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Discussion Starter #1
My wife and I are shopping for a vehicle to replace our 1998 Sienna.
So far we have driven:

2013 Outback premium (2 diffferent ones)
2011 Outback (our neighbors)
Kia Sportage
Ford Escape
Hyundai Santa Fe

The Outback is at the top of our list.
The first 2013 we drove we perceived the ride as very bumpy.
Then we drove our neighbor's 2011 and it was better.
The second 2013 was even better.
Not sure why the first one felt so bumpy.

Anyway we are considering 2013 2.5i Premium and may get the leather Katskin seats after we buy it. The only thing holding me back is I don't really like the seat backs. There are two vertical seams on the seat backs and the padding bulges out along those seams and presses into my back. I am not sure if the padding can be modified when installing the Katskin leather. My guess is no since the leather covers are designed specifically for the Outback seats. Maybe I just have to get used to the seats or they will break in. I will say the seats in my Camry and Sienna are much more comfortable.
 

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Differences in tires & tire pressures can significantly change the road feel in many cars, and Subarus are no exception. That could account for the difference between those 2013s.

I don't think Subaru will ever win an award for seat comfort. By coincidence, I'm currently renting a car with worse seats, so now I know Subies aren't in last place... but seating comfort is not their forte.
 

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The ride difference on the two '13's had to be due to tire pressures.
+1. Many people have noted that the tires had 40 psi or more in the tires when they took delivery. Seems that Subie tech PDI can leave something to be desired. My otherwise perfect '12 had tire pressures that varied from 40 to 44 psi when I took delivery.
 

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The 3rd and 4th gen Outback seats are MUCH better than the seats in my 2nd Gen L.L. Bean, at least! The driver's seat in my L.L. Bean isn't bad because I can adjust it reasonably well but the passenger's seat is pretty awful!

No Subaru seats are best out there, though! I have a coworker with a Saab 93 and even the BACK seats in that are significantly better than my front seats, for example.
 

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If you are replacing the existing coverings with Katskins any good upholstery shop can modify padding and cushions to suit you. There is no need to live with a seat that is not comfortable.
It should not cost much money either in my experience.

Also I have owned BMWs for more years that I care to admit and they have been noted for some of the most comfortable seats in the world. I find the leather Outback seats in my 13 to be extremely comfortable but again it all depends on your body dimensions and back condition. My sport seats in my BMWs have never been comfortable to me given how tight the side bolsters are but my Outback seats allow me to drive all day long and no discomfort...
 
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