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Bought a new 2013 Civic last week. I did a lot of research and the test drive went great. I love the car, except for the driver's seat, which becomes very uncomfortable after a few minutes. The headrest leans forward at a crazy angle and the lumbar support is too hard, too high and protrudes too much. Why I didn't notice during the test drive is a mystery to me, but I've learned I'm not alone. It seems that the seat does feel okay when first driving, but day-in and day-out it just hammers your back.
Taking it back is an option, but I'd lose a few thousand, and I otherwise like the car, so the solution is to fix the seat. Anyone have advise on this? Perhaps get the seat modified by a pro or buy an aftermarket seat.
BTW, the seat problems come up in none of the reviews. Perhaps reviewers are so used to crappy car seats, they didn't notice or they had the same--fine-in-test, bad-over-time reaction I and others have had. In my quest for a solution, I've found that in the past few years there has been a surge in complaints about car seats. It seems that the NHTSA changed standards for head rests in 2008 and it's now having a dramatic and negative effect on car comfort, though some companies are worse than others (I've read that Honda--with the Accord being the worse--Ford and Mazda are notoriously bad, which means going to another car isn't a solution either.)
I noticed that when I had a new Ford Fiesta as a hire car for a month this summer - the drivers seat is frankly appalling. It's based on a "waffle" design, so you are sitting on a bunch of "ridges". It's probably ok if you are on a long journey - couple hundred miles in a single sitting - but for short journeys it really was a PITA...
The only instant messaging I do involves my middle finger.
English doesn't borrow from other languages.
English follows other languages down dark alleys, knocks them over and goes through their pockets for loose grammar.
I see a lot of new vehicles with really bad seat designs, especially the headrests. I suspect that the NHTSA has something to do with that. My new Titan truck has head "rests" that are hugely unusable - they protrude forward at a sharp angle, and are entirely unusable for any purpose. But they are "dynamic" by regulation - in a collision, they move forward following the head, then ease back slowly to prevent a whiplash injury. The lumbar support is barely adequate, just enough to let them claim it exists, but it's a whole lot better to use a pillow.
We bought a 2013 Corolla in September. The seat isn't really uncomfortable, but I can't adjust it to my liking. The day after we bought it we drove up to Grand Canyon and back the following day, using mostly back roads, nearly a thousand miles.
The car has just over two thousand miles on it now and my biggest complaint is that the "audio system" doesn't randomize properly. But the 'Webs say it's a Linux system, so maybe I can write an app.
Complaints like yours and mine are what Consumer Reports collects.
All reviewers suck. They either pander to the Car companies best interest or think every car is a race car/luxury car and denigrate everything that isn't both.
With a Civic, there is probably a Recaro seat you can put in, very comfortable but also, very pricey. So you either lose a K taking it back or lose a K putting in a good seat.
Personally, I love the anti-whiplash headrest in my 2012 mustang. Probably the one thing in the car I adore, so I can't say it is about the standards really. I have heard a few people complain about them but after I taught them how and why they work the complaints magically go away. (re, headrest)
Now, with Ford and Mazda you can probably get a one-week loaner and actually evaluate for your self (I suggest doing so). Reviewers can't tell you if you will like the seats.
Lastly, if you want a pair of thrones, I read that BMW's Luxury seating package in the five series is the best in the biz. Never sat in them though.
The problem is that most modern cars have racing ambitions and therefore need to have hard sport seats with side supports. Those seats don't adjust to your body. And it's just a very small adjustment that's needed.
I'm having the opposite problem, the VW Passat that we have as a main car doesn't have enough lumbar support, and when I adjust the lumbar support there's just a tiny roll protruding into my back, making it even worse.
My solution is a pillow[^] just the right size.
Another trick that could work for you is to make your seat softer so that it adjusts to your back. Buy a seat cover and buy and/or sacrifice a duvet for a childrens bed, that you cut to size and sew together with the seat cover. It's only the part in between the side supports that needs to be padded (13"-14" wide). If you pad the side supports it might get a cramped feel to the seat.
The protruding head rest isn't anything you shouldn't be able to fix with a pair of wooden boards and a crowbar.
The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable man adapts the world to himself.
Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
- George Bernard Shaw
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