Honda Accord: Horrible Seats

Add my voice to the chorus.
I bought a 2012 Honda Accord because I thought it was beautiful (and it was).
Within ten minutes of driving, my back was killing me, and it hurt for three days after I got rid of the car in desperation.
The “lumbar support” feels like a brick being shoved into the hipbone, and the back of the seat feels as though a telephone pole is inside. This cannot be eliminated, and no amount of adjustment of the seat makes it better.
What is most mind-boggling is that this seat is not a shoddy product: someone apparently designed it exactly this way.
All that I can advise is that if you intend to buy a Honda (or an Acura), concentrate on the seats, and take a long test-drive.

The only thing I can recommend is an after market cushion as sold by many auto supply stores. They come in may varieties and materials and you may have to try a few to get the best comfort.

Since there are millions of these Hondas sold without complaint I assume you have a special and sensitive anatomy. Be thankful; you did not buy a German car since all their seats are rock hard.

Most American cars over the years had not enough support.

That is why most of us on this board strongly recomend renting your potential purchase if an extended test drive is in order. Sooo many times one cannot know about time related issues without it. Just like I always recomend… taking with you…any special reasons you need to test fit anything. You can’t tell, on paper, if your bass fiddle, your big dog, or your grandma can use the space right without them actually being there at the time.
My wife’s 06 Escape is just fine most of the time and I could not tell, in days of driving around town, that the seat would bug me on loooong trips. The two hours to Albuquerque is just about long enough till I need a break…Yet in my 08 Expedition…I can go all day.

+1 to the recommendation about taking an extended test drive.
Unfortunately, I only did a 15-20 minute test drive before buying my Honda Accord (a '92 model), and after the fact I discovered that if I drove it for 40 minutes or more, I wound up with a terrible pain extending from my back into my legs.

Overall, the car was a good one (albeit not as durable as my subsequent Subarus) but I found its seats to be terrible–at least for my physiology.

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In 2005 I bought a Corolla LE. I traded it after only two months because the seat and the ride were causing disabling pain in my back. That mistake cost me $2500. Mentally, I “wrote it off” as a health expense.

Long time regulars here will confirm that I’ve been complaining for years that modern seat designs are terrible. It seems like the kids designing these things must be designing them to force everybody into an “ergonomically ideal” position… which is probably ideal for only a small percentage of the population. Comfortable seats in an affordable car are a very rare thing these days. The young kids live with whatever they’re sitting on, but truly comfortable seats are a thing of the past. And suspensions on affordable cars are getting stiffer as the years roll by. Manufacturers seem to be trying to accomplish a “European feel” by simply stiffening the dampers.

I just read a review of the new Lincoln Continental concept, which is almost production-ready. They bragged that the seats could be adjusted 30 ways due to numerous airbags in the seats. I’ve ridden in Fords with those damned airbags in the seats, and they’re horrible. Replacing cushioning with airbags is folly… unless you actually like hard lumps everywhere.

Perhaps seats should only be designed by old engineers with no “ergonomics” training but good memories… and a few with bad backs. I’d be willing to bet they’d do a far better job.

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My Acura seats are fine. Not as good as my Olds or Buicks were but still OK. I usually deflate that silly lumbar bag. In fact I had one car for two years before I even knew it had one.

Sometimes you have to ride in a vehicle for 100 miles or so to see if the seats are really comfortable. We once had a 1993 Oldsmobile 88 with a power seat and lumbar support. It seemed comfortable for the first 10 miles, but after 100 miles I was quite uncomfortable behind the wheel. I could not find a comfortable position behind the wheel. We sold that car and bought a 2003 Toyota 4Runner. The first mile seems as though the 4Runner rides like a wheelbarrow, yet we can make the 360 mile trip in the 4Runner to visit our son and family and not feel tired or stiff at all. The institution where my wife and I worked had Honda Civic Hybrids in its fleet. My wife and I both found the seats in these cars uncomfortable. Yet, their were others that found these Civics quite comfortable. My wife was on the road quite a bit and she found the Ford Tauruses most comfortable for her. The last car I drove from the fleet was a Ford Fusion and I found its seats comfortable.

We owned a 87 and 96 Accord…drove those vehicles for a combined mileage of about 600k miles…Wife and I both found the seats to be very comfortable. The seats on her Lexus are more comfortable…but the Accords were fine. To each their own.

I thought my one ton 1950 Chevrolet pickup had a hard ride and uncomfortable seats until I would spend a day on a Farmall F-12 with a sickle bar mowing a field. Then, when I climbed in the pickup, it rode like a dream. After riding in that pickup, my 1965 Rambler seemed like the smoothest, quietest vehicle ever made. Hower, no matter what I drove before getting into it, the ride and seats on my 1971 Ford Maverick were still uncomfortable. I heard that when Ford phased out the Maverick, Preparation H sales declined 75%.

To me Honda seats tend to be too low and force you to sit with your legs forward, which makes my back hurt. My Miata has the same issues, of course, but I don’t drive too far at one time in that. There are always exceptions to the rule, but for me the more upright I can sit the more comfortable I’ll be. We had several Chrysler minivans, certainly not terribly high quality vehicles, but the seats were very good on long trips.

My Honda seats are fine, my Mustang seat are not so fine. It is just a matter of preference.

I LIKE the hard European car seats. Best seats we ever had in a car were in a Merkur XR4Ti (weird Euro Ford with a T-Bird turbo 4 sold in Mercury dealerships) with wool upholstery Recaro seats. Hard seat, comfortable as heck, wore like iron, warm in the winter, cooler than leather in summer, great lumbar and lower leg adjustments. I’d buy a pair out of a junked Merk if I ever ran across one.

Count me down too as liking hard seats.

In fact, the worst seats I’ve ever had in a vehicle (to the point of being unusable for more than one-hour trips) was a '92 Olds Cutlass Ciera split-bench. The thing was a sofa new, and had deteriorated to a sofa with worn springs, by the time I owned it. This always made my lower back cramp and ache (the part of the back where a female might have a “stamp” tattoo, for explanation). The best thing for my lower back seems to be a surface I don’t sink in to AT ALL…just soft enough not to pain my “sit bones,” and no softer.

Also, my back used to ache and cramp on long rides as I aged–I put it down to “just getting older.” Then I started a workout program with lots of squats and deadlifts: 95% of my symptoms went away after a few weeks! So, I think that in many cases, lower back pain can be alleviated by core strengthening.

@acoump : You didn’t have to sell the car; you CAN get aftermarket seats for pretty much any mass-market car out there (some drilling occasionally required). I’m sure there’s a dozen Accord seats just a mouse-click away.

“To me Honda seats tend to be too low and force you to sit with your legs forward, which makes my back hurt.”

That was the major source of my sciatic problems with my '92 Accord, and I had the same problem later when driving a friend’s '02 Accord. In addition to the placement of the seats–very close to the floor–forcing you to have your legs stretched out straight ahead, getting up and out of those seats isn’t particularly easy for older folks.

Do the more recent Hondas suffer from this same “seat on the floor” design?
I don’t know the answer to that question, but if they do, then I think I know why the OP has back pain after driving his Accord.

OP states they bought vehicle and after driving for 10 minutes it was too painful. Is this a case of not doing a test drive ?

I recently drove a new Ford Fusion with the 2.0 Ecoboost engine on a 200 mile round trip. It was quiet with a lot of power and handled beautifully. The only problem was the seats. I’ve had go karts with more comfortable seating.

I have a 2005 Accord, and the seats are comfortable. But comfort is based on body build and personal preferences. I agree that a long test drive or renting the specific car you want is very important.

I don’t have problems with seat position. I move it up/down, forward/back, adjust the leg height and seat bake rake until it is comfortable. Having power seats with multiple adjustments is a big help in that area.

I had a 2008 accord and the seats were bad. The seats are to low and I had one side that used to go numb.

A relative of mine used to live in a trailer park, in the 80s, and she had a Maverick

Later, when she inherited some money, she ditched the Maverick and bought a house in a fancy area

The Maverick and Comet had some of the worst seat imaginable; little or no support and cheap sleazy materials.

We gave ours, a 1971 Comet to my mother in law in 1978 and put a heavy duty sheepskin cover on the front seat.

She drove that car for another 10 years.

My VW Rabbit’s front seats were comfy at first, but the padding broke down and they started to become uncomfortable around the 7 year mark. By the 10 year mark it felt like something hard poking at you in the back. The front seats on my 20+ year old Corolla and 40+ year old Ford truck seem nearly as comfy now as when they were new.