The amount of space offered in the rear section of a car’s cabin is often considered as the deciding factor when it comes to determining how comfortable the rear seats are. While it is an important factor, space alone does not make those rear seats comfortable. The car’s overall ride quality, the structure of those seats, how well they are padded, bolstered, angled and designed, and if there’s a central armrest to arrest sideways movement, all come together to play an important role in making rear-seat passengers comfortable. It’s a debatable topic because comfort is a personal thing and how relaxed we feel in the space in which we are seated, does differ from person to person. However, considering all the above parameters, if we had to pick cars under the INR 10 lakh mark, where our experience in the rear seat was really comfortable, mentioned below are a few:
The obvious body form that comes to the fore when we consider things like space, comfort and seats for many, there are just two MPVs which can be bought under the INR 10 lakh mark. Among these, the Triber excels for squeezing in a third row within a short wheelbase, however, it focuses on practicality and value-for-money than outright comfort. If the latter is what you need, and you need an MPV, for a little more and for being the sole choice, the Ertiga offers a split middle bench which offers a reclining function for the backrest and the bench can be moved fore and aft. What you will appreciate is the large glass area for second-row passengers, roof-mounted AC vents, lots of space, and decent ride quality which doesn’t make passengers feel uneasy. If you can spend a little more, the Marazzo with its middle-row captain seats is a great choice.
Even now, there is nothing else out there in the same zip code which can tackle rough roads as the Renault Duster does. That aspect alone goes a long way in ensuring passengers in the rear seat are comfortable, although space isn’t the best in class. By the looks of it, the rear seat might not appear so, but we’ve spent time there over long journeys and found that space extremely comfortable. If you want a little more space, coupled with a well-designed rear seat where the backrest angle is relaxed and the ride quality plush, the Tata Nexon is another vehicle which scores high on passenger comfort. The Honda WR-V offers oodles of leg space but the bench doesn’t shine out when it comes to offering under-thigh support for folks who are on the taller side.
We’re talking about premium hatchbacks here and the reason we won’t talk about the Altroz is for the fact that we haven’t driven one, yet. As for the others, a new version of the i20 is about to arrive and there’s no point talking about the current model. Leaves us with the Maruti Baleno and the Honda Jazz. The former offers a lot of space in the rear, but the rear seat isn’t supportive and you’d constantly be adjusting yourself to find the right position. Leaves us with the Honda Jazz, where again, the under-thigh support for tall folks isn’t all that much, but space otherwise is great and the cabin feels spacious.
The Maruti Suzuki Ciaz offers near LWB-like space in the rear seat and is the sedan to buy in that segment if back seat comfort is your priority. On the other hand, a segment below, the new Honda Amaze impressed us with its ride quality and rear-seat comfort, however, headroom isn’t the best if you’re taller than 5 feet 11″. The Ford Aspire with its adjustable headrests at the back offers good comfort and there’s ample room for your knees and feet. Like most other cars though, taller folks would’ve wanted a bit more under-thigh support. Among all the sedans here, the Aspire’s composed driving dynamics go a long way in keeping passengers steady. Which brings us to the Dzire, where space isn’t a problem, but headroom isn’t great for tall people and the rear suspension’s fast-paced action doesn’t keep things as settled as one would like when the car goes over bumps or undulations.
Since we are all differently built and our sense of comfort differs too, there can hardly be any consensus when it comes to this topic. But there are some basic factors which decide the comfort quotient of a car’s rear seat and beyond that, it’s about how an individual feels. Wish to share your take with us and everyone else? Feel free to drop your comments below.