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2017 - non supportive seats - any ideas?

3291 Views 11 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  JaysOnTheEDGE
I’ve had the Subaru Forester two years now / and have essentially failed to adjust the driver seat to my liking. The issue isn’t back pain. There is just this lack of support in the lower thigh area - the seat isn’t deep enough. I’m just 5’ 7” - but 220lbs / but no idea how anyone taller can like this car. I guess if you’re skinny it might work better. Anyway the positioning is weird enough that I get too much of pressure on the right adductor/right groin muscle. Moving foot from brake to accelerator just isn’t seamless enough. Any ideas? I might go back to VW - not as reliable maybe - but just got me better ergonomically.
Also drove my FILs outback for a weekend on a longish road trip / just couldnt get the driving position comfortable...
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FWIW, getting comfortable while sitting in a car can be a challenge, for anyone. Having issues myself beyond the car seat, I have sought professional advice.

That advice can be summarized as:
Most of us are sitting in bad positions everywhere we sit. Our bodies wind up in a “C” shape rather than upright because the cushion portion is too long and tilted down in back rather than allowing our thighs and knees to be lower than our butts. We also need more support in the mid and lower back area to hold us upright, rather than with our head and neck leaning forward. The first thing the instructor does is to have one sit farther forward on the cushion (no thigh support by the seat) and to place a roll cushion behind your back. Essentially puff out your chest and the rest will follow. Again, knees lower than your butt, not higher.

You can easily google utube videos on this. In my Forester, I tilted the cushion as far to level as I could, then raised the seat to get my knees lower than my butt. At 5’7” you should have plenty of headroom to raise your seat as far up as it will go to get you level.

This will require an adjustment and will feel strange at first. Same goes for sitting at home. No slouchy soft couch sitting way back with your knees high.
Check it out.

Luck, it isn’t easy,


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Interesting advise. My previous car was an Infinity SUV and the seat had limited adjustments. I was very comfortable for about 150 K miles. I have not fully adjusted my Forester and seem to keep changing the seat positions. I'm about 5-11/150 pounds and probably need to keep playing with the adjustments some more. Thanks for the advise...
Try sitting in a 15+ WRX/STI. If you like those seats you can swap them in...
My stock Impreza Premium seats are terrible on my lower back, particularly on long trips. I'm fairly average build and height.

FWIW, I recently have driven trip distances in a Toyota, a Nissan and a Hyundai and found the lower back support to be so much better and really don't have any issues with them.
I have no issues with the way my seats are set up, quite comfortable..
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OTOH - I’m not sure whether it’s the seat that’s the problem - or the position of ref brake and gas pedals. My back doesn’t hurt. What hurts is trying to pivot between the pedals on my heel. This causes a little too much pressure to build up in the adductor muscles where they connect to the pelvis..
I don't have a problem with the seat length/depth in my 2017 2.5i Premium, but the seat backs definitely suck. Several of the reviews I read before buying it complained about the inadequate bolster, and they are definitely right about that - I've got to hang on to the wheel to stay centered in the seat taking turns at speed, and I've had front seat passengers complain about rolling side-to-side. My bigger complaint is that the "lumbar" support isn't placed high enough to provide any lumbar support - it's so low that it pushes the pelvis forward and worsens low back posture. The seats in the RAV4's we have in my employer's fleet are far superior in regards to both the bolster and lumbar support. I keep playing around with different cushions but haven't found one that I'm thrilled with. This is my first Subaru and I really like pretty much everything about it except these front seats!
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I know what your talking about. I had a 2014 VW Sportwagen and I loved the seats in it. When VW bought it back I got the Forester and the seats set way too flat. So I I raised the front of the seat about 2 inches and now it's more like the VW seats.

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I feel you on the seats being unsupportive. I’m 6’1” 250lbs and I feel like I fall out of the seat when making turns.
I found I can be comfortable if I move the seat forward and bring the steering wheel out all the way. A few minor adjustment for personal feel.
If you reach forward, your wrists should be on top of the wheel with your back against the seat.
I seems sorta close, but you get such a better hold of your upper body through your hands on the wheel. Give it a shot for a while.
As for the passenger seat... I can’t figure out a great position, but I just make due.

Wrx rear sway bar helps with the body roll that throws you out of the seat too. Great cheap mod.
If your pedals are the issue, try taking out your floor mats or try different floor mats. Sometimes even just your shoes make a difference.
on my 2 year old 2017 the dealer had to replace the foam support cushion on the bottom drivers seat after i took it in and said it had no more support. I am at 34K miles so i got it taken care of right before my warranty expires. something to ask about if your still in warranty and you feel the seat is not offering support anymore.
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