Comfortable soft riding car

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Post Reply
leesteve
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2011 10:54 am

Comfortable soft riding car

Post by leesteve » Mon Feb 18, 2013 1:09 pm

My wife and I are planning to retire this year, and we would like to take some long trips by car. However, my wife has back problems (facet joint syndrome) and any bumps or bouncing when sitting in a car cause her much pain which lasts for days. Which mid-size to large sedans have the most comfortable seats and the softest ride?

User avatar
momar
Posts: 1359
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2011 12:51 pm

Re: Comfortable soft riding car

Post by momar » Mon Feb 18, 2013 1:16 pm

My grandparents always used to have a Buick. That thing was cushy.
"Index funds have a place in your portfolio, but you'll never beat the index with them." - Words of wisdom from a Fidelity rep

User avatar
Toons
Posts: 13049
Joined: Fri Nov 21, 2008 10:20 am
Location: Hills of Tennessee

Re: Comfortable soft riding car

Post by Toons » Mon Feb 18, 2013 1:28 pm

"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee

thomasbayarea
Posts: 358
Joined: Wed Feb 29, 2012 4:40 pm

Re: Comfortable soft riding car

Post by thomasbayarea » Mon Feb 18, 2013 1:30 pm

Mercury Grand Marquis
Lincoln Town Car
Cadillac DTS
Lexus LS
Mercedes S Class

User avatar
Hexdump
Posts: 1616
Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2008 7:28 am
Location: Houston, Texas

Re: Comfortable soft riding car

Post by Hexdump » Mon Feb 18, 2013 2:03 pm

+1

We just went through a lot of test drives along with taking along a Radio Shack SPL meter (Sound Pressure Level) to see which one came out the quietest.
The Lexus ES-350 came out ahead.

henry
Posts: 116
Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2007 3:33 pm

Re: Comfortable soft riding car

Post by henry » Mon Feb 18, 2013 2:51 pm

Toyota Avalon
Hyundai Azera
Buick Lacrosse
Lexus ES

If shopping new, pick the trim with the smaller wheels and higher profile tires. These tend to ride softer/better...and tend to be less expensive as well.

reggiesimpson
Posts: 1610
Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2011 12:47 pm

Re: Comfortable soft riding car

Post by reggiesimpson » Mon Feb 18, 2013 3:56 pm

IMHO nothing beats the Lincoln Town car. Its made for the limo industry. Dont buy a recent model there are lots of good used ones out there. Mine has 200,000 on it and its running great!

User avatar
Toons
Posts: 13049
Joined: Fri Nov 21, 2008 10:20 am
Location: Hills of Tennessee

Re: Comfortable soft riding car

Post by Toons » Mon Feb 18, 2013 4:01 pm

Hexdump wrote:
+1

We just went through a lot of test drives along with taking along a Radio Shack SPL meter (Sound Pressure Level) to see which one came out the quietest.
The Lexus ES-350 came out ahead.
Thanks for that info,excellent knowledge :happy
"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee

User avatar
htdrag11
Posts: 1115
Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2011 9:22 pm

Re: Comfortable soft riding car

Post by htdrag11 » Mon Feb 18, 2013 4:18 pm

The older Toyota Avalon (2012 or earlier) runs on regular gas, or Buick LaCrosse.

User avatar
bengal22
Posts: 1457
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2011 6:20 pm
Location: Ohio

Re: Comfortable soft riding car

Post by bengal22 » Mon Feb 18, 2013 4:22 pm

If you want a soft ride - definitely go Buick.
"Earn All You Can; Give All You Can; Save All You Can." .... John Wesley

boffalora
Posts: 201
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2007 1:31 pm

Re: Comfortable soft riding car

Post by boffalora » Mon Feb 18, 2013 4:24 pm

I'll second the Lexus for a smooth rider. Candidly, this is why my wife and I did NOT buy a Lexus. It drove cushy like the GM luxury sedans of the 1970s.

That said, seats in an Audi have the best back support in the industry, including solid lumbar support. The question is whether you'd like that tight German ride.

Dave76
Posts: 564
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2012 9:05 pm

Re: Comfortable soft riding car

Post by Dave76 » Mon Feb 18, 2013 4:31 pm

1976 Cadillac Fleetwood Talisman

Foreign cars are a bit too firm. I drove a new S-Class Mercedes in 2006. I felt like I was sitting on a park bench.

sport
Posts: 7488
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 3:26 pm
Location: Cleveland, OH

Re: Comfortable soft riding car

Post by sport » Mon Feb 18, 2013 5:07 pm

If you are interested in the Lexus ES350, you may also want to check out the Camry XLE. The cars are very similar, and the Camry comes at a lower price. I have never compared the two for sound levels or ride. However, they are very much the same mechanically, and the XLE model Camry has nice appointments. The only way to evaluate a choice between them is to test drive both.
Jeff

User avatar
Hexdump
Posts: 1616
Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2008 7:28 am
Location: Houston, Texas

Re: Comfortable soft riding car

Post by Hexdump » Mon Feb 18, 2013 10:32 pm

I forgot to mention that if you plan to go on a test drive, and I highly recommend that you do, drive for about 10 seconds on those little bumper thingies that are between lanes. Very noisy and rough riding.

Happy hunting.

User avatar
Frugal Al
Posts: 1698
Joined: Fri May 28, 2010 10:09 am

Re: Comfortable soft riding car

Post by Frugal Al » Tue Feb 19, 2013 11:46 am

Thanks a lot, Toons. I was doing just fine with by aged 3.2 TL until I read the reviews on the new ES-350. Let's see, I don't want a first model year of a major model change (I'm sure you'll have good luck with yours, it's just something I never do). So maybe in 2016 I'll get a 2014 coming off lease. That's it. :D

lucky3
Posts: 205
Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2012 9:21 am

Re: Comfortable soft riding car

Post by lucky3 » Tue Feb 19, 2013 1:39 pm

I own a Lexus ES 350 (which my wife drives)....it's the smoothest ride I've ever felt!

Lucky3

Random Poster
Posts: 1680
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 10:17 am

Re: Comfortable soft riding car

Post by Random Poster » Tue Feb 19, 2013 2:34 pm

leesteve wrote:My wife and I are planning to retire this year, and we would like to take some long trips by car.
Instead of purchasing a different car, it might be cheaper to simply travel only on smooth-pavement roads.

User avatar
Toons
Posts: 13049
Joined: Fri Nov 21, 2008 10:20 am
Location: Hills of Tennessee

Re: Comfortable soft riding car

Post by Toons » Tue Feb 19, 2013 2:35 pm

Frugal Al wrote:
Thanks a lot, Toons. I was doing just fine with by aged 3.2 TL until I read the reviews on the new ES-350. Let's see, I don't want a first model year of a major model change (I'm sure you'll have good luck with yours, it's just something I never do). So maybe in 2016 I'll get a 2014 coming off lease. That's it. :D

+1 :happy
"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee

bill88
Posts: 91
Joined: Thu Feb 21, 2013 10:22 am
Location: Virginia

Re: Comfortable soft riding car

Post by bill88 » Fri Feb 22, 2013 1:17 am

leesteve wrote:My wife and I are planning to retire this year, and we would like to take some long trips by car. However, my wife has back problems (facet joint syndrome) and any bumps or bouncing when sitting in a car cause her much pain which lasts for days. Which mid-size to large sedans have the most comfortable seats and the softest ride?
Been there. My wife has similar issues. Tried epidurals, only lasted a few days, then on to facet joint injections (worked well, lasted a few months), now on to branch blocks; if they work it's on to radiopathy (?) which might, maybe, we hope, last longer.

A lot of good suggestions in previous posts, so I'll add a few random thoughts. Caddys, Buicks, Avalons, Lexi, all good. A few of the older Avalons could be had with bench seats, if that's a preference.

Late model Lincoln Town Car very comfortable on long trips. Not the most modern or hi-tech car, but it does "soft ride" well. I think you might find one with cooled front seats as an option. Very nice feature in hot weather. The Lincoln system gives you actual cold air. It's a long and wide car, so parking in tight spaces, and maybe even fitting in your garage, could be a hat trick. And not mpg champs. But the car will take a beating.

For what it's worth, my father in law had an '85 or so Lincoln Continental. Air suspension and really comfortable seats. It had a terrific ride. Best I've ever experienced. But if you found one, you'd probably have to put some serious money into it.

And I think you may be able to find some late model Cadillacs with air suspension. The air set-ups are expensive to repair, but might give you the ride you're looking for.

Good luck with it.

Bill

Tires can make a difference. Some offer a softer ride than others. Maybe something like a Goodyear ComforTred or Michelin Harmony. TireRack.com has ride comfort ratings (based on user "votes", so take it with a grain of salt) and user reviews.
Bill | | (Formerly bill99)

User avatar
William4u
Posts: 1325
Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2012 3:02 pm

Re: Comfortable soft riding car

Post by William4u » Fri Feb 22, 2013 11:34 pm

henry wrote:Toyota Avalon
Hyundai Azera
Buick Lacrosse
Lexus ES

If shopping new, pick the trim with the smaller wheels and higher profile tires. These tend to ride softer/better...and tend to be less expensive as well.
I agree with Henry entirely.

rocket
Posts: 703
Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2007 7:24 am
Location: Hard Scrabble, MS

Re: Comfortable soft riding car

Post by rocket » Sun Feb 24, 2013 8:07 am

These come with leather only upholstery Toyota Avalon Hyundai Azera
I like the Avalon except for the leather.

exoilman
Posts: 687
Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2008 1:38 pm
Location: New Jersey

Re: Comfortable soft riding car

Post by exoilman » Sun Feb 24, 2013 8:14 am

My aunts 1996 Lincoln town car (156K miles) still "floats" no matter the road conditions.

Sam

reggiesimpson
Posts: 1610
Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2011 12:47 pm

Re: Comfortable soft riding car

Post by reggiesimpson » Sun Feb 24, 2013 10:32 am

exoilman wrote:My aunts 1996 Lincoln town car (156K miles) still "floats" no matter the road conditions.

Sam
+1 Getting gas today and the guy behind me comes over and starts a chat about his 96 Lincoln Town Car (mine a 97). He was a limo driver for years and racked up 600,000 miles. He has a friend with 1,000,000! The best ride on the road. Like sitting in your favorite armchair.

User avatar
BTDT
Posts: 783
Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 10:40 am
Location: Grand Lake OK

Re: Comfortable soft riding car

Post by BTDT » Sun Feb 24, 2013 11:56 am

Lexus LS 460L with adjustable air ride suspension :beer
If past history was all that is needed to play the game of money, the richest people would be librarians.

NHRATA01
Posts: 504
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2011 1:57 pm
Location: New York City area

Re: Comfortable soft riding car

Post by NHRATA01 » Mon Feb 25, 2013 10:25 am

FYI in the newest issue of Motor Trend, they do a 3-car comparison between the Avalon, Azera and Nissan Maxima. They found the Avalon and Azera quite close, with the Avalon taking the win, though they did not care for the seats. Also felt the Azera rode harder than the Avalon, though the Avalon was priced rather high (40K base, 42K as tested).

Worth the $4 for the magazine at the store if you're considering both.


Actually n/m, apparently you can read it for free on MT's website: http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/sed ... omparison/


FWIW my mother has had 2 Lacrosse's and been very happy with both. I found them to ride roughly the same as the Cadillac Seville SLS I once had, which is about as soft-sprung a car as I've come across in my 17 years of driving.

Reubin
Posts: 370
Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2010 2:39 pm

Re: Comfortable soft riding car

Post by Reubin » Mon Feb 25, 2013 10:27 pm

You will love the Toyota Avalon. Mine had 320K miles on it before it got washed away by Hurricane Sandy. The ride is superb on the open road and very soft.

ARB57
Posts: 89
Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2011 4:00 pm

Re: Comfortable soft riding car

Post by ARB57 » Mon Feb 25, 2013 11:47 pm

Had a 1996 Lexus LS400 (sold it a couple of years ago when I moved to a city where I didn't need a car.) Bottom line: UNBELIEVABLY smooth ride. Never driven anything like it.

bill88
Posts: 91
Joined: Thu Feb 21, 2013 10:22 am
Location: Virginia

Re: Comfortable soft riding car

Post by bill88 » Tue Feb 26, 2013 5:06 pm

The new Avalons may ride a bit firmer than previous models -- if the buzz on the Web is credible. If you're going that route, drive it first, and bring a tire gage along to check the pressure. I doubt anyone checks the tire pressure from the time a new car rolls off the truck, until it's prepped for the final buyer. Could be hi, low or uneven. (Of course, that applies to any new [or used] car dealer.

Cheers,
Bill
Bill | | (Formerly bill99)

countofmc
Posts: 512
Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2012 12:03 pm

Re: Comfortable soft riding car

Post by countofmc » Tue Feb 26, 2013 5:16 pm

Depends on new/used and your budget. There's a fairly soft riding car in every segment.

Of the cars I've driven over the last 5 years or so, by FAR the softest riding car was a 2008 Cadillac DTS. Those cars can probably be had for a song on the used car market now. Huge comfortable seats as well. That thing had that American sedan "boat" feel to it that was kinda nice. The DTS's platform mate Buick Lucerne may be worth a look too in the used market. Similarly large comfy seats and soft ride.

Of the NEW cars I've driven recently, I LOVED the new 2013 Toyota Avalon. Good size, felt every bit as polished as a Lexus, and now rides like a Lexus too. Soft without being overtly so, handles competently. Just a joy to drive. I'd get one myself but my wife thinks we're still at least 10 years too young for one. :happy

The old standby in this category used to be Buick. But the new LaCrosse may not fit what you are looking for. It definitely rides stiffer than the old Buick LeSabre/ Park Avenue or even the Lucerne. And I didn't feel like it was very roomy or comfortable either, but ymmv.

Post Reply