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Killer S-Line Sports Seats

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by Spook, Oct 17, 2006.

  1. Spook
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    Spook Member

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    [Oct 17, 2006]
    Killer for my back!

    I've got my 3.2 S-Line a couple of weeks ago, and I've got a real problem with the seats. No matter how I adjust them, I can't get comfortable. My lower back doesn't feel supported (no lumbar option fitted) and the seat feels too hard at the base of my spine. Also, it seems like the backrest padding is slightly angled towards the centre of the car, and I feel like I have to twist slightly in the seat to remain square on to the controls. All this combines to cause me backache after anything more than a short drive.

    I wish I'd found a car with lumbar support fitted now, but I wonder whether this would have made any difference to the other problems I've described.

    The seats are, quite simply, ruining my enjoyment of the car, to the point where I'm thinking of getting rid :( Is it just me, or has anyone else had similar problems with these seats? Constructive suggestions welcomed!
    #1
  2. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [Oct 17, 2006]
    I posted about the very same problem about a year ago.
    I suffer from back pain and the lack of lumbar adjustment is shocking.
    My very basic A4 had electric lumbar adjustment,so it never even crossed my mind that my high-spec A3 wouldn't !
    Even manual lumbar adjustment should be a pre-requisite.
    I used to be able to travel the length of the country in my A4,without suffering any aches and pains.
    I daren't try the same in my A3.
    At best,I have to take my lumbar cushion with me,which makes me feel about 59,not 39 !

    I also find the lack of 'tilt' a real pain too.
    My A4's seats could be tilted back,so that your weight could be supported by your thighs as well as your bum.
    The A3 doen't have that.
    It has a very level seat squab,so all your weight goes on your backside.

    I simply cannot understand why my basic A4 (it didn't even have electric windows,for god's sake) can have a multi-adjustable driver's seat,but my specced up A3 doesn't.

    Very strange decision indeed.
    #2
  3. mfspen
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    mfspen Member

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    [Oct 17, 2006]
    Have you tried the following :-

    1. Make sure the steering wheel is adjusted as far up and as far out as it will go.
    2. Set the seat height as low as it will go (then adjust rake to suit).

    This will ensure maximum support to your back. I have no problems with my S-Line used like this.
    #3
  4. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [Oct 17, 2006]
    That's the way I have my S-line set.
    Seat as low as it'll go.
    Wheel as high and close to me as it'll go.
    Does help,but doesn't totally alleviate the problem.
    #4
  5. TDI-line
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    TDI-line Uber Post Whore

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    [Oct 17, 2006]
    I'll swap my golf GT with electric lumbar support as standard if you like Spook. ;)
    #5
  6. Vertigo1
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    Vertigo1 Well-Known Member

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    [Oct 17, 2006]
    I'll never own a car without lumbar adjustment as I suffer from bad backs too. It is a tad weird that they only offer electric adjustment but I made a point of specifying it on my current car and the new one arriving soon, both of which have sports seats.

    With the lumbar I must say they're the best seats of any car I've ever had. I've done a couple of days of 10+ hours in the driver's seat and haven't been the least bit uncomfortable or stiff when the day ended. Also a couple of trips over to the ring consisting of 9hrs each way in a day.
    #6
  7. marriedblonde
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    marriedblonde Moderator

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    [Oct 17, 2006]
    I know a lot of people compain about the sport seats, audi driver commented on them, but I find them very comfortable.

    I personally I cannot stand the lumbar support on seats (unless it is in as far as it goes which kind of defeats it's purpose...) Must be something to do with my shape.

    J.
    #7
  8. alfiejts
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    alfiejts Member

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    [Oct 17, 2006]
    Well blow me down with a feather!

    There was me, flogging my last Alfa 156 because I couldn't get comfy in that (even though my previous 156 with lumbar adjustment was OK), only to find that I had the same issue with my new A3 S-Line.

    I've used dozens of hire cars at work and never had back ache in them, so put it down to the 156.

    Peugeot 206 & 307s, Ford Focuses, Vauxhall Astras. All of these very "ordinary" cars, with no lumbar adjustment, but I just jumped in them, drove for hundreds of miles over several days without even thinking about discomfort.....

    So I thought I'd get a German car -renouned for their quality and firm but comfy seat designs - and yes, I too couldn't get comfy in the A3, despite it having the S Line sports seats - just like you say.

    Thought it was just me until I read this thread!

    I've found that if I drive in a more "straight armed" pose, with the wheel as far away from me as I can comfortably reach, then that seems to provide the most comfy position for my back.....

    (or maybe just that the aching arms distract my attention from the aching back!)
    #8
  9. marriedblonde
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    marriedblonde Moderator

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    [Oct 17, 2006]
    I've got DSG so I kinda lean on the arm rest most of the time...
    #9
  10. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [Oct 17, 2006]
    I've had 3 Audi 1.8T Sport (8L) cars in the passed all fitted with the then standard sports seats and they were OK but not that special. This time I tried a demonstartor with Standard rather than Sports seats and I personally found the seats were so much more comfortable, especially on long journeys. I can now drive for 8 hours across France in comfort and arrive in Germany with no backacre at all.

    My car is now an SE spec rather than a Sport spec so the suspension is a little less harsh as well which probably also helps.

    Perhaps I'm now old enough to not mind not have a Sport ! It still goes just the same as a Sport and handles just as well as my 1.8T Sports did so I'm happy.
    #10
  11. benw123
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    benw123 Moderator

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    [Oct 17, 2006]
    Is your car an SE, Vertigo1? Mine is and I think the seats are fab too - like you I've spent all day at the helm with no problems. And as h5djr says, the softer SE suspension probably helps over long distances.

    The only advice I could offer to Spook is to keep trying difference seat and steering wheel positions. There's every chance you'll find one that's comfortable.
    #11
  12. Spook
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    Spook Member

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    [Oct 17, 2006]
    Thanks for that, but I've tried almost everything already.

    In any case, I find it hard to see how mere adjustment can compensate for what appear to me to be fundamental flaws in the design of the seat.

    Gutted.
    #12
  13. Vertigo1
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    Vertigo1 Well-Known Member

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    [Oct 17, 2006]
    Mine is an SE yes, but I added the Leather/Alcantara sports seats to it.

    The new one is an S-Line and so will have sports seats as standard but obviously has harder suspension. I was concerned about the suspension being a LOT harder so I made sure I test drove one (actually two - a 140 DSG and 170 manual) and I was surprised that the suspension wasn't *that* much harder than the SE. Yes it's obviously firmer but not by the huge margin I'd expected, just a bit more "jiggly" on uneven surfaces and obviously "crashes" a bit more on big holes and speed bumps. TBH I preferred it to the SE in some ways as I found it less "bouncy" over uneven surfaces, i.e. more solidly sprung but also better damped.

    The only thing that remains is to see whether the gf whinges about it :) I planned to take her out in one of the test cars but decided against it as I thought she'd be deliberately looking for issues and as luck would have it I ended up with a Sport loaner for 5 days when my cylinder head disintegrated and she didn't even notice the suspension was different :)

    At the end of the day I'm not compromising my car choice to pander to her, she can lump it or get her own car :)
    #13
  14. Spook
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    Spook Member

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    [Oct 17, 2006]
    Vertigo1 - a man soon to be single......:)
    #14
  15. Vertigo1
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    Vertigo1 Well-Known Member

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    [Oct 17, 2006]
    Hehe,

    Well firstly it's my company car not hers and secondly she doesn't drive so I'm buggered if I'm compromising for the sake of a passenger! :)
    #15
  16. steeve
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    steeve Well-Known Member

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    [Oct 18, 2006]
    I suffer from degenerating lower discs and dont have a problem, but we are all different. I do prefer lumbar support but find the s.line seats ok for me. I too have the seat in its lowest position.
    #16
  17. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [Oct 18, 2006]
    Suspension's got feck all to do with it.
    I don't get backache on short journey/bumpy roads.
    I get backache on nice smooth motorways.
    I'd get backache from those seats if I wasn't moving,so suspension has sweet FA to do with it.
    They just lack basic adjustment that many other cars,in their own range too,offer as standard.
    #17
  18. mfspen
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    mfspen Member

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    [Oct 18, 2006]
    Same here.
    I had the lumbar adjustment in both of my A4's, and it was always wound in fully.

    Personally, I have found the S-Line seats to be extremely comfortable - the best of all of the 6 Audis I have owned.
    #18
  19. tomsinclair
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    tomsinclair Member

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    [Oct 18, 2006]
    I also find nothing wrong with the S-Line seats
    #19
  20. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [Oct 19, 2006]
    No offence,but if you live in Orkney,you're not exactly going to be spending a lot of time in the seats...

    ;-)
    #20
  21. tomsinclair
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    tomsinclair Member

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    [Oct 19, 2006]
    All I can reply to that is B******t
    #21
  22. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [Oct 19, 2006]
    Aaaw come on,the biggest island is only 200 square miles !

    Ferry seats now,you'll know a thing or two aboot them. ;-)
    #22
  23. john2garden
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    john2garden Gonad

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    [Oct 19, 2006]
    Would you be able to do 200 miles on a full tank in a 3.2???
    #23
  24. Spook
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    Spook Member

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    [Oct 19, 2006]
    Well, I've fired off a letter to Audi Customer Services to invite their suggestions for resolving my problem with the seats.

    Not too optimistic concerning the outcome, but like the lottery, you can't win if you don't buy a ticket .....
    #24
  25. co55ie
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    co55ie Member

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    [Oct 19, 2006]
    I agree with you on this, after having owned the car a few months I find the seats comfortable for upto an hour or so ( I have electric lumbar supports which helps) but after that as you say all the weight is on your backside rather than being distributed onto your thighs aswell, this is very likely to be a problem if your tall and the seat is set in its lowest position.
    #25
  26. co55ie
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    co55ie Member

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    [Oct 19, 2006]

    I wonder if seat runners from another VAG model with tilt adjustment could be retrofitted to the S line sports seats and A3 ? Maybe worth investigating
    #26
  27. Dandle
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    Dandle Member

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    [Oct 19, 2006]
    I have no problem with the seats in my S-line now although for the first couple of weeks I had real problems with my left knee hurting after driving the car for a while. After alot of adjustment I have found the right position for the base of the seat and have no probelms now even if my wife moves the back of the seat around(as long as she doesnt adjust the angle of the base, which she doesnt).
    #27
  28. Spook
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    Spook Member

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    [Oct 19, 2006]
    That, together with lumbar support, could well be the answer.

    However, I have a feeling that the architecture of the A3 S-Line seat base will not lend itself to the extra lever that a tilt function would require :(
    #28
  29. Vertigo1
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    Vertigo1 Well-Known Member

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    [Oct 20, 2006]
    It sounds to me like some of you are sitting too close to the pedals. If your thighs aren't supported by the seat then you need to move the seat back a bit.

    I have the seat quite a long way back and I'm often stunned by how much further forward others have it, even thought they're a similar height & leg length to me.
    #29
  30. Spook
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    Spook Member

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    [Oct 20, 2006]
    That, with respect, is a bit simplistic. It's not just about height and leg length, it's about body shape, size, and in particular, spine curvature. Everyone is different. That's why manufacturers build in a comprehensive range of adjustment into their seats, including tilt and lumbar support - all except Audi, it seems.
    #30
  31. Vertigo1
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    Vertigo1 Well-Known Member

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    [Oct 20, 2006]
    Fair points, I'm just tring to reconcile the fact that I find my seats to be the most comfortable I've ever used whilst others here seem to find them nearly unbearable.

    I appreciate differences in stature can lead to different levels of comfort but to *that* degree? When mention was made of the lack of thigh support it sounded very much to me like people were sitting too close to the pedals which was forcing their thighs to assume a higher angle than mine, especially when experience has shown me that I tend to sit farther back than most people I know.
    #31
  32. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [Oct 20, 2006]
    An interesting point I have found with my current A3. It is a SE model, so not directly related to this thread and it is fitted with a DSG gearbox. I am 5ft 10ins tall but have slightly shorter legs than average for my height. I only wear 29in inside trousers. In all my previous A3s the position of the seat was always determined by the need to be able to push the clutch pedal fully down. With the DSG there is no clutch pedal so I can have the seat a little further back and still be comfortable.
    #32
  33. wilko
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    wilko Top Gear

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    [Oct 20, 2006]
    I think you just need to keep ajusting the seat position and you'll soon find that the sport seats without lumbar are actually ok. You should try taking an SE or a standard out for a day, now they are really bad, and no were near wide enough (and no I'm not fat).
    #33
  34. Spin140
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    Spin140 Active Member

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    [Oct 20, 2006]
    I too don't have an issue with the S-line seats, I also seat at lowest position, not quite low enough IMO. They are not quite as supportive as those in the MKV GTI but no problems with back pain yet.
    #34

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