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Old 06-27-2014, 01:36 AM
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Hard driver's seat

So I've had my '14 Summit now for almost a year, and I really love it. I think I may have mentioned this a few times in the past, but I'm really starting to re-think my purchase because of the driver's seat comfort. Ever since I bought it I've noticed that any more than 30 minutes or so behind the wheel I start to hurt. My sciatica and IT band (mostly the right side) start to ache something fierce, enough that I limp for a while when I get out. I've attributed this to the rock-hard seat cushion, and to a lesser extent the fact that the gas pedal and brake seem to be cantered off to the left more than other cars I've owned, forcing me to sit at an angle. It's only been a minor annoyance up until now but lately I've been noticing that I drive the Jeep less and less and my other car ('12 Kia Optima) more and more because of this. I've even gotten advice from my chiropractor and fitness trainer as to what I can do about it - with minimal, short-term results. They think the design, and especially the firmness of the seat is aggravating whatever I have and not allowing me to compensate by sitting the way I need. My Optima on the other hand is a car I can sit in for hours and hours and never get fatigued, much less sore. I even rented a 2014 Overland for a couple of days before I bought mine to make sure I liked it, and I never felt sore at all even though I did a 6-hour road trip in it. I think the leather is different in the Overland vs. the Summit (Natura vs. Napa?) and wondering how much difference could possibly exist between the two. Maybe I should visit the dealership and find out. I don't even want to know how much it would cost to swap out seats!!

Anyway...I'm not sure if this is more of a gripe and whine session, or a plea for some input, suggestions, etc.

Tony
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Old 06-27-2014, 07:40 AM
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Re: Hard driver's seat

I can't the leather itself making much of any difference. The are both ventilated seats (well they are in Aus, not sure of US Spec) and that seems to make them firmer. I am personally not a fan of the seats, they don't cause me discomfort, but they aren't comfortable like our other cars are/have been.

I had IT issues years ago, make sure you stretch the crap out of it always.

Do not sit yourself on an angle, it will flair up any back or hip issues. Rotate and compensate as required below your hip (slight knee, ankle foot adjustments). If you the type to sit on your wallet, stop doing that too. Keep your hips and back square.
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Old 06-27-2014, 09:58 AM
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Re: Hard driver's seat

Quote:
Originally Posted by SNUKE View Post
If you the type to sit on your wallet, stop doing that too. Keep your hips and back square.
Yea, this is extremely good advise...I switched my wallet to a front pocket years ago and haven't regretted it one bit! More secure, too...

While I'm in a MY12 Summit, I find that for very long trips, occasionally adjusting the seat angles helps keep things "fresh". I do have a slight hip issue, but haven't found the seats to be any less comfortable than other vehicles I've owned.
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Old 06-27-2014, 10:36 AM
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Re: Hard driver's seat

I find that the heated seat helps with my lower back pain.
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Old 06-27-2014, 11:44 AM
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Re: Hard driver's seat

Don't forget to make use of the lumbar support too, and the previous couple of posters' advice is very helpful.


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Old 06-27-2014, 12:16 PM
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Re: Hard driver's seat

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Old 06-27-2014, 01:12 PM
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Re: Hard driver's seat

Short story: My April 2013 (MY 2014) Overland had very hard and uncomfortable front seats (build sheet shows "#5 Seat Foam Cushion"). Replacement Summit (May 2014 build) has very comfortable seats, build sheet shows "#3 Seat Foam Cushion".

Long story: The front seats in my 2014 Overland (April 2013 build) were also not very comfortable, due to hard side bolsters on seat cushions - felt like a wallet needed adjusting but was not anything in pants pockets. Left+right side of seat bottom were too hard (I am not small or too large- 210lb 6'). Early build Overland had lots of electronic/software issues (apparently normal as with hard seats!), after complaining to Chrysler Customer Care for over a year (no hardware parts were ever replaced!), a surprise call informed me that they would replace it without cost for mileage since it had issues when new (14000). My only cost was window sticker difference between Overland and Summit - no extra taxes, dealer fees, etc. After waiting for new order to be built, it was smooth swap over from Overland to Summit. My thinking was that Summit would be different enough that wife would be more apt to like it. Also crystal granite replaced max steel and she likes the front/back styling better than Overland with erratic electronics.

Without thinking about it, I was pleasantly surprised to find the seats in new Summit were very comfortable - noticed it the first time I sat in drivers seat. My wife also commented on how much more comfortable the seats were (I don't remember her complaining about the Overland seats - too many other issues with key fob not detected, LCD/NAV going blank, alarm going off, etc., etc. Software updates fixed some things but not all (1+ year for HVAC/temp readout fix, released after swap was ordered).

I am assuming that seat foam cushion #3 specified on vehicle build sheet is softer than #5. I did not have any choice when ordering. Possibly someone can confirm and replacing factory cushion foam #5 with #3 will be a fix uncomfortably hard sides of seat bottoms.

You can see build sheets for Jeeps by going to http://www.jeep.com/webselfservice/B...etServlet?vin= and adding your full VIN # after "vin=" in web address bar. Vin for Overland with hard seats is 1C4RJFCG6EC130???, Summit with comfortable seats is 1C4RJFJG3EC521???.
Summit has been without issues for 2200 miles - all is great now, wife grew to hate the Overland (repeatedly said didn't like her - particularity key fob not detected after short stops - 5 to 20 min. OK if shorter or longer stops), loves the newer Summit - it likes her.
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Old 06-27-2014, 02:05 PM
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Re: Hard driver's seat

Hmmm...my wife never complained that it's too hard..., only that sometimes is not hard enough

I wish the seats had more lateral support. And no, I do not find them too hard, but I do adjust the lumber support for comfort
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Old 06-27-2014, 02:07 PM
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Re: Hard driver's seat

This is interesting. I did extensive test driving before buying my '14 Summit, but always in an Overland, which is what I intended to buy. Long story short, the wife convinced me to go for the Summit at the last minute, and stupidly I never test drove it, assuming the seats would be the same except for the nicer leather.

I think the drivers seat in my '14 Summit is the most uncomfortable seat I have ever had in a vehicle. I constantly feel like I am going to slide sideways out of the seat to the left towards the door, and need to reposition myself. After about 30 minutes of driving my butt and lower back become sore and I find myself constantly shifting around in the seat to get comfortable.

So Tony407 you are not alone. I love just about everything about my Summit, but the driver seat definitely sucks.
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Old 06-27-2014, 02:35 PM
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Re: Hard driver's seat

I think my overland seat is hard too, it isn't just the summit. I think it was even mentioned in one of the reviews I read.


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Old 06-27-2014, 02:51 PM
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Re: Hard driver's seat

Try moving the seat to different angles between the seat bottom and seat back. I doubt that a hard seat alone will give you sciatica, but a seating position that pulls your legs up above your pelvis will stretch the sciatic nerve and cause pain. Try tilting the seat back more and moving the front of the seat cushion down. Also try pushing the seat back further from the pedals. You should be able to rotate your thigh bone inside the hip socket to the inside. But you may find it tiring if you can't brace your foot or leg against the transmission tunnel. I have the same problem in my BMW. I saw a doctor and he found my joints were too tight and gave me some stretching exercises and they helped a lot. You might see a physiatrist, which is what my internist suggested or an orthopedist and get a referral to a physical therapist.
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Old 06-27-2014, 03:17 PM
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Re: Hard driver's seat

Or install Laredo seats. Very comfortable and passenger seat folds flat for long items.

Worst seats I've seen were in my Crossfire, had to take a sawzall to the rear bulkhead to get enough legroom when reclined (& am only 5'10") and an electric knife to the foam bolster on the bottom cushion to stop squeezing my hips together.
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