and 840s. In the 850 I had the seats looked like newand the leather was very tight so there was never that relaxed squishy feeling that the newer s70 I have now has.

    • Sjalabais

      There are no 840s, you mean the 740s?

      • racer139

        Nope i ment 940. Though 740 seats where comfortable and also more common in cloth.

  • mallthus

    I've got to concur with Robert. Saab seats for the win.

    That said, the seats in my 91 9000 were much better than the seats in my 2001 9-3.

    <img src="http://www.vandsautodismantlers.com/new_arrivals/380×285/100019_pf-seats.jpg&quot; width=600>

  • labcoatguy

    The stock Recaro buckets in my Saab are heavenly. Comfortable enough to handle 12+ hour drives, and buckety enough to hold you in when torque-steering through turns. One bonus about them is that rear seat passengers get them too.
    <img src="http://i.imgur.com/i4O01.jpg"&gt;

  • mr. Smee

    Recaros in an 88 Mustang GT, 2012 Buick Lucerne, 2013 Lexus GS F-Sport, 68 Chevelle SS

  • Hopman

    The seat in mu current work truck: a 2013 Internatioal DuraStar. I've done some crazy 500+ mile days days in the thing and still felt like I could do 500 more.

    It may just be cloth' but the bolstering is great, has air ride AND air lumbar.

  • C³-Cool Cadillac Cat

    I have to admit, while they have -0- lateral support, when you're piloting a 25K lb. motorcoach, lateral support is irrelevant.

    <img src="http://www.flexsteel.com/assets/products/411x-busr_s.jpg&quot; width="400">

    It's very much like sitting in a high backed chair, at home.

  • Scandinavian Flick

    The fantastic engine isn't the only reason I bought this car…

    <img src="http://lh3.ggpht.com/_4c6rItQc5Wc/TTTpM9E_ivI/AAAAAAAAAws/6RljQ8jiWZs/s912/DSC01184.JPG&quot; width="500">

    The rear faux-buckets are also incredibly comfortable… if you can get back there…

    But for its purposes, I give honorable mention to the pillow top seats in 70s and 80s Cadillacs…

    <img src="http://i.imgur.com/SelS3pn.jpg&quot; width="500">

    It's like sitting on a floating bed made of puppies.

    • buzzboy7

      The Goat seats are quite nice. I'm still kicking myself for not owning one.

      • Scandinavian Flick

        I'd say it's never too late, but it seems like someone is wrecking one on a weekly basis…

        That said, if you'd like to own just the interior, then it's never too late.

        Someone actually managed to shoehorn one into an El Camino.

        <img src="http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l40/svede1212/2012%20Hotrod%20Magazine%20Power%20Tour/DSCN0255.jpg&quot; width="500">

        <img src="http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l40/svede1212/2012%20Hotrod%20Magazine%20Power%20Tour/DSCN0253.jpg&quot; width="500">

        • buzzboy7

          I went to buy one. Found on autotrader, cash in hand. Took it out for a test drive and the second gear syncro was gone. Took a close look at it and found that body panels didn't all line up right and there were some strange looking pieces of trim under the car(bent or reattached improperly).

          The nice ones are getting pricey and the cheap ones are cheap for a reason.

          • Scandinavian Flick

            Too true, unfortunately… If you ever decide to try buying one again, I highly recommend the classified section at the forums of ls1gto.com. At least there, you can go through the poster's history to see if the car is worth even considering.

    • pj134

      Excellent choices all around. Considering it's Australian, the GTO really was a perfect American car… Too bad we can't build them (very often) like that anymore.

    • Mad_Hungarian

      Yeah, definitely. I would broaden it to any 1971-76 GM full sizer with a power seat. I've owned a '74 Electra and Cadillacs from '74, '75 and '76, and the driving position in every one of them was fantastic.

      • Scandinavian Flick

        Good point. Even a little further than that too, since my friend's '79 Regal had some damn nice sofas in the front too…

        <img src="http://i.imgur.com/EEbaMha.jpg&quot; width="500">

  • Scandinavian Flick

    The badassness of the "Vaders" (BMW E36 M3 seats) cannot be denied. The shoulder bolsters rise along with the headrests.

    <img src="http://i.imgur.com/lrzd8d6.jpg&quot; width="500">

  • MVEilenstein

    Sitting on the tailgate of great-grandpa's truck with all the cousins, riding down the half-mile dirt road to his mailbox. Best seat in the world.

  • buzzboy7

    The rear bench of a 2nd gen Trooper mounted in the front of my Mercury were quite nice. For non-aggressive driving nothing beats a good bench IMHO.

    An '02 E-One cab has an amazing driver seat. Full suspension. Whoot!

    For the best ever though I'm going to say whatever are in my friend's Leyland Mini. I don't know if they're stock so that won't help. They are little buckets with killer bolsters. It doesn't have seat belts but I feel more locked in driving it than I do with a standard 3 point belt. Super comfy.

  • Andrew

    Personally, I'm a big fan of the Recaro SPG, even on daily-driven cars. Nothing supports your whole body like a race seat. I've driven 7 hours straight in mine in perfect comfort.

    <img src="http://www.motorsportseats.com/recaro/images/Profi_SPA-blk_lg.jpg"&gt;

    • buzzboy7

      I have considered a racing seat for my DD. The driver seat is wearing out(only 135k) and I'd like something comfy for some distance driving. Maybe with a nice lumbar support.

      • JayP2112

        You'd have to install a race harness. A standard 3 pt wouldn't work.
        It would be awesome but could be a PITA trying to get harnessed in every tine you shoehorned your tail in the seat.

        Now that I think about it, a matched pair for impressing the ladies on dates. Yea.

  • The French have this question covered. Behind the Citroën DS, the Peugeot 504/505 seats are some of the most comfortable out there. The downside for the 505 is that the seat heaters have a 100% failure rate if someone sits on them.

    Among domestics, I think the most comfortable I've had were the Mark Cross leather buckets from my 1986 K-car. I've had plenty of seat time in other K-cars with benches and buckets–and they were OK–but the Mark Cross buckets were totally different. They were almost as compliant as a French seat, but had a little extra firmness at the sides for lateral support.

    Honorable mention goes to my Buick Park Avenue, which earns bonus credit for being a bench seat holdout in 2005. It has lots of degrees of freedom for adjustment, so it's pretty comfortable. I'm able to do 12 hour drives without any problems.
    <img src="http://i.oodleimg.com/item/2951960114u_1x424x360f?1340265880"&gt;

  • Always liked the SRT-8 seats of the current era.

    Manage to be nice and soft while still holding on enough. Perfect for the kind of muscle-car shenanigans of the vehicles they're put into.

  • facelvega

    Best? Saab Sonett. Razor thin and look at those lumbar supports.

    <img src="http://www.saabsunited.com/upload/images2009/07/saab_sonett_heaven_on_flickr/SonettIIIinterioronFlickr.jpg"&gt;

    Most comfortable, though? 90s Lesabre velourscape. Like flying first class, you're not as tired or sore even after a long trip. And unlike the sport seats mentioned by everybody above, these came with actual leg room:

    <img src="http://www.lowmilegems.com/Car Pictures/177-Lesabre/93 Lesabre 89 Jeep 007.jpg" width="500">

  • Van_Sarockin

    SAAB, no question. I wouldn't want to drive coast to coast nonstop in anything else. And they're heated.

  • MattC

    My 1992 Saab 9000 had the most comfortable cross country seats
    I have driven several late model Volvos. I find their seats to be exemplary in design
    Ford Taurus (re:500) had/has great seats

    For my driving, I want a balance of comfort, snugness, and control. I realize that this blend is hard to come by as you usually sacrifice one for the another. That is why the newer Volvo seats really set the bar for me.

  • KAH

    my old 91 Saab seats were nice enough that I never thought about them even after 16h drives love that car.

    I remember the seats in my brother's 240z didn't look like much but were very comfy.

  • BobWellington

    I quite like the pleather driver's seat in my '06 Explorer. The passenger seat just isn't as comfortable, for some odd reason. I remember the cloth bench in my dad's '90 Ranger being pretty comfortable. Plus it had the sideways seats in the back (like all U.S. Rangers), which I found fun to sit in as a young lad. I miss that truck.

    • Hopman

      I'll second the Ranger bench seats. I had a '94 I did a few long trips in, including a 2,000 mile, 5-day run fron NH to Indy & back. I loved them!

  • Woody

    Easy question. 1974 Fiat 128sl. Parked, in the SnowBird parking lot at 1AM. With me in the drivers seat and my future wife riding on top. I had no idea that seat could be so comfortable.

  • A70Slim

    89 Toyota Supra, USDM Toyota leather seats (JDM GT models came with Recaros…sigh). Seat tilt, lumbar, rib bolster, recline and two-way headrest adjustments…I've driven coast to coast nonstop in one, including sleeping in it on the way. I could have ran a marathon afterwards.

  • Rentamanmike

    I live in FL.i like my Dodge truck AC seat

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