Love My New 2019 CX-5 Touring...Except for the Seats

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2019 CX-5 Touring FWD
Hi everyone - new Mazda owner here. Great information on this site, btw - thank you for all the useful info so far....

This is my first Mazda vehicle (my wife had two Miatas, which she loved), and I love just about everything with my CX-5. The exterior styling is gorgeous with a real luxury vibe to it. I really appreciate the interior styling as well (my wife, who prefers luxury vehicles, is even impressed with how stylish the CX-5 interior is). I'm enjoying the engine and how smooth it drives. The infotainment system has been straightforward and easy to use, and I really like the controller knob on the console - makes changing apps/settings a breeze. Coming from a 2004 Corolla (and my wife's 2015 Volvo S60), I like being higher up on the road with the CX-5, too. And while a loaner Audi Q3 prompted me to look for a compact SUV, I didn't like the poor gas mileage, the cheap-looking interior, and the price tag of the Q3 - and needed to stick in the sub-$33K range for an SUV. We looked at the Volvo XC40, but that proved too steep for our budget...and there seem to be a few recalls already on that vehicle.

All that said, as much as I love just about everything with my CX-5, the seats continue to be an issue...and really the only issue...with this vehicle. But it's a significant issue. I just hit the 1K-mile mark, and I'm constantly fiddling with the driver seat (I have the Touring with the Preferred Equipment Package - thankfully with power-seating options). My daily commute is an uncomfortable grind with these seats, and I'd love simply to get to tolerable at this point. Unfortunately, I'm locked in lease (didn't want to purchase this vehicle, as we are relocating in 2-3 years, and may need a more fuel-efficient vehicle by that point); otherwise, I would get the seats redone.

I've scoured this forum and know that a number of folks have had seating issues with the CX-5 (though, a good number of people like the seats). I'm 5'10" and on the lean side, so it's not a weight/height issue. And I've driven a number of vehicles over the years, and never encountered a problem with seats. I did test-drive the 2019 CX-5 Touring w/the Preferred Equipment Package, and didn't notice anything on the test drive. And since I've never had an issue with seats, I didn't think to focus on that more. Shortly after getting the vehicle, I began noticing discomfort in my neck with the headrest (lack of support - first time this has happened in a vehicle for me). Fortunately, I was able to get a decent neck pillow which addressed the issue.

But I haven't been able to comfortable with the seat itself. I did go back to the dealer to see if perhaps the GT would be a better fit with the leather seating (and additional seating adjustments), but that set-up felt even worse. It felt like my butt was sitting on a board. Plus, I prefer the color scheme of the Touring (went with the Jet Mica Black exterior and Black interior, which looks great), as well as the better-cushioning tire set-up. I would have upgraded if the GT had more comfortable seats; alas, for me, it did not. The Touring proved to have at least a little more cushioning for me.

The main issue is that my butt area (left side) gets sore rather quickly in the seat, no matter how much I shift around. Additionally, the suede inserts are constantly over-gripping my clothing (pants and shirts), which makes adjusting even worse. I've tried about 8 different seat cushions off of Amazon, but nothing worked there. Even if the seating area became a little more comfortable, and less grippy, then the back of the seat felt weird. It's almost like these seats need a perfect hand-in-glove kinda fit. I even purchased Mazda's OEM leatherette seat covers, but those were even more uncomfortable (more pressure on thigh areas, despite numerous adjustments) - and not breathable. They didn't really fit all that well, either (especially the headrest cover and seat-back cover). I thought maybe it was merely the suede material that was causing the discomfort issue, so I put a number of covers over the suede to alleviate the gripping issue, but seats are still hard/uncomfortable to sit on - primarily in the left butt area. I've also tried shifting around, putting more weight on my right side, sitting more in the center of the seat, etc. I've adjusted the seat up/down/forward/back/tilted/etc., and nothing has worked there, either.

I then thought that perhaps it was heating elements that were causing the issue, since it feels like I'm sitting on a stone when I sit in various positions on the seat (perhaps the heating wires?). However, when I went back to the rear seats and tried them, it's the same issue. It's like the foam material is cheap, or get somehow gets bunched, or something. Whatever it is, it's a hard, kinda "chunky" seating surface to sit on.

My last resort is going with custom-fit seat covers from Coverking (via Costco). I'm hoping that they will take care of the suede-gripping issue (which it should), while also providing just enough added cushioning without making the seat too warped to sit on (the big question mark, since nothing else seems to have worked so far). I've found the seat to be a little small as it is (and I'm not a big guy) - and adding any sort of cushion to it has made the seat almost too small then.

I wanted to check with the forum simply to see if there is anything else I can possibly try. Since I'm in a lease, I can't modify the seats (otherwise, I'd get them re-upholstered/re-covered). The discomfort is bad enough that I even looked into a lease swap, but the lender doesn't allow it. I could see about swapping out the vehicle with the dealer, but there's not really another Mazda model that I want - plus, there would still be likely costs associated with that, and I don't want to sink any more significant money into this endeavor. And I really like the CX-5, so hopefully either the Coverking covers do the trick enough, or maybe there's another option I'm not considering. Truth be told, even if Mazda were to take this vehicle off of me, there's nothing else really out there that I want in our price range. I looked at the RAV4, CRV, Tucson, etc. - and those vehicles have too many deal-breakers with them. The BMWs, Volvos, Audis, etc. are out of our budget range.

Again, if the seats were even marginally better, I'd be pleased with the CX-5. I can't believe how bad the seats are, though, especially since I've not had an issue with any other vehicle (and this vehicle seems so well designed in every other way). I'm guessing I'll have to ride out my lease (34 more months to go), but I'm hoping there's a decent solution out there. Any thoughts/suggestions are much appreciated, as I'd like to stick with this vehicle - and stay in the Mazda family going forward.

Thank you....
 
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2019 CX-5 GT 184 2.2 twin turbodiesel auto - Sonic Silver
Same for me. I love the vehicle but I think the sear base is over bolstered. It feels like my butt checks are sitting on something. My old RAV4 had just plain seats that were delightful.
 
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2019 CX-5 Touring FWD
Good to know I'm not alone, indeed. My old Corolla was a dream to sit on compared to the CX-5. I knew it likely wasn't going to match to my wife's Volvo S60 (as Volvo is known for their seats), but I've not encountered anything like this - not in rentals even (and I'm typically a "I-can-drive-anything" kinda guy...not picky at all). It's too bad. And I've read from others here that the seats, unfortunately, don't seem to break in over time.

Anchorman - I know from other threads that you had your seats redone on your last CX-5, right, to address this issue? I'm wondering if there would be a way to have even the driver's seat re-upholstered, while still using the original covering material, in order not to impact my lease. Would that be possible as a last-try option?
 
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2019 CX-5 GT 184 2.2 twin turbodiesel auto - Sonic Silver
The car is good, I wouldn*t be put off by recalls - they can be put right. As for the seats, a good upholsterer can completely remodel the seats. I thought about having the bolsters removed and the seats restitched. I don*t like leather seats and I object to paying the extra for something I can*t opt out of but I knew all this when I bought it so there*s no point complaining. If push comes to shove, I*ll have a RAV4 in 2 years but they just aren*t as nice.
 
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2019 CX-5 Touring FWD
Appreciate the follow-up again. I'll see if the Coverking seat covers can make up for enough of the difference to make the seats at least tolerable. If so, I'll ride out the rest of my lease from there. If that doesn't work, I'll likely look for a good upholsterer who can hopefully remedy the situation enough. And if not, like you, I'll probably find myself back in a Toyota in a few years - either a RAV4 hybrid or perhaps a Corolla Hybrid (given an anticipated longer commute). I agree - the Toyotas aren't as nice, but they are dependable...and I never really had an issue with comfort. We shall see. Thanks again....
 
I had thought the seats were a bit uncomfortable when I first got mine. Either I*m more used to them or they have broken in but they seem more comfortable now. Not crazy for all the holes in the leather. They look like they will age prematurely.
 
Yup. Worst thing about this vehicle. Little over 5k miles on mine now and the seats have not improved.

Most expensive car Ive ever owned yet the most uncomfortable. Its just stupid how narrow the seat base is. And the foam is way too firm in the bolsters. My hips and thighs are always sore. I dont have much of my own cushioning, which I think makes it worse.
 
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2018 CX5 SE-L Nav+ 2WD 2.2D 150hp Auto
It just goes to show that we are all individuals and "one size does not fit all". My UK CX5 with fabric seats (and previous CX5's I've owned) have been the most comfortable seats ever (for me) and is the main reason why I buy this car. Three hour drives and no aches or pains. ( 6 feet 2 and 220 pounds). On test drives I did find the leather seats too hard and unforgiving. It's a pity that the leather seats are not an extra cost option as this would lower the base price of the higher trim levels. I'm sure it can't be beyond the wit of manufacturers to produce fabric electric adjustable seats?
 
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2019 CX-5 Touring FWD
I personally would have loved all-cloth seats on my Touring. Dont like the gripping of the suede at all. At this point, Im leaning toward seeing what an upholsterer can do with the seats. If its possible to switch out the foam without ruining the outer appearance (given my lease), I can then simply put covers on the seats to address the suede issue, and call it a day.

Right now, Id give the seats probably a 2 out of 10 for comfort. If an upholsterer could make the seats more in the 5-6 range, Id be fine with that and would ride out my lease. Again, since I like everything else really with the vehicle, Id hate to start over again (not to mention take a financial hit in trying to get out of my lease).

I think part of it is letting go of the notion that I put in a lot of money for this vehicle (the most I have on a car, even with the lease) - so it should work the way I want it to right out of the gate. My pride says I shouldnt have to spend an additional $1K to adjust the seats. However, as others have noted here, seating is very personal, and sometimes there isnt a one-size-fits-all approach.

Plus, Id like to be able to enjoy my vehicle for the next 3 years - and not resent driving it every day. So, fingers crossed on the getting the seat reupholstered.
 
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2018 CX-5 Sport
When I test drove mine, I didn't notice the seats. I think I was too distracted with other things. Then after a few days of ownership I found the seat so uncomfortable. I remember posting here about it. My problem was with the side bolsters. They are rock hard and if any body part is against it or on it, it hurts as well as getting out of the car over it. Since then I found a good seat position, I keep my left leg straight and on the foot rest and my butt centered and it is a lot more comfortable. Not as comfortable as the seats in my old Santa Fe but comfortable enough that I don't think about the seat when I am driving.
 
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2019 CX-5 GT 184 2.2 twin turbodiesel auto - Sonic Silver
It just goes to show that we are all individuals and "one size does not fit all". My UK CX5 with fabric seats (and previous CX5's I've owned) have been the most comfortable seats ever (for me) and is the main reason why I buy this car. Three hour drives and no aches or pains. ( 6 feet 2 and 220 pounds). On test drives I did find the leather seats too hard and unforgiving. It's a pity that the leather seats are not an extra cost option as this would lower the base price of the higher trim levels. I'm sure it can't be beyond the wit of manufacturers to produce fabric electric adjustable seats?

I*ve sat in the fabric seats. They are very comfortable to me too.
 
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2018 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Prem
I'm 5'10" and on the lean side ... The main issue is that my butt area (left side) gets sore rather quickly in the seat, no matter how much I shift around.

I'm the same 5'10" and lean, and have the same left cheek issue (but no issue with head/neck). I'm fine for trips under an hour, but if they are longer than that I start to have issues. For the most part I just suck it up, but here is something that has provided temporary relief. Admittedly it will sound and look weird and it's not a permanent fix or anything.

Shift your weight onto your right cheek and the point of contact a little closer to the center of the seat. Move your left foot and leg so that your knee is to the right of the 6 o'clock position of the steering wheel. It's ridiculous but it takes the pressure off the left side and seems to stretch it a little.

I have a 2018 GT with the coated leather so sliding around a little is easy. Probably a bit harder with suede. For whatever it's worth, I have similar issues (but not exactly the same) with the seats in our old Honda Odyssey, so maybe it's partly a positioning problem on my part.

Good luck.
 
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2019 CX-5 GT 184 2.2 twin turbodiesel auto - Sonic Silver
I'm the same 5'10" and lean, and have the same left cheek issue (but no issue with head/neck). I'm fine for trips under an hour, but if they are longer than that I start to have issues. For the most part I just suck it up, but here is something that has provided temporary relief. Admittedly it will sound and look weird and it's not a permanent fix or anything.

Shift your weight onto your right cheek and the point of contact a little closer to the center of the seat. Move your left foot and leg so that your knee is to the right of the 6 o'clock position of the steering wheel. It's ridiculous but it takes the pressure off the left side and seems to stretch it a little.

I have a 2018 GT with the coated leather so sliding around a little is easy. Probably a bit harder with suede. For whatever it's worth, I have similar issues (but not exactly the same) with the seats in our old Honda Odyssey, so maybe it's partly a positioning problem on my part.

Good luck.

That*s exactly how I deal with it - slide my butt checks from side to side. Like *coming about* in a sailing dingy!
 

shadonoz

SkyActiv Member
Contributor
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State of Jefferson
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2017 CX-5 GT AWD+
That*s exactly how I deal with it - slide my butt checks from side to side. Like *coming about* in a sailing dingy!

There's gonna be a lot of used CX-5s with shiny leather seats available soon... :)
 
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2019 CX-5 Touring FWD
Thank you for the readjustment feedback. Ill try that now, and more likely see how it takes once I get the cloth covers on the seats. Adjusting with the suede is a royal pain (both literally and figuratively), as my clothing easily gets bunched up with even the slightest shift. Hopefully the seat covers take care of that - and perhaps getting the foam swapped up will help if there continues to be lingering pressure. I would like this vehicle to work out if possible.

And its interesting that my right rear side never has an issue - its only my left rear side. I agree that it seems like I need to sit in the seat just right. Theres little room for error with these seat cushions.
 
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CX5
I must admit that I find the seats in my 2018 GT very comfortable. I set the comfort level on day one and it works very well for me. I'm neither large or bony though. (naughty)
 
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2019 CX-5 Touring FWD
I tried a couple of the suggestions listed earlier in this thread, and found that if I slide my right side against the right bolster, put most of my weight on the right side, and then have my left leg straight on the foot rest, that actually seems to help a bit. Not a lot - but enough to be tolerable (more like a 5 out of 10, instead of a 2-3 out of 10). Shifting is still a bit of a chore with the suede insert, though hopefully thin seat covers can help with that. I'm used to sitting more on my left side - but hey, if I need to sit more on my right in this vehicle in order to be comfortable enough, then adapt I shall. Appreciate the tips!