Believe it or not, there is such a thing as Sports Seat Day in Japan, and it was started by a company you’ve actually heard of. Bride established the anniversary for April 10 because 4 and 10 can be pronounced shi and to, which is a homonym for “seat” in Japanese. Personally, one of the worst road trips I’ve taken was one from Washington DC to Florida in a late-90s base-spec Mitsubishi Galant because the seats were so bad. They were devoid of cushioning and by hour 11 my butt was so sore I was wiggling around like a kid about to pee.
Which car has the best (or worst) seats?
The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What are your hobbies?“.
It was fun getting to know our readers a bit better with last week’s question. Not surprisingly, many of you have car-related interests that extend beyond real cars. Land Ark, for example, shared an impressive showcase of JDM diecast cars. There are many ways to enjoy small scale cars as well, from collecting them like ra21benj‘s Hot Wheels and 1/18 scale models, to HE HE‘s diecast racing cars, to Scale-Master‘s detailed customs. The plastic model kit was another pastime with which to kill many hours, whether building them like Steve or accumulating them like Nigel. Randy Hone collects all sorts of automobilia, and Fred Langille is doing something all car enthusiasts should be grateful for, putting on car shows for his community.
It makes sense that other wheeled transportation such as biking, as suggested by Ian G., ra21benj, and Steve, is a popular activity among car enthusiasts. Sports is another one as put forth by Ian and Fred.
We also enjoyed reading about hobbies that had nothing to do with cars, like Jackson DK2M Blue Bengal‘s electric guitar collection, ra21benj‘s freshwater aquariums, and Jonathan P.‘s collection treasury of Lego, antique firearms, and Sunday comics. We were also pleasantly surprised to find out that Fred is authoring his own graphic novel.
All of these are great, and hopefully we feel tighter as a community by learning about the pursuits we share. The winner this week is Jono, who gave us a chuckle with a joke we’ve all heard from the tuner days applied to his hobby:
Snowboarding. I deck my snowboard out with car stickers for an extra 10hp down the slopes.
Omedetou, your comment has earned you a set of decals from the JNC Shop!
Let’s go with the worst first. Not a JNC, but I’d have to say a Tesla Model S’s rear seats are pretty lousy. My friend was in the market for an EV, and decided to take a look at those Teslas back 2017. He drove, the salesman sat shotgun, and I went to the rear seat. The first thing I noticed was the complete lack of thigh support. The seat was low to the floor, but it wasn’t meant to be a sport seat where your legs extend out (think NSX seats). Add to that, the butt cushion was pretty narrow. Finally, there wasn’t much toe room, so my knees basically met my face during this test ride. For such a “fancy” car, I would have expected a lot more.
For the most comfortable OEM seat, I’d have to say it’s my 1991 Honda Prelude Si. That material has held up extremely well for a 32 year-old car. You can fine-tune the side bolsters based on your liking, there’s lumbar support, the head rest rotates so that your head can be supported comfortably, and the leading edge of the butt cushion supports your thighs nicely. I have taken the car on longer trips (~7 hours) and absolutely no fatigue. AND, it’s all manually adjustable.
For the uncomfortable non-OEM seat, it would be my old MemoryFab S68 seat. I had this in my Miata for a few months, and although the carbon kevlar weave looks sexy as hell, the seat just wasn’t that comfortable. The one-piece mold had more recline than I’d like, barely any lumbar, and a very narrow mid-section that started poking into my waist / hips. As Shakira said, “hips don’t lie,” I tried to remedy by putting a lumbar cushion, but that didn’t help much. The seat held me in place at Thunderhill Raceway, but the 4.5hour round trip proved to be pretty sore.
The BRIDE Brix 1 that I replaced with, on the other hand, has been excellent. It’s got huge bolsters, and requires some contortion when I ingress / egress. However, once I plop in, that seat is just absolutely comfortable. Maybe it’s an older seat, and the butt cushion is somewhat caved in, but I never get sore nor fatigued. The side bolsters are shaped so that they don’t interfere when I’m shifting to 2nd or 4th gear. I’ve driven down to Buttonwillow multiple times, and it’s kept me comfortable the entire way. It’s a heavier, two-piece seat with recline, and anybody over size 31 waist need not apply, but it’s fit me VERY well for over twelve years now.
First gen Z seats simple, thin, light, reclining comfortable.
My wife has a habit of buying cars I buy because she grows to like them after riding in it with me. This happened twice and the second time it was 4th generation Subaru Legacies. I bought a 2007 Legacy GT wagon and one day she had to drive it for whatever reason and she really liked how responsive it was, which was much quicker than her Scion tC (which was the other car she bought after me). This eventually led to her buying a 2009 Legacy GT. The dealer she bought it from was about 2 hours away from home and on the way back she was tired and wanted me to drive.
Now, as far as I can tell, the seats in mine are identical to the seats in hers. But after about 20 minutes the backs of my thighs were screaming and I was in complete agony for the rest of the trip. I could not adjust the seat to find any relief. It has been, by far, the most uncomfortable car seat I have ever experienced. I refused to drive the car for the entire time she owned it on anything but short trips.
Meanwhile, in 12 years I’ve owned it, the seat in my LGT has never given me any type of discomfort.
I have heard rumor that the 2005 Ford GT’s seats were not comfortable at all.
Worst seats that I have sat in vehicle-wise award goes to a 1919 Ford Model T. Best goes to a 1980 Bertone X1/9 in terms of how it fit my body. Felt just so perfect. Last few days of my grade 11 Semester a teacher guided me down to the mechanicals class and there was, on blocks a project example, brown painted. I sat behind the wheel (before promptly being told to get out). For 17-year old me, just how well the whole car fit, like a well-tailored suit.
In terms of sheer comfort, with seats like a chesterfield (sofa) the 1958 Dodge Regent and Plymouth Fury 4-door hardtops. One late friend and one late acquaintance had examples. The Fury was Patina-finish in red and black. The comfort though, was like sitting in the living room.
Anything with a Recaro. I’m 5′ 9″ and they design seats that are perfect for my build.
It’s gotta be the Saab Sonett 3! Not for the comfort, but for the sheer fact that they’re so groovy, literally! As far as I’ve seen, the only corduroy seats to ever come from the factory, with a nice lumbar support pillow on a strap for peak Swedish design and comfort. They could sell them at Ikea tomorrow with an unpronounceable name and hipsters in Brooklyn would be going as nuts for them as I do.
I am going to speak to looks rather than comfort, and the late ‘70s/early ‘80s plaid inserts are the best! The first gen GLC/323 photo above covers it. That was one nice interior (dashboard and ergonomics) in those little econoboxes. Personally, I’ll go for the RX3-SP or the early RX-7, with the plaid seat inserts and one gets a rotary as well. The plaid seats in both the rotaries and the GLC were surprisingly comfortable on long drives too.
Not a JNC, but my aunt had a Scion iM for a few years and the front seats in that car were so amazingly comfortable and supportive.
My DD from 2008-2022 was a toyota yaris, though so anything nicer than that is impressive to me. 🙂
I tired posting a couple times but something must have been caught in the filter.
Hopefully this shorter summary works.
My wife and I both owned 4th gen Subaru Legacy GTs. Mine is a 2007 and hers was a 2009. From what I could tell, the seats in both cars are identical, but any time I drove her car my legs would start hurting tremendously after about 20 minutes. I have never had any issues with discomfort in mine. I have no idea what the difference was, but her car is gone now and I have to deal with discomfort in her 2018 Forester XT passenger seat which is too hard and sits too high. But it doesn’t compare to the agony of her LGT’s seat.