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TOV Forums > General Talk > > Re: Dumb question: Why are rear center seats always designed to be uncomfortable?

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Shigetsu
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Dumb question: Why are rear center seats always designed to be uncomfortable?    (Score: 1, Normal) 03-14-2012 15:47
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I've noticed that in a few hatchbacks which have a really flat rear bench seat, the center seat is OK. But in most sedans and SUVs, passengers always try to avoid that uncomfortable, hard rear center seat.

Is there a reason why the center seats are designed this way? That effectively makes a 5 passenger vehicle into a 4 passenger one.
JeffX
Profile for JeffX
Re: Dumb question: Why are rear center seats always designed to be uncomfortable?    (Score: 1, Normal) 03-14-2012 16:13
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Shigetsu wrote:
I've noticed that in a few hatchbacks which have a really flat rear bench seat, the center seat is OK. But in most sedans and SUVs, passengers always try to avoid that uncomfortable, hard rear center seat.

Is there a reason why the center seats are designed this way? That effectively makes a 5 passenger vehicle into a 4 passenger one.



I think they consciously accept the compromise in center seat comfort in order to make the outer positions more comfortable/luxurious. I'm sure there have been studies done and it wouldn't surprise me if the probability of carloads laden with 3 or 4 passengers is much, much higher than it is for 5-passenger loads.

In our Odyssey, if we have 5 passengers, the 5th person almost always rides in the 3rd row rather than squishing into the center position in the 2nd row. Over my driving lifetime (some 20 years), I have only had the occasion to carry 5 passengers in any of my sedans perhaps 3 or 4 times, which is why I'd almost prefer a sedan that forgoes that middle position altogether and then puts "buckets" in the rear. Does anybody remember the Civic VTi salons they used to sell in Europe? 1.6L DOHC VTEC, 160hp, 144mph top speed and 4 sweet bucket seats. I lusted after that car... At the moment I can't seem to find any good photos of the interior to show here
Shigetsu
Profile for Shigetsu
Re: Dumb question: Why are rear center seats always designed to be uncomfortable?    (Score: 1, Normal) 03-14-2012 20:42
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Thanks for the response, Jeff. I've had salespeople tell me that the center seat is made hard for child seats, and also to allow a child to sit higher when they are not in a child seat.

What you're saying makes more sense than the child seat reason.
JeffX
Profile for JeffX
Re: Dumb question: Why are rear center seats always designed to be uncomfortable?    (Score: 1, Normal) 03-14-2012 22:13
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Shigetsu wrote:
Thanks for the response, Jeff. I've had salespeople tell me that the center seat is made hard for child seats, and also to allow a child to sit higher when they are not in a child seat.

What you're saying makes more sense than the child seat reason.



I would say that those are some good "side effects", but I'm not sure they would be the key design targets.
A77
Profile for A77
Re: Dumb question: Why are rear center seats always designed to be uncomfortable?    (Score: 1, Normal) 03-14-2012 22:51
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There's always the Fiat Multipla's rear seat arrangements...very egalitarian



aka weird swamp creature

revvin
Profile for revvin
Re: Dumb question: Why are rear center seats always designed to be uncomfortable?    (Score: 1, Normal) 03-14-2012 23:16
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vti seats


vigor seats



4 door hardtop coupe. 4 people only. no carve-out in headliner for middle person. big mistake.
FiSH-Chan
Profile for FiSH-Chan
Re: Dumb question: Why are rear center seats always designed to be uncomfortable?    (Score: 1, Normal) 03-15-2012 00:35
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Can't beat this:

EG9 SiR II


TonyEX
Profile for TonyEX
Re: Dumb question: Why are rear center seats always designed to be uncomfortable?    (Score: 1, Normal) 03-15-2012 00:57
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You obviously have never sat on the middle the rear seat in a Citroen Deux Chevaux (2CV).

Let me put it this way, if you sat on that "bench" you would have either of your cheeks astride a tube. Yep, there were three tubes that framed the seat: one each at the side and one.. WHAM down the middle of your butt crack. And the padding, well, I think les boches hid all the padding from the Citroen 2CV factory and it took them like 60 years to find it.

As a child, I had the most, MOST uncomfortable experience of going places with four adults... which meant that poor old moi... perhaps all of my growing up 50~90 lbs ended up getting out of the car as if the world's worst wedgie had combined with riding on a narrow horse... I looked like a very, VERY pained cowboy for a few days afterwards.

Let's not even talk to what it did to your manly parts. If you've ever ridden a bike with one of them narrow racing seats.. imagine if the seat were an inch narrow front to back.. dig... try that for a few hours.

My mom made me a big thick pillow but it was really to no avail because, you got it, it was also my back. Like a rod along your spine. Yowza!

So, today, when I look at those nicely padded humps on the back seat I think Cadillac Luxo.

You're all so spoiled.






JeffX
Profile for JeffX
Re: Dumb question: Why are rear center seats always designed to be uncomfortable?    (Score: 1, Normal) 03-15-2012 07:38
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revvin wrote:
vti seats





Yeah, those aren't the ones I'm thinking of. The photo Fish-Chan posted looks more like what I was thinking about.



Last edited by JeffX on 03-15-2012 07:41
danielgr
Profile for danielgr
Re: Dumb question: Why are rear center seats always designed to be uncomfortable?    (Score: 1, Normal) 03-15-2012 09:13
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A77 wrote:
There's always the Fiat Multipla's rear seat arrangements...very egalitarian



aka weird swamp creature


I'm sure you know Honda had their own interpretation of "the duck" (aka FR-V / Edix)
Jovian8
Profile for Jovian8
Re: Dumb question: Why are rear center seats always designed to be uncomfortable?    (Score: 1, Normal) 03-15-2012 09:49
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How about London Taxi comfy rear seats...


jfavour
Profile for jfavour
Re: Dumb question: Why are rear center seats always designed to be uncomfortable?    (Score: 1, Normal) 03-15-2012 11:23
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I have 3 kids and use the middle position rear seat often. That is part of the reason I have a CR-V and a Pilot, because they both have usable seats there.

I need to replace my CR-V soon and having a usable seat in the center rear position is a critical item for me, as I don't want to get a large vehicle (with 3 rows) like a van or another big SUV.

I am probably in the minority as Jeff described in his reasoning, but it seems the trend in new cars is for sedans to have a compromised center position, while most family oriented suv's are still creating usable seats there. It is probably going to force me back to another SUV to replace my CR-V, when I would prefer to get a medium sized sedan (like Civic or Impreza sized).
gogzy
Profile for gogzy
Re: Dumb question: Why are rear center seats always designed to be uncomfortable?    (Score: 1, Normal) 03-15-2012 16:32
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Jeff wrote:
Shigetsu wrote:
Thanks for the response, Jeff. I've had salespeople tell me that the center seat is made hard for child seats, and also to allow a child to sit higher when they are not in a child seat.

What you're saying makes more sense than the child seat reason.



I would say that those are some good "side effects", but I'm not sure they would be the key design targets.


i think that is likely applied to some car only. i believe some of the Honda and Acura car i own mention of not to put booster or carseat in the middle.... for instances, the MDX where it's impossible to strap down a carseat in the middle and i was told the set belt was intentionally design that way so parents wont fit a car seat in the middle.
$mooth
Profile for $mooth
Re: Dumb question: Why are rear center seats always designed to be uncomfortable?    (Score: 1, Normal) 03-15-2012 16:43
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Shigetsu wrote:
Thanks for the response, Jeff. I've had salespeople tell me that the center seat is made hard for child seats, and also to allow a child to sit higher when they are not in a child seat.

What you're saying makes more sense than the child seat reason.



If that were true, then they'd have LATCH points for the center seat, but most cars don't. It kinda annoys me, cause the center is the safest position if you only have 1 kid. I'd rather just deal with the seat belt holding it, than to use an outboard station.
 
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