By on September 7, 2018

2016 Honda Accord Sport Interior, Image: © 2016 Jeff Jablansky/The Truth About Cars

Thanks to all who answered the call and filled Piston Slap’s coffers with queries. We’re good for a while, so let’s do this thing.

Pete writes:

Greetings Sajeev,

Last winter I bought a lightly used, CPO Accord Sport, six-speed manual. While I do love rowing through the gears and revving the hell out of it, I’m thinking about getting rid of it. You see, the seats are the most uncomfortable things I have ever experienced. The headrest forces me to navel-gaze, which I believe I could fix with the right application of force, but the cushions are horribly uncomfortable and cut off my circulation. I really can’t stand sitting in it for more than about 20 minutes. I got what I believe is a really good deal on the car, so I’m not opposed to spending a few thousand if I can get that “Aaaaah” when I settle into it.

I’d consider replacing uncomfortable seats with some from a 2018 Accord sport (with power adjustment), or maybe an Acura. I’ve tried the new Accord’s seats and they’re pretty good. Before you mention it, I don’t want a new Accord… or a Civic, thanks.

I’ve been told by a couple Honda dealers that it’s not even possible to order an entire OEM seat. I would have to order all the components individually, which sounds like an expensive path to failure. Even if I could do this, I don’t know if the side airbags or occupancy sensor would work with my car.

My second favorite idea is to get some really good OEM seats from another manufacturer. There are websites where not-too-old seats can be bought. Of course, there would be fitment issues, and I’m not sure if the airbags and sensors would work.

I could go aftermarket (Recaro or other). I don’t know whether Recaro makes aftermarket seats with integrated airbags and, if so, whether they would work with my car. I’ve heard even Recaros have a high failure rate in crashes. There are other possible solutions, each with its own problems. I could easily replace the cloth seats with Accord EX-L or Touring leather seats. I’ve tried these and they’re pretty lousy as well.

Could a good upholstery shop be able to replace all the stuffing and make the current seats comfortable? It seems unlikely but I’d be willing to consider it.

I don’t know what to do. If I were a rich man I’d trade it in for the last of the Audi A4 manuals. I’m fairly certain I wouldn’t have any complaints about the seats, but that’s just not in the cards. Can you help?

Sajeev answers:

I kinda know the feeling: my Ford Ranger’s lower cushion was tough on my hip, remedied by a Walmart memory foam butt pad purchased during a pit stop on a long journey: what a difference! Probably not applicable here; I suspect the entire seat is holding you incorrectly, causing the unwanted pressure. Also, these foamy pillows are kinda ugly, and your interior is prettier than mine.

You can buy a (used) seat assembly on the open market, Honda or otherwise. I’ve added the ridiculously comfy Lincoln Mark VII LSC sport buckets in my brother’s Mustang LX notchback: while both are Fox bodies, they had unique tracks for unique floorpans. But mercifully, they bolted right in! Perhaps the redesigned Accord seats fit that easily?

Except we got those airbags…

Airbags are application specific: accounting for a vehicle’s unique interior shape and volume, airbag size/timing/programming algorithms, etc. The new Accord likely has a redesigned airbag system, and switching between manufacturers assumes everyone uses similar size/shape airbags, the same parameters/calibrations/resistance, not to mention their ability to communicate (so to speak) with Honda’s computer without triggering the airbag light.

No dice.  So you could start googling for a good upholstery shop, but they can’t know where or how much foam to add.

Going aftermarket is possible, but losing side impact airbags will likely void your CPO warranty.

I hope this is enough reason to NOT go down this path: it’s not worth your well being, or your life. Sell the Accord and get way more seat time in its replacement before purchasing!

[Images: © 2016 Jeff Jablansky/The Truth About Cars]

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65 Comments on “Piston Slap: Uncomfortable According to the Owner?...”

  • avatar

    To fix the problem that the headrests are too close to the back of your head. Lift them up and ALL the way out of the seat. Spin them around 180º and put them back into the seat. They will no longer be adjustable, but they’re so big it shouldn’t matter.

    I did this in my Taco and my wife liked it so much better we did the same in her Subaru. Japanese automakers are REALLY aggressive in their rear impact head protection for some reason.

    • 0 avatar

      This is one of the things I really like about my Mustang – the rake of the headrest is adjustable. Sometimes on a long drive I’ll put it all the way back to rest my head. It’s just a simple ratchet mechanism. I don’t know why every car doesn’t have this feature. But most Fords do have it, as a well as a wider range of lumbar adjustment compared to the Accord (also important to me).

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        Yeah, my ’14 Lincoln MKS had seats whose rake could adjust. It also had active headrests, as I discovered when I was involved in a frontal collision and an inspection revealed the headrests had shot forward (to prevent whiplash).

        And a lot of cars these days, including the aforementioned Lincoln, don’t have headrests that are removable without disassembling the seat.

    • 0 avatar

      @Mermilio – I had to do the same thing to my 2nd gen Highlander. Freaking PITA.

      • 0 avatar

        Add the Lexus NX (at least in non-F-Sport guise) to the list of vehicles with terrible head rests. Good seats, IMO, apart from the head rest, but if you’re doing an all-day road trip you have to either suffer the headrest or gamble on your own safety and turn the headrest around.

        – – –

        And can we agree that the Golden Era occasionally invoked by the B&B officially is over, and long over at that? To wit (numerous qualifiers and disclaimers included):
        – The aforementioned headrests.
        – CVTs, though I’d actually be OK with these if (a) durability could be assured and (b) the driver could choose between “fake gear” and “real CVT” modes. I know the scribes prefer fake gears, but to me this is imitating a bug and not a feature. If I have a CVT, I want it to work in its most efficient mode.
        – Slushboxes that are a gear too far and, as a result, hunt too much. (Another disclaimer: My suspicion is that some press and rental vehicles don’t get the chance for the AI to adapt to a single driver, hence they underperform in those scenarios.)
        – Fewer models with manuals available.
        – Character lines and flame surfacing. Blech.
        – Overly high belt lines, low greenhouses, crappy visibility.
        – Disappearance of buttons and knobs in favor of infotainment that makes the average driver more distracted than s/he was 15 years ago. (Yet another disclaimer: My impression is that buttons & knobs are making a slight comeback.)
        – Giant wheel/low-profile tire combos that make vehicles functionally worse.
        – Headlight assemblies that cloud from UV rays. (OK, that dates to well before the 2010s.)
        – Crappy cloth interior cloth that’s there only to guilt you into upgrading to bad-quality leather. (I actually don’t hate some of the vinyls on offer today, but I’d much rather have a good quality cloth as standard.)
        – Disappearance of 6- and 8-cylinder engines. (Counterpoint: I say that as a person whose needs are pretty well served by I4’s and I4 turbos.)
        – Direct injection that necessitates intake valve cleaning. (I think dual injection will supersede DI-only, but it’s not happening fast enough. As-is, I’d rather have multiport injection over DI.)
        – Lack of exterior and interior color choices. (Am I seeing a slight improvement with this on cofigurators? It’s still bad though.)
        – Crappy packaging that makes vehicles longer, wider, and heavier than the need to be for the given amount of interior room

        I’d opine that the Golden Age occurred at some point between 1988 and 2008. It sure isn’t now.

        I’d also add though that pretty much everything I’ve complained about is correctable to some degree. That may be what makes them frustrating to me, but it also gives me hope.

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    I had an 11′ Accord MT for one tank of gas, literally. The seats were horribly uncomfortable which was a surprise as I really liked the seats in the 07′ coupe that I traded for the 11′. Stupid. I should have kept the 07′. Anyway, with the modern car I think your solve is put this car on CL and start figuring out what you find is comfortable.

    Fortunately (or un depending on the day) I rent cars almost weekly so I am exposed to different setups if I choose. I have learned which manufacturers fit me and which do not. Your best bet is to drive as many of the potentials on your list for a day or two to see which you like the best. Torture yourself. Go for a test drive during rush hour where you know you are going to have to sit for a bit, not moving.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      Some years ago, I drove a ’10 Accord EX-L for the short distance between Little Rock and Oklahoma City (about five hours’ worth), and hated it. The lumbar, even in its furthest-back setting, was way too aggressive.

    • 0 avatar

      This 100000X. I owned one for two years and was delighted when I saw it die in a hail storm. Loved revving the engine, and the manual transmission was as good it as god. But good Lord, those seats made me hate life when I drove it.

    • 0 avatar

      Had a 2011 V6 MT coupe. Same issue, if I drove for more than 2 hours without getting out and stretching, my left leg would be absolutely numb.

      I had positive equity in it after a year. I sold it to carmax. I absolutely LOVED that car and it hurt to let it go. It just hurt more (physically) to keep it.

      • 0 avatar
        87 Morgan

        So here is a QOTD, how did a company like Honda get the easiest piece of the puzzle so wrong? If I or we as is it seems all had the same issue, than I think we can agree one exists. The product itself, Accord, is great. However, if after an hour you are left in pain than no thank you.

        I am the exact opposite of every person on the planet. Bought a Honda got rid of it, now drive a Buick with ZERO regrets. I could give two sh$ts if my Buick has to, hypothetically spend one day longer in shop at some point than the Honda, thus far the Buick has had a cam sensor replaced under warranty. The Buick is comfortable. Even after an hour, or two or three. I will give up supposed anvil reliability for something less if that means no back pain.

        • 0 avatar

          This. My wife picked out a CRV in cloth. I couldn’t stand the park-bench feel of those seats that killed my back ..
          She agreed to get rid of it after i left it in the driveway for 2 months…
          The solution? replaced it with a 16 Chrysler 200 Sport.

      • 0 avatar

        My ’07 EX/Navi was like that too, until I learned the secret: raise the seat bottom to better support my thighs. Problem solved.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    The seats truly are sh*t in this car. Flat, vague, unsupportive. Mention of this is strangely absent from the “professional” reviews that could never find any fault with the car. Test drives are important.

    If you want a manual transmission in an affordable, sorted midsize sedan, the Mazda 6 provides far superior seats and an interior that doesn’t feel so cost-bitten.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      Also, you may want to give the Accord coupe a look. I can’t be certain now, but I thought the seats in the coupe were a bit more comfortable than the equivalent sedan.

    • 0 avatar

      Actually I’ve read the Mazda6 has terrible seats and a really low rent interior.

      Sales and reviews would seem to bear that out.

      • 0 avatar

        I’ve had seat time in a 6 with leather seats. Nicer than any Accord ever made. And that wasn’t even the grand touring trim.

        • 0 avatar
          30-mile fetch

          The great thing is you don’t even need the leather. The manually-adjusted cloth seats in the base Mazda6 were far better than the full power leather ones in the top-trim Accord Touring.

          The overall interior of that base Mazda was nicer.

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        thorn, you’re such a weirdo Honda fanatic that a broken spring in an Accord seat could be giving you a prostate exam every time you drove it and you’d still say it was the most comfortable thing you’ve ever experienced and cite some autojourno drivel as proof. You troll other articles for the express purpose of putting down another car and fluffing the Honda alternative. You have zero credibility.

        Reviews don’t mean a damn thing if the guy hates the seats in his car during every drive. And this Accord interior is CHEAP. Reviewers loved the 2016 Mazda6 interior materials. And seat comfort is subjective, but the Mazda’s provide actual support and shape whereas the Accord’s felt like sitting on a bag of laundry.

      • 0 avatar


        you just misleading here on purpose. Mazda6 cloth seats are better than anything honda ever made, save for MDX may be. Lumbar support in Mazda6 is a base car feature. I made 20 or more 6+hr trips in this car within last 12 months and never had a hint of discomfort. I literally would sit through some of these trips non-stop. Better yet, rear seats are as well done as front. My family was seating there on few long trip and didn’t need to have extra stops to stretch. My wife said, she could go for hours in the rear, she felt so comfortable there.
        I’ve sat in every Accord possible since my bro had 5 of them. Their rear have a lot of space but it is just plain space. No special padding for humans.

      • 0 avatar

        For what it’s worth; I feel like I can speak up and state that I own a Mazda6 and the seats are very comfortable for me. Also, the interior is very nicely designed. If you’re the sort of person, like me, who is picky about car seat comfort, I’d suggest trying a Mazda6. As others have mentioned, seat comfort is subjective, but it’s definitely worth a try.

      • 0 avatar

        LOL. Thornmark, you have been lied to. Whoever told you that, unfriend them. The current Mazdas are very comfortable places to be. And for less than $25k, I don’t know what’s better.

  • avatar

    Were it me and I had the time, I would go to Hobby Lobby or similar and buy seat foam and add it where you think it might help. Move it around or carve it out some if you have to. It cuts easily with a knife and an electric makes it go quick.

    Then go to an upholsterer and have them shape it the same as what you find fits.

    If that isn’t feasible, see above and drive a lot.

  • avatar

    MERM.. is correct. I did this on my Accord in 2009. They do jam your head WAY ahead. Push in that tab on the side. You may need to free the lock. That 0.100 ” hole. Stick a paper clip down to release it.

    My Accord had SUPREMELY tall lumbar and zero support below. I put a small pillow in the void. This made it acceptable.

    -did honda jag offs ever sit in the seat? Subaru?
    -why are comfortable seats so hard to put in a friggin car?

  • avatar

    My son’s ’04 Acura – doesn’t have that many miles for the age – about 55k, maybe. I hate the seats in that thing with a passion.

    And I recently spend a few hours as a passenger in a prior gen Accord hybrid. Even though I was exhausted and could maybe blame being tired on the discomfort, I was so happy to get out of that car at the end of the trip.

    Glad to see it’s not just me with Honda seats.

  • avatar

    A lot of seat discomfort is caused by excessive recline and/or the base being lifted too high under the thighs, resulting in pressure points and poor circulation.

    You want your side profile to be more “L” and less “V”.

  • avatar

    I don’t care how nice a car is if the seats aren’t comfortable the car is no good, but before you dump it or spend a lot on replacement seats try different cushions or even a combination of cushions. I’ve discovered those gel-pad cushions to be very good, they’re firm and supportive while molding to your butt. They’re worth a try

  • avatar

    Hated the 14 Accord LX…one of the kids drives it now and every time I have to get in the car I’m reminded about the headrest pushing my head forward. The seats in the ’16 CRV were just as bad. Can’t stand Honda seats, and the seating position is too close to the floor for me, which creates hip pain and numb legs. The thrones in the Grand Cherokee are a revelation compared to the Honda seats.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    The forward ‘rake’ on many modern ‘active’ headrestraints is painful.

    Returned a rental Kia Optima after less than 30 minutes after it gave me a blinding headache. Tried every possible seat/headrest adjustment. Turned the headrest around. Ended up driving back to the rental agency with the headrest removed.

    Ironically, the seats and seating position in our family’s Kia Rondo are outstanding. Comfortable for everyone, regardless of their size and/or build.

    Personally, I have also found Nissan’s ‘zero gravity’ seats to be quite comfortable.

    My all time favourite seats being the velour split benches of a number of early/mid 70’s domestic PLC’s.

    I will no longer purchase a vehicle without adequate driving time, for all family members, due to the problem with modern headrestraints and the seeming diminished size of footwells.

    • 0 avatar

      Ended up driving back to the rental agency with the headrest removed.

      Not that it is all that safe but I noticed when my wife’s Great Uncle and Aunt bought a 1st gen Fusion (loaded – V6/leather/etc) the front seat headrests disappeared pretty quickly.

      She is a tiny little woman of Japanese ancestry and he was (RIP) a broad framed retired mine worker about 5’10” – apparently the headrests didn’t work for either one of them.

  • avatar

    Ditto on 2011 seats. My parents have one. its a swell car to drive, but truly the worst seats ever. I just don’t get it. Same with the 2000 LX they had prior.

    Same reason why we ditched an otherwise awesome ’92 Accord way back. every day was a new kind of backache. Shame. We really liked that car, Switched to German brands ever since. Current ’09 E-class a joy to sit in every day.

  • avatar
    R Henry

    When I was sedan shopping in 2015, my “must have” list was very short: Manual transmission, 4-cylinder (I drive A LOT, fuel economy is important), NOT German.

    These criteria limited my choices to Mazda6 and Honda Accord Sport. I test drove both the same day, back to back. I chose the Mazda precisely because I found the Honda seat to be VERY uncomfortable.

    I recommend trading in the Accord for a Mazda6.

  • avatar
    Car Ramrod

    Everyone seems to have such varied opinions of the seats in every car. People seem to love the seats in my older BMW M5, but I’m tall and I think they suck.
    Finding a quality upholstery shop is hard if not impossible. A Mazda6 may be what you need to scratch the itch. TSX seats were pretty good as well.

  • avatar


    I wrote on the subject of manual Accord issues many times. Bad seats (which honda has good ones? Si?), the reach to gear shifter way too long. And generally, for someone who likes to drive, sitting in Accord is… my feeling was like I am a sardine in a can, only with a twist. A large can and one little sardine.
    I fixed all the issues by buying Mazda6. It is a big car that feels small. It does everything better than Accord (besides some rear seat legroom), costs less, and gives you daily joy.

    • 0 avatar
      R Henry

      I too opted for the 2015 Mazda6 manual–seat comfort was the determining factor. After 3 years and 80,000 miles, I have two complaints:

      1) Entry egress to driver’s seat is awkward. I must simultaneously twist my torso and band my head forward on the way in, and twist my right knee on the way out. No good.

      2) Exterior paint: The finish is thin, scratches easily, and requires frequent waxing to remain shiny. Again, not good.

      Other than that, my Mazda6 has been very reliable and thrifty.

      • 0 avatar

        hmmm. I am scratching my head.
        #1 – at 6′ I have no issues with in and out process
        #2 – Honda paint is famously bad. I have ’11 Mazda3 and my bro drives ’11 Accord. His car paint lost all the shine while my mazda is really shiny. I owned Protege for nearly 17 years and had no paint problems. I currently own ’10 and ’11 ‘3s (besides my ’17 Mazda6) and no paint issues here.

        ’15 Mazda should not have issues with paint.

  • avatar

    This is why you need to really test drive cars, not just a spin around the block.

    My wife and I both test drove a CrossTour a while back. We both liked the car a lot, except for one thing. Bot our backs hurt after the test drive. I guess there’s something about Honda seats.

  • avatar

    Above are examples why a 20-30” test drive for a car just doesn’t work. The headrests on most newer cars are, to me, just horrible, a close second to newer economy airline seats. The best seats my wife and I ever had in a car were on my ‘95 Windstar GL. It had high back (integrated headrests) manually adjustable seats. They just fit us perfectly. I am sure that they would not pass any newer regulations, but neither would seats wherein the headrests have been flipped around (see above). “Rest the Back” and other retailers sell car seat pads that go on both the horizontal and vertical parts of the seat. Some even have adjustable lumbar supports and heating. They may be available on line. I would try one of these first, rather than trade the car.

  • avatar

    It’s the lack of thigh support in Hondas that bother me. It was something I checked out before I bought my TSX Sportwagon.

  • avatar

    I have a 2010 Honda Accord 4-door sedan with manual transmission. I found the seats horrendously uncomfortable. I would come to work literally half-crippled. My neck and upper back were bent over in painful spasm for several days at a time. This happened every few weeks. But I could not see myself getting rid of the last generation of double-wishbone Accord with a stick shift. I got myself a pair of seats from a 1988 Mercedes 300E. It took me 3 years off-and-on to re-engineer that seat to fit into the Accord. I “improved” the Mercedes seats with stronger foams in the front corners (they sag easily otherwise under leg weight) and better lumbar support with some metal bar reinforcement. It took a long time to understand and reassure that the airbags on the dash and steering wheel would work appropriately. I never had any neck or back pain since the seat swap. This is the life: The comfort of a W124 Benz, with the reliability of an Accord.

  • avatar

    An uncomfortable seat or driving position will sour me FAST. The seats in my 2001 Alero and 2007 Civic Si each had a hyper-aggressive lumbar bulge, which arched me into an unnatural, fatiguing posture. The newest Civic’s seats have a short, hard lower cushion which digs at the backs of my thighs and creates miserable pressure points. Alternately, a 2018 Sierra Denali’s front seating is like heaven. That’s it: I prefer supple leather, soft seams, compliant cushioning, all with minimal bulging.

  • avatar

    The only time I’ve ever really had seat related issues, aside from the broken track, was when I sat in an excessively upright position. A bit of recline has really done wonders.

    I’ve dealt with bad seats in the 17 300S, but that’s a badly designed lumbar system and not the seat itself.

  • avatar

    I rode in a 2014 or so Accord and I didn’t think the seats were bad. But, admittedly, that’s different from driving it.

  • avatar
    Trucky McTruckface

    Honda seats have historically been garbage. Too firm, not much bolstering and limited adjustments. The nadir was in the late 2000s, when you had to spring for a leather-lined model just to get adjustable lumbar, let alone an adjustable tilt on the cushion or power anything. Not to mention those hateful headrests already mentioned by many which protruded way too far forward. A 3rd generation CR-V Special Edition was in my family for a time and it was a torture chamber.

    That said, I owned an Accord Sport and the driver’s seat was…tolerable, assuming you tilted the cushion as high as it would go. My bigger beef was that car was how cheap the seat (and everything else about the interior) felt overall. Also, the manual transmission in that car was the most overrated thing in the history of things.

    It’s worth noting that the current generation of Hondas offer 4-way driver lumbar (and look/feel considerably less cheap)…a major improvement. Unfortunately, Honda refuses to offer a front passenger seat with more than 4-way adjustment unless you buy a fully loaded Acura.

  • avatar

    Wow, I’ve literally been dealing with the same thing on my 2015 Honda Accord coupe. Anything longer than a 10-15 minute jaunt and I’m getting pain in my legs/butt, I have no issues with the headrest though. I did all my research on other seats (Honda/Acura, Recaros etc.), taking apart the seats and adding form etc. to no avail.

    I got a coccyx seat pad ( last week and it’s a good bandaid for the time being. Even though it adds a good 2″ to my sitting height, leaving a little less than an 1″ of headroom (I’m 6’0) with the seat at its lowest setting and spirited driving is a little strange while basically sitting on a sponge, it removes the pressure points while driving. I haven’t tried it on a long trip yet, but it has definitely improved my commute (in fact I take the pad into work and sit on it in my office chair, I’m getting old).

    If this loses it’s padding or I tire of clenching my arse cheeks whilst taking a corner briskly, I might try a genuine sheepskin piece to sit on, apparently motorcyclists and truck drivers use them because it naturally distributes your weight on the seat. Downside is your seats look like shag carpeting, take from that what you will.

    If that fails, well shit, I guess I’ll trade it for something hopefully comfortable for equivalent money.

  • avatar

    OP, try building the center of the back support out with a pillow. It should help with what you describe as “navel-gaze.” Drive around, if it helps with fatigue, then have an upholstery shop professionally build it outward.

    Don’t trade your Accord in on an A4 POS, it’ll replace back aches with head & heart aches.

  • avatar
    Pete Zaitcev

    Wait a moment, isn’t it the same Accord that Jack has? He didn’t complain about the seats at all (except that his started to look worn just after a year).

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      I remember him making a comment in the thread following one of his coupe reviews about how poor the seats are in the gen of Accord. I know he also mentioned how much better the last-gen Camry seats were compared to the Accord in one of those slightly infamous Camry rental/trackday reviews some time ago. Having cross-shopped both vehicles, he’s right about the seats.

  • avatar
    Felix Hoenikker

    I used to drive 75 miles one way to work so seat comfort was a big issue to me. Also I’ve had recurring lower back pain for the past 30 years. In 2014 I bought a Honda LX Accord to replace the 2004 Saturn Ion commuter I had been driving. I also cross shopped the Mazada 6 models. In short test drives, I could not feel any difference in the seats or headrests with both models being too aggressive for my tastes. I had no problems with either the headrest or seat comfort with the Honda for the next four months that I commuted the said distance.
    Worth mentioning, I absolutely hate the fake pleather passed off these days as leather. I consider the mid 90s fabric seats as the high point in mass market vehicles seating materials.
    Long story short, I have driven the Accord for up to five hours without any comfort issues despite my lower back issues.
    Seat comfort is a very idiosyncratic issue that needs to be addressed during the purchase of a car. You can’t complain about it after the fact. That being said, I’m going to buy a cushion for myself for the office chairs i’m forced to sit in at my new job, Thet are just boards with thing fabric covering that is not compatible with my bony ass. They are painful after less than one hour, All my coworkers have natural padding and don’t seem to suffer like I do from the bad ergo of these chairs. YMMV

  • avatar

    A subset of people have been complaining about the seats in the Accord for at least a decade. They keep selling, so apparently it’s a subset that doesn’t matter much in the grand scheme of things. I’m curious the height and build of people who find the Accord uncomfortable. I’ve noticed that Honda seats don’t work well if you sit bolt-upright – they seem to be designed for people who like to tilt the seat back and recline.

    The second generation of the Honda Fit was pretty awful – Mom had one that I would drive on occasion when I flew in to visit. The seat bottoms were awful, the seat didn’t have much rearward travel, and there were only minimal adjustments – no height or angle adjustment, no lumbar support adjustment. Dad is also 6’+ and refused to drive her car. I’ve seen others gripe online, followed by “What? It’s not a problem for me!”

    I have a Pilot and have nothing but compliments for Honda’s seat design – the Pilot’s seat is “dear sweet lord every other car is ruined for me” comfortable.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      This Accord was a departure from the firm, sturdy, flat seats with more pronounced thigh & lumbar support that were in prior Honda sedans. Those generated their own subset of complaints. The seat bottom in this one is very different; it feels a bit squashy, unsupportive, thin, and somehow fragile.

      VW Sportwagen seats are the ones that ruined me. In this generation midsize sedan, it is the Mazda6 and–strangely–the Camry that felt most similar to the VW.

      • 0 avatar

        “VW Sportwagen seats are the ones that ruined me. In this generation midsize sedan, it is the Mazda6 and–strangely–the Camry that felt most similar to the VW.”

        We had a Sportwagen too. The seats were the best part of the car. The wife’s ’16 Camry SE has very comfortable seats. We’ve taken numerous long-distance road trips in that car, and we both think the seats are comfier on a long road trip than the Alacantra Suede Whiz-Bang sport seats in my Charger.

        • 0 avatar
          30-mile fetch

          The Sportwagen is VW at its best.

          Toyota did a lot of things right in that Camry despite the press’s reception of it. Ours is a 16 as well and I agree long distance comfort is very good. My only wish is a slightly lower seat height, particularly on the passenger side. I can just barely get the driver seat the way I like it when motored fully down. If I were six-two it might start to bug me.

          • 0 avatar

            My wife and I are about 5’10”, so we tend to put the seat up. I do appreciate the tall greenhouse- contrary to the current trend.

            The most comfortable Toyota I’ve ever driven on a long road trip was the third gen Avalon. Not a beauty queen, but room to spare in every direction.

  • avatar

    In my experience some brands like Toyota, Kia, Renault and Fiat have awful, uncomfortable seats.

    Then there are brands which actually place emphasis on comfortable seating and work with doctors and other medical experts to design that perfect seat, allowing you to drive for hours in comfort and ease of mind.

  • avatar

    I always wonder how they can get this wrong. OK, you have to design from my 4’10 sister in law (120 lbs ?) to my good beer brewer friend, 6’2 and probably 300 lbs, but it can be done.

    My Jetta S (ace of base) has OK seating, even if they tried really hard to make the cloth cheap. It can be done at the low level-still OK after three hours…no adjustments, either.

    I can’t handle chrysler seats…the bottoms are just too short. Likewise, a stint in a Sentra had my otherwise not a problem lower back sad after three hours.

    My old SAAB 900, and successor 9-3, wonderful seating. My VW TDi, great seats. My 330i, BMW sport seat, a perfect compromise between a race seat and comfort. I’ve driven a few cars with streetable race seats (Cayman GT4, Focus RS) and they are actually comfortable…once you are in them. OK, this is far from mass market….

    If they spec a thigh bolster you can move, usually it’s a good to great seat.

    I think some mfr’s just make them smaller to make the interior look bigger. Others save money, figuring the typical user has a 40 minute run to work and wouldn’t know a G force from a G spot. I spend some days four hours in a car, so that chair is more important than my living room.

  • avatar

    Take a Lincoln MKZ for a test drive – I think it has some of the most comfortable seats of any new car. I also think the Buick LaCrosse is pretty comfy too for a new car. My dad used to have an ’83 Honda Accord, and I totally remember feeling the need to shift my body on longer drives because the seats were just agonizing.

  • avatar
    Elliott Zeitz

    I traded my 2013 Accord Coupe EX-L 6MT for a 2018 Accord Sport 2.0 6MT. I prefer the seats in my 2018. The previous generation Accord had rotten seats. Not as bad as my 2009 Maxima mind you. The car was so good other wise that i lived with the seats for 5 years. You could have bigger problems with a modern car.

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