By on September 20, 2019

Almost sounds sexual, doesn’t it? Well, listen, pal — sometimes a warm embrace is just a nice hug, but it doesn’t mean it won’t make you feel special. Special…safe…and content.

Coddled. It’s one of those words whose meaning never evolves, but its use in the automotive realm is usually associated with another word: luxury. And with good reason. The Oxford English Dictionary defines coddled as the act of being treated “in an indulgent or overprotective way.” Hey, that’s right up luxury’s street.

Yet one can feel coddled without all the trapping that come with luxury. Maybe you’ve experienced just such a human-vehicle relationship. What vehicle from your past (perhaps it’s in the present) coddled you the most?

You author, a man who grows unhealthily excited – nearly to the point of giddiness – over local grocery store deals, is hardly the one to go to for stories about motoring in the lap of luxury. Choices were made, and all that.

But that doesn’t mean you, dear reader, didn’t achieve success and prosperity, opening the door for a vehicle purchase that proved as titillating and pleasure-inducing as any sailor’s extended shore leave. Perhaps that vehicle, that damn-the-expense-I-earned-this purchase, was the vehicle which coddled like none other. Luxury does have a way of making a driver feel special.

And yet other things can fall under that dictionary definition. Seat comfort, for one, is something not entirely dependent on vehicle price. Nor is reliability — something many a British or Italian car owner has discovered. A supremely comfortable chair and limitless confidence born of a well-made machine (of any price range) can indeed make a driver feel indulgent and pampered.

Let’s put this question to you, B&B, and see which year, make, and model of vehicle you consider the most coddling of your life.

[Images: Ford, BMW]

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49 Comments on “QOTD: Caught Being Coddled?...”


  • avatar
    PeriSoft

    My current car is a 2015 Hyundai Genesis (what’s now a Genesis G80), the second-highest trim level, and it’s super-coddly. There’s obvious stuff (smooth NA V6, nappa leather, ventilated seats, heated steering wheel) but the car has a bunch of little touches that I think make the coddle-experience legitimate: Everything is trimmed. Seat rails, vents, edges behind the rear seats near the door – everything is *nice*. The door map pockets are lined and double-walled, every button and door and latch clicks and snaps smoothly.

    The windows don’t just go; they accelerate and decelerate slowly, so they smoothly seal shut like a Star Trek door instead of banging up to the end stop, and they accelerate smoothly when you start lowering or raising them. Every window (even the rear windows) is double-paned.

    The seat belt latches have foam rubber padding so they don’t bang against the center console. The belts snug up against you as you start moving, and when you stop the car and take them off, they wait a moment and then pull themselves tight against the b-pillar so they aren’t messy looking. The HVAC slows down the fan speed when you get a phone call so it doesn’t drone over you talking.

    I haven’t driven any top-level German iron, so maybe all this stuff would be normal for those cars, too, but either way, it’s these little touches rather than the big obvious stuff that really make the car nice to use on a daily basis.

    • 0 avatar
      salmonmigration

      That’s a pretty strong recommendation. Anything you don’t like about it? I’ve been looking at a used Genesis.

      • 0 avatar
        Blackcloud_9

        Haven’t owned one but I’ve ridden in a G80. What Perisoft said is true, it is very well appointed.
        The down-side for me was ingess/egress. For all of it’s size, getting in and out of the car was quite a chore. I’m a larger guy, 6’4″ and wider than I want to be. I found the door entries relatively small – and I sat in the front seat. It was mostly my height that hindered me. I had to crane my neck to clear the sloping roofline.
        Once inside, it is very coddling place to be but please check out entry/exit if you’re of a larger stature.
        This issue for me is what eliminated a G80 from my shopping list.

      • 0 avatar
        PeriSoft

        @salmonmigration

        It’s not perfect. Mine’s a first year and has had a few glitches. I bought it at 17k last April, so it was ~3.5 years old with low mileage, and I don’t know how it was treated. Problems since then: Passenger heated seat failed and needed a part replaced, a trim strip near the pano roof was off-kilter and was replaced, and a little while ago the sunroof decided it didn’t want to close all the way; the dealer pulled the glass, replaced a piece of trim, and now it’s good. At this point I’ve also got a vibration from what I’m presuming is a warped rotor up front; my Sonata had the same issue – I live in a super hilly area and I think modern cars have issues with that.

        The biggest annoyances for me have been a rattle during colder temps in the pano roof (that a lot of people get) though since they fixed the roof trim that’s gone away, and the worst part, a wind whistle from the driver’s door that my dealer can’t seem to figure out. They’ve swapped the door seals, checked stuff, and no dice. I even did a spectral analysis of it vs the passenger door to confirm I’m not crazy!

        I drive a lot, so it’s at 54k now (and still under warranty). The dealer has never pushed back on anything even though they’re a low volume place that mostly sells base Sonatas and Tucsons – when I bought the Genesis used for 25k it was the most expensive car on the lot!

        Glitches aside, I unreservedly recommend the car, especially as a used buy. It was the same price and had the same remaining warranty time (and more mileage) than a new mid-trim Accord would be, and is ten times the car. The only thing that I think might give me pause with another G80/Genesis is the pano roof creak, because I think a lot of people have that issue, and the ones without the pano roof give up a lot of the nice features like the thigh extensions on the seat, nappa leather, etc. If that’ll be annoying you might want to think about a G90 – they’re about 8k more but posher and have a regular sunroof that might not be as troublesome.

        I have the good fortune of owning two naturally-aspirated V6 cars in 2019 (the Genesis and a 350Z) and let me tell you, there’s something to be said for it!

    • 0 avatar
      mankyman

      I second this. I have the same model except with the V8. The V8 always has power to spare. It never feels like you’re straining. The outside world is reduced to a tiny whisper. They must have put a ton of sound dampening material in this car.

      Other coddly features include the motorized rear peasant blocker and the rear peasant blockers. The doors close like bank vaults.

      • 0 avatar
        PeriSoft

        My kids love the peasant blockers – they keep the infernal sun from washing out their devices!

        I would have liked the V8 but the earlier cars didn’t have AWD with the V8, and my location and driveway make a fat-tired RWD barge a non-starter, even with snows. Also, the V6 can manage almost 30mpg highway at 75mph on regular, which is only a few percent off lighter cars with wheezing four-bangers. Not_bad.jpg.

        • 0 avatar
          mankyman

          Yeah, the mileage on the V8s is … not great. I don’t need to worry about snow where I am. And of course I have the staggered tires, but I knew about that going in. Luckily I do not have issues (touch wood) with the pano roof, but I’ve heard all about them.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    Not any car I’ve ever owned, but my dad had a couple of Cadillac Fleetwoods with the tufted velour interior that felt pretty womb-like when driving

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    1975 Mark IV Pucci edition.

    As if anyone here thought that I would have said anything else.

    This is the easiest QOTD ever for me.

    Just search out the images of this magnificent beast.

    https://www.google.ca/search?q=1975+mark+iv+pucci&tbm=isch&source=hp&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjM0bq8xd_kAhVCHqwKHa5AAsEQsAR6BAgEEAE&biw=1371&bih=649#imgrc=zTwKEn9sG3KiMM:&spf=1568987385088

    Runners up: 1974 Mark IV, 1973 Mark IV and various Lincoln Town Cars circa 1972 to 1979.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      Yeah, you can’t get much more “coddled” then an old Lincoln Mark

      Interesting side note, about the time my dad started driving Fleetwoods (mid 70s) my sister married a guy with a mid 70s Rolls Royce and hands down my dad’s Cadillac drove, rode and handled far better then that long-wheelbased Roller. My dad was pretty proud of that

  • avatar
    stingray65

    1947 Packard Custom Super Clipper – super smooth straight eight, overdrive, long-wheelbase, soft springs, superb seats.

  • avatar
    crtfour

    I have a 2002 Jaguar XKR that I feel coddled in. It feels good to be surrounded by lots of wood and leather, but in a tasteful and not-overdone kind of way.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    1987 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme Brougham sedan with 307 V8, eQuadrajet, posi-trac rear.

    White exterior, button-tufted blue velour interior, up level stereo, power everything except those stupid little vent windows in the rear.

  • avatar
    ajla

    While I don’t think I’d go full-on Nismo or 1LE I’m not really interested in owning something where silence and smoothness are the main selling points.

    • 0 avatar
      Mike Beranek

      You might feel differently if you drove on stick-straight roads that have been ravaged by over 100 freeze/thaw cycles per year. In the upper Midwest, you can’t enjoy good-handling cars. Might as well just sink into the velour and chill.

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    King Ranch

  • avatar
    quaquaqua

    I’ve never had particularly comfy cars, not even growing up in the early 80s. the word “coddled” doesn’t come to mind when I think of getting second-degree burns from the vinyl seats and chrome belt buckles in our ’81 Caprice, nor being crammed in the backseat with two beefy sisters in our ’79 Nova, ’81 Grenada (how comfy can you be in a car that breaks down weekly), or ’88 Caravan. So I suppose that leaves my 2000 Camry…? Yeah, I got nothin’.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Any of the luxury land yachts of the 60’s and 70’s. My mother’s 72 Sedan Deville was a great highway cruiser. Also my mother’s 84 5th Avenue was not bad but not nearly as comfortable as the Caddy. My 77 Monte was a smooth riding and cruising vehicle. I would be curious to drive a Genesis that looks like a car that would be a nice ride.

  • avatar
    FormerFF

    Throught the 60’s and early 70’s, my father drove Cadillac convertibles. he drove a lot of miles, and they were on lease, so he got a new one every 18 months.

    For my own cars, nah, that’s not what I’m looking for. I do drive a Fusion, and it has the sport seats which are very nice, but also firm. Next car will be sportier, possibly a BRZ.

    • 0 avatar

      I have 2018 Fusion Titanium and it is even firmer than 2014 I had before that. But I find it comfortable. Unfortunately I was not exposed to luxury cars. As a passenger I find Camry/Lexus coddling – it makes a great taxi replacement to Ford Panthers. BTW I like Camry as a taxi more than Lincoln Towncar (it ride is unsettled in comparison). I recently rode in new Navigator in Houston (black limo service). It had nice panoramic sunroof and was pretty comfortable and had nice audio system.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Cars are safer today but many do not have the smooth ride and they do not coddle the driver and the passengers. Also there is something about a split bench seat with a fold down armrest that gives the comfort of a living room sofa.

  • avatar
    Blackcloud_9

    For single-incident coddling…
    Went on a business trip for a former company. Found out that even us lowly (at the time) technicians could hire a car to get us to and from the airport. The ride in with my co-worked was in a Town Car. Nice but no big deal. However, on the return trip, my co-worker’s stay got extended so I was solo on my return trip. There was a stretch-limo waiting for me at the airport. Had it all to myself for the hour+ ride home, definitely felt coddled.
    For multi-coddling…
    Has to be my current car, a 2017 Buick LaCrosse Premium. It was the pinnacle of Buick luxury in 2017 and really hasn’t changed much since. Like Perisoft stated above it’s the little things you notice that make the difference from feeling like you’re in a nice car to feeling coddled. Like the seats – not only being heated and cooled but have a massage feature, which I use quite often. The puddle lights that shine when you open the doors. On the more “techy”-side it’s the adaptive headlights that turn with the car and cornering lamps which are reminiscent a true luxury feature from the 70’s. One of the design details that I like best about the LaCrosse is there is a light-pipe that runs along a crease in the dash that softly glows at night. It is a feature that the bean-counters could have easily nixed to save a few bucks but I’m so glad they left that in. This small detail definitely ups the coddling factor for me.

  • avatar
    MeJ

    Back in the 90’s I traded my Corvette (I had some money issues and traded to get some extra cash) for an 80 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz. White on white leather, stainless steel moonroof, and the gas guzzling 4-6-8 motor.
    It was very comfortable and felt like driving a La Z Boy down the road.
    Second would be my Dad’s brand new 79 Ford Thunderbird in navy blue with orange ((?) not sure the name of the particular colour) interior and trim. It had a hood about 10 feet long! Biggest 2-door I’ve ever been in.

    • 0 avatar
      Arthur Dailey

      That 79 T-Bird was a somewhat ‘downsized’ model from the previous generation. The 77 to 79 T-Bird was based on the Torino/LTD II chassis.

      I had a new ’78 and although a good looking car for the time, it was perhaps the most disappointing vehicle that I have ever owned.

      • 0 avatar
        MeJ

        The most interesting thing I remember about the T-Bird was the 8 Track with Quadrophonic sound! There was a demo tape to show off how it worked where the man speaking would say “You. Are. Now. Listening. To. Quadrophonic. Sound!” And on each break of words the voice would change speakers going all around the cabin.
        At the time it was the coolest thing I had ever heard!

        • 0 avatar
          Arthur Dailey

          Remember that experience as well. The demo 8-track that Ford provided with their quadraphonic stereo equipped cars one year had a remarkable rendition of Elvis singing the Battle Hymn of the Republic.

        • 0 avatar

          I have quadrophonic 8 Track record of “Shinin’ On” Grand Funk album on my hard disc. It is digitized HiRes (FLAC file) record that I found on internet and can play on my expensive high end surround audio system. Even though sound quality is not that good (considering it is just 8 track tape) I still prefer it to other stereo “Shin’ on” CDs despite latter having better quality. I also have a couple of Deep Purple quadrophonic albums also in Hi Resolution – this ones being officially mastered as 4.0 channel surround audio from original master tapes. Man this one rock – it is something to experience. So quadro rules. I have early ELP albums officially released on DVD-Audio 5.1 channels with surround sound hgh res, like Tarkus, Trilogy, BSS – that is something – these DVD-Audios are life changing experience, especially Trilogy which is very high quality and Karn Evil rocks at maximum volume – you feel like you are on the concert, your bones are rattling.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @Blackcloud_9–Buick Lacrosse is a nice car. I might be buying a neighbors 2012 Lacrosse hybrid if he decides to get a new car.

  • avatar
    Dilrod

    The 1979 Chevrolet Impala we got while our Custom Deluxe 10 was in the shop for a transmission issue. I was 10 and felt like royalty being driven around in that thing.

    A week later we got the pickup back and it was back to vinyl, road dust & cow manure on the floor.

  • avatar
    relton

    You haven’t been coddled until you slip into a Bentley Continental GT, especially with the Mulliner Package. A seat just right for driving, an interior that required 7 cows to die, doors and windows that cinch themselves tight to seal out the outer world. A W12 with so much power that you need only use a small fraction of it. A real wood steering wheel in your hands. A surround sound system that plays God Save the Queen when you start on your journey.

    That’s coddling.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    When I am driving down a steep grade at highway speed and ever-so-lightly tap the brake pedal, the automatic transmission on my current daily driver downshifts automatically to maintain speed and then I feel coddled (i.e., “indulgent and pampered”).

    I know how to downshift on a grade, and the vehicle knows I know, but it’s like it doesn’t want to bother me and will just take care of things by itself, thank you. (When it does this, I smile a little, knowing that 14 years ago there were still skilled powertrain engineers somewhere on earth who cared.)

  • avatar
    crtfour

    A Toyota Century. Not only are you being coddled, but everything still likely works regardless of the car’s age.

  • avatar
    jamespdx

    No doubt about it . . . my mother’s 1976 Oldsmobile Toronado Brougham!! I had a 4dr 66 Lincoln and I swear that Olds was a foot longer even tho it was a 2dr – you could stand in between the bumper and the radiator the hood was sooooo long, but MAN DID IT CODDLE FOUR PEOPLE in Burgundy velour swaddled LUXURY! Of course, if you wanted to take six people the Lincoln was far roomier. When she traded it on an 82 DeVille the dealer was only going to give her $200 for it, so I bought it. It was a great college ride until I broke a driveshaft hot rodding it once too often!!

  • avatar
    Oldschool

    I own a few cars, I would say the most comfy, coddled feeling, most isolated car that I own where you literally just glide down the road in perfection, is my 78 Lincoln Continental with ultra cushy cloth bench seats.

    That thing is a tank, including my 79 Mark V Cartier designer series which also is a buttery smooth car to drive.

    My 87 Caddy Brougham D’ Elegance has the most attractive, classiest interior of all my cars being that it’s very Mafia like and old school with the button tuft pillow seats . My 64 Cadillac on the other hand, hands down has one of the coolest, highest quality interiors of any car that I have been in especially compared to new cars. The quality of the 64 is the best.

    Nothing honestly built today comes close to the giant titanic luxury cars of the past unless you step up into something extremely high end like an S-Class Benz. Modern vehicles are designed for handling and road ability, not coddling comfort since it’s very hard to emulate a big soft RWD body on frame luxury car with a smallish FWD unibody one.

    Now once you mix in low-pro tires with literally no sidewall to speak of, no matter what, that car is going to have some “Harshness” to its ride especially while driving over rough cracked out, pothole filled pavement.

    Plus an old Cadillac, Lincoln, Buick or any other American luxury car that weighs close to 5,000lbs or more is surely going to be able to absorb road impacts and harshness much better than a lighter weight vehicle.

    Seat comfort isn’t really talked about when it comes to ride quality, but it definitely can make or break overall comfort levels. I can’t stand firm, hard seats, especially when you hit a pothole, the seat acts like an extra shock absorber, and a overly firm seat won’t be able to isolate that impact like say a softer more thickly padded seat cushion would.

    Its funny because my 78 Lincoln and 64 Caddy have really soft seats with actual springs inside of them, and anytime I drive one of them and go over hilly or dips in the road, as my body rises from the dips, the seats acts like a beauty rest mattress. The springs in the seats, and a combination of plush seat foam really make the biggest difference in how smooth and serene the ride is.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Zero question, my former 2008 LS 460. That car brought a sense of occasion every single time I stepped into it. Real leather almost everywhere (including armrests and door pulls), thick deep-pile Lexus “premium” mats, soft-close doors, and a very smooth (although thankfully not nautical) ride.

    It was even more fun for the rear seat passengers as the rear seats were heated, cooled, and power-adjustable in several directions.

  • avatar
    MWolf

    I have a couple. I had a 1990 Cadillac Sedan DeVille. Say what you want, but this thing had the most comfortable leather seats for long trips I’ve experienced (including varients of the same model that came after this style). Plenty of low-end torque, and legroom for all. Actually looked like a Cadillac should.

    Also had a 1993 Buick Riviera. Comfy buckets, nice dash layout with cool little doors covering cubbies, 6 speakers and factory CD, not to mention keyless entry. Very nice for the time.

    I’ve had many other cars, and these were older when I got them, but “coddled” to me means comfort, room, and interior layout. Un-coddly-est car I owned was a 2000 Malibu. It wasn’t painful, but it certainly was….gray inside. Utilitarian and sparce feeling. The center console offered a sloppy, rattly lid on its storage compartment, and the lone cupholder in it seemed like a weird afterthought supplemented by the soda can holder (all it was good for) that slid out just left of the steering wheel. Pros: Oddly, it was reliable and cheap to maintain, if not otherwise desirable.

  • avatar
    Jagboi

    For me it would have been my 1992 Jaguar Vanden Plas V12 – a Canada only model and 1992 was the last year of the Series III body and they made 100 of these cars. Each had a plaque on the center console showing it’s number.

    There was only 2 paint colours available both unique for the year: Oyster and Black Cherry. Mine was Black Cherry, which is kind of a deep purply-brown with copper highlights. A complex colour that changed considerably based on the light.

    As you’d expect for an old style Jaguar, the interior was awash in burl walnut, leather and wool and to this day it was the best riding car I’ve driven. Smooth at low speed where the bumps vanish, but controlled and taut as the speed increased. I don’t know how Jaguar did it, but they hit the magic combination of smoothness and control. Things like a Town Car had the floaty smooth low speed ride, but wallowed and rolled if you asked it to follow a curve (been there, done that) The Jaguar has the control too.

    Besides, everybody should own a V12 once in their lives.

  • avatar
    craiger

    The Mark VI is gorgeous actually.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @Oldschool–Agree, when luxury cars were luxury cars and not a tarted up version of a Chevy or Ford. The extra weight and springs in the seats instead of the cheap foam.

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    My famous 2011 BMW 328! wagon. It’s not particularly luxurious, though it is beautifully put together. But everything about it is “just so”. It fits me perfectly. Not too big, not too small. It will do everything well from screaming around a racetrack to going out to dinner. The ride is smooth, it’s quiet, but it will rip around corners like a sports car, and sing Wagner when you hit the 7K redline. All day seats. Great stereo. No annoying screens, just the bare minimum to get the job done for music and the occasional phone call. Even manages 32mpg on a trip.

    I find baroque barges to be nausea and backache inducing in about equal measure.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    If I want a limo like ride I will take an old luxo barge over a canyon carver. For twisty roads I will take a light smaller vehicle. An old Jag or the top Mercedes would be good but there is a reason why those limo services drove Cadillacs and Lincolns besides prestige. Now they use luxury version of Suburbans, Navigators, and top line Mercedes. Everyone has their favorites.

  • avatar
    Wodehouse

    Riding the 1 1/2 hour to and from my first bmx bike event in my kickass Uncle Willy’s Cadillac Fleetwood Talisman. Previously always a Lincoln man his final car purchase was the aforementioned Talisman. I’ve never forgotten how thick and luxurious was the carpet and cozily comfortable were the Monticello Velour seats. Today’s luxury car carpeting doesn’t even begin to compare and seat engineers seem to think stiff and supportive equals comfortable with their slick, dreary, pinhole black or beige leather.

  • avatar
    dividebytube

    I grew up with my dad’s 98 Oldsmobiles – the old RWD models. And later his used Cadillacs – a 77 and a 81 Fleetwood.

    I still have a weakness for big cars, having owned a ’91 Park Avenue, a ’91 Chevy Caprice, and a ’94 Buick Roadmaster. Also a 2001 Grand Marquis.

    The best “coddler” of them all was the Roadmaster with its air suspension. The only car that could handle the awful Michigan roads with it’s long wheel base. The MGM, in comparison, felt like a sports car and crashed a lot more over the bumps.

    As an aside – back in the 90s a friend of mine bought his first BMW. I was real excited the first time I climbed inside, expecting some lap of luxury. Needless to say I was disappointed by the very spartan interior compared to big comfy cars I’ve driven. It wasn’t until I bought a 2004 325i did I really get what BMW is (more like was) about.


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