What sedan seat holds up the best? I need a new used car and want a solid, well designed comfortable seat…the vehicle should also get decent mileage (30?), ideally be a manual transmission and have room in the back for elderly parents…tx
Many of the 3.8L GM cars such as the Impala, Pontiac Bonneville, and Buick LeSabre/Park Avenue will push 30MPG very hard on the highway. Stayunder 60 MPH, and they might just make it. IMHO the Bonneville SSEi has some of the most comfortable seats anywhere. They have so many adjustments that there is no way to be uncomfortable unless you are physically unable to conform to a seat at all. The unsupercharged SSE may have them too, but I’ve not had one of those to know.
Sorry, manual transnmissions are not available on those models, but with today’s extremely efficient automatics, why do you want one?
Toyota Camry or Honda Accord. Both are available with manual transmissions and can easily deliver in excess of 30 mpg on the highway. I’ve always been able to get comfortable in either car, even on long trips, but seat comfort is something you must judge for yourself.
Everything that you say is true, except for an Accord being appropriate for elderly people. Because the Accord sits so low to the ground, getting in involves lowering yourself down to the seat, and getting out involves being able to climb up from that very low seat–two tasks that are extremely difficult for the elderly or infirm.
I suggest that the OP should cross Hondas off of his list, due to their very low-to-the-ground construction.
I would suggest that you take one of your parents with you when you find a car that you like and see how easy it is for then it get in and out. If you can’t do that, then have one of them get in and out of there favorite chair and see how high off the ground the seat is and shoot for a car seat hight very close to it.
What makes for a good comfortable seat depends how long you will be in the seat, rather than how it feels initially. A plush soft seat may be comfortable initially, but will be murder on your back after a few hours on the road. A firm seat with little give may intially be a turnoff to some, but after a long trip will be easiest on the back. I myself have always had lower back trouble which makes me sensitive to good and bad seats, and I so far I’ve only found one manufacturer that keeps my back feeling good on long trips: BMW. I say this because I just took a 700 mile trip in a BMW and it was such a pleasant experience.
A 2004 BMW 530i is available with a manual transmission, has a spacious back seat, and gets 30 mpg on the highway.
Another possibility is the Toyota Avalon. My elderly parents have one, and they report >30 mpg on highway trips. The back seat is large and comfortable, as are the front seats.
No manual transmission on the Avalon, though.
The new Taurus, the former 500 is probably big enough. The Impala scrapes the ground a lot at driveway entrances. There are also a lot of fake SUV’s that will do.
Tx for the imput. The BMW is out of the price range, but a firmer seat is what I’m looking for…I’ll check out the Camry’s…does anyone think the Jetta’s are worthwhile? I’ve had Subaru’s for 30 years and want to change…although I guess the newer Outbacks have better quality seating…
I haven’t been impressed with the seats from any of the Japanese manufacturers so far, even though they appear to be firm. My mother actually just bought a new 4runner and is frustrated because she now gets back pain on longer trips. She’s used to driving a German car, so now she’s wondering if over time she’ll get used to it. I’m not crazy about it myself because I’m just too tall for it haha.
The Jetta may be an option, as I have sat in some of the GTI models recently and the sports seats are very pleasant with good side support. I think VW has always had good seats in general in my experience. I would advise avoiding any VW Jetta or Golf built between 1999-2005 as they are among the most unreliable cars of the past decade in a major way. However, the new designs that arrived for 2006 and later are proving to be decent cars with great interiors, good performance, etc.
Might I suggest a Hyundai Elantra. My wife’s 2001 is roomy, comfortable and high enough off the ground to make it easy to enter and exit. I would also suggest the Saab 900…also high enough to enter and exit easily and a solid car. Both are either auto or manual tranny. Knowing the US car market, finding a used manual can be tough, since the majority of US cars are sold with automatic tranny’s.
My wifes Lexus ES 350…basically a Avalon…She’s been averaging about 33 highway…GREAT cars. And very very comfortable. My mother-in-law owns a Avalon…and she LOVES it.
Do you want the manual transmission for your fun, or do you think that it will improve mileage? It might improve mileage very slightly, though on some cars a manual means poorer mileage. It depends on how the transmission is geared. I’d just get the automatic unless the fun quotient is involved.