Proper fit

How can we find the right physical fit in a new car? I own a 93 Geo Prism but I can’t sit in it for 20 minutes without having back and leg pain. How do I make sure my new car won’t do the same thing to me? I drive my husband’s truck (gas hog) and I am more comfortable in it. Thankfully my commute is short.

Rent one before you buy. The problems with back and leg pain are very personal. What works for me many not work for anyone else. Only you can judge.

Almost every car you will be testing will have better seats than the Geo. Although I don’t care for Volkswagens, they have very good seats. So do Volvos. As mentioned, I would narrow down the list of cars, and rent one for a day or so. I have similar problems, and have owned some cars that were dreadful with respect to seating.

The best most adjustable seats I’ve encountered were in a Pontiac Bonneville SSEi. That particular car would be 10 or 12 years old by now. As far as sitting for a long time, I lean toward Mercedes and BMW in that order. I have not sat in a late model Volvo, but I’m told they are good. Also check out the Taurusable line with adjustable pedal distance. There may be others, but those are the ones I’m familiar with. As mentioned before, rent before you buy, or find a dealer who is willing to allow a test drive of more than 20 minutes. Overnight would be good.

When I was out test-driving cars last month, I noticed that the Subaru Legacy had the most comfortable seats I have ever been in…
The honda civic and accord were both awful (not to mention the fact that it was impossible to see past all the blind spots in the cars.) The Subaru Forester also felt pretty good - especially the leather heated seats that are completely adjustable. I used to drive a GEO prizm (11 years) and it wasn’t very comfy. I currently have a Hyundai Accent and it’s not very comfy, either, but it was REALLY cheap!


Good advice! For my wife and me, we prefer firm seats and a high seating position. We have a Toyota 4Runner and a Chevrolet Uplander van which we find very comfortable. We once owned a 1993 Oldmobile 88 which was a great car, but I could never find a comfortable seating position and after 50 miles I would have terrible back and leg pains. My father-in-law had a wonderful 1995 Mercury Grand Marquis in great shape. We would have bought the car when he quit driving, but we both found the seats uncomfortable for us.

Back in 1992, Consumer Reports tested full size cars, and rounded up a 1952 Buick Roadmaster for comparison. CR found the seats more comfortable in the 40 year old Buick, but they didn’t like much else about the car. I had a classmate in college whose parents were loaded and told him he could buy any car he wanted. This person had severe back problems, and found the most comfortable car at the time (1962) for him was a VW Beetle, so that is what he bought.

Cars, like shoes, must be tried on for fit.

I would suggest an extended test drive(borrow for a few hours) of a vehicle. If a dealer does not want to do this tell you will move on. They are very eager to do what sells a car especially used ones where a little bit of mileage is not a major item with them.

With regards to seat comfort that is pure subjective and your body is quite unique as is mine. People can say x is comfortable but there is NO SUCH THING as a car that is comfortable to all.

We thought that was a good idea also, but found the cars we are interested in buying are not the cars that are available for rent.

I like the extended test drive idea. The dealer who works with you on this is the dealer to stick with. Reinforce the fact the you have this primary criteria that you MUST meet above all others and that it take time to know the answer, only after that will you cosider color, vehicle type, size, price etc.