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2022 Forester
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10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just bought a 2022 Forester Base model and fear I may have buyer's remorse. I test drove a used 21 premium trim with power seats in the lot because that's what was available, then ordered a 2022 base. I was advised the base had manual seat adjustment instead of power, but figured that's no big deal; I've had manual adjustments my whole life. I was wrong.

Turns out the base model seats DO NOT come with any adjustable lumbar support at all, and the curve is way too much for me and pushes too hard against my back making for an extremely uncomfortable ride. The dealer says there is nothing their service dept. can do about it because it's a premanufactured seat. There has got to be SOMETHING that can be done aftermarket to retract the lumbar support or cushion inside, right? Am I the only person who has experienced this?
 

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2022 Forester Sport
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757 Posts
There has got to be SOMETHING that can be done aftermarket to retract the lumbar support or cushion inside, right? Am I the only person who has experienced this?
There are lots of options available to increase the lumbar support, not so much for decreasing it.

That would involve disassembling the seat and removing some of the support....which might have a negative impact on the longevity of the seat.

I would be inclined to work with the dealer on upgrading from a base to a premium.
 

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2021 Forester Premium
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64 Posts
I just bought a 2022 Forester Base model and fear I may have buyer's remorse. I test drove a used 21 premium trim with power seats in the lot because that's what was available, then ordered a 2022 base. I was advised the base had manual seat adjustment instead of power, but figured that's no big deal; I've had manual adjustments my whole life. I was wrong.

Turns out the base model seats DO NOT come with any adjustable lumbar support at all, and the curve is way too much for me and pushes too hard against my back making for an extremely uncomfortable ride. The dealer says there is nothing their service dept. can do about it because it's a premanufactured seat. There has got to be SOMETHING that can be done aftermarket to retract the lumbar support or cushion inside, right? Am I the only person who has experienced this?
Depending on what you're willing to spend to get the right seat, you can order all of the parts to build a "Premium" trim level seat. Maybe the dealer will give you a good deal?

I know this as I'm investigating getting an adjustable seatbase from the highest trim Forester to replace the awful passenger seat on my Premium. My driver's seat is OK as it has tilt and lumbar, but the passenger seat does not work well for me. I'm just looking at the frame for the base, and will swap my cushion over, and work out the electronics, etc.

May be a long-shot, or non-option for you... but worth asking them.
 

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2018 Forester Limited
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183 Posts
What did you expect? you bought a base model. Base Foresters have no power driver seat,no heated seats & no x mode. The poor persons trim. You should’ve been patient and bought a higher trim. It’s your fault for not researching before buying. Just buy a used seat from a premium from an auto recycler.
 

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2022 Forester
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10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
What did you expect? you bought a base model. Base Foresters have no power driver seat,no heated seats & no x mode. The poor persons trim. You should’ve been patient and bought a higher trim. It’s your fault for not researching before buying. Just buy a used seat from a premium from an auto recycler.
I guess I didn't know what to expect. Literally every other vehicle I've driven in with manual seat adjustments had a lumbar support knob, wheel, or adjustment of some kind. I would have thought that was standard.
 

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2005 2.5X 4EAT 2017 2.5i Prem CVT
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907 Posts
Unfortunately, just like fog lights this is another thing that Subaru has cheaped out on over the years. Our base model '05 Forester has a lumbar support lever on the driver's seat. It's been broken for years, but it's there!
 

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2021 Forester Premium
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64 Posts
I guess I didn't know what to expect. Literally every other vehicle I've driven in with manual seat adjustments had a lumbar support knob, wheel, or adjustment of some kind. I would have thought that was standard.
I think your expectations were totally fair. It seems that manufacturers do a few different things to deal with rising costs... on some things they raise their prices, OR, on other things they quietly delete features that we've grown accustomed to and depend on. "Shrink-flation" type mentality. Quite frustrating as it often catches us off-guard. You are definitely not alone in being affected by this kinda thing, sadly.
 

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2022 Forester Wilderness
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311 Posts
Absolutely, always test drive especially the one your going to buy. Like people, you'll know within the first 5 minutes if you like it-them.
 

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2005 2.5X 4EAT 2017 2.5i Prem CVT
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907 Posts
This is why you test deive cars before aigning the papers.
Not an easy feat the past couple of years. MANY on this forum who own '21s or '22s either had no test drive or they test drove something that wasn't exactly like what they intended to purchase. It wasn't unusual (and still isn't) for someone in the market for a new Forester to have to test drive a used one or a car from the service loaner fleet, often a year or two old. They were "close enough". You certainly couldn't pick what trim level you wanted to test drive.

Even during the best of pre-Covid times, base models have always been hard to come by in dealer stock. They haven't sold in any huge numbers since the SG generation ended in 2008. Some larger dealers would keep one or two on hand as "loss-leaders" to bring customers in at a rock bottom advertised price and then cut them a nice deal on one of the dozens of Premiums or Sports on the lot. Oldest trick in the book.

For the most part, base models are special order. Premiums and Sports are where the sales volume is, at least in the US. Base models do sell a bit better in Canada.
 

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2021 Forester Premium
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64 Posts
Thanks for the tip. I think that might be my only hop if I can work something out with the dealer/manufacturer.
Since you came here for a solution, rather than a scolding, I'll add another opinion:

The seat upholstery place really is the best place to start. They may be able to just unzip the back of the seat cover, and disconnect 1 or 2 of those wavy metal bars that supports the foam. I've seen it mentioned on other threads here, and have done related things myself in the past (shoved a small notebook in front of 2 of the bars to give more lumbar support.) No harm in asking them.

If it makes you feel better, I test drove my brand new '21 Premium for nearly 50 miles (home and back to show my wife), and in all that time I did not notice that the lumbar support was located a little too low on the seat back to help my herniated disc. I was accustomed to 4-way lumbar, and it didn't even occur to me that someone would make such a limited adjustment feature. There are so many distractions while driving/buying a new car. I currently keep the integrated support retracted fully, and use a small rolled towel to get the support I need. I'll eventually install one of those inflatable lumbar supports, right where I need it. The main reason I bumped from the Base to the Premium was that lumbar support, ironically. Many of the other Premium features are bothersome for me personally. :(
 

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2022 Forester Limited
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353 Posts
Might research race cars in your area. With motorcycle seats, there are many that customize them to "your" seat and many that customize them from the pan.
 

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2020 Subaru Forester premium
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456 Posts
I never buy base models but this is good to know..makes me know now I never will lol...but its not surprising either.
Not an easy feat the past couple of years. MANY on this forum who own '21s or '22s either had no test drive or they test drove something that wasn't exactly like what they intended to purchase. It wasn't unusual (and still isn't) for someone in the market for a new Forester to have to test drive a used one or a car from the service loaner fleet, often a year or two old. They were "close enough". You certainly couldn't pick what trim level you wanted to test drive.

Even during the best of pre-Covid times, base models have always been hard to come by in dealer stock. They haven't sold in any huge numbers since the SG generation ended in 2008. Some larger dealers would keep one or two on hand as "loss-leaders" to bring customers in at a rock bottom advertised price and then cut them a nice deal on one of the dozens of Premiums or Sports on the lot. Oldest trick in the book.

For the most part, base models are special order. Premiums and Sports are where the sales volume is, at least in the US. Base models do sell a bit better in Canada.
we only had 1 on the lot at a time(not sure if they stashed more elsewhere but I only saw 1 (new) on the lot at any 1 time.
 

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2022 Mazda CX-5 and 2021 Impreza 2015 Forester Limited
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546 Posts
What did you expect? you bought a base model. Base Foresters have no power driver seat,no heated seats & no x mode. The poor persons trim. You should’ve been patient and bought a higher trim. It’s your fault for not researching before buying. Just buy a used seat from a premium from an auto recycler.
Yep- My buddy who has the money but is cheap bought a base model, Now he hates it- for the couple thousand extra to a premium its just not worth it. He has a new one on order but he went to Touring this time.
 

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21,463 Posts
Since you came here for a solution, rather than a scolding
Well said! ;)

 
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