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Performance and handling are one thing, but car manufacturers, especially in the last few years, have started to focus harder on another way to differentiate themselves: the seating. The interior of a car, particularly of a luxury car, is all part of the experience. A car that delivers an ultra-smooth ride but features rickety old seating could well miss out on buyers.
Whether you’re looking at a high-end brand, such as Rolls Royce, BMW or Mercedes; choosing an everyday run around, like a Mini Cooper; or going for a Range Rover or something that bit bigger and bulkier to suit your driving needs, you can be sure the manufacturer has paid careful attention to the seating.
Your seat should be supportive and be of a good quality material. Leather is a good choice if you are seeking a luxurious touch. It’s soft, comfortable and also easy to clean if there are any spillages in the car. However, they can be sensitive to temperature, so expect cold seats in the winter and scorching seats in the height of summer. Not only, leather doesn’t come cheap, so if the seating suffers any damage, you’ll also have to pay a lot for repairs.
Choosing a car with fabric seats gives you more flexibility. They’re not as expensive to repair, the material stays cooler in warm weather and warmer in cold weather, and it can look just as elegant as leather. That being said… removing stains isn’t as simple as quickly wiping off the offending liquid or substance. Fabric tends to absorb smells more as well, so selling your car may be harder if you smoke or have pets in the car regularly.
When thinking about comfort, it’s worth paying attention not just to the seats, but also to the wheelbase, which is the distance between the centre of the front and rear wheels. The greater this distance, the better the legroom can be and passengers can also enjoy a more comfortable ride in terms of not feeling bump as significantly while on the road.
Since car manufacturers want you to be comfortable, you’ll come across different types of seats. Heated seats, which you can warm up in cold temperatures; cooling seats, which you can use to cool you down on a hot day’ and racing-style seats, which fit closely but provide extra comfort; are all examples.
Then there’s the adjustability. You can adjust the height of some driving seats, not to mention adjust them manually or with the push of a button. Some driving seats offer a wide range of positions so you can get truly comfortable behind the wheel. Meanwhile, out in the back, rear passengers can recline the vehicles on the seats. Range Rovers spring to mind for this feature. It’s all part of a more luxurious experience.
Feeling like pampering yourself with a comfortable, plush interior? Sounds good to us. Here are 10 cars that have the most comfortable seats.
The Peugeot 3008 SUV pampers you when you climb into the vehicle. Even in the entry level Active, you’ll feel more than comfortable, which is just how you should do in an SUV. Things get plusher as you move up the range, with leather lining on the seats of the Allure or GT trims. In the GT trims, you’ll also enjoy the benefit of electric lumbar support, massage tech for the driver and heated seating.
The glorious thing about Peugeot’s seating is that it’s not just plush; it’s practical because it gifts you the plus of greater visibility when you’re looking at the dashboard. The steering wheel is unconventionally small so that you look over it and have a clearer view of everything, rather than looking through it to decipher everything. Combine this driving position comfort and practicality with the 3008’s good handling on the roads and you have one fab vehicle.
USED PRICES FROM £1,400
You can’t write an article about comfortable car seating and not mention Mercedes in it somewhere. It’s the rules. In this case, it’s the E Class. All you have to do is tap your height into the Mercedes me app and the driver’s seat will adjust automatically to a height-appropriate position for you. You then just need to fine tune it.
Leather seating is standard in an E Class, but Mercedes don’t impose a design on you for the car’s interior. Fabric, man-made leather, embossed leather or nappa leather with diamond quilting are all interior options. It’s just a question of bunce. This is all in a car that, out on the roads, is designed to take every effort out of driving so you can just enjoy a soft, smooth ride.
USED PRICES FROM £600
Like any other Range Rover, the Vogue is a gentle giant. Driving one and riding in one are luxurious experiences. All of the seats are heated and in Windsor-leather-trim. Up in front, the seats are 20-way adjustable and the driving position and visibility from behind the wheel are superb. In the back, the seats are equipped with power recline. Discomfort isn’t an option in this vehicle, basically.
Backseat passengers also benefit from the long wheelbase, which gives them plenty of space and lends further overall comfort to their ride. Couple the comfortable ride, front or back, with the generally good, confidence-inspiring handling on the roads and it’s another awesome vehicle from Land Rover.
USED PRICES FROM £750
The XC60 mid-sized SUV is beautiful on the outside and even more so inside. The seating on entry level models comes in sophisticated black, nappa leather, for a soft, comfortable ride. In the premium Momentum trim, the seats come in specially developed T-tech and textile upholstery. The seats are adjustable and nicely shaped. Drivers will also find that Volvo have set out the dashboard conveniently with each of the controls in the most practical place.
The vehicle seats five people but would suit four people better, which is somewhat standard with SUVs and you might want to upgrade to big brother XC90 to fit in five bodies more comfortably. That being said… there’s plenty of headroom and legroom in the front and back, despite the impact the slightly shorter wheelbase than the XC90 could have on rear legroom. It’s good stuff this from Volvo.
USED PRICES FROM £4,000
The Mini Cooper isn’t just adorable on the outside; sit inside this three-door charmer and you’ll feel your heart skip a beat, too. These cute hatchbacks might be small, but damn do they have comfortable seating. This comes in either a black and pearl grey cloth and leatherette combo or a carbon black leatherette. Overall, the seating offers strong under-thigh support and the seats in the back are large and comfortable.
There’s lots of headroom and legroom for such a small car. The driving position is good and features plenty of adjustment. It’s a good idea, however, to switch to the ‘Comfort’ mode while driving. Since this is a small car, the shorter wheelbase means that you might feel the bumps a bit more than you would in a larger car.
USED PRICES FROM £450
The Honda Civic Type R GT is all about practicality. The car handles reasonably well, performs well and, on top of that, is comfortable to sit in. The GT has a clear racing car theme going on and the slender seating reflects this. It’s upholstered in an appealing red Alcantara, too, and holds you firm and steady as you pick up the pace. All the while, you receive excellent under-thigh support and lower back support. Lovely.
The lower set seating makes life easy for the driver and gives them better access to the dashboard controls. The driver’s seat is adjustable, too. Combine this with a steering wheel that you can move in and out and you have a supremely comfortable car. You won’t be able to get behind the wheel fast enough.
USED PRICES FROM £5,000
As you’d expect from the world’s most luxurious car brand, sitting inside this automobile is nothing short of heaven on wheels. Seating in soft, smooth tanned leather awaits you when you open the door, as does vast head- and legroom. If, for some insane reason, you feel you need more space, you can always choose the extended wheelbase version of the vehicle.
The visibility from the driver’s seat is almost Land Rover-like. Justifiably so because of the sheer size of this magnificent feat of automotive magic. The back, meanwhile, offers the option of a three-seat bench or two seats with different configurations, plus an arm-rest which contains the controls for rear-seat entertainment. The rear seats are also heated, ventilated and reclining. Could you ask for any more from them?
USED PRICES FROM £70,000
Skoda have built a solid reputation for the high safety standards of their vehicles, but they can tick off the box on the comfort factor, too, because the Superb Estate is ergonomically sound. Adjustable seat height is standard and is electric. Models feature lumbar support and memory seating so they can adjust to pre-set positions at the push of a button). Front seats feature heating as well for the cold winter days.
Skoda haven’t skimped on quality or space either. They provide the car’s seats in leather for ultimate comfort and both the driver and the passengers have more than enough legroom, making for a good journey wherever you sit. The back seats fold down easily if you need extra storage space. You’ll also find a central arm rest with a cup holder in the back. Handy for long journeys.
USED PRICES FROM £750
Citroën have pushed the boat out to ensure comfort in their Grand C4 Space Tourer. This multipurpose vehicle (MPV) features cloth or leather upholstery, depending on the trim, and has massage tech in the front seats rather than leaving it just to the high-end vehicles. Front seats also offer lumbar support, an adjustable footrest for the front passenger and extra support for headrests. The driving position is good, too, with lots of adjustment for ultra-comfort behind the wheel.
Switch to the remaining passengers and Citroën keeps up the good work. The long wheelbase creates extra room and, thanks to the Relax function, passengers can stretch their legs and put their feet up at the same time, making those never-ending stretches of motorway feel more bearable. If you need space for loads, you can fold them down. That goes for the front passenger seat as well. Top job from the French manufacturer.
USED PRICES FROM £195
To not include the 7 series saloon from BMW would be the height of bad manners. This saloon is opulent inside and supremely comfortable, offering its seating in nappa leather or you can treat yourself to some optional Merino leather. Both the back and front seats are highly supportive, which can make long drives much easier to handle, as can the generally smooth ride. The visibility from the back seats is especially good… almost to an SUV standard, in fact, and that’s pretty fab.
Seats enjoy neat tech features such as massage, heating and reclining, thanks to some of BMW’s different packages. The saloon’s naturally long wheelbase adds to the overall comfort, by creating lots of legroom while you’re soaking up these luxuries. Ultimately, it’s another sumptuously comfortable vehicle from BMW. They could make them in their sleep.
USED PRICES FROM £2,000