Back pain from the Civic's seats?

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I first posted this in a thread on the R-Type section. A poster kindly pointed that out to me and suggested I repost it in the general section. Apologies if you've read this more than once. I'll try and keep things streamlined...


My car:
2018 Honda Civic Touring (obviously, leather seats), purchased this month

Me:
Male, 37, 5' 10", 190lbs, muscular build (could stand to lose about 10 lbs). Have a naturally very broad back from the shoulders down to waist. I workout regularly and I have no recent injuries or strains. My most recent car was a 2008 Camry Hybrid. However, I haven't owned a car recently. With a lot of travel for work, instead, I've been renting new cars for a year. That has ranged from bottom of the trim-level economy cars like Sentras to luxury sedans, to muscle cars like the Mustang GT, to giant SUVs -- it just depended upon what was available at the rental agency when my late night flights arrived. Bottom line, I've driven a wide variety of cars over the past year and haven't experienced this type of issue on even the lowest trim rentals.

The problem:
I am experiencing back pain/soreness/discomfort after driving 30+ minutes. I did not experience this on my two test drives. The pain is primarily in my mid to upper part of my lower back. I feel discomfort during the drive; the pain/soreness comes shortly after getting out of the car. I have tried a variety of seat height and angle as well as steering wheel adjustments thus far. Since I've only had the car a few days, I'll keep trying this for the time being, but if I continue to not find a position that relieves the pain, I'll look at a supplemental support cushion, though doing so on a brand new car feels ridiculous to me.

If neither solution works, I guess I'll have to consider something radical, like even trading it back in for a different vehicle. That seems even crazier, but I can't deal with 5 years of back pain for the car I like.

I've read that some people find the Civic seats don't provide enough lumbar support. We're all built differently, but I'm surprised to read that as I find it provides way too much lumbar support now that I've driven it for a few days. If a car has adjustable lumbar support, I tend to push it out as far back as it goes. I find the supposed virtues of lumbar support-oriented seating to be a literal pain in the back. It's why I can't stand those supposedly great Herman Miller office chairs. Anyway, just offering that info as I'm not looking for more lumbar support.

A colleague with a similar build tried the driver's seat out for a trip we were on this morning and described it like so: "way too much lumbar support and, overall, the seats are so firm and rigid that, rather than it feeling like you are sitting on/in the seat, it feels like the seat is digging into you." I'd agree with this sentiment. And, I'd note that neither of us enjoys a mushy seat, but, to me at least, there's a difference between support and rigidity.

Anyone in a similar situation? Did you find a solution? Any supplemental cushion recommendations?

 

civicls

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20181015_112847.png

That's me when someone tries my Civic seat
It's an economy sedan, what can I say.
If your really annoyed, you can buy a lumbar support pad and use where it's most comfortable.
 

Goseki

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2018 touring as well here. At first I had the same seating issues as well. I discovered that I was trying to sit like I was in my previous car which I guess isn't how it was meant to be. After some more tweaking and changing how I sit it's much better now.
 
OP
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2018 touring as well here. At first I had the same seating issues as well. I discovered that I was trying to sit like I was in my previous car which I guess isn't how it was meant to be. After some more tweaking and changing how I sit it's much better now.
@Goseki would you mind providing more details on what specific changes you made? Again, I know we all have different bodies and preferences and pain-points, so there's no universal answer. But, in your case, what adjustments did you make that led to a more comfortable ride? And, if you don't mind sharing, what were you driving prior to to your Civic Touring?
 

Goseki

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@Goseki would you mind providing more details on what specific changes you made? Again, I know we all have different bodies and preferences and pain-points, so there's no universal answer. But, in your case, what adjustments did you make that led to a more comfortable ride? And, if you don't mind sharing, what were you driving prior to to your Civic Touring?
Sure thing, I was riding a Kia soul before so I was used to sitting higher. I basically kinda tweaked it, it's more a reclined sitting, lower, and leaning back than before. I would just try different positions, you might be surprised.
 


SoCalCivicSI

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People complain a lot about the Accord seats, first I've heard about the Civic.
 

IDriveACivic

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Reading about "bad seats" can feed your confirmation bias :D Different butts like different seats.

I came from an old Volvo, and the Civic in comparison has less noticeably less cushioning on the seat.
You would have to adjust way you sit in CivicX because:

- The car sits low, even for an economy sedan.
- The headrest points forward + the lack of adjustable lumbar support would make you feel like you're sitting more straight up than usual. It doesn't help that the low hip point causes you to "dip" into the seat more.

Like someone already mentioned, you would have to recline the seat back a bit more than usual. If the "proper" recline is 100 - 110 degrees, you would have to go 115 instead.

I'm still looking for a discreet lumbar cushion.
 

jred721

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Seat preference is definitely a subjective thing. My Civic EX has the horrible fabric interior and even that is still reasonably comfortable for me, the cushioning and seat position is all reasonably good imo. I think its just everyone has a different posture and sits differently, I would try using a seat cushion you get for cars and seeing if that helps.
 

Kobe

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Seats are kinda uncomfy. Im use to my 350z
 

unholy79

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I miss the lumbar support compared to my old Golf and my Sierra. Trying a few different positions helps, I also found if I kick on the seat heater it helps. Likely going to get a lumbar pad for my Si at some point though. I didn't have this problem in my 20s!!! :)
 


IDriveACivic

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As much as a turd the Nissan Sentra is in many areas, its seats are very comfortable. Maybe I am buying too much into the "zero gravity seat" marketing.
 
OP
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Need to work on your core bro and crunch them abs bro, no pain no gain bro.

Ha! Yeah, I do my core work. Even started flippin yoga a few months back. Even so, there are guys on other threads approaching 300 lbs who say they're finding these seats comfortable, so I guess it just comes down to how we're all built differently.
 

civicdabest-foo

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I find the leather seats on the Touring sedan uncomfy and I experience a milder version of the pain the OP is describing.

I'm used to lumbar support and 16 way adjustable massaging seats on my 7 series when I drive it in the city. But the Touring doesn't have any of that.

Best I can do on the Touring is to point the angle the leg rest down so the front end is at its lowest point and force my back against the seat to prevent slouching and always keep left foot on the dead pedal. This seemed to help. I've thought about bringing a throw pillow in the car but I'm sure that will bring its own set of aches.

The base of the seat is power adjustable. I'd try the extreme positions and see if any one of those positions makes a difference. Then adjust steering location and mirrors to suit a new position.
 
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neastguy

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I have the civic hatch 2018 cloth seats and I find them not that comfy...its the middle section of the seat.. it bows out and kinda pushes on your middle back.. there is no adjustment for it.. I'm getting used to it.. but its taking a while.. luckily as of right now my commute is very short and doesn't really affect my back that much....

 

 
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