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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey, Y’all. I’ve really enjoyed reading your comments on other threads. I would greatly appreciate your help with my car-buying-decision-making process.

I need some opinions about whether to buy a Prius now or wait a couple of years in hopes of better seats/comfort. I was planning to keep my old car (1999 Saturn SW2 station wagon) for 1-2 more years and then go hybrid, but I totalled my car last week and am forced to make a decision now. My main reason for choosing a Prius/hybrid car is that I think it’s the right thing to do. And, yes, I admit I also think they’re cool (ie I fit the ‘greenie’ and ‘techie’ labels more than the ‘cheapie’).

However, I had always hoped that my next car would be MORE comfortable than my Saturn rather than LESS so. I don’t have many opportunities to test drive a Prius here (rural NC). A friend came from out of town last weekend and I drove her ’04 around the block and was surprised by how up-right and uncomfortable the seats were to me. I do realize that this was 2 days after my wreck, so everything seemed uncomfortable to me. (I otherwise thought it was an amazingly cool car, of course.)

At first, I thought my decision was simple because I thought I couldn’t afford the monthly payment on a new Prius right now, anyway. I was going to get a used Honda Accord (safe, decent MPG, room in the back seat for toddler car seat, and good re-sale value.) Thought I could sell it in 2 to 3 years and get a Prius.

Just realized though, that I will be driving more from now on (new job). Maybe as much as 30,000 miles per year. If so, and assuming the Toyota calculator is correct, the difference in gas cost would be almost identical to the difference in car payment. (And, of course the Prius would be much better for the environment, etc.) However, driving that many miles, I want to be reasonably comfortable and not be cursing my car seats half-way into my commute.

Are the seats as bad as I think? Does anyone know if Toyota is going to improve the seats/comfort in the Prius in the next one to two years? If not, I guess I would just get the Prius now. If they did change the seats soon and I wanted to get a new model, would the ’05 Prius be as easy to sell as the Honda? (It would have quite a few miles on it.) I don’t want to make a profit, just would hate to be really up-side down on it. I also tend to keep my cars for a long time (I’m 36 and had a VW Golf for 10yrs then the Saturn until now), so the idea of changing cars every couple of years is weird to me. But I want to have a car I love.

Sorry to go on so long. I would appreciate any input you guys might have for me.
Lana
 

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dontcheff said:
I think the Prius seats are very fine. Better than most of the cars I have sat in.
I went on my first 'road trip' in the Prius this weekend, and my passenger commented how comfortable it was to ride in. I find that the driver's seat is fine for me.
 

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seat comfort

I also wondered about the seat comfort of a Prius considering my disk problem and my ease in stepping up into my Jeep SUV. Surprisingly, getting into the Prius and riding seem equally comfortable for me. Of course, sling back plush seats don't do it for me--I need the straighter lines.
 

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It looks like there are a lot of opinions on the seat comfort issue. It is too bad that Toyota didn't put in more fine tuning capability, even as an option.

That being said, I really like the way the seat fits me. I am a little over feet and have two herniated disks. My wife is 5 feet 4 with no back problems and she has no complaints about the seat comfort. One of the most uncomfortable cars I ever drove was a Ford Explorer with power seat adjustment. I just could not get it right for me (was high in the front and cut off circulation).

I think the only way to know is to try one out. How about a Prius rental? From what I have read on this list, they are available.
 

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Well, it's definitely more comfortable than my 1994 Saturn SL2 was, despite the fact that the Saturn was very adjustable.
 

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I agree with Normich:

We're all so different that only you will be able to tell. A test drive or, as suggested, a rental and a good, long road trip in it.

Cheers,

-bob
 

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The most comfortable seats I ever had in a car was a 1984 Honda Prelude...which was once stolen, and recovered 3 days later in perfect condition, with just the front seats missing. They had some special designer name, & were quite expensive for insurance to replace, I remember.

Barring that very special kind of seat, I would say, for me, the Prius is as comfortable as any of the many other cars I have owned.
 

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I'm 6'4" tall and 200 lbs and find my 04 Prius seats to be much more comfortable than the seats were in my last car a 1994 Toyota 4Runner. I also had second car at the time, a 1987 Chevy El Camino, with quite comfortable bench seats but they were a pain to get into and out of because they were too low for a long legged senior like me. I definitely like the chair height of the Prius seats when gettiing in and out. The heated leather seats in my wife's 04 Pontiac Bonneville are very comfortable but are also a pain for me to get in and out of because like most regular cars as opposed to SUV's and trucks they are too low.

I normally drive my Prius locally with trips seldom over 20 minutes and seat comfort is not an issue. However, on a long 10 day round trip last fall from the Seatlle area up through Canada and down to Denver I found the Prius seats quite comfortable. Probably should have taken the Pontiac but it burns premium and only gets 24 mpg on the highway. The Prius averaged slightly over 50 mpg on the long trip, a reasonable tradeoff for a slightly less comfortable ride.

If seat comfort is possibly a deal killer for you I also suggest you rent one and take it for a long drive.

My .02 cents.
 

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I think you covered it pretty well Chas. I didn't have the luck of reading this site before buying mine. Just all the written specs. No dealer in New England even had one to sit in aside of actually driving one. My dealer suggested I drive one of his new Camrys as he said it is almost identicle as the Prius. "NOT" The first look I had of a Prius was when I picked up my new car and honestly, with all the gimmics I didn't realize just how uncomfortable a couple hours would be. I can't explain it but I just can't get that comfortable in mine. It sort of feels as if I'm not fully in.
I will also admit that if I had been given the chance to drive one for the weekend because of the premise of the car I would probably have overlooked the seats. Now I realize just how uncomfortable they can be just when I sit and read in them while waiting for my wifes hour plus Doctors appointments. Bucket seats are the "In" today but I remember the comfort of those El Camino seats fondly. Lord!, just imagine what a great vehicle that El Camino would be with synergy power in it!.
 

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I'm having the exact opposite experience from hype. I find the Prius seats extremely comfortable - much more so than my previous car (G35 Coupe). The Coupe had "premium" seats, but after an hour, both your butt and right leg went numb.

I just got back from a Vegas run over spring break and never once noticed any discomfort or even the need to shift in the seat. It's about 4 or 5 hour drive from my house to Vegas. It was a straight shot, other than our usual stop in Barstow to get gas and In-N-Out burgers, except this time we didn't need to fill up.

BTW - I'm about 5'10" and 240 lbs. Maybe my J-Lo butt fits better?


DGStan
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks very much for your replies. I'm going to DC this weekend to pick up my Prius! I decided to go ahead and buy it because I think it fits well with what I believe and how I want to live my life. Based on all of your comments, I know the seats will be fine or I will figure out a way to make them work. The six hour drive home from DC will probably tell me a lot, huh?
 

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Seat Comfort

Anyone's opinion of the seats has to be based on comparison to other cars they have driven. If you've owned a luxury car, or even a high end regular car you would know that these seats are lacking in many ways. Try sitting in a Lexus or a Porsche.

My seat is much better since I had it moved back 3 inches. My SUV has much more comfortable seats with lumbar support, 6-way adjustments, more leg and head room. I never had to 'duck' to see a semaphore. Only reason for driving this car is fuel economy (environment not $$) and the carpool lane.

Next step is to have a better cusion and lumbar support installed.
 

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:!: +A full year now in my Prius. I find the seats comfortable. Seems everyone's physique is different, so the suggestion of an adequate test drive is a good idea. Perhaps you could find a rental Prius for a weekend or a few days to give it a real test seatwise.

As in a previous post, i prefer a relatively upright backrest which the Prius provides.

Good luck on your quest !!
 

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I didn't like the feel of the seats at all when I first got it but it didn't take long to get used to them. And I've taken a couple of long trips and haven't given the seats any thought at all.

But, not long ago there were reports all over the news about headrests and how well they protect. And the safety folks made a point of saying that soft backed seats afford much more protection against whiplash than the stiffer ones.
 

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I think the foam in the prius seats is very firm and feels to hard when brand new , but like all foam in seats they tend to soften over time. I don't think the seats are so bad. I wouldn't pass up this $3200.00 tax credit because the seats aren't perfect.
 
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