Edmunds Answers



  • qbrozen 03/21/08 12:06 pm PST

    well, i don't know about this hip above the knees thing, but I've never found any vehicle that eased my chronic back pain as well as a volvo.

  • tallman1 03/21/08 12:21 pm PST

    This is so subjective because our bodies are all so different. Find another male who is 6'1" and you will both like different car seats.

    The best thing is to just sit in several vehicles that meet your needs and try to get an extended test drive. You will also have a chance to see if you can get the seat adjusted the way you like. I'm not sure how you might get your hips above the knees (never heard of this either) but it seems to me that you'd need a large SUV or truck to get the extra headroom so that you could raise the seat that high.

    There are also various pillows or cushions that might help.

    Good luck... back pain is a... er... pain.

  • motorstreet 03/22/09 10:06 am PST

    You need a Volvo, their seats are the best in cars. I've had two Volvo's, a 1987 240 DL and a 1995 850. A relative still has the 850, which I drove over Chistmas and was immediatly reminded how comfortable the Volvo seats are. I have a friend who drives a S80 and is 6'1". Every time I sit in a Volvo I always wish all cars had seats that good. I haven't heard about this hips above knees thing, but I'm sure Volvo seats can provide this. Seats with good lower back support would also be good, which Volvo seats do well.

  • tmb53 03/09/10 12:17 pm PST

    You want to avoid having your hips lower than your knees, which is often the case when sitting in a small car with bucket seats. Having a horizontal line from your hips to your knees would probably be helpful to you. Given your height, this might be easiest to accomplish in a truck or SUV (as suggested by another writer).

  • ahq 08/13/10 10:24 pm PST

    I think that a Kia Rondo or Mazda 5 would be a good choice. New Rondos are increasingly hard to find, but there are plenty of used ones out there since they are often used as rental vehicles. The Rondo and Mazda 5 have a lower floor than most SUVs and also have taller roofs and larger door apertures. I think either of those two vehicles would work out well, so give them a try. If you are okay with getting a large sedan, check out a used 2008-2009 Ford Taurus or Mercury Sable. They are also relatively tall with high seating and large door openings, so they are very easy to get in/out of.

  • mustang40 07/11/12 4:35 pm PST

    I have owned many cars, suvs and pickups. I have low back disc problems. It comes down to how it feels to you. Driving the vehicle for a few days is the best test, because a short test drive will not help since most of the time your back won't start hurting until the next day or so. I drive a 2008 Chevy Silverado pickup and the seats do not make my back hurt. I also have two other cars, a 2012 honda fit and the seats do not make my back hurt, but my 2012 mustang makes my back hurt (in fact, all Mustangs make my back hurt). I have owned several mustangs from different years and they all make my back hurt, they are probably the worst seats in any car. I usually have to have the seats modified in mustangs. I recently drove a 2012 Honda Accord and it made my back hurt. I had a 2008 Honda Civic and it did not make my back hurt. I drove a Nissan Altima and Nissan Versa and they did not make my back hurt. I drove a Chevy Camaro and it made my back hurt. So it will vary to the individual. I have found that cushions and supports don't help.

  • zaken1 07/11/12 8:47 pm PST

    The reason your lower back hurts makes a big difference in choosing the most effective way to deal with it. I have 2 herniated discs as a result of a lifting injury. A friend who is a Doctor has a back injury as a result of a fall he suffered in martial arts. And our seemingly similar back problems have very opposite symptoms. I can sit for long periods without discomfort; but standing for long periods without moving often makes my back hurt. My Doctor friend cannot sit even for a short time; but he stands all day long without discomfort. And the car seats which work best for my doctor friend do not work well for me.

    Most power seats have a tilt adjustment as well as a height adjustment for the base. Some people with back issues cannot drive a car unless it has a power seat; fot this reason. My experience with the best vehicles for tall people has been that Subaru Legacys fit tall people better than most other cars, and also have one of the most comfortable seats.

    The 2002-2007 Suzuki Aerios were designed with an unusually high seat base. I don't know whether one would have enough head room for you; but it might be worthwhile to try sitting in one.

    Over the years, I have found that both my awareness and use of my posture, along with my overall health; have more of an effect on the amount of back pain that I expereince in a given seat than almost anything else. By working on optimizing my health (which always has been pretty good; but which I discovered can still make a big difference in my overall pain level, if I am careful to eat the best possible diet, get plenty of exercise, and sleep in a FIRM bed). Beds that are too soft do more to ruin my day than the seats I use. An air bed with adjustable firmess control can be a godsend.

    If you're open to seeing how much diet can affect this; check out www.drfuhrman.com

    One of the most valuable things i ever did for my back and posture was to take 1 1/2 years of lessons in the Alexander Technique of body and movement awareness. You can find local practitioners of this widely used technique (by athletes and actors) by googling it and looking in a telephone directory (both white and yellow pages).

    Some types of kidney problems cause lower back pain. Even if you don't have kidney problems; drinking 6 to 8 glasses of pure water daily, and avoiding soft drinks can do a surprising amount to reduce lower back pain.

  • gbhappy 04/22/16 4:50 pm PST

    I am 6' 3" Have had a bad back forever even with surgery in 1996. My back has gotten worse after a period of being better after surgery.

    For me, like many say, it's different with everyone, it was finding the old conversion vans, specially Chevy G20 conversion van. I like the ones that ended in 1995, but I am pretty sure they continued on with the enterior design for a few years. Of course the new vans are very different and I cannot speak to those.

    The thing I know that works about them is that the position is not unsimilar to a chair, meaning that my legs are not having to go nearly straight our towards the pedals, but gently bend just enough to not pull at the chain of muscles. Also the seats allow me to sit up and keep my back straight and comfortable.

    I will say that I recently (2015 actually) rented a 2015 Tahoe and it was so awesome comfortable that I drove from Ventura County to Carson City, NV in one day and without any real pain. Any car I have driven, including Volvo, Toyota Camry, and even the large Crown Victoria Fords gave me real problems.

    So, I now drive a 1995 Chevy Van (G20) conversion van and have very little issues. I would have to say the only other vehicle which may be even better are the newer Tahoes and Yukons. Not sure about the Suburbans, but I would think they may qualify.

    I feel your pain and though this is many years later, I hope you have discovered what works for you. I know I have finally found that the '95 Chevy Van and the tahoes and Yukons (late models for sure, not sure about the older ones, as I have not tried them out).

    My personal experience in looking for and finding what works for me may be a generic prescription for you as well, because the trick is to have a seating situation that does not allow for the pulling of the lower back muscles over time which will tork you out of shape and into the pain zone. I was shocked I could actually drive 4 hours in the Tahoe, much less the 9 or 10 hour trip I ended up making, For that I felt wow how awesome I could feel normal again!

    Good luck with your search and keep those legs bent on those long trips. Oh how I miss my old english sport cars. LOL, in those, especially my '73 mgb had so freaking much leg room, but I was young then and my legs could stretch completely out and and would have to stretch out to fully depress the clutch (36" inseam). I can no longer drive something like that, but felt inclined to mention it. LOL


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