What are the best seats you’ve ever experienced in a car?

Saab

This week’s question to you, members of the Hagerty Community, is based on your experience while ensconced in the cars of your past and present. Which one had the best seats?

I came up with this question after buying new seat foam for a pair of bucket seats in an old Mercury. Holy cow, the difference between 50-plus-year-old foam and its modern replacement simply cannot be put into words! What can be explained are reasons that inspire you to choose a seat for multiple reasons, as there’s a fair bit of science in these critically important components.

Saab

A well-sorted seat is crucial to having a pleasant experience in an automobile. Saab knew this, and went into painful detail in its sales literature in the 1980s. It ensures you know why its seats are soft at first but supportive ’till the last mile. Saab explained how the chairs adjust for everything, including a variety of thigh lengths.

As one of Hagerty Media’s steadfast fans of American Iron, I hate to say the following statement: the Europeans (namely Saab and Volvo) made better seats to accommodate a variety of needs. If it weren’t for the competition, Detroit would have taken longer to add the level of support we now expect in automotive seating. And it picked up the slack quickly: Not long before GM tapped Lear-Siegler for optional seats in third-gen F-bodies and C4 Corvettes, Ford had spoken to Recaro for performance derivatives of their Fox-body platform. And Ford’s headrest designs in the 2000s changed drastically upon its purchase of Volvo in 1999.

Saab

Seats must do a lot of things while appealing to a wide cross-section of body types and safety regulations. My choice for the best seat I’ve ever sat in comes from a vehicle I neither own nor have spent a significant amount of time with: the Mercedes-Benz W124 E-Class.

Mercedes-Benz

These are my favorite chairs for several reasons, few of which actually pertain to my needs or wants. First, they came in a wonderfully luxurious and grippy cloth fabric, something we never (rarely?) got in America. Second, they were immensely supportive, as they held you in perfectly without resorting to aggressive bolstering that made ingress/egress difficult.

But lastly (and most importantly) the W124’s seats were so accommodating that just about any body type could be blissfully relaxed in them. The latter is something that body-hugging seats in performance cars can’t touch: Very few seats are fantastic for everyone. The W124 catered to all, and never discriminated once you entered. That’s why I voted for it, but what are the best seats you’ve ever experienced in a car? We can’t wait to read your answers!

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Comments

    The seats in my 1991 3000GT VR4 are the most comfortable I have personally ever experienced. Leather with power adjustable lumbar and power adjustable bolsters.

    Gotta be my first SAAB, a 1958 750-GT. Great all day driving with padded head rest for snoozing passenger. Best was both fully reclined for a nice sheltered sleep. Spent many nights, most often in winter in ski area parking lots. More to seats than sitting.

    The bench seat in my 68 Pontiac A body has poor support even after having it redone withg new cushions… Having owned over 50 cars, the most comfortable and best supporting seat is in my 2003 Toyota Solara SLE convertible. Better than my newer Lexus!

    The sign in the (wide) back seat of my ’55 Mercury reads “Caution: The back seat is clothing-optional.”
    …68 year old car & chicks (of all ages) still dig it. lol

    1975 Peugeot 604, a luxuriously comfortable seat with European support, something American cars could never get right.

    Having owned and driven many vehicles after the last forty years, my favorite vehicle seats have to be hands down, my 2003 Mercedes Benz E500 Sport. I purchased it with low mileage, and drove it sparingly and always found it to be a very comfortable ride, but what won me over was an eleven hour journey to Asheville, N.C. To look at and inspect another vehicle purchase. I completed the trip non stop, with several rest area stops to grab a drink and the usual necessities. The next day I made the return trip in slightly less time with the same usual rest stops. After close to 1,000 miles in two days, I felt fine and just needed to catch up on a little sleep.

    The best seats we ever had were the ones in our Shelby Dodge Lancer. Comfortable with great bolsters that held you in place while you played in the corners!

    ‘89 Saab 900. A perfect fit, were still good at 200,000 miles, and from the company that invented the seat heater.

    I owned a SAAB 9000 and later a SAAB 9-5 wagon. I was an on the road salesman for 25 years, and the leather heated seats in both of these cars was superbly comfortable.
    It’s a real shame this manufacturer is no more..

    Citroen DS Pallas. Seriously – the French do clouds really well.
    That said, my 2006 Mini Cooper S chairs are pretty comfy for me…

    An early 90’s Ford Thunderbird SC seemed to have seats that were designed/molded around my body at the time. I remember sitting in one for the first time thinking that there was no way that the seats could be improved for me.

    In this order, all are really close; Volvo XC 70, Mercedes W124, Saab 9.3, Audi 5000 (the first great seats I ever owned). All were great seats, comfortable, supportive, could drive all day without discomfort or fatigue.

    Mid-90’s Thunderbird Super Coupes had drivers’ seats with power bolsters that would adjust nice and tight for those of us who were (then) on the slimmer side. Ford Contour SVTs had seats bult by Recaro that were very nice with inflatable lumbar support. But for driving 14 hours in one day, I’ll take my Honda Accord coupe V6 6-speed. Early versions had unique seats for the V6 6-speeds, not sure about the later ones.

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