Toyota Solara seat

The driver seat on my new 2006 Solara convertible is still the most uncomfortable one I’ve ever sat in. I think the problem is that the back of the seat does not come upright enough for me or that the headrest does not come forward enough to support my head (thereby causing a pain in the neck). Service managers at two dealerships in the Washington, DC area say no adjustment of the power seat (a nuisance in the first place)is possible.

I will get one of those head pillows that can be tied to the headrest unless someone has a better idea.

Note: Headrests are not headrests, they are head restraints. They are not designed for comfort, they are designed for safety. Under normal conditions your head does not rest on them.

I should add that adding a pillow may decrease it’s effectiveness. You also should check out the owner’s manual for information on how to adjust it if it has any adjustment. When those with adjustments are adjusted for comfort they are not properly adjusted for safety.

I agree with Mr. Meehan. Those “headrests” are not for lounging comfort, and are designed to prevent whiplash injuries to your neck during a crash. If they are in contact with your head, they may not work as they were designed to do.

You might want to get an automotive-type back support pillow to keep you more upright in the seat, but I suggest that you not do anything to compromise the head restraints.

I appreciate both of your thoughtful replies. However, comfort is not the issue. Being uncomfortable is. I sit slumped forward at the top of my back, shoulders and head. Seats are not designed to do this. They fitted me well in my much less expensive Mazda Protege that I had for 10 years before getting the Solara. I have been in Hondas and other makes and the seats are more upright than in my Solara. They provide support, not just air, between my upper body and the seats. A friend who lifts weights (wide shoulders, narrow waste) has a Solara coupe and he too is very uncomfortable in its seat. I am only 5’9", 160 lbs.

The service manager at the dealer where I bought the car says the seat is standard and cannot be adjusted. I will be meeting with a Toyota company rep but expect him to say the same thing.

If the head does not lightly touch the restraint, would not an accident, particularly if the seat bag deploys, slam the head against the restraint. Whiplash may mean the head snapping back and then forward, but slamming the back of the head against the restraint would seem to me to be just as bad.

Further, when I put the seat down to catch a nap my head, apparently, has to bend back. My neck hurts and is relieved only when I place a folded towel on the restraint.

I imagine this will be my first and last Toyota.

I disagree with the previous posts. A “head restraint” works better is the head is closer to the restraint, the head has less to move before being supported. In fact Consumer Reports recently checked a bunch of cars for distance between head and restraint, downchecking those with too large a distance.
So an ideal restraint would be in contact with your head and support it.

BTW, the seat is electrical powered 8-ways with lumbar support. I didn’t even know that a seat could be adjusted eight ways. A powered seat has always seemed to me to be a useless luxury. I would not have paid for one (it is standard on the 2006 SE, which makes for an indirect payment, of course). I’m hoping the Toyota rep will find that there is one little adjustment that I have not been aware of that will make a world of difference.

I think Mr. Russell has a good point and will accept his thinking unless I see evidence to the contrary.

Welcome to Toyota; package deal or no deal

Seat comfort is a sore spot with me also. I once had a 1971 Chrysler that had a 4 (maybe 6) way electric powered bench seat. It was impossible to find a comfortable position. Plus, since it was a bench, the front seat passenger had to have the exact same adjustments as the driver.

In 1992 I bought a new Saturn. I had test driven a 1992 in July, liked it, and ordered a 1993. About 8 weeks later my new car arrived. As soon as I sat down I knew there was something wrong. I drove the car about 50 miles and the driver’s seat was terribly uncomfortable. I eventually took Saturn up on their money back guarantee and bought a Honda Accord. A couple months later I read in a magazine that Saturn had lowered the seat a couple inches for 1993 in order to make more headroom for the sunroof. My car didn’t have a sunroof, but it had the uncomfortable seat.

I took a 93 mile test drive in the salesman’s '92 Accord before I was satisfied that the seat was comfortable. Since then I have driven many cars and none has the seat comfort of my '92 Accord. This includes '97 and '98 Accords. Most manufacturers make the seat bottom too short and it cuts my legs across the backs.

About 8 months ago I drove a '08 Honda Civic for a couple weeks. My wife complained that the head rest forced her head forward at an uncomfortable angle. The headrest seemed ok to me.

As the old saying goes, “One man’s meat is another man’s poison”. Even though you found the seats in a '92 Accord to be perfect, I also had a '92 Accord, and I couldn’t drive it for more than an hour without getting a really bad pain in the lower back. I find the same thing with my friend’s '01 Accord.

Conversely, several people on this board have complained about the seat comfort in Subarus, yet I can drive my '02 Outback VDC all day in comfort. The moral of the story is that no seat will be comfortable for everyone, due to the greatly differing heights, weights, body types, etc. that are out there among consumers.

So–I think that it behooves everyone to take an extended test drive before purchasing a car. Of course, even that may not be a panacea, but it would definitely help in selecting a car with a seat that is comfortable for that person.