Love the CX-5, hate the seats...Any way to make them better?

Giving some serious thought to selling the wife’s ‘19 cx5 touring for only one reason...the seats. Other than a sunroof that randomly exploded (and was covered by Mazda), we haven’t had a single problem in 16 months/37k miles. It gets good mileage, is reasonably fun to drive, and has low maintenance costs ($30 dealer oil change if I bring my own oil). And then there’s the seats...not so bad on short trips but definitely uncomfortable on the long ones. It’s rather irritating to have such an all around excellent vehicle with one glaring flaw that’s tough to overcome.

So now tentative plan is if I can find a properly equipped cpo Volvo xc90 t6 for a fair price, will slap the 10yr/unlimited mile warranty extension on it and launch the Mazda. Would be going from a reliable, fun CUV with crappy seats to a more expensive, less reliable, thirstier, higher maintenance SUV with a great warranty and sublime seats.

Before I go and do something crazy, has anyone figured out how to improve seat comfort on these, or found a bolt in upgrade (ie better seat from different model Mazda that would retain airbags, etc)?
 
Have you considered finding a solution only for long trips? (not sure what constitutes 'long' or how often you take one)

Maybe a gel pad you throw on the seat when you need it, keep it under on normal drives so it doesn't impact heated/cooled seat. (if offered at your trim level)
 

yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg
Contributor
:
Plano, Texas, USA
Giving some serious thought to selling the wife’s ‘19 cx5 touring for only one reason...the seats. Other than a sunroof that randomly exploded (and was covered by Mazda), we haven’t had a single problem in 16 months/37k miles. It gets good mileage, is reasonably fun to drive, and has low maintenance costs ($30 dealer oil change if I bring my own oil). And then there’s the seats...not so bad on short trips but definitely uncomfortable on the long ones. It’s rather irritating to have such an all around excellent vehicle with one glaring flaw that’s tough to overcome.

So now tentative plan is if I can find a properly equipped cpo Volvo xc90 t6 for a fair price, will slap the 10yr/unlimited mile warranty extension on it and launch the Mazda. Would be going from a reliable, fun CUV with crappy seats to a more expensive, less reliable, thirstier, higher maintenance SUV with a great warranty and sublime seats.

Before I go and do something crazy, has anyone figured out how to improve seat comfort on these, or found a bolt in upgrade (ie better seat from different model Mazda that would retain airbags, etc)?
Seat discomfort must be the single most complaint on gen-2 CX-5. Just do a search on “seat uncomfortable” you’ll see a whole bunch. For some reason Mazda changed the seats a bit to make them more comfortable during the facelift on gen-1 2016 CX-5, but they made the seat smaller and uncomfortable for 2017 gen-2 in the following year. There’re many discussions on how to make the seats conformable on gen-2 CX-5 with seat cushion、taking to an upholstery shop modifying seats、or even getting a set of 2016 CX-5 seats to swap.

IMO seat comfort is one of the very important factor for car purchase, and each person feels differently on the same seat. If you can’t stand it, not much you can do but finding another car wth better seats for your taste.
 

sm1ke

Work In Progress..
Moderator
Contributor
:
Canada
:
'18 CX-9 Signature
If you haven't already, try the seat adjustment procedure found in the owner's manual. As described in the manual, "Using the driving position set up procedure recommended by Mazda allows you to maintain a relaxed posture, drive the vehicle for longer periods without feeling tired, and make quick operations naturally."

 
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2020 CX5 Signature
How often to you take long trips? If its for the occasional holiday maybe you could just rent a car for those trips? It would make a lot of sense financially.
 
:
Pueblo county CO
:
CX-5 Sport 16.5 6M
Giving some serious thought to selling the wife’s ‘19 cx5 touring for only one reason...the seats. Other than a sunroof that randomly exploded (and was covered by Mazda), we haven’t had a single problem in 16 months/37k miles. It gets good mileage, is reasonably fun to drive, and has low maintenance costs ($30 dealer oil change if I bring my own oil). And then there’s the seats...not so bad on short trips but definitely uncomfortable on the long ones. It’s rather irritating to have such an all around excellent vehicle with one glaring flaw that’s tough to overcome.

So now tentative plan is if I can find a properly equipped cpo Volvo xc90 t6 for a fair price, will slap the 10yr/unlimited mile warranty extension on it and launch the Mazda. Would be going from a reliable, fun CUV with crappy seats to a more expensive, less reliable, thirstier, higher maintenance SUV with a great warranty and sublime seats.

Before I go and do something crazy, has anyone figured out how to improve seat comfort on these, or found a bolt in upgrade (ie better seat from different model Mazda that would retain airbags, etc)?
What specifically bothers you about the seat s? The side bolsters? Too little lumbar support?

I like my '16 cloth seats ok, but I have a memory foam pad. Any seat is uncomfortable for me on a long drive.
 
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2019 CX-5 Signature
I don't think I've ever seen a vehicle seat that fits all. Some of the higher end models have more adjustments, which helps. We came from a vehicle with the most uncomfortable seats I have ever had. A 2010 CR-V EX-L. My wife had no issue with them, she's 5' 3" though and I'm 6' 4". Since it was her primary vehicle it was fine. We would usually take mine on longer trips.

Fast forward to our 2019 CX-5. I was pleasantly surprised that we both were able to find comfortable seat positions. It took a little trial and error, but now I'm quite comfortable driving it for any amount of time. Over the summer we took a 600 mile trip. I never had any issues during the 10 hour drive each way. Your best bet is to do what sm1ke shared above.
 

erhayes

Contributor
:
CX5 Reserve
I purchased a seat pad at Walmart's that really helped. I sits just between the hard bolsters. Ed
 
:
CX5 GT
the 'problem' is usually primarily on the GT leather seats. The bolsters of the seatng pad are with some hard thing inside and it pushes hard to person sides/legs. They do get better over time but just a bit.
It just too rough what they put below the leader on the seat sides.
I guess to keep seating from sagging.
Seat position does not really help.
Only real help is a pad that elevates persons position on the seat just enough that the bolsters dont push hard on you body structure.
 
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sm1ke

Work In Progress..
Moderator
Contributor
:
Canada
:
'18 CX-9 Signature
Seat position does not really help.

Depends on what the issue is. For example, I used to get a lot of lower back pain when I would drive my wife's Civic. No issues when driving my IS250. Then I sold the IS and was driving the Civic regularly, which meant lower back pain if I was in the seat for 30 mins or longer. I made some seat adjustments and adjusted my posture a bit, and now I can comfortably drive 3-6 hours at a time if I need to.

The point is that the seat adjustment is free and quick. If it doesn't solve the issue, no harm no foul, move on to the next solution.
 
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2014 Mazda3 S GT auto, 2008 MX5 6-speed
I'll have to admit that I've never driven any Lexus with uncomfortable seats. My 3s seats were always a bit too firm and without sufficient lower back support but they have conformed a bit over time. I do agree that an auto upholstery shop may be able to add padding to make the seats more comfortable.
The most excruciating seats I've ever sat in were those in a 2019 McLaren 570S. My lower back was killing me after 20 minutes or less.
 

erhayes

Contributor
:
CX5 Reserve
I find it difficult to accept that I have the same complaint about my 2014 touring CX5 as I'm hearing about the 2019 models. Not all of us like to feel constrained in my drivers seat. I am not Zoom Zooming my CX5 on a track and want some wiggle room like the Luxury segment seats do. Ed
 
With the pandemic, we don’t take many super long trips but I find myself uncomfortable after about an hour. It’s not that the seats “hurt” or anything...just that I have trouble finding a position in which I don’t feel the need to shift my weight constantly.

The cx5 is my wife’s car and the only one we have with an automatic transmission. My four vehicles (2 trucks and 2 cars) are all manuals and the wife isn’t quite comfortable driving a manual yet. If we’re going anywhere when I don’t want to drive the entire time, we have to take her cx5. And being that I drive over 30k miles per year for work, it’s nice to be a passenger sometimes. Luckily she’s a good driver. But it’s in the passenger seat that I find myself the least comfortable. Driver seat is more tolerable though by no means comfortable.

The best way I can describe these seats is I feel like I’m sitting “on top” as opposed to “in” the seat. And it just has this generally “lumpy” feel.

Adjusting the seats per the manual seems like a good idea...I’ll give that a try this weekend. But at this point I’m not really willing to using an extra seat cushion on the newest vehicle we have...just a mental block I guess.

Guess I’ll try the adjustment method in the manual first and go from there. Would’ve been nice if there was another seat option to fit to this car, either from another model or an uplevel cx5
 
Giving some serious thought to selling the wife’s ‘19 cx5 touring for only one reason...the seats. Other than a sunroof that randomly exploded (and was covered by Mazda), we haven’t had a single problem in 16 months/37k miles. It gets good mileage, is reasonably fun to drive, and has low maintenance costs ($30 dealer oil change if I bring my own oil). And then there’s the seats...not so bad on short trips but definitely uncomfortable on the long ones. It’s rather irritating to have such an all around excellent vehicle with one glaring flaw that’s tough to overcome.

So now tentative plan is if I can find a properly equipped cpo Volvo xc90 t6 for a fair price, will slap the 10yr/unlimited mile warranty extension on it and launch the Mazda. Would be going from a reliable, fun CUV with crappy seats to a more expensive, less reliable, thirstier, higher maintenance SUV with a great warranty and sublime seats.

Before I go and do something crazy, has anyone figured out how to improve seat comfort on these, or found a bolt in upgrade (ie better seat from different model Mazda that would retain airbags, etc)?

I would say that it is very hard to find a car that is perfect in every way. What exactly don't you like about the seats? If it is your wife's car how much are you in it? You could add foam to different parts or add seat covers with pads underneath them. Or heck you could buy some SPARCO seats or another make of seats and have someone put them in and/or fabricate any necessary parts for them to fit.
 
I’m only in the car when the family travels together, which isn’t super often but often enough to matter. Already have factory Recaros in my cars and about to put an aftermarket Recaro in my work truck, but can’t bring myself to disable safety features (airbag) in our family vehicle by swapping to an aftermarket seat.

As for what I don’t like about the seats...damn things are lumpy. And I feel like I’m sitting atop the seat rather than in it. It is by far the most difficult vehicle to fall asleep in as a passenger that I’ve ever experienced.

We like everything else about the car (should’ve gone turbo tho)
 
:
16.5 CX-5 Tour/AWD
With the pandemic, we don’t take many super long trips but I find myself uncomfortable after about an hour. It’s not that the seats “hurt” or anything...just that I have trouble finding a position in which I don’t feel the need to shift my weight constantly.

The cx5 is my wife’s car and the only one we have with an automatic transmission. My four vehicles (2 trucks and 2 cars) are all manuals and the wife isn’t quite comfortable driving a manual yet. If we’re going anywhere when I don’t want to drive the entire time, we have to take her cx5. And being that I drive over 30k miles per year for work, it’s nice to be a passenger sometimes. Luckily she’s a good driver. But it’s in the passenger seat that I find myself the least comfortable. Driver seat is more tolerable though by no means comfortable.

The best way I can describe these seats is I feel like I’m sitting “on top” as opposed to “in” the seat. And it just has this generally “lumpy” feel.

Adjusting the seats per the manual seems like a good idea...I’ll give that a try this weekend. But at this point I’m not really willing to using an extra seat cushion on the newest vehicle we have...just a mental block I guess.

Guess I’ll try the adjustment method in the manual first and go from there. Would’ve been nice if there was another seat option to fit to this car, either from another model or an uplevel cx5

I have a 2016.5 CX-5 Touring with the cloth seats and I have the same thoughts as you the entire time while owning this car. Even my dads 2003 Toyota Sienna with cloth seats feel way more comfortable than the CX-5 seats and it's not just because it's a minivan but the seat design of the Toyota is more flat with no contours or anything around the waistline. I think overall Toyota vehicles definitely have better seats than the Mazda's but the trade off is the more boring/numb drive.

Trying to dial the seat in properly seems like an art in itself and if you don't have it set properly, especially in my experience, my tailbone and @$$ goes numb after a >1 hour drive. Aside from getting maybe a seat cushion which is kind of a band aid, maybe the seats need a little more breaking in. Last resort though, I think your best bet is to trade the car in if it doesn't seem to get better IMO.
 

sm1ke

Work In Progress..
Moderator
Contributor
:
Canada
:
'18 CX-9 Signature
Regarding other seat options, you could make a visit to a local dealership and sit in a higher trim CX-5 like a GT Reserve or a Signature to see if the seats are any better. If they are, it should be fairly easy for someone with your experience to swap the seats out. The only problem would be buying the seats.. ordering them directly from the dealer would probably be too expensive, and finding them at a junkyard might be too difficult. But one thing at a time. See if the dealership will let you take a higher trim CX-5 for an "extended test drive" so you have enough time to sit in it and find out if it's more comfortable over a long period of time.
 
Sat in a gtR a few months ago during a service, and they felt slightly better but not enough to warrant an expensive swap.

The more I think about it, the seats are still bad as a driver but tolerable. The only time the seats really bother me is as a front seat passenger.
 

HardRightEdg

US 2020 CX-5 Touring AWD Soul Red
Comfortable front seats are high on my priority list when buying a vehicle. Both my wife and I found the faux leather/suade seats in the 2020 Touring quite comfortable on the test drive. If the wife was no likee there would have been no buyee. After 2 1/2 months of ownership nothing has changed either of our minds.
 
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