Saturday, March 28, 2015

Q&A: What cars have the best seats for back pain?

iStockphoto

Q: I have some back issues that are rather significant and on long road trips the pain is reduced somewhat if I can tweak the height or angle of the seat slightly for a little while. So I want whatever car has the greatest number of power adjustments on the driver’s seat. I know it won’t be cheap, and that’s OK. I’m the only driver, and I expect to have it for at least 10 to 12 years.

A: These days you have plenty of options. The BMW 5 series, for example, boasts 20-way power adjustment; the Cadillac CTS has 20 adjustments (that includes the four-way manual headrest), Lexus models have 18-way power adjustment and Hyundai Equus has 12-way. You’ll pay for upgrade packages in most cases to get the full range of adjustment options.

But I’d encourage you not to be completely driven by promises of seat-adjustment quantity when making your buying decision. It sounds like you need a little tweaking movement, not necessarily a Barcalounger in a car.

To start, you need to find the car with the seat that “fits” you best – hugs your thighs properly, hits the various parts of your derriere and low and mid back in the right places and essentially just snugs you right, with the amount of cushioning that feels comfortable to you. Then you can focus on working out whether the adjustments in height and angle will do what you need done.

My guess is you’re never going to push any seat to the full range of possibilities. Most of the adjustments on any vehicle are presented so various differently sized and proportioned persons can drive the car safely and comfortably.

Also, a reminder: when you tweak your positioning even only slightly, you must readjust mirrors. It’s a little bit of a pain, but vital for keeping safe, and especially for minimizing the blind spot.

Q: We’re visiting seven states soon. Are there sites we can access that will tell us where to get the best gas prices as we move from one area to the next?

A: There are several sites. Among them: GasBuddy.com, GasPriceWatch.com and fueleconomy.gov.

© CTW Features

What’s your question? Sharon Peters would like to hear about what’s on your mind when it comes to caring for, driving and repairing your vehicle. Email Sharon@ctwfeatures.com.

Sharon Peters CTW Features