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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been looking at vehicles... have driven new Highlander, Atlas, Pilot and Ascent.

I'm a big, 6'5" guy and my misery when looking for cars is generally leg room (seat back to pedals) and how much the door arm guard or center console design bangs my knees.

When driving, my knees tend to rub/rest on the center console and the door armrest on the Atlas and Highlander. Highlander may be tolerable... but the Atlas was very uncomfortable (I've had a Golf in the past... and forgot how annoying the hard plastic edge of the center console could be). This sucked as the Atlas has the most comfortable, deep-seat-base depth, of the cars i tried.

The pilot has a different problem as the shifter is right where my knee ends up.

In the Ascent (and Subarus in general), i find the base seat pad to be way short for my legs. The older gen Forester's felt like a boat cushion and felt like i had a foot of unsupported thigh.

In the Ascent, in the non adjustable seats... i found them to be too short again.

Moving to the adjustable in the Limited/Touring.... it all seems ok... i don't hit the console and door panel in an uncomfortable way. I can tell the whole seat is much firmer then anything else I tried or have driven.

While it looks like the pad of the seat towards the seat back is deep enough...I can feel the divot or space of the expandable seat when i sit and it seems close like my butt is real near it (even though my back/hips are up against the seat back and I'm not slouching).... and i wonder if over time the rear pad's front face will collapse.

Also.. the extended seat portion... part of why i think things seem to work is that when you splay your knees like for a longer drive, the forward portion of your thighs is actually sitting out in the gaps that would exist between the narrow extender and the seat sides/bolsters. It's not fully supporting your thigh...

Without being able to drive one of these for hours on end... wondering if bigger/taller riders can chime in on their experience with these over time.
 

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Without being able to drive one of these for hours on end..
Why can't you? I have a bad back that aggravated by long drives and I've always told the dealer that I want a 5 hour test drive. The Subaru dealer was the only one who "balked" and asked me if I wanted it the whole weekend. We did that, did the 5 hour drive, dirt roads, grocery shopping, parking in our driveway and bought the thing. If the dealer won't let you, well, unless you are super rural you can always find another one.

This won't help with the long term nature of the seat, but certainly lets you know about long drives.
 

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I agree with the previous poster. Ask for an extended test drive in a vehicle with the seat you are asking about clearly stating your reason. Many Subaru dealers are amenable to that.

While I'm not a really tall person (5'11") the adjustable portion of the driver's seat in my Touring has made things much more comfortable for me.
 

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I'm 6 ft, Mrs Garris is 5'10, and my son is 6'2, we are 'statistically' average size for our heights. We find the seats to be very uncomfortable after about an hour and a half. It doesn't matter if it's the front or second row captain's chairs (We have the touring). I would also like the front of the bottom seat cushion to tilt up a little further ( or the back portion of the bottom seat cushion to dip lower). The thigh extender does help, but we still find the seats uncomfortably hard after a long period of time. It's not an issue for shorter drives, for us at least. Over 14,000 mi now, we don't feel the seats have softened up at all. Otherwise my wife, son and I find the ergonomics to be excellent.

When Mrs Garris and I test drove the car, we had it for 3 hours, but we got out halfway through for about 20 minutes, which was probably enough time for us not to notice anything with our backs/derrieres, or to think it was just sitting in those seats for the first time that was bothering us.

Anyway it's a tough call, at this point the dealership should let you have an extended drive, if not with a new one, a used or certified pre-owned that they have on the lot. If their answer is no, find a different dealership.
 

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6'3" with 33" inseam, a 35" sleeve, 46L coat at 205lbs with a case of no butt at all. I ended up in the Ascent because of how much room it has and it was only thing in the class that the forward collusion system was high enough on the windshield to not create a giant blindspot for me. Wish the driver's seat extension(I have a Limited) was on the front passenger seat too. The center console is pretty low due to modern crash testing. I can just rest my elbow on the door sill and have my left hand on the wheel. You could just fill the seat gap in with some foam if you don't get use to it. I drive 6.5-7 hours straight(thanks COVID) to and from home to our mountain cottage(401 miles) regularly without any comfort issues.
 

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...

Also.. the extended seat portion... part of why i think things seem to work is that when you splay your knees like for a longer drive, the forward portion of your thighs is actually sitting out in the gaps that would exist between the narrow extender and the seat sides/bolsters. It's not fully supporting your thigh...

Without being able to drive one of these for hours on end... wondering if bigger/taller riders can chime in on their experience with these over time.
Yup. I wonder how BMW seats feel like

Ascent: slightly trapezoid shape, but more like rectangular


BMW X7: more trapezoid
 

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Carphunter - I am the authority on Ascent seating for tall/large folks. I am 6' 11". (OK, I'm not an authority, but I have opinions!)

Here is what you need to look at very closely in the Touring. The seat will break in over time and start to give a bit. That is normal for most cars and not an issue.

The problem is the stupid design of the seat. The extender has a metal bar that goes across it. So as the seat gives (if you are tall and heavy) the cross bar on the extender can be very uncomfortable. The only way to deal with this is by tilting the seat up and adding support to your thighs. It still isn't perfect, but it works.

The Ascent has fantastic room for tall folks and the seat is the only issue. It takes a little time for the seat to break-in, so try driving a used Ascent Touring for a while to see how this may impact you. Tilt the seat up and down and see if that bar bothers you.

I've owned over 40 cars/SUVs and never run into this before. It is an odd design. I still have the Ascent, but am looking for ways to improve the drivers seats. I have experienced issues before with ventilated seats being hard or lumpy in other manufacturers (like BMW). Wish the Touring was offered with a different seat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for all the comments... hadn't seen that the thread updated... my notification settings must be mucked up.

Honestly... if the rest of the car pans out... and price works for me (I'm on the simple vip/invoice deal)... I'd probably suck it up.. get the limited and if the seats are a problem... work with someone to make basically an over seat that would pad the rear more, fill in the thigh gap, and put a bit more lift//front edge to it.

like other tall/big drivers.. .this is almost always an issue... and you do what you can :) hell, I've decided an atlas is back in the running because a little test at the dealership tells me if i put a pad on the offending area of the center drop console...i think I'm ok.

in my limited test driving.. the driver's window sill is perfect height for arm rest (unlike atlas where it's very high). center armrest i can't remember...but if i don't remember it bothering me.. .I'd count tit as ok

I also get to beat myself up over whether or not i can have the sunroof if i want... since i tend to want to sit high in a car and in a pretty upright position. in this car... the rearview mirror/eyesight stuff block a sig portion of your right side view when i sit the seat up straight and raise it up to where I'd like to sit... Have to really play/test to see if the sunroof/headliner get me when the seat is pretty upright and seat base is as high as it can be.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
quick question... dealer says mechanism/padding are the same between limited and touring... is that correct? or are they different enough to be noticeable?
 

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Just wondering out loud here... wouldn't the ventilation feature on the touring mean the seat cushions would have to be somewhat different?
 

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^^^ Yes, they do...they are perforated so the seat foam has to be able to account for that while still providing required support.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I did another test sit last night. The seat base feels odd for me no matter what because of my height... but when i played around... i do believe i can feel the support that runs like 2" back from the leading edge of the main seat base.
While i'm not sure I'm getting an Ascent... I think i might risk the seat as I found my natural seating position didn't put that bar into a spot that would be a problem for me (famous last words).
And obviously, you never want to have to "fix" a new car to solve this problem... I think i'd chance that i have to put a firm seat pad over it to solve the problem (least for summer...as in winter it will defeat heated seats)
I still would have to study the other seats... primary concern is like other subarus.. the passenger seat is small too, and not height adjustable... and if i ever had to sit there... i'm thinking i'd be uncomfortable pretty quick.
 

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Buy what you think will work best for you. I will say the telluride/palisade seats seem pretty comfortable in the higher trims, but I've only had about 30 mins seat time. Also, it's a bigger suv if you want 3 rows, but Lincoln seats are incredibly comfortable ( I don't have the 375 way adjustable on mine, but the seats are great). It's a tough decision, but in the end it's your derriere and back that matters... good luck!!
 

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I did another test sit last night. The seat base feels odd for me no matter what because of my height... but when i played around... i do believe i can feel the support that runs like 2" back from the leading edge of the main seat base.
While i'm not sure I'm getting an Ascent... I think i might risk the seat as I found my natural seating position didn't put that bar into a spot that would be a problem for me (famous last words).
And obviously, you never want to have to "fix" a new car to solve this problem... I think i'd chance that i have to put a firm seat pad over it to solve the problem (least for summer...as in winter it will defeat heated seats)
I still would have to study the other seats... primary concern is like other subarus.. the passenger seat is small too, and not height adjustable... and if i ever had to sit there... i'm thinking i'd be uncomfortable pretty quick.
reading all this it dawns on me that you are in the same predicament as I was in.
I’m a big guy.. like 6’5” and north of 300lb. Long legs short torso and ehem.... wide seat :)

I fit well in Atlas but getting in was a pain, Palisdade and Telurade felt very tight and cramped for how large they were.
Chevy was sorta ok... but i have a bias against GM.. so thats my personal beef.

The Ascent felt a bit snug around my hips, had ok legroom but the biggest thing was that the center console didn’t mess with my knee. The center console storage was way too far down but a padded thingy from amazon for 10 bucks fixed that real easy.

I guess my only wish would be to be able to lower the seat a bit more.... but all in all i found the Ascent to be the easiest to get into.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
seat width i generally didn't feel. one thing i watch for on all vehicles is if the b-pillar is riding my left shoulder.
i've retried the Highlander again... and it's not bad... but cargo room isn't good compared to atlas/ascent.
I had stopped looking at vehicles.. thinking i'm gonna keep going with my pilot through winter. I'm reconsidering that thought now. Honestly... the Ascent and Atlas are still in the game... but also possibly a truck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
another update. i was able to rent a loaner Limited and took it for a longer test drive. I'll preface my comments with "this is my butt, your mileage may vary."
I found that while i could get the height of the seat and legroom set in a few different positions that worked... over time and it wasn't much... not more than 45 minutes... the Limited's seat didn't stay comfortable for me. Basically most of the drive, it felt like i was sitting on the "plank" of the rear base seat pad... and the seat surface feels like dead flat. The seat's obviously aren't plush...but it didn't feel supportive, either... more just like a padded board (that might be harsh...but I'm not digging real hard for exact words right now).
I examined the appearance of the seat... and when the thigh support is fully raised, it should help make a supportive pocket to support your thigh and leg to take weight some off of the butt... it doesn't really for me.
studying why that is... it's apparent to me that once you're of a certain height... and you put your feet to the pedals or the firewall behind them... your lower legs is still supporting your upper leg (basically, you could never "dangle" and have the seat completely take your weight)... the seat front isn't helping much if at all. obvious mechanics... but i never studied it before.
It also explains why the premium's seats may have felt better to me... the front edge may not have projected as far forward as you can set the Limited's, but they may have still been providing lift to the point where its front extends to. This also might have made that seat spread the weight out a bit from just the butt taking all the weight.

aside from the butt, i did notice while cornering and driving, it didn't seem the seat back really held you side to side... i never really paid attention to that before... but now i know it's something to look at on other vehicles.

finally, on the longer drive, i did find my knee will rest on the center console, but at a lower point than the Atlas.

Arm rests are out of the way... too low for me, but not in the way.

so... returning the Limited loaner... will probably try the premium again, and now I've got a real critical eye (butt) for what I'm watching for in other options.
 

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Did you try raising the seat up all the way with just a hair of tilt toward the front? That makes the seat more like a chair and that's how I personally feel most comfortable and have for years in SUVs. I don't like the seat down low, both for the view and because it means my legs are force out more forward.
 
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another update. i was able to rent a loaner Limited and took it for a longer test drive. I'll preface my comments with "this is my butt, your mileage may vary."
I found that while i could get the height of the seat and legroom set in a few different positions that worked... over time and it wasn't much... not more than 45 minutes... the Limited's seat didn't stay comfortable for me. Basically most of the drive, it felt like i was sitting on the "plank" of the rear base seat pad... and the seat surface feels like dead flat. The seat's obviously aren't plush...but it didn't feel supportive, either... more just like a padded board (that might be harsh...but I'm not digging real hard for exact words right now).
I examined the appearance of the seat... and when the thigh support is fully raised, it should help make a supportive pocket to support your thigh and leg to take weight some off of the butt... it doesn't really for me.
studying why that is... it's apparent to me that once you're of a certain height... and you put your feet to the pedals or the firewall behind them... your lower legs is still supporting your upper leg (basically, you could never "dangle" and have the seat completely take your weight)... the seat front isn't helping much if at all. obvious mechanics... but i never studied it before.
It also explains why the premium's seats may have felt better to me... the front edge may not have projected as far forward as you can set the Limited's, but they may have still been providing lift to the point where its front extends to. This also might have made that seat spread the weight out a bit from just the butt taking all the weight.

aside from the butt, i did notice while cornering and driving, it didn't seem the seat back really held you side to side... i never really paid attention to that before... but now i know it's something to look at on other vehicles.

finally, on the longer drive, i did find my knee will rest on the center console, but at a lower point than the Atlas.

Arm rests are out of the way... too low for me, but not in the way.

so... returning the Limited loaner... will probably try the premium again, and now I've got a real critical eye (butt) for what I'm watching for in other options.
Super tall driver here.
with spine problems.
the shape and angle of the seat are so damn good for my back I could cry with relief. I find most makers with “premium” or “zero gravity” seats are killer on by back. BMW and Toyota are like torture devices for me.
That being said, the butt is not the most comfortable. The thigh lift is not bad, but by extending it, the gap feels weird. After long drives, my butt feels a bit over sat on, if you know what I mean. But the spine is really great and hips too- I don’t hobble when I get out.
we drive about 4.5 hours two ways every other week.
I happily trade the spine for the butt, but should be able to have a seat that does both. I agree. It’s weird.
 
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