Love the CX-5, hate the seats...Any way to make them better?

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16.5 CX-5 Tour/AWD
I think the next time I go vehicle shopping, I'm probably gonna rent the car out for the day using Turo and take it for a long drive to see how it feels. Dealerships will usually never allow you to spend more than roughly 30 minutes driving around simple roads or in a circle.

Most car seats/seats in general feel fine usually unless you sit in them for a long period of time. I realized this with computer seats as well.
 
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13' CX-5 and 16' Mazda6 both Touring w/Tech/Bose
What part of your body hurts during long trips?

On the CX-5 I wish the it was 1-inch longer for a bit more support. I was thinking of something like this for road trips. Seat Extender

There's also this Seat Pad that seems popular with Honda owners

The Mazda6 seats are the most comfortable for long trips yet supportive for quick turns in a car I've ever owned. It feels more V-shaped whereas the CX-5 is more L-shaped.
 
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16.5 CX-5 Tour/AWD
What part of your body hurts during long trips?

On the CX-5 I wish the it was 1-inch longer for a bit more support. I was thinking of something like this for road trips. Seat Extender

There's also this Seat Pad that seems popular with Honda owners

The Mazda6 seats are the most comfortable for long trips yet supportive for quick turns in a car I've ever owned. It feels more V-shaped whereas the CX-5 is more L-shaped.

Not sure about OP, but my main gripe is the lumbar support area/butt area highlighted below. I did spend $$$ to get some seat covers that kinda helps a bit but I don't think it was worth it IMO. If I could swap out better seats for this car, I would but every single junk yard that has the leather GT seats are 500-1,000 miles from me and I'm not sure if I'm that crazy to drive that far.

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They probably don't, but I do hope somebody who works at Mazda actually sees these threads. Since I sold my '17 GT for precisely this reason (and still miss it) I swear I've seen at least half a dozen more threads on this subject pop up. It doesn't take much searching to find one while doing research on the vehicle either and has to have scared off at least a couple of buyers, not to mention people who DID buy like myself and had to take a huge depreciation hit getting rid of the vehicle because they couldn't live with the situation. Not exactly good for repeat business.

The bottom cushion bolster design is simply a poor design, full stop. The foam is hard as a rock for no good reason. It doesn't improve the bolsters' ability to hold you in place in a corner, it just creates a hard edge against which to press the nerves in your hips and thighs. From there it's a matter of genetics. Not everybody has their sciatic nerve in exactly the same place (or depth) but if yours lines up with the ridge on this bolster then the seat becomes a torture device.

I also think, generally speaking, the people suggesting foam cushions and such don't have this problem and haven't actually tried that solution, because it doesn't work. Not only that the best thing it can do is effectively trade one problem for another. The secondary issue with these seats is that the lumbar is too flat even with the lumbar set to it's maximum setting, and doesn't have the proper "S" curve required to conform to your natural spinal curvature. It's just flat. So when you put a pad on the seat bottom this effectively shifts the already inadequate lumbar further down your back to the point where it's not longer hitting the lumbar spine but is instead just pressing into your sacrum (which is not productive at all). Even healthy backs will ache from an arrangement like this, and sitting this way is bad for your spine.

So you get to choose: radiating sciatic nerve pain or a terrible back ache. Car makers have been designing decent comfortable seats for many many years so I just can't fathom how Mazda went so wrong here but I truly hope they get it right next time. The CX-50 and it's inline six engine sounds sweet and I'd be interested in owning one if Mazda corrects the mistakes they made with their seat designs for that generation.
 

Chocolate

Harpy Eagle
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2019 CX-5 AWD
No complaints from me about the cloth manual seats. Lots of foam padding and bolstering. Never felt uncomfortable on a long drive.
I did make sure to try all 3 types of seats before buying.
 

yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg
Contributor
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Plano, Texas, USA

The secondary issue with these seats is that the lumbar is too flat even with the lumbar set to it's maximum setting, and doesn't have the proper "S" curve required to conform to your natural spinal curvature. It's just flat. So when you put a pad on the seat bottom this effectively shifts the already inadequate lumbar further down your back to the point where it's not longer hitting the lumbar spine but is instead just pressing into your sacrum (which is not productive at all). Even healthy backs will ache from an arrangement like this, and sitting this way is bad for your spine.
Can’t agree with you more on “totally flat” lumber support on my CX-5!!!
 
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16.5 CX-5 Tour/AWD
I think it would be beneficial for us to share our information such as:
  1. Weight
  2. Height
  3. Body size
  4. Body fat
But then that would be too much PII being shared online. This would be one way to form a conclusion to see a trend/pattern, such as "people with big butts/hips will most likely have a tougher time adjusting to the Mazda seats."
 
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Pueblo county CO
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CX-5 Sport 16.5 6M
I prefer cars with firmer seats. I figure I can add a soft cushion on top if I want. Really spongy seats can cause back issues, too.
 
What do you drive now @CatsPaw?

You'll laugh. At the moment...... a 2002 Ford Escort ZX2. :p

I liked these cars when they were popular 20 years ago, I like the no grill shark nose and they were pretty peppy in their time for a cheap car. I stumbled across one with very low miles and bought it on a lark, so after parting with the CX-5 it just became my daily driver.

I have put an order in with the local Kia dealer for a Seltos though because the ZX2 needs lots of things a 20 year old car needs, low mileage or not, and being a very small 2-door couple it's completely useless for anything but work commuting. I'm not sold on the dual clutch transmission in the Seltos, but everything else impresses for the price and category of vehicle. I'm particularly surprised by how nicely it rides. The suspension and chassis tuning feel like they are from a much more expensive car. Also the seats don't make me cry. I literally sat in one on the dealer lot for 2 hours because I'm not going through this headache again.

But......... I took a very long test drive of my CX-5 too and the seat problem didn't manifest at the time. It took a few weeks for it to really start bugging me, and then the problem snowballed. So I guess at the end of the day we just roll the dice and hope for the best I guess. You can research to exhaustion and not be able to control every variable.
 
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2014 Mazda3 S GT auto, 2008 MX5 6-speed
Car & Driver mentioned that the Seltos does have a silky smooth ride. I'm sure a full test is forthcoming; it should reveal if the handling is compromised.
 
Went and test drove a cx9 signature, and though it drove quite nice, the seats felt about the same as our cx5. Then drove a couple xc90’s and think mind is made up. Going to hang on the the cx5 until the right cpo Volvo turns up (‘17-18 t6 awd inscription with air suspension).
 

yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg
Contributor
:
Plano, Texas, USA
Went and test drove a cx9 signature, and though it drove quite nice, the seats felt about the same as our cx5. Then drove a couple xc90’s and think mind is made up. Going to hang on the the cx5 until the right cpo Volvo turns up (‘17-18 t6 awd inscription with air suspension).
There’s nothing which is perfect in every area. If seat comfort is one of the very important factor for your car purchase, and you’ve found one which is more comfortable, nothing wrong to make a switch.

IMO if you keep your vehicle for a long time, avoid air suspension.
 

sm1ke

Work In Progress..
Moderator
Contributor
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Canada
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'18 CX-9 Signature
Went and test drove a cx9 signature, and though it drove quite nice, the seats felt about the same as our cx5. Then drove a couple xc90’s and think mind is made up. Going to hang on the the cx5 until the right cpo Volvo turns up (‘17-18 t6 awd inscription with air suspension).

Good plan. I really liked the XC90 when I was car shopping, but I never let myself test drive one because of the MSRP on that exact spec (it seems we have similar tastes in Volvos (y)). A CPO would be a great move, and I've always heard that Volvos have some of the most comfortable seats out there.
 
There’s nothing which is perfect in every area. If seat comfort is one of the very important factor for your car purchase, and you’ve found one which is more comfortable, nothing wrong to make a switch.

IMO if you keep your vehicle for a long time, avoid air suspension.

yup...planning on air suspension bc of the 10 yr/unlimited mile cpo warranty extension, which weirdly covers air suspension but not regular shocks. And the air suspension has a much nicer ride as well as height adjustability
 
Good plan. I really liked the XC90 when I was car shopping, but I never let myself test drive one because of the MSRP on that exact spec (it seems we have similar tastes in Volvos (y)). A CPO would be a great move, and I've always heard that Volvos have some of the most comfortable seats out there.

msrp on these new is pretty up there. Even cpo isn’t as cheap as I’d like but that’s because the new “age of the suv”. My cousin bought a cpo ‘18 s90 sedan (57k msrp) with 20k miles for $30k a few months ago: a comparable msrp/year/mileage xc90 would run over $40k. So if you don’t have to have an SUV, the cpo Volvo sedans are a helluva bargain. Going to be a task finding the right xc90 at a fair price
 
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