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8 Cars With The Most Comfortable Seats - New Subaru Outback Is Best Midsize SUV

Which cars have the most comfortable front seats? The 2021 Subaru Outback is the best in the Midsize SUV category. Check out all eight models.

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Which cars and SUVs have the most comfortable seats for a long road trip? SUV buyers are spending more time in their vehicles and are looking to escape the city. The CarGurus COVID-19 Sentiment Study shows 43 percent of people now use their vehicle as a means of escape and fun since the coronavirus pandemic changed people's views on their cars.

If you spend a lot of time in your car or SUV, you want comfortable seats. Consumer Reports (by subscription) did a study and picked the eight-best vehicles and SUVs with the most comfortable front seats. The 2021 Subaru Outback scores the best in the midsize SUV category.

2021 Subaru Outback, features, specs, pricing

CR tested the Limited top trim with leather and power adjustability and two-way lumbar adjustment on the driver's side. The SUV also features a manual thigh-support extending cushion.

The 2021 Outback has a higher ride height than other SUVs allowing a better view of the road. It comes with 8.7-inches of ground clearance allowing you to slide in without stepping up, and you won't be dropping down to get in the front seat.

2021 Subaru Outback, features, specs, pricing

The eight cars and SUVs with the best front seats

The Kia Soul has the most comfortable front seats among small cars. Volkswagen Passat wins the Midsize sedan category, Mercedes-Benz C-Class is best in Luxury Compact Sedan, Audi A8 Luxury Midsized/Large Sedan, and Volkswagen Tiguan best small SUV. Subaru Outback scores best Midsize SUV, Mercedes-Benz GLC best Luxury Compact SUV, and BMW X5 is best Luxury Midsized/Large SUV.

Besides having the most comfortable front seats, the Subaru Outback also has a car-like ride and SUV utility and cargo-carrying ability. Outback comes with standard all-wheel-drive and X-Mode to get you off the beaten path for long road trips and to getaway.

A recent study by Ketchum's Daily Ride Index found that the average American has seen a 12 percent increase in time behind the wheel per week (from 9 hours and 43 minutes per week to 10 hours and 50 minutes per week). That's a lot of seat time, and one over-looked feature is how comfortable the front seats are in a car.

CR says the redesigned 2021 Subaru Outback beats an impressive field in the midsize SUV category like Toyota Highlander, Hyundai Santa Fe, Mazda CX-9, Honda Pilot Hyundai Palisade, and Chevrolet Traverse.

You Might Also Like: 4 New Subaru Models That Debut This Year - 2 Are Planned, 2 Will Be A Surprise

Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role working with every major car brand. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press. Check out Subaru Report where he covers all of the Japanese automaker's models. More stories can be found on the Torque News Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Photo credit: Subaru

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Jacek Grob (not verified)    January 17, 2021 - 10:13AM

Great, article. So many of us find out about the seats not being comfortable too late!
Best example was my wife's 2018 Mazda CX-5 touring. Great car, awesome looks, great handling but seats were outright painful. After a couple of hours of driving it would become a nightmare.
To end a long story, we sold the car.

Scott T Leung (not verified)    April 6, 2022 - 1:32PM

In reply to by Mark (not verified)

Why not just replace the seats? There should be plenty of aftermarket seats on the market. Perhaps a higher end car stereo/detailing shop would have a plethora of options?

David (not verified)    April 11, 2022 - 9:24AM

In reply to by Scott T Leung (not verified)

I’ve been looking into that and there are not many options at all. And they all compromise safety as the aftermarket seats don’t have side airbags like the factory seats. I’ve gone as far on one of my vehicles as removing the seat, removing the upholstery and redoing some of the foam with hospital grade memory foam and then putting it all back together. Took about eight hours. Got a few more years and road trips.

JAMES A BURKES (not verified)    May 16, 2021 - 1:48AM

In reply to by Jacek Grob (not verified)

I felt exactly the same way with my 2019 Subaru Forrester. I can ride 3 or 4 hours in my 1999 Tacoma, but the Subaru seats were excruciating after less than 2 hours...I tried various cushions, but nothing worked.

Arthur (not verified)    August 10, 2021 - 6:39PM

In reply to by Jeffery Hayes (not verified)

Wow. As far as I know the seats in the Outback and Ascent are the exact same. Same either the smaller models of Subarus. They do not use a different seats for each model. That being said, bigger cars are easier for ingress and egress.

Caviar fernandes (not verified)    April 15, 2021 - 4:07PM

Subaru. Toyota. Nissan. To name a few have never had comfortable seats. You want comfortable. Bring back to life 2010 GMC loaded Sierra. Wide excellent foam a joy to drive even after 8 hours. Face it. Auto manufacturer's have been giving us less comfy seats for a while

karen smollins (not verified)    May 21, 2021 - 1:36PM

You would think a 3-1/2 hour drive in the Subaru Outback would be enjoyable. The seats are so narrow and uncomfortable. Subaru did not put any thought into the seat pan, therefore, the seat is too short for taller people and does not offer good upper leg comfort.

Roy Freese (not verified)    June 13, 2021 - 11:10AM

Only thing I hate about my 2018 Subaru Crosstrek is the drivers seat. Was going to trade for a new Forester, only it uses the same seat, jacked up about 3 inches, which I thought would make it better, Test drove one it wasn't, it was worse, Trying to decided if bigger / more expensive Outback is worth it just for the seat. Come Subaru, us low end buyers are real people too,

Ken Blair (not verified)    June 26, 2021 - 4:49PM

The only seats worth a crap were my old foam filled robust in GMC Arcadia. We now have a Highlander, $50k for suck for road trips no comfort looking to sell.. Tried out Subarus narrow big fail.
Car manufacturers seats are mostly to narrow, curved up sides, likely impacted by the crappy office chair industry that’s largely lost it’s edge as well. Peugeot in ‘81 seats were marvelous, give them a call America your dying on the vine.