Hooniverse Asks- Which Car Has The Best Seats?

You are in physical contact with your car in three places- your hands, your feet, and your ass, and through each of these, you sense the imperfections in the road, the nuances of the turn of the wheel and the rate of braking. But most importantly, it’s how much butt-pucker you generate that mostly defines your driving limits.

Because of that, where you put your butt is as important as what tires you choose, or the heel and toe-ability of the pedal placement. Some driver’s thrones coddle you in side bolsters and under-knee supports, some would let you slide from one door to the other if you didn’t have the wheel onto which to hold.

So which car give the best chair? And do you prefer those high-bolstered scoops that seem nigh-on impossible to get in or out of, or are you a bench man? Do you like 15-way adjustments for your under-butt comfort, or would a rough plank on cinderblocks do you just fine?
Image sources: [personalfinanceanalyst, MWIR.net]

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  1. skitter Avatar

    Best I've tried in a production vehicle? Recaros in a Volvo S60R. But bolstering isn't an expansive enough word. Nor is bucket. 'Bathtub' might describe my preference.
    <img src="http://i615.photobucket.com/albums/tt237/jskitter/hooniverse/bathtub.jpg"&gt;

  2. Alff Avatar

    1949-51 Nash Airflyte

  3. engineerd Avatar

    I have to give the nod to the soy-based seats in my Mustang. They give decent lateral support and are firm enough that I can feel the road through my butt. However, they are comfortable enough to cruise 10 hours in from Detroit to MSP.

    1. Age_of_Aerostar Avatar

      I have a 2006 Mustang, and the one complaint I have about the seats are the head restraints. I understand it's to satisfy crash test performance, but they push my head forward, and I find that ruins the entire seat for me.

      1. engineerd Avatar

        Really? I guess I don't really lay my head back very often so I don't notice. The worst car for this was my F150. Those headrests canted forward so far they almost pushed my face into the windshield. OK, I might be exaggerating, but only a little.

      2. TheWaterCooler Avatar

        The headrests in my dad's Mazda6 are like that, pushing your head forward to the point where it's uncomfortable. You forget about it pretty quickly if you're driving, but if you're a passenger, it's intolerable.

  4. Jeff Glucker Avatar
    Jeff Glucker

    The optional Recaros on the CTS-V are scrumtrulescent…

  5. Fej Avatar

    I've always been a fan of the 88-91 Civic/CRX Si seats.

  6. Wasabi Avatar

    Saab Aero seats are very well known to be the most comfortable chairs out there.

    1. SeanKHotay Avatar

      You are correct, sir!

    2. Zach Avatar

      Indeed, the SAAB 9000 Aero and 9-3 Viggen seats are well worth sitting in for long periods at speed.

  7. joshuman Avatar

    The seats found in the Volvo V70, XC90, and probably several other models are quite nice. They are equally suited to sliding sideways and a 7-hour road trip.

  8. Black Steelies Avatar

    well, stickshifts and safetybelts,
    bucket seats have all got to go.
    when we're driving in the car,
    it makes my baby seem so far.
    i need you here with me,
    not way over in a bucket seat.
    woohoo! bench seats are the best.
    But seriously, i sat in the leather clad buckets of the Buick LaCrosse at the Detroit Show this year and i have to say… mmmmmm

  9. Tyler D. Avatar

    My Astra has some nice high bolstered seats. Everything else I drive has bench seats….

  10. Charles_Barrett Avatar

    Through no fault of my own, I hastily rented a '09 Prius to drive to Arizona for family business just before Christmas. That's a 7-1/2 hour trip, and once I was at my folks' place, I chauffeured to Phoenix and back twice in a three-day period (two hours each way). At 6'-6", I'm a tall (albeit skinny) guy, but I was very pleasantly surprised at how un-fatiguing the Toyota seats were.
    My '97 M-B W210 buckets are usually a hard act for most cars to follow; no adjustable bolstering, but eight-way adjustment permits me to make minor changes throughout long drives to avoid fatigue. Minor changes were not possible in the Prius, but once I had it setup, I didn't touch it for the duration of the rental. The small-diameter steering wheel, twitchy electric power steering, and OMG regenerative breaking did not endear the Prius to me, but at least the seating was comfortable…

  11. Age_of_Aerostar Avatar

    The best seats I had were on a 1986 Chrysler LeBaron GTS Turbo. (Dodge Lancer twin) It had leather seats, and they were fantastic! The leather was cracked and ripped, you could see the padding through the seats, but that didn't seem to diminish their comfort.
    Soft to sit on with plenty of support and excellent side bolsters to hold you in place…. and because it was the Turbo and had the performance handling package, there were times when you actually needed those bolsters!
    I hate hard seats.

  12. Straight6er Avatar

    Lord Vader, your seat has arrived
    <img src="http://maxbimmer.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=89558&stc=1&d=1247601428&quot; style="width: 1043px; height: 695px; border: 0" alt="imgTag" />

    1. HeinzInc Avatar

      I like those seats. What are they from?

      1. Clashtastic Avatar

        Those are from an E36 M3. They are fantastic.

        1. Straight6er Avatar

          Indeed they are. I've only sat in them once

          1. M3attOnDrums Avatar

            Best seats, bar-none. I miss them so

          2. seoultrain Avatar

            Not to rain on the Vader parade here, but while the Vaders look awesome and have great lateral support, the consensus is that they are hell on the lower back for long trips. There isn't very much butt padding or lower back bolstering, so that pounding adds up.
            /Lux package owner
            Great picture, though. They look like New Old Stock.

  13. Sparky_Pete Avatar

    '67 Dodge Polara bench seats, Nudge, Nudge, wink wink, Say no more…

    1. Straight6er Avatar

      Nods as good as a wink to a blind bat

  14. BGW Avatar

    The Bar Car, of course!
    <img src="http://img713.imageshack.us/img713/1581/barcarelchepe.jpg width=500">

  15. MrGoodCat Avatar

    Being 6'5" I need pretty good seats to feel comfortable. I drove an 06 740IL for a few months. I've never been this comfortable driving before, or since then. 10 way power seats are heavy and not hoon worthy but they're really. really. comfortable.

    1. Clashtastic Avatar

      Adjustability is good, but I personally can not stand power seats… .I think its just because I'm impatient and know I could adjust it faster manually than letting whiny electric motors do the work..

  16. Kogashiwa Avatar

    The best I've had I think would be the GC8 WRX seats.
    <img src="http://s182874693.onlinehome.us/GC8/album/medium/0008.jpg"&gt;
    Not very adjustable at all, but they didn't need to be. And you weren't going anywhere once socketed in there.

    1. Ambersand Avatar

      Those look amazingly comfortable – but David Lee Roth called and he'd like his Zubaz back.
      Reference for those who weren't actually wearing them in the late 80's early 90's:
      <img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/0/08/Zubazbang2008.jpg"&gt;

    2. discontinuuity Avatar

      Most Subaru seats are comfortable, although I've found that some are slightly off-center, which you notice after a few hours.

    3. Ambersand Avatar

      Those look amazingly comfortable – but David Lee Roth called and he'd like his Zubaz back.
      Reference for those who weren't actually wearing them in the late 80's early 90's:
      <img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/0/08/Zubazbang2008.jpg"&gt;

    4. Ambersand Avatar

      Those look amazingly comfortable – but David Lee Roth called and he'd like his Zubaz back.
      Reference for those who weren't actually wearing them in the late 80's early 90's:
      <img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/0/08/Zubazbang2008.jpg"&gt;

  17. Tomsk Avatar

    Mercedes W126 S-Class buckets. Even after 27 years, mine still have a terrific balance of support and cush, not to mention adequate bolstering for all but the most neck-taxing directional changes.

  18. Clashtastic Avatar

    the seats in my SVT Contour were fantastic. well bolstered for most occasions, comfortable, firm but not hard and enough back support, i could've sat in those seats for hours.

  19. Van Sarockin Avatar
    Van Sarockin


  20. FuzzyPlushroom Avatar

    Volvo 240.
    Flat. Flat. Firm enough to fatigue your arse only slightly, with a back gently contoured the wrong way, and a ring the size of a Snapple cap pressing into your lower spine. Busted lumbar adjustment. No bolstering in turns, so they might as well be sections cut from a bench seat. Annoying VW/Ford-style knob for the seatback, rather than the more useful GM et al. lift-up handle and spring. And they don't go back far enough – and I'm only six foot.
    None of that shit matters, though, because the head restraints are incredibly sensible and the heaters… are… perfect.

  21. Mikkkkkke Avatar

    Maybe I wasn't expecting it, which is why I thought they were so good… but the seats in my exes '87 MX6 GT were stellar. Big bolsters, nice hard foam and lots of adjustment.
    worst- the seats in my old 94 mustang. Leather, Power, no bolsters, slippery as greased s#it and wouldn't go back far enough. and I'm not tall! But on the bright side, I could put them all the way forward until the seatback honked the horn. Who designs these things!??

  22. highmileage_v1 Avatar

    Any '70's Cadillac front bench. Deep, loads of room, just like your couch at home. And if they are finished in the funky Bordello-red plaid, it's just fantastic.

    1. CptSevere Avatar

      Most definitely. The front bench with armrest in my '71 Fleetwood 75 Limo was amazingly comfy. However, the back seat was absolutely presidential. Legroom enough for an NBA player, footrests, armrests, cigarette lighters, its own thermostat and HVAC unit in the trunk, even its own radio tuner. God, you felt like Richard Milhouse Nixon himself riding back there. Whenever my buddies and I were in that car they'd insist on riding back there, which pissed me off. Get up front with me, ya pogue, I'm not yer chauffeur.

  23. SSurfer321 Avatar

    They aren't sporting but the "bucket" seats in a King Ranch F150 are fit for a king.

  24. Han_Solex Avatar

    In general, across the line, Subaru. They've always been well-contoured and supportive since the era of the first gen Impreza and second gen Legacy. Step it up to bolstered WRX seats of any generation and you're sitting pretty.

  25. CptSevere Avatar

    Yaah, enough. Those britches are about to give me an epileptic fit.

  26. name_too_long Avatar

    Sparco Fighter. Yes, they're fixed back buckets. Yes, they're a PITA to get in and out of.
    I have yet to experience a less fatiguing seat though. They sufficiently support the knees and the lumbar / kidney supports make a huge difference.

  27. muthalovin Avatar

    <img src="http://austin.craigslist.org/ctd/1603446900.html"&gt;
    93-96 Lightning. Surprisingly good on very long road-trips. Plenty of support in all the right places, but not restrictive.

  28. cyclopticgaze Avatar

    All I know is I seriously dislike leather seats. Hot, sweaty, and sticky in the summer. Bitterly cold in the winter. And you slide all over the place in them.
    Cloth seats forever. Even if you can never get all the dog hair out of them.
    My '05 WRX has pretty decent seats. I get a little tired on the track, so they could use some more bolstering, and they start to feel kinda hard after 5 or 6 straight highway hours. But for 95% of my driving, they're really nice.

  29. cbustapeck Avatar

    I'm sure that there are better, but for my 6'8" frame and long haul driving, the seats in my 2000 Plymouth Voyager were the best I've found yet. Just enough cushion, enough padding to hold you in place, but not so comfortable that you'd fall asleep.
    This is completely different from my current ride, a 1997 Oldsmobile Silhouette, where the seats feel like flat rocks.
    It's also the polar opposite of virtually every Honda I've ever had the chance to drive, all which poked my back in various uncomfortable spots.

  30. tenbeers Avatar

    Might have just been the complete lack of sleep the night before, but I piloted a brand new '10 WRX for 12 hours straight and wasn't uncomfortable at all the entire time, and I am a big dude. I wish the bottom cushion was an inch or so longer, but that's it really.

  31. Ambersand Avatar

    Surprisingly, the Recaro's out of the 80's GTI's are really comfortable. We've junkyard dived for many a set to re-upholster and put in our VW Bugs…they hold your butt, and tuck ya in well with a lap belt!

    1. rovingardener Avatar

      I had an 89 GLi 16v with plaid seats and they are sublime. Too bad they broke when my car got rear-ended.

    2. CptSevere Avatar

      I remember the seats in my '74 Bug as being pretty comfy. I took some pretty long trips in that car and never had a complaint.

  32. beaner Avatar

    Best I've ever had, a Rover 2 liter sedan. Almost as good, every Saab I've had since then, starting with 1970 up to the present.

  33. Lotte Avatar

    Evo X Seats. Tried them recently at an auto show. They fit me quite well (30 waist?) but probably uncomfortable for anyone bigger than that.

    1. tenbeers Avatar

      Sat in an Evo X MR with the Recaros when I was picking up my WRX in December. 6'4", …somewhat bigger than 30" waist… they were excellent. Pricey as shit though.

    2. Jeff Glucker Avatar
      Jeff Glucker

      At 6'3" and with a larger than 30" waist, I also enjoyed those seats..

  34. James Avatar

    9000 Aero seats or OG9-3 Viggen seats. third place goes to the S60R.

  35. Neil Avatar

    The seats in my dad's 2000 740iL are definitely the most comfortable things I've ever sat on