Car seats – what to consider when buying a car

The seats in your car, especially the driver’s seat, are critical to the level of usability and comfort  of your vehicle – but how much thought to you give to this aspect of your car when making a buying decision?

Here are some pointers for you to consider, next time you are looking to buy a vehicle.

Firstly – what is the material covering the seats? Cloth seats are usually comfortable, and these days are made from durable fabric that will last well with normal use. Vinyl or imitation leather can cost more than cloth, but may not be more comfortable as they can feel firmer than cloth seats. They are however, easier to clean than cloth. Alcantara is a synthetic material popular in sports vehicles for seats, steering wheels and trim, often used with leather. Alcantara wears well and feels good to the touch. Real leather looks and feels great, and the durability depends on the quality of the leather used – the better the quality, the higher the price.

Secondly – what type of body support is provided by the seats? Look at what support is provided for your hips and lower back, and check that the seat cushion supports enough of your thighs to be comfortable. Basic seat adjustments will include height, forward/back, headrest height and backrest pitch adjustments. Over and above these basic settings, adjustable lumbar support is great for long journeys – and if you are larger than the average body size, you will benefit from adjustable side bolstering and adjustable under-thigh support.

Finally – what luxury features are supplied? Here we are talking about things like heated seats for those cold days, and seat ventilation to prevent sticking to the seat on those hot summer days. Massage seats are a bonus if you drive long distances and maybe have back problems. Some cars come with seat position memory settings – a time saver if you have more than one regular driver of your car.

You can upgrade from cloth seats to full leather at a cost on most vehicles where these don’t come standard. To get more of the other advanced features you may have to consider upgrading to a higher spec vehicle – but it is all about knowing what your choices are, and picking the options that will work best for you, within your available budget.