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Does Anyone Actually Use Lumbar Adjustment in Cars?

Whenever you’re first stepping into a car that’s new to you, one of the first things you should be doing is adjusting the seat. Driving in the right seating position is important for safety, comfort and even driving enjoyment. Getting the seat in the right spot with the right reclining position is pretty satisfying, and pretty easy to figure out, but when I’m adjusting my seat, there’s one thing I never know what to do with. I’m talking about the lumbar adjustment.

Sometimes lumbar has power adjustment, sometimes it’s a lever and sometimes it’s a knob thing. If I ever accidentally touch it, I never know if I’ve made my lumbar better or worse. It’s this thing that kind of stabs your lower back, and I’m curious if anyone actually uses this feature.

What I’m more curious about is this: How do I know when it’s in the right spot? Is my seat supposed to match the contour of my spine? I imagine this is a beneficial feature for people with back problems and need the contour of their seat to be just right to drive comfortably, but do people without back problems need or want lumbar adjustment?

I think I’m happier when seats have fewer adjustments. The sliding rack thing, a reclining adjustment and maybe an adjustable headrest and I’m good. Anything more than that and it’s just too complicated for me. You can get 30-way adjustable front seats in the Lincoln Navigator and the idea of making 30 different adjustments to my seat just sounds intimidating. Granted, it’s the kind of thing that you figure out once and theoretically never have to touch again thanks to memory seats, but I think it’s possible to have too many options.

You probably didn’t think you’d be reading about vertebrae on Oversteer today, but I’m curious to know how many of you actually use the lumbar adjustment in your car if it’s so equipped. Is a car with adjustable lumbar more attractive to you? How many ways of adjustment are too many?

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  1. I love the adjustments I have on my BMW, The leg extender is brilliant, The precise lumbar adjustment I can dial in but not really necessary for my comfort, The bolsters are awesome too but sometimes get in the way if I carry my ‘freedom device’ inside the waistband.

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Eric Brandt
Eric Brandt is an author specializing in Oversteer content, new car reviews, and finding the best car, truck, and SUV deals each month. Born and raised in Wisconsin, Eric can often be found exploring the north woods on his 1983 Honda Gold Wing when the weather allows it. Father of four, husband of one, and unapologetic minivan enthusiast. Eric mastered driving stick by having a 3-cylinder Chevy... Read More about Eric Brandt

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