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Comfortable but efficient

Why can’t I buy a fuel efficient car with a heated leather, 10 way adjustable, seat, for both the driver and passenger. Why does the really comfortable car need to have a big engine, fancy tires, rediculous electronics, etc. Why can’t I buy a Detroit small diesel deluxe car?

You are probably not looking over the whole field. A colleague of mine bought a Hyundai Elantra fully equipped with leather seats, moon roof, etc. It has very comfortable seats as well. He is a standard size person. Seat comfort is very subjective, and the size of car does not seem to matter.

The top series of most of today’s fuel efficient cars have all the goodies of the traditional luxury boat. Just Google the specifications of them.

You will soon be able to buy a Detroit diesel car as well. Up to now gas has been too cheap in the US to justify manufacturers take the risk to bring these out. But that will change soon, as they all have to meet newer and stricter CAFE standards.

If you equate a compact car to fuel efficient, then you probably won’t find it. Midsize cars give you power seats, while smaller cars don’t. You can get a Chevy Malibu or a Toyota Camry that get 33 MPG on the highway. You area a cutting edge buyer, John. The manufacturers will catch up to you one day.

You can. But I suspect you omitted one criteria: affordability.

Hey, you want the fancy interior stuff, you need to pay the price, whether the vehicle is efficient or not.

It sounds like you are equating large with comfort and or small with fuel efficient. Start by deciding what kind of mileage you want to get. Then use Consumer Reports or other source to find cars that fit that goal or better. Then spend some time test driving. Don’t rule anything out based on what you now thing about that make or model. After you have a list of cars that are comfortable and fuel efficient (both are subjective) you make your decisions from one of them.

Cars are marketed to particular demographics, and most of the folks who want efficiency don’t want leather heated seats. When you try to make a car fit too many demographic profiles, you don’t sell as many of them, and you lose economy of scale.

I am willing to bet there is a car out there for you, but it may fall short in other areas, like reliability or style. You can’t have it all.

Mini offers 6 way adjustable heated front seats as a 500 dollar option.

If you have the money, there’s got to be an efficient BMW, Acura, MB diesel, Caddy, Infinity etc. out their. Besides, if you can afford these kinds of appointments, you can afford a little extra gas. You can certainly do 30+mpg highway from any of these brands. GM is using more turbo 4 cyls in upper end car lines which for now is a better choice than a diesel.

There are 9 billion people on the planet…Half of them went to bed hungry tonight…You think YOU have problems???

The Acura TSX has 8 way power adjustable seats with the 4 cylinder option. Not 10, but still good enough.

Perhaps because it takes more than one buyer to motivate a manufacture to produce a vehicle so equipped.

I agree with GSN fan-how about an Acura TSX?

I think the BMW 335d is your best bet. It’s got heated leather seats with multiple ajustments and it’s a diesel, and by all accounts I’ve heard it’s confortable. However it does have electronics (which you’re going to have to deal with should you indeed want all kinds of eletrical seats and a diesel (or gas) engine that passes emission standards. It also has high performance tires, as most cars do these days.

Failing that you could always look on Ebay for a circa 1982 Olds 98 with the diesel, you may even find someone who will pay you to take it off their hands.

I rented a Chevy Cobalt in Hawaii and it came with leather, heated seats, power adjustment, etc. Not a bad car at all. Decent mileage, etc. If you are a cheapskate, check with Hertz and others for cars sold after rental, or go to your local Chevy dealer, wake everyone up, and make a deal. If you bring doughnuts you’ll probably get a great deal.

“I rented a Chevy Cobalt in Hawaii…”

I like the car too, but it doesn’t come with power seats according to the Chevy web site.

My BMW 328 sedan is very comfortable, looks great, has heated leather adjustable seats and is a lot of fun to drive (5 spd manual transmission). Last road trip gave 32+ MPG averaging 85+ mph.

Another suggestion would be a MB 320 CDI sedan – 40+ MPG and all the toys you will ever need.

Keep in mind fuel mileage is not the top per-mile cost component. Depreciation is first, followed by maintenance, insurance, taxes, etc. A used car bought at 1/2 MSRP that gets 25 MPG could be less expensive than a new hybrid. How many miles you drive per year is a big factor in overall life-time cost.


Besides the unavailability of power seats, leather upholstery is not available on Chevy Cobalts, either.

Wentwest–Are you sure that you weren’t smoking some of that Hawaiian Wacky Weed?

I believe that suede upholstery is standard in the LT-2.