Thank you for the recent article considering the Santa Fe, CR-V and Rav4 for hip-replacement challenges. We appreciate the advice and would like to add two more factors: spine and bilateral knee replacements on Driver Two. We both would prefer one vehicle. It will be used for both in town and cross country road trips. Any thoughts?Dawn and Fernando
Richardson: Hmmm. What Dawn and Fernando are asking for is the vehicle with the best seats in the business, whichever that is.
Gentile: Seats have come a long way in just the past decade. Manufacturers invest a lot of research into them, because they want buyers to be comfortable. That way theyll buy their next vehicle from them again.
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Richardson: Its tough to say which would be best for individuals. Buyers should sit in as many different seats as they can, but even then, some will be more comfortable after an hour than others.
Gentile: And also, a lot of the comfort comes down to the seats adjustability. You can often pay more for seats that adjust more ways.
Richardson: I think the record is in the Lincoln Continental and Navigator, with 28-way adjustment. They even adjust the stretch of each individual thigh.
Gentile: Dawn and Fernando arent looking for a six-figure Lincoln, though.
Richardson: No. I think they should start with the Nissan Rogue. Its not too big, not too fancy, relatively tall as an SUV so easier to access and exit, and seats designed in co-operation with NASA. Theyre formed to fit the same shape as the human body when its not stressed and floating in space.
Gentile: But those seats arent the most comfortable, especially on long drives. I like the egress and ingress on the Mitsubishi RVR, but the seats are manually operated (only the top trim is power operated) and they dont move in a lot of positions. Thats also important.
The 2020 Mitsubishi RVR.
Courtesy of manufacturer
Richardson: I disagree completely. Ive driven much of Route 66 in various Nissans, including the Rogue, and was never uncomfortable. I guess were all built differently, because the RVRs seats didnt impress me at all. Its good value and reliable, but I think Dawn and Fernando have other priorities, too.
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Gentile: Like cars, we are all built differently. I like the seats in the Honda CR-V; I find them very comfortable and supportive on long drives. Its ride height isnt too tall, either, so it is easy to enter and exit the seats.
Richardson: None of the seats in the new SUVs are bad theres a huge amount of research and development that goes into them but its a question of which best fit Dawn and Fernando. And of course, the seats are often different in the same cars, too. The more you pay, the better the quality of seat. Its not always just the outer material that costs extra.
The 2020 Nissan Rogue.
MikeDitz/Courtesy of manufacturer
Gentile: And you can add heat functions, ventilated functions and even massage functions to the front seats, too. Love these factors, but again, were getting into Lincoln territory and theres no need for all of those fancy extras for Dawn and Fernando. But with spine and knee replacements, the egress and ingress will be key for their comfort. Wouldnt you agree?
Richardson: Getting in and out will be a huge dealbreaker, so we can agree that a taller SUV or at least CUV would be best.
Gentile: Agreed. No sedans and certainly no coupes!
Richardson: Dawn and Fernando havent given us a budget, but if were poking around Honda CR-V prices, they should be prepared to pay for a higher-end trim to get the higher-end seats. Maybe this is where that Mitsubishi does come through: The top-end RVR is a good $3,000 less than the top-end CR-V.
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Gentile: If they want to save some money and theres a Mitsubishi dealer nearby, theres no harm in them paying a visit to just try out the seats.
The 2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid.
Courtesy of manufacturer
Richardson: I still think they should try the seats on the Nissan Rogue. Its the same price as the Honda and Toyota, but some things you just shouldnt cheap out on.
Gentile: I agree. It doesnt hurt to test out the seats in the Rogue, too. Its time well spent to figure out which seats fit best. And its definitely worth it if you can pay extra for a high-end trim to get the most comfy seats possible.
What car should you buy? Write to Mark and Petrina at
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