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Discussion Starter #1
Following another post of mine on uncomfortable seats, I searched but could not find information on seat swap on the new outback. I did see some info on older models though.

I've been thinking about seat swap in my 2013 outback and dropped by an upholstery and styling shop today and they said that modifying the seat(s) would mess up the entire airbag system of the car. Any thoughts on that?
If yes, how does one deal with this?

Also, how about the seat belts?

One last question, is there an easy way to tell if a seat from a different manufacturer (let's say Honda) would fit in the 2013 outback? I am guessing that all seats (particularly the way they are bolted to the car) are not universal or one-fits-all? Anybody knows about this?

Thank you.
 

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'11 outback 2.5i premium '12 impreza sport limited
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I don't see why it would if they leave the sensors in tact. I've taken the front seats out a few times and then reinstalled, never had any issues. I could be wrong...
 

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Between the sensors and the side airbags all interconnected with the on-board computer systems you are not going to be able to "swap" the seats from one manufacturer's vehicle to another. It's a lot more complicated than removing four bolts and hoping the holes in the seat rails line up
 

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Me too

I have thought about swapping out the seat as well, there has to be a way. I have been 2500 miles in my new limited Outback and anything over 15 minutes becomes painful with numbness and back Cramping. Our other car is a 2005 Chevy Cobalt with base seats and I can drive that all day, same with my 1983 Jeep CJ ( a car that never had luxury or comfort in mind) but feels like a cloud next to the Outback driver's seat. Even my doctor, an osteopath, who has started helping me with my back initially commented, "New car huh, it's not a Subaru is it? I have many patients that experience back pain in those seats". I was really deflated to hear him say that before I even hinted a to the make/model of the car that was causing this pain.
Buying a car is a gamble as far as reliability and comfort.... I think we may have lost this bet.... It's too bad, I really like the car otherwise.
 

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You could technically swap seats with a Lexus ES or possibly a Camry. I read someplace the Outback/ Legacy seats are the same as the Camry/ Lexus ES. I can't remember which year or years exactly but it's not the current gen versions.

I would imagine the Lexus ES seats might have some extra padding over the Camry or Outback/ Legacy ones. I doubt the leather or colors would match though.

Also remember, Subaru's in general are like Lego's meaning a lot of the parts interchange. With that said go to the dealer and sit in a Tribeca or Impreza, maybe a Forester (I believe Impreza, XV & Forester) seats are the same. Only reason I suggest are because they likely would be plug & play. I was going to recommend WRX seats, but they really are not as comfortable nor as supportive as they appear.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
You could technically swap seats with a Lexus ES or possibly a Camry. I read someplace the Outback/ Legacy seats are the same as the Camry/ Lexus ES. I can't remember which year or years exactly but it's not the current gen versions.

I would imagine the Lexus ES seats might have some extra padding over the Camry or Outback/ Legacy ones. I doubt the leather or colors would match though.

Also remember, Subaru's in general are like Lego's meaning a lot of the parts interchange. With that said go to the dealer and sit in a Tribeca or Impreza, maybe a Forester (I believe Impreza, XV & Forester) seats are the same. Only reason I suggest are because they likely would be plug & play. I was going to recommend WRX seats, but they really are not as comfortable nor as supportive as they appear.
THank you for the advice.

I was actually thinking about the WRX/STI seats but here again, I don't know if that would affect the airbag system in the outback. What I do like with the STI seats is the "straight up" head restraint.
 

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2019 Forester Sport. Love the Orange.
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Have you looked into the adjustable headrests from the Impreza's that are compatible with the OB?
 

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2013 Outback Limited 2.5, Ice Silver Metallic.
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I wonder if your discomfort comes more from seating position than the seat itself. The outback seating position is more of a legs out like sitting on the floor with you legs out in front of you than a legs down like sitting in a chair. Try raising your seat UP as high as it will go and see if you feel any relief. If then you have possibly two options from subaru. First is if with your seat UP all the way and your head still has clearance then you have found your solution. If not, go drive a forester that has a more traditional seating position. The outback has more of a Toyota Tacoma or corvette type seating configuration with your legs mostly out front where the forester is more of a full sized truck or minivan configuration where your lower legs have more of a vertical seating position.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I wonder if your discomfort comes more from seating position than the seat itself. The outback seating position is more of a legs out like sitting on the floor with you legs out in front of you than a legs down like sitting in a chair. Try raising your seat UP as high as it will go and see if you feel any relief. If then you have possibly two options from subaru. First is if with your seat UP all the way and your head still has clearance then you have found your solution. If not, go drive a forester that has a more traditional seating position. The outback has more of a Toyota Tacoma or corvette type seating configuration with your legs mostly out front where the forester is more of a full sized truck or minivan configuration where your lower legs have more of a vertical seating position.
Correct me if I misunderstood but you mean maybe my seating position in the outback is too "crunched". I thought about that too but it turns out that my other car (honda accord) and the car I just sold to buy the outback both had lower seats where I was more "crunched" than in the outback. Meaning, my knees are even more in front of me in those two cars compared to the outback but I am very comfortable in those.

On the other hand, I tried raising the seat as much as I could without hitting the ceiling of the outback but it doesn't seem to make a difference.

I remember someone in another thread talking about how Outbacks have ergonomic seats. If that is true, unfortunately, ergonomics seats should not be sold as the main seat type as they are so "personal" depending on the person. I am now starting to think that "normal" seats (i.e. those that are more like park benches or chairs with not much curves to them and therefore less ergonomic) are better in the sense that they will allow the user to adjust the seats or use ergonomic devices to find a better seating position. Whereas if the seat is already ergonomic to begin with you can't change it back to a "normal" seat and if your body type doesn't fit the ergonomic seat, well, too bad for you.

I am starting to notice that most (not all) higher end cars have very comfortable seats that do not have a lot of curves to them like the ones in the outback.
 

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'13 Outback Premium 2.5i
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Seat/ back issues here too

I bought my '13 Outback exactly one year ago on Veteran's Day. I've regretted it ever since. The car does what I need it to do which is frustrating....because I am having terrible middle back issues and its generally very uncomfortable to drive. My wife complains every time she has to ride with me anywhere. I'm just wondering if the person who started this thread found a solution or if anyone else had the same issue with the way the middle of the upper seat is convexed. And if someone else has a fix. I've tried the seat in every possible position imaginable to no avail. I've also purchased padding...padding to raise myself above the section in the back...padding for my back. Nothing works. Padding behind me doesn't change the shape of the seat so the problem is not necessarily padding. I thought maybe I'd get use to it but as of now my back is getting worse. I will have to sell the car if I can't come up with a fix that won't cost me an arm and leg. (Its already cost me the health of my back).

Thanks for any suggestions.
 
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