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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, I just joined the Subaru family this week with a new 2021 Forester Limited. Big change from my 2013 Buick Enclave but with almost 100 mile round trip to work and all the kids and grandkids off doing their own thing it was time to downsize. I love everything about my Forester - except the passenger seat - not the luxurious comfort I'm used to. Any suggestions welcomed because at this point I'm thinking a road trip isn't going to be an option. I wish I'd have gotten the Touring model now but I didn't know this would be an issue. I knew the car would feel very different - and for the most part I like the feel, kinda fun and zippy compared to the boat - the seat is the only thing I'm disappointed about. I'm sure there's a fix so if anyone has found a great solution please share :)

While I'm new to Subaru 2 of my kids drive them and LOVE them which is what lead me that direction. This will be our last car until we retire; then maybe we'll upgrade to the Touring because so far, I'm impressed with the company and the cars.
 

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We just did a 2,400 mile trip in our new '21 Limited. My wife and I both have issues with our low backs on long road trips, but not in the Forester (our first Subaru, too). Neither of us had any problems whatsoever.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
We just did a 2,400 mile trip in our new '21 Limited. My wife and I both have issues with our low backs on long road trips, but not in the Forester (our first Subaru, too). Neither of us had any problems whatsoever.
I'm jealous. We drove 44 miles to work and my back was bothering me within 20 miles. Been a long time since I've had a car with no lumbar support option.
 

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I'm 6'3" 255 lbs. and do all the driving and my wife is 5'5" about 125 lbs. She used to use a lumbar pillow she got on Amazon in our previous SUV but did not seem to need it in the Forester. The power lumbar in the driver's seat does help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'm 6'3" 255 lbs. and do all the driving and my wife is 5'5" about 125 lbs. She used to use a lumbar pillow she got on Amazon in our previous SUV but did not seem to need it in the Forester. The power lumbar in the driver's seat does help.
Yes, the drivers seat is great - but hubs and I carpool to work for 44 miles one way and that leaves me in the passenger seat. I'll definitely try a few lumbar pillows and see if we can't remedy the situation because this is going to be our daily driver :) and I do love everything else about the car.
 

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2014 2.5i Limited CVT
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Hi and welcome to the land of Foz...

A few things to consider -

You downsized from a full-size SUV in the "near luxury" market to a compact SUV built to a more rugged design set. You will not be as comfortable simply because of the "near luxury" status of the Buick. It would be the same if you'd moved from an Acura or (to some extent) a Lexus. A better cross comparison would be the Subaru Ascent. Remember that Buick was always just a step below Cadillac in the GM hierarchy.... Subaru had always been a brand more focused on economy and off-road capabilities.

Just as everybody is different, every BODY is different. So is every seat... The seats in the Forester are very different from the seats in your Buick, and your body fits different in those seats. My mom is a classic example of this - in my Forester, she's very comfortable... She's ridden with friends in many different cars (a Prius, some Cadillacs, a Mercedes, and others) and never has been as comfortable as in my Forester. The only thing she's felt more comfortable in is her own Chrysler PT Cruiser and the old Town & Country van we had (and still have). Oh and the big Bounder RV...

Before I bought my 2014 Forester (summer 2013), I'd had a GMC Terrain as a rental when my former Mazda was getting work done. The Terrain felt like a truck, drove like a truck and sucked down gas like a truck. I'd tested out many of the competition for the Forester - including the Jeep twins, the VW, the Toyota RAV and others - and the Forester was far and away the most comfortable...

We just took a trip up to the central coast of California (a little over 300 miles each way). We were both comfortable on the ride - all the way through LA traffic and up and down the mountains from LA through Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo and onwards... Did we stop and get out from time to time? Sure - we had 4 small/medium sized dogs in the back that needed bathroom breaks (as did we).

You'll find a comfortable way to sit in the Forester (with or without the added cushioning) that will serve you well. And maybe just swap out driving duties a few days per week - even if you get dropped off first, swap out the drive from time to time....
 

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The Foresters have always been uncomfortable for me. It's funny because even for it's small size, my '03 WRX still is one of the most comfortable in that regard coming in a close second to my Challenger.

I suffered through a 120 miles round-trip commute for 14 years mostly driven in my wife's old '08 Forester. It actually took it's toll on me physically as I have lower back problems which were made worse by the uncomfortable seating position and seat design.

Her 2020 Forester is a night and day difference but then again, it's gone through several generational changes which have included increases in size, etc. It's still not the most comfortable car but it's good and if I had to use it again for a commute, I'm sure my back and I would do just fine. There's enough room to shift around and get comfortable.

I'm usually the one driving but I have ridden in the passenger seat. I would agree it's not as comfortable as the driver position because of the limited adjustability but I never had a problem with it. Even the backseats aren't bad especially with the reclining feature and ample legroom which still surprises me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hi and welcome to the land of Foz...

A few things to consider -

You downsized from a full-size SUV in the "near luxury" market to a compact SUV built to a more rugged design set. You will not be as comfortable simply because of the "near luxury" status of the Buick. It would be the same if you'd moved from an Acura or (to some extent) a Lexus. A better cross comparison would be the Subaru Ascent. Remember that Buick was always just a step below Cadillac in the GM hierarchy.... Subaru had always been a brand more focused on economy and off-road capabilities.

Just as everybody is different, every BODY is different. So is every seat... The seats in the Forester are very different from the seats in your Buick, and your body fits different in those seats. My mom is a classic example of this - in my Forester, she's very comfortable... She's ridden with friends in many different cars (a Prius, some Cadillacs, a Mercedes, and others) and never has been as comfortable as in my Forester. The only thing she's felt more comfortable in is her own Chrysler PT Cruiser and the old Town & Country van we had (and still have). Oh and the big Bounder RV...

Before I bought my 2014 Forester (summer 2013), I'd had a GMC Terrain as a rental when my former Mazda was getting work done. The Terrain felt like a truck, drove like a truck and sucked down gas like a truck. I'd tested out many of the competition for the Forester - including the Jeep twins, the VW, the Toyota RAV and others - and the Forester was far and away the most comfortable...

We just took a trip up to the central coast of California (a little over 300 miles each way). We were both comfortable on the ride - all the way through LA traffic and up and down the mountains from LA through Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo and onwards... Did we stop and get out from time to time? Sure - we had 4 small/medium sized dogs in the back that needed bathroom breaks (as did we).

You'll find a comfortable way to sit in the Forester (with or without the added cushioning) that will serve you well. And maybe just swap out driving duties a few days per week - even if you get dropped off first, swap out the drive from time to time....
I'm sure it's something I will get used to in time and I'll find a little pillow or something for my lower back. Or yes, kick the hubs out and I'll do the driving. We actually work at the same place so that could happen any time and he might actually like the break from messing with the traffic. :p Phoenix freeways are almost like LA anymore.

Sounds like you had a great trip up the coast!!! So looking forward to getting out of this heat soon!
 

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Living in that same general heat pattern as you - I'm just 2 hours west of you - I can concur...

BTW, in the original post, I noticed the lament "I coulda got a Touring!"... know that the touring would not be any different when it comes to seat shape, style or comfort - at best, the biggest change could be color with the optional "java brown" leather. But otherwise, the same construction as your Limited.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Living in that same general heat pattern as you - I'm just 2 hours west of you - I can concur...

BTW, in the original post, I noticed the lament "I coulda got a Touring!"... know that the touring would not be any different when it comes to seat shape, style or comfort - at best, the biggest change could be color with the optional "java brown" leather. But otherwise, the same construction as your Limited.
True, but the touring had lumbar support and other seat adjustments that would have been the same as the drivers seat - which I find is more comfortable simply by making adjustments. But, at this point it is what it is; I do love the car in every other way and am happy with the purchase. I'll figure out a pillow or seat cover with lumbar support that will improve it <3
 

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You may be able to have a lumbar support installed in the passenger seat, just like what is in the driver seat. I don't know if you still have Arizona Sun Tops in the Phoenix area, but years ago when I was working for a leather seat manufacturer (that used to supply the "factory" leather seats for Subaru), AST was our big installer in Phoenix. They surely could install a power lumbar in the passenger side that would not impede your airbags or anything...

One other option would be to find a Touring from the SK generation in a wrecking yard with your same color interior and swap out the seat...
 

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You didn't say what color your seats were, but if you have the black, swapping in a Touring passenger seat could be an option as far as color match, both will be leather, but the biggest question is there a connector to power the seat? Also there would (obviously) be no seat position memory function like the Touring has.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
You didn't say what color your seats were, but if you have the black, swapping in a Touring passenger seat could be an option as far as color match, both will be leather, but the biggest question is there a connector to power the seat? Also there would (obviously) be no seat position memory function like the Touring has.
They are the two-tone light gray/dark gray
 

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They are the two-tone light gray/dark gray
Ah, the Touring only has Saddle Brown, and Black for interior seat colors.
I ordered the gray two tone for mine, because the last few cars I've owned were all black interior, so it was getting old, and I like the brighter look. The downside is it limits the exterior color options.

And, I guess if you wanted to try to put a color matched Touring passenger seat in a Limited. LOL.
 

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This is an interesting discussion. I've never experienced lower-back problems, but I do have serious neck issues (cervical spondylosis). Moreover, in every car I've ever driven for two hours or more, I experience intense pain/cramping in my right thigh. Stopping to stretch and walk is minimally helpful. I've tried a variety of seat pads, without success.

We've had our Forester just a week, which we bought for utility/long-distance trips.
Any suggestions?
 
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