What Does Driving Comfort Mean?

For those old enough to remember Ricardo Montalbán, you’d probably recall him as elegant, urbane, and someone who lived a life of luxury and comfort. He played the role of Mr. Roarke on the TV show Fantasy Island, and was once a pitchman for the Chrysler Cordoba, a luxury car sold in the mid-1970’s.

In the Cordoba commercials, Montalbán emphasized the car’s “soft Corinthian leather” seats. He made viewers believe that a car with Corinthian leather was the ultimate in comfort.

At the risk of bursting your bubble, there is no such thing as “Corinthian leather.” It was a marketing gimmick made up by an ad agency guy to position the Cordoba as a comfortable and luxurious car. The ploy was a success, as Chrysler sold 455,000 units between 1975-1977.

Thankfully, consumers no longer have to fall for Madison Avenue hype. They can go online to find out what options are available and best for them. Would a tech savvy consumer fall for the Corinthian leather schtick these days? Probably not.

So what do we look for when it comes to comfort in a car?

It’s all about the seats

Comfort starts with the seats, because you’re going to spend nearly all of your in-car time in a seat. That potentially could be a lot of hours, and a lot of miles. Add in a bad back, and you could be miserable if you don’t find a vehicle with comfy seats.

“Comfortable” seats differs by driver. Some like firm, tight-fitting seats that provide plenty of lower back support. But tight-fitting seats are confining. Can you and your passengers really sit in tight seats for long periods of time, or will they become painful after a few hours?

At the other end of the spectrum are soft and pillowy seats. These seats are, without a doubt, comfortable - but are they going to give you enough leg and back support during a long trip?

Driving position

Some vehicles have extended-leg seat positions. What this means is that the driver’s arms and legs are almost fully extended while driving. Extended-leg positions are common in sports cars, although many sedans and SUVs are now being designed this way.

Extended-leg position seats can be great, as long as they can tilt you forward or recline backward to give you the proper angle of support for your back, arms, and neck. Seats that require you to sit too close or far from the wheel with minimal back support can cause fatigue and stress.

Lower back support

Lumbar support can be a lifesaver for a driver. The basic idea is that by using a lever located on the side of the seat, the driver can increase or decrease the amount of pressure in the lower back area. It can help those with back problems, or lower back fatigue that is often associated with a long drive.

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get lumbar support, as the feature often comes with moderately-priced cars. Higher end cars have support systems that are power-operated. The power systems allow the driver more control over the stiffness of the lower back support, and also control where the support is concentrated - higher or lower on the back.

Leg support

Your legs and bum are most likely the first areas to give out (or fall asleep) on a long drive. Some luxury model cars offer seats with manually-operated extensions that provide additional leg support. Also available in higher priced models are power-adjustable seat cushions that add extra support and comfort for your bum.

The power of seats

Power seats offer an infinite number of position settings which manual seats cannot. If more than one person drives the vehicle, power seats are especially beneficial, because seat preferences can be pre-programmed. If you’ve ever tried to find your favorite spot with a manual seat, you know that the effort doesn’t always result in success.

If you’re considering power seats, think about heating, ventilation, and massage as additional options. These features will make drives - long or short - much more comfortable.

Extend your test drive

If you have back problems or other parts of your body that ache during long drives, tell your car salesperson you need 20 to 30 minutes behind the wheel to really test out the comfort of a car. Many will accommodate your request. You’re likely going to drive this car every day - it better be comfortable.

Entertainment systems

Let’s face it, a lot of people claim to be car audio experts when they’re really not. Anyone can shop for a sound system that plays up to 20,000 Hz (about the frequency where humans start to lose hearing), but do you really need a sound system that powerful?

Most vehicle owners are pretty happy with a sound system that works, sounds good to the average ear, and is easy to operate. Syncing the sound system to your smartphone is becoming a must-have for safety and comfort. People don’t want to fiddle with a phone to answer a call while driving.

Newer model cars will allow you to sync your smartphone, operate the system via voice commands, and have USB connections at each seat so passengers can do their own thing without losing power.

If you’re buying a GM car, you have the option of adding wireless internet access, which is also known as GM’s “rolling hotspot.” In all, 30 GM cars and trucks have AT&T 4G LTE connectivity (the same speed that’s on most phones).

The 10 most comfortable cars

In July 2015, Consumer Reports issued a report outlining the ten most comfortable cars.

Some on the list may surprise you. Moderately priced cars that you thought only your father would own, such as the Buick LaCrosse CXS, share a spot on the same list as the luxury Mercedes S550.

What these cars have in common are seats that are well-designed, well-insulated cabins that drown out road, wind, and engine noise, and superior suspensions that adjust themselves to varying road conditions. A few of the cars on the list are so quiet that Consumer Reports said it was like “driving down a perfectly smooth highway even when the road you’re on is far from it.”

Here are the top ten most comfortable cars:

  • Audi A6 Premium Plus
  • Buick LaCross
  • Chevrolet Impala 2LTZ
  • Chrysler 300 (V6)
  • Ford Fusion Titanium
  • Lexus ES 350
  • Lexus LS 460L • Mercedes E-Class E350
  • Mercedes GL-Class GL350
  • Mercedes S550

When you’re out shopping for your next vehicle, spend some time checking out the various options, because picking the right combination can improve greatly your driving experience.

And if you’re willing to look at vehicles that were once considered cars for the elderly, you’ll be surprised at how they’ve evolved to meet the needs of today’s drivers.

Finally, what’s the story behind the soft Corinthian leather seats? They were fairly unremarkable in origin. They were made en masse at a factory in Newark, New Jersey.

Next Step

Schedule Oil Change

The most popular service booked by readers of this article is Oil Change. YourMechanic’s technicians bring the dealership to you by performing this job at your home or office 7-days a week between 7AM-9PM. We currently cover over 2,000 cities and have 100k+ 5-star reviews... LEARN MORE


The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Recent Oil Change reviews

Excellent Rating


Rating Summary


33 years of experience
991 reviews
33 years of experience
Volkswagen Passat - Oil Change - Hampton, Virginia
Matt always does a great job. Very professional. I look forward to my next appointment.... A++++++
Ford Expedition - Oil Change - Hampton, Virginia
I am so please to have Matt work on my vehicle, he is very friendly and personable, and always does a great job.


22 years of experience
37 reviews
22 years of experience
Audi A3 - Oil Change - Queen Creek, Arizona
Job well done! Greg was on time and professional. He treated my vehicle with care. He completed the job smoothly and so far so good. First time using Your mechanic and it was a pleasant experience. I will be looking into them again. Thanks Greg!
Ford Explorer - Oil Change - Scottsdale, Arizona
Greg was very friendly and professional. Communication was great, he let me know what he was doing. He went above and beyond to make sure everything was running smoothly. I would 100% recommend Greg!


27 years of experience
93 reviews
27 years of experience
Buick Encore - Oil Change - Oakland, California
Another home run! Really appreciate the flexibility regarding my service appointment. Due to my work schedule I desperately needed a late appointment. So grateful my car is receiving top shelf professional service. Replaced a oil pan drain plug that was seriously damaged and stripped by a competitor that will NEVER get my business again! All services were quickly completed. Thank you so much for another great experience with my.... Your Mechanic Lavell 5 ⭐️ Service consistently.


23 years of experience
483 reviews
23 years of experience
Porsche 911 - Oil Change - Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
Brian is extremely knowledgeable and very personable and has taken very good care on my 911. I would recommend Brian to any one who has mechanical car challenges. I would recommend Brian to all My friends and family

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.


Related articles

How to Buy Good Quality Car Upholstery
Your Your car’s upholstery should be comfortable, yet at the same time people look for material that is easy to clean, durable, and makes a fashionable impression. Over time stains, rips, sun damage, and more can take its toll resulting...
How Do Seat Belts Work?
A A brief history of seat belts The first seat belts were not invented for a vehicle at all, but for tourists, painters, firemen, or anyone who worked in a job where they might need to be held safely. It...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from sitting in a car’s seat for a long drive. Sometimes,...

Related questions

How do I remove a headrest?

All of headrests can be removed. To do so, first lift the headrest up to its highest position. Then press and hold the Release button on the headrest support while pulling the headrest up until it is removed. Tip Always...

How do I buckle a seat belt?

Seat belts are very important safety features, and you should never be in a moving vehicle without wearing a seat belt that is properly fastened. Buckling your seat belt is easy, and only takes a few steps: 1. Slowly pull...

Electrical components malfunction

Your model Mercedes uses an electronic controller called SAM (signal acquisition module) to actually supply power to many electrical components. There are multiple SAMs in your vehicle and one of these is not working properly. A professional mechanic with specific...

How can we help?

Our service team is available 7 days a week, Monday - Friday from 6 AM to 5 PM PST, Saturday - Sunday 7 AM - 4 PM PST.

1 (855) 347-2779 · hi@yourmechanic.com