Hey folks, Cooley here.
Got another one of your emails about high tech cars and modern driving.
This one comes in from bizwah_p, who says, 'I'm in the market to buy my next daily driver.
It's gonna be a mid size luxury SUV, but I'm struggling to find the one with the most comfortable seats.
Online reviews are all over the place'.
Test drives are time consuming and not always feasible.
Is there a good rating system for modern vehicle sitting comfort.
Boy, this is one of the toughest things to measure in a modern car biz.
You can quantify almost everything else but this gets really hard and the biggest problem with sitting in a car is that you're sitting As soon as a human body is sitting for longer than what twenty minutes, I understand, things begin to stack and compress and get into a place that they're not supposed to be.
So pain is what you need to alleviate.
Seats are incredibly hard to quantify, yes you can look up leg room, hip room, and all that kind of thing on any car specs And you end up with a lot of data and not a lot of answers about whether a seat is comfortable is for you.
It is like knowing horsepower but not zero to sixty or tire size but not skid pad holding.
The only way to know is The seat's comfortable is to know if the seat's comfortable and that means you got to drive the distance.
This is where a test drive of 30 minutes or longer in my estimation really pays off.
Again, after about 20 minutes I think an uncomfortable seat's gonna reveal itself.
So the half hour test drive if you can pay attention is going to give you come insights into whether that car's comfortable for longer drives.
You see no amount of adjustments from Nissan's zero gravity inspired seats to Lincoln's 30 way adjustability or even Mercedes' active adaptive seats is going to necessarily right for you.
That's it JD power which ranks all kinds of automotive satisfaction, has a specific survey for seats satisfaction.
I didn't know this until you wrote in.
It's called the Seat quality and satisfaction rating.
Now it largely looks at defects or areas of frustration more than literal comfort.
They measure problems reported or features that were difficult to understand or even access.
The two most common complaints are upholstery that gets dirty or scuffed easily, or headrests that are hard to adjust.
Aren't they always?
After that, satisfaction with car seating is affected mostly by whether or not you can access three controls and use them well.
Fore and aft, height, and recline.
The basic three.
If those are easy to get to and use, seats get ranked around an eight point four out of ten.
Make those hard to reach or use, and seat satisfaction drops to below a seven out of ten.
It makes a big difference.
And look what a difference it makes to brand repurchase loyalty if someone is satisfied with the seats in their current car.
JD Power found the cars getting a 10 on their seats have nearly 70% repurchase loyalty, not entirely tied to the seats of course.
If the seats are ranked at a 5 out of 10 or worse, Loyalty to rebuy that kind of car shrinks to 20%.
The next big thing in seats that really goes after all these issues are active adaptive seats, and they're not that far off.
Companies like Forcia and Lear are showing these concepts now, trying to get auto makers to bite.
The idea is a seat that uses sensors that can tell where there are pressure points.
Can actively adapt to those without you fussing with controls that you don't really understand very well, and also to read other biometric signals to detect if you're uncomfortable or stressed right now.
In the meantime, test drive a car for 30 minutes or more.
I think it'll tell yo a lot about the seats.
Feel around for all the controls.
Are they logical?
And do they make sense without you having to study them.
And watch two videos I've done recently about adjusting your seats.
Most do it all wrong.
And about setting your mirrors after you do so.
Keep those emails coming.
I'm here to answer your questions about high tech cars and modern driving.
It's Cooley at theroadshow.com
Screens are taking over your car
Head gaskets and why they cost so much
See how Honda is putting stores in its cars
Take a look at what your next car's rearview mirror will do
Scanning cars is becoming a thing
See how WayRay laser holographs can turn a windshield into the...