Cars

How to Pick a Comfortable Vehicle, According to Consumer Reports

Test driving a car

Comfort is one of the most important factors when buying a new vehicle. But “comfortable” can mean different things to different people. How do you know a vehicle is your kind of comfort? A leading expert on all things cars, Consumer Reports has a lot to say about picking the most comfortable car for you. Here are the most important things to keep in mind.

Test out the driver’s seat

According to Consumer Reports, you should take mental notes the minute you open the door. Once you open the driver’s side door, consider how easily you can enter the vehicle and slip into the seat. Take note of the door handles as well as door weight and height.

Once you’re in the seat, you’ll quickly know if the cushion, padding, and feel are comfortable. According to Auto Trader, you should ascertain any adjustable options the seat may have, like lumbar support, adjustable driving position, leg support, height adjustment, and personalization options. Reach for the seatbelt and adjust the steering wheel just as you would if you were about to drive.

While you buckle your seatbelt, look around to ensure you can see the dashboard and all controls clearly. How is the visibility from the seat? Your driving experience can only be comfortable if you have the ability to drive well.

Get hands-on with the interior

Think about upholstery you look for your next car. If you’re unsure, sit down in a few different types to help you decide. Leather is easier to clean but can be cold in the winter and hot in the summer. Cloth seats may be harder to keep clean, but typically offer more cushion and no temperature problems.

When you’re sitting in the driver seat, look around the entire car. Do you like its design? Test out the controls, dashboard options, and displays. Try all of the technology. Can you work the proper controls without losing sight of the road? Search for all of the buttons and levers you’ll need, like access to the trunk and gas tank. How many cup holders do you need? Is the glove compartment spacious enough? 

Don’t forget the back seats

If it’s just you who will ride in the car, you won’t have to worry about the comfort of the back seats as much. But choosing a car to accommodate passengers is essential. Make sure it has the amount of seating you need. Next, climb into the back seat yourself. If it isn’t comfortable for you, it may not be for your passengers.

Note the leg and arm room. If you use child safety seats, make sure they’ll fit comfortably. Also, take note of window areas and cup holders. If there is a third-row, is it easily accessible? Today’s cars come with a variety of passenger comfort options for passengers, including power seating, heating, cooling, ventilation, and even massage, reports YourMechanic.

Inspect your trunk and cargo area

You may not think storage space has anything to do with your comfort level. But it will when you need to put things in your car and they don’t fit. Be sure to fully inspect the trunk and/or cargo area. Is it easy to access? Check handles and hinges.

Will it be difficult to load? It’s important to consider how high you will have to lift things, whether there is access to the back, and if the trunk/cargo area comes with a spare tire.