Lumbar support on volvo's and most german cars....

Botus

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we should have a poll of who's happy with seats in a car as per the title...

mate just got his new S60 hybrid with heated vented multi lumbar seats and he's now having back problems from the seats. He drove a x60 and liked it, drove a poverty spec S60 and liked it... but now he's having issues with his higher spec one....

I'm not surprised, wife used to work for volvo and had loads of them, every single one from a C30 to and S80 crippled my back. If we went anywhere I had to ram a T shirt down behind my back or I would be in agony for 2 weeks... Which is all very strange as all the motoring posts rant about vovlo seats being the most comfortable of anything out there (when they aren't)...

Then we get my S class and its got heated, vented, multi lumbar, dynamic, massaging seats and they are by far the most hideously uncomfortable seat of any car I've ever driven. I have a pound shop lumbar support and two carefully folded flannels that finally give some support...

Both of my father's E class' have had very average seats, his w124 had the orthopaedic option and they ruined his back (he's 5 foot 10) and mine. His w211 is much better on the std seats but pretty woeful after 30 miles. Every BMW (I've had three), has had no lumbar support and give mild back ache. Most VWs have horrid seats, and both my omega's gave me some issues. With the later one being much worse as the lumba support was fitted even higher.

As I said to my mate on his Volvo... so there's NO lumbar support where you need it lower down and far too much starting 3 to 4 inches further up and going 6 inches above what a normal human needs. And even on it min setting, its at least double you'd ever want and after 6 miles you're in agony.... and he said EXACTLY ! - so what gives.... I'm 6 foot 3 with a 33 inch inside leg (so quite proportionate for the height) and yet the lumbar is much, much too high and it just cripples you... and one of our sites in in Germany and they are all much shorter than me, so what gives?

Then you find when you sit in any Ford the seats are just PERFECT.... so a car designed for far more people, of far more varying shapes and sizes, in far more locations on the planet, get it right every time, from budget to premium. I even had a Fiat Panda for many years with the removable camping chairs and they were just fine !!! And yet every german car and Volvo's are exclusively designed for a different type of human ?

Any one get how / why and what's different about these people ? they look the same, 98% are shorter than me, yet have a lumbar that's 3 to 6 inches higher, in the wrong place....

I get it on the S class, its for the tail of the lizard people ruining the planet... but on a 3 series, E class or any volvo ?
 
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Blobcat

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Never had a seat issue in any Mercedes, even my SLK is comfortable for all day - Aberdeen to Portsmouth...
5 Series BM in the other hand was never ever ever comfortable
 

Srdl

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Very happy with my GLC seats and four way lumbar adjustment (up/down, in/out). Having fractured two vertebrae three years ago, I do suffer with back pain sometime but I can drive the car all day without discomfort. Previous 207 had the multi-contour seats and they were fine as well.
 

LostKiwi

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Never had a problem with any MB seats other than a 2000 W202 - they were rock hard.
Had 2 Volvos and found those seats superb and easily the best of any car I've ever owned.
 

sonic

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We are both very pleased with the seats on our 212 E class & the SLC. Best seat ever Renault 16TX.
 

sl500amgsport

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Mercedes SL very comfortable seats with good adjustable thigh & multiposition lumbar support, driven from Essex to Cornwall without a break.

Wife's Fiat 500s cripples me after 10 minutes without a back support cushion.

Mercedes SL500 R231
 

davidsl500

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The R172 seats are very comfortable and I can happily drive all day in them - 8 hours the one time with a couple of short breaks for coffee. Took me 3 weeks to get the perfect position in the car fine tuning mirrors, steering wheel and seat including lumbar before storing them in 2 memory buttons in case I mess one up at some time!
 

DSK

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I hate to say this but, many aches and pains are caused by an incorrect seating position but very few seem to be aware of this. You just have to look at how 90% of drivers sit...….

The seats in my old Volvo fleet are lovely and that's from having travelled about 1,000 miles a week for the last 11 years!

I have found older Volvo and Saab seats to be amongst the best in the business, as well as seats in old Mercedes, as a general experience. I have also been surprised by the seats in my old Supra and a modern Porsche 911, as they are very slim so thought that they would become uncomfortable but, again, no issues and amazingly supportive over 5 hour plus drives, only stopping for fuel and no issues. My older BMWs including the M5's were reasonable with only the E34 M5 having the better support from the BMWs albeit in firm-ish manner but not in the same league as the other's I've tried. My CLS and a 2010 E350 I had were just a little above average, no real pains as such but, rather the crap materials becoming noticeable (being picky) over long runs and these were/are cars used for long motorway miles and get me to the other side almost as well as

Where I do find problems is with low spec cars e.g. 2013 Astra GTC and cars that are by and large, 'average' despite marque, intended to be sold in large quantities to the masses as this is where seating receives less investment. I've tried some family members newish VWs (2.0 tdi sporty line things) and a 2018 BMW 520d and found them to be uncomfortable by design. Another car that sticks in my head for poor seat design is the Peugeot 206 and having the pedals or steering wheel offset (can't remember which) was just surreal.
 
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M80

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I changed my first Vito seats for ML163 and that was a great improvement Far more comfortable and what helps a lot is being able to adjust the electrical seat position a little easily after a couple of hours.

A replaced the previous Vito with Volvo seats, again a great improvement.

The present Viano seats are better than the 3 previous 639's as they are more supportive for me, being slim. But I still suffer some ache after a long drive.

The present E class (211) are comfortable over distance but I do have a lumber cushion at the bottom of the back rest. The issue with that is that is that it can draw some sweat. I agree with you the seats own lumber adjustment is too high, and I'm 5'7".

Comfortable on a long drive were the seats in the wife's Gr Cherokee (WJ). The electric inflation lumber was low down and could be adjusted easily. The seats as with the whole motor though were too floppy. Nothing was firm. Better for the pot holes mind.
 
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Botus

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Never had a problem with any MB seats other than a 2000 W202 - they were rock hard.
Had 2 Volvos and found those seats superb and easily the best of any car I've ever owned.
thanks for the replies...

so most of you have the other type of back...

had a loner C class 203 and the seats were normal.... had it been an auto would have been the best Merc I've been in
 
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Botus

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here's how it works for me, (I get this isn't the seating position, its about explaining where the seats provide support / unwanted un-adjustable pressure)

Strange seats.jpg
 
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Botus

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on my S class passenger's have the same stress issues on long trips... the biggest issue is the over the top support between Thoracic and Cervical area, you can add even more with extremely intricate adjustment..... but you can get it like a normal car to start off with.

here you go the other wrong ones,


BMW Seats.jpg
 
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Mark A

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Biggest problem I had was as a result of keeping my wallet in my back pocket. Moving it to a jacket pocket soon made a difference.
 

Rob7seven

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I've had four MBs, 3 Cs and one E, all were AMG Line which means the seats were different from baser models, but I found them all to be fine, long journeys and no back problems at all. The only really uncomfortable seats I've had were in an Audi A4. They were as unforgiving as a park bench, and coupled with typical Audi firm ride, were the reason I didn't keep the car very long. The only slight problem I've got with my current C300 is that I'd like the steering wheel a bit closer, I haven't got short arms, but I'd like a another half inch or so extension. I'd agree with a previous poster that the seat and backrest position are common causes of back discomfort.
 

Srdl

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I've had four MBs, 3 Cs and one E, all were AMG Line which means the seats were different from baser models, but I found them all to be fine, long journeys and no back problems at all. The only really uncomfortable seats I've had were in an Audi A4. They were as unforgiving as a park bench, and coupled with typical Audi firm ride, were the reason I didn't keep the car very long. The only slight problem I've got with my current C300 is that I'd like the steering wheel a bit closer, I haven't got short arms, but I'd like a another half inch or so extension. I'd agree with a previous poster that the seat and backrest position are common causes of back discomfort.
Does your car not have reach as well as height adjustment for the steering wheel?
 

Rob7seven

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Does your car not have reach as well as height adjustment for the steering wheel?

Yes, all that. I've got the wheel as close as it will go, and I'd still be more comfortable with it a fraction closer. For obvious reasons though, I haven't been on any long trips yet, and with Covid problems and restrictions, maybe not at all this year, but the car does seem very comfortable in every other way on the shortish trips I have done.
 

Blobcat

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Yes, all that. I've got the wheel as close as it will go, and I'd still be more comfortable with it a fraction closer. For obvious reasons though, I haven't been on any long trips yet, and with Covid problems and restrictions, maybe not at all this year, but the car does seem very comfortable in every other way on the shortish trips I have done.
You should with your shoulders against the seat back be able to just touch the wheel with the inside of your wrists with your arms straight
 

Slartibardfast1

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My SL (R231) has the most comfortable seats I've ever experienced. I had to spend some time to get all the settings just right for me and SWMBO. They have "Active Multicontour Seat package":

Unadulterated seating comfort, even on longer journeys: integrated air cushions provide a broad scope for optimising your seating position. Optionally – particularly on longer journeys – you can enjoy a stimulating massage. For those with a sporty driving style, the dynamic seat side bolsters offer optimum lateral support.
Components:
  • Active multicontour seats in the front with separately adjustable air chambers which can be set via the multimedia system
  • Electrically adjustable 4-way lumbar support
  • Dynamic driving functions with automatic lateral stability depending on steering angle, lateral acceleration and speed of the vehicle
  • 14 air chambers enable ENERGIZING massage function featuring 6 different programmes with a relaxing, stimulating or mobilising effect, "firm" and "gentle" settings, duration between 12 and 15 minutes
  • Seat heating Plus for driver and front passenger

 

Wighty

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As a back sufferer I have found the key to comfort (for my issues) is to make sure that the thighs are supported correctly , otherwise their weight drags the pelvis forward and therefore the lumbar region as well .
If the front of the seat base is higher than the back of the seat base (I use maximum tilt to achieve this) this is what works for me . I also tip the back of the seat backwards more than most so that some of my upper body weight is supported by the seat and doesn’t just sit directly on top of my lower spine .
Also any back problem people , make sure you exit and entry correctly . Sit you bum down first then lift both feet in together , then exiting , both feet out together then stand up . This stops the pelvis twisting
 
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