With a range of options out there, though, it can be difficult to know what your best options are, and which features can make a huge difference to those suffering from back pain.
To make things worse, here in Australia the road surfaces can deteriorate quickly when you leave a town or city, so driving the right car makes a huge difference if you have a large commute, or you’re planning on a long-distance road trip in the near future.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at some of the most comfortable cars and the best car options for drivers with back pain to make your next journey more pleasant.
What Makes a Car Comfortable?
In a general sense, there are a number of factors that influence just how comfortable a car’s platform is. This includes fairly minor things like the amount of sound insulation that eliminates road noise, as well as more concrete factors like the thickness of the rubber on the tyres, the suspension, and how the dampeners have been calibrated by the factory.
Things that make a car comfortable include:
- Different types of suspension: leaf springs, double-wishbone, multi-link, independent, Macpherson strut, rigid axle and air suspension.
- Fixed and adaptive suspension systems: adaptive suspension can be stiffened up for better handling, or softened for more comfortable daily driving.
- Rim size: smaller rims accommodate wider-profile tyres, which soak up vibrations and bumps more than low-profile tyres.
- Tyre size and rubber profile: low-profile tyres that you’ll find on sports cars look great, but they’re terrible for distributing bumps while driving.
- Seating position and adjustability: the position, posture and adjustability of the driver’s seat is an important influencer of comfort and suitability for drivers with back pain.
- Lumbar support: seats that offer adjustable lumbar support are a must-have feature for those suffering from back pain.
What are the Best Cars for Drivers with Back Pain?
- Volvo XC90 Recharge
- Subaru Forester
- Hyundai i30 Sedan
- Ford Ranger
- Mitsubishi Outlander
- Toyota Landcruiser 300 Series
- Lexus ES
- Honda CR-V
- Volkswagen Passat
- Land Rover Range Rover
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Sitting behind the wheel of the XC90 is like sitting in a comfortable - and stylish - Swedish loungeroom, making it perfect for drivers with back pain. The seats offer a heap of adjustment and lumbar support, while the standard suspension system can be upgraded with optional air suspension, which works wonders at ironing out bumps on the road, adding to the refinement.
While you might not have guessed it, Subaru’s adventure-ready suspension system underneath the Forester makes it a smooth ride, particularly on smooth city streets.
The Forester’s driving position features an adjustable seat and telescopic steering wheel, which helps the driver to find a comfortable and supportive posture for any back pain, and remains one of the best of the cost-effective options for drivers with back pain.
The Hyundai i30 Sedan is a wonderfully comfortable family sedan, and proves that you don’t need to opt for an SUV for a well-crafted ride quality. The i30 Sedan offers a quality, low-slung driving position with a heap of adjustment, and features adjustable lumbar support in the N Line variant.
Better still, Hyundai tunes the suspension of its cars specifically for the road conditions here in Australia, so you can expect the i30 Sedan to ride comfortably on the majority of rides.
Build for the worksite and off-road trails, the Ford Ranger’s tough suspension platform works wonders when it comes to a smooth and floaty driving experience on the road.
Positioning the driver high above the road, the Ranger’s ergonomics are spot-on for drivers with back pain, while the suspension gets to work ironing out bumps that so often frequent on Australian roads. Mid-range and high-spec variants gain luxurious elements and power-adjustable seats, adding to the overall comfort package on offer.
Mitsubishi has recently introduced an all-new Outlander to Australia, and in its latest form, it provides an exceptionally smooth and supportive ride quality in entry-level form, while higher-spec variants gain luxurious leather seats and a heap of adjustment in the powered seats.
The all-new platform rides far better than its predecessor, cruising over bumps on the road without an issue, while the power-adjustable driving position allows you to find a driving position that reduces any strains on your back or neck.
Arguably the king of the off-roaders, the latest generation Toyota LandCruiser 300 Series is a wonderful option for drivers with back pain. The entry-level GLX features a hardcore suspension system that can tackle any off-road trail you can throw at it, while providing an incredibly smooth driving dynamic on the road.
Better still, stepping up the range into more premium variants adds an adaptive suspension system that adjusts to road conditions, as well as power-adjustable seats with lumbar support, making it a great companion for those suffering from back pain.
Lexus is no stranger to the world of comfortable, luxurious motoring, and the Lexus ES is proof of just how effective the company’s recipe has become.
The entry-level ES features a wonderfully-appointed cabin with a fully-adjustable driving position, while higher-spec variants gain adaptive dampers that make the driving experience exceptionally smooth and comfortable.
While the Honda CR-V’s space and practicality has made it a fan favourite for Australian families, in recent years Honda has worked wonders with its suspension platform, making it a great and affordable option for those with back pain.
Entry-level variants receive manually-adjustable seats, while higher-spec CR-V variants gain power adjustment in the seats and lumbar support. Better still, the CR-V’s ride quality is impressive on the road, even on rough country B-roads that can put a car’s suspension to the test.
For those looking for a comfortable sedan for an affordable price, the Volkswagen Passat is a great option, particularly for those experiencing back pain.
In that case, you’ll want to opt for either the mid-range Business or the flagship Elegance, which upgrade the interior to plush leather seats with power adjustments and even massaging seats in the case of the Elegance.
If you’re looking for the most comfortable driving experience on the road, Land Rover’s Range Rover has you well-and-truly covered.
While it doesn’t come cheap here in Australia, the Range Rover is perhaps the pinnacle of refinement in the SUV segment, offering a magic carpet-like ride quality that wafts its way across rough road surfaces and transmits little-to-no disturbances into the cabin.
The seats offer loungeroom comfort and feature a heap of adjustment and even massage functions for those with back pain, while the hardcore underpinnings make sure that you’ll rarely feel the road beneath you.
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