Thinking back on the vehicles I’ve owned over the course of my life, not a single one stands out for reasons related to discomfort. Physical discomfort, to be clear, as a couple drove me to drink due to embarrassing unreliability (Hi, Chrysler Corp!) and infuriating electrical gremlins (Ahoy, Honda!).
I’m sure my back (and backside) would factor more heavily into this discussion if tinkering on cheap foreign exotics played any kind of role in my life. It’s not easy squeezing this lanky frame into a cramped cockpit, and that could surely drain the joy from any man-machine relationship. Yes, front seat comfort ranks extremely high on my list of automotive demands. If a vehicle is to be anything more than a pastime plaything, comfort needs to be assured.
Some very common vehicles are simply out of the question for this reason alone. Ford Taurus? Unacceptable. Toyota Corolla and (outgoing) Corolla iM? No way. Third-generation Nissan Altima? Forget it. Nissan Rogue? Maybe if I was shorter. Fiat 500? Maybe if I was much, much shorter.
In the Taurus’ case, it’s a matter of cramped footwells making this big-on-the-outside sedan a non-starter. The Corollas and older Altima couldn’t be better suited for causing spinal implosions, all thanks to overly soft cushions and nonexistent lower back support. As for the Rogue and Fiat, the issue boils down to legroom and headroom, respectively.
No matter how good the deal, ownership of these models would assuredly become a lesson in misery and regret.
A vehicle might boast dodgy reliability, lackluster performance, and embarrassing styling, but physical discomfort trumps bank balance woes and behind-your-back snickers any day, in my books. Do you agree, or have you purchased a vehicle before where comfort ranked dead last on its list of attributes? Is it something you found you were able to live with, or did your muscles and vertebrae eventually make the case for a replacement?