Power-Adjustable Driver Seat - Detailed Feature Explained | V3Cars

In this Feature Explained article, we’ll present the most detailed analysis of your car's power-adjustable driver seat feature, also known as powered seats. We’ll list out the pros and cons of a power-adjustable driver seat, explain how it works, and provide the typical cost of getting a powered driver seat from the aftermarket, and its repair and replacement costs. Based on this analysis, we’ll suggest if you should add this feature to your car or skip it.

Power-Adjustable Driver Seat

What Are The Pros And Cons Of A Power-Adjustable Driver Seat?

The pros, or advantages, of a height-adjustable driver seat in a car, are:

  • A power-adjustable driver seat makes it very easy to adjust the seat to a comfortable position without physically moving any levers
  • A power-adjustable driver seat with a memory function is a very useful feature if you share the car with multiple people in your family

Power-adjustable driver seats have the following disadvantages or issues:

  • The electric motors consume a fair bit of battery energy and can drain your battery faster, especially if you don’t run your car all that much to recharge the battery
  • In the event of a motor failure, you’re stuck with a seat with no adjustability at all
  • Unlike a manually-adjustable seat, it’s not possible to quickly move the seat forward/backward or swing the backrest forward or backward as the motors require time to spin and adjust
  • They have a marginal impact on the car’s performance and efficiency because of the added weight; an 8-way adjustable seat has 4 electric motors

Also Read: Height-Adjustable Driver Seat - Detailed Feature Explained

What Is A Powered Driver Seat?

A powered driver seat lets the driver adjust the seat’s height, recline angle, fore and aft position, and even lumbar support with buttons. Just like a manually adjustable seat, a power-adjustable seat also allows the driver to reach the controls and find a comfortable driving position.

If the car has the memory seat function, then you can also save certain seat positions, which you can achieve by just pushing one button. This feature is very useful if you share the car with multiple people in your family.

How Does A Powered Driver Seat Work?

In powered seats or electronically-adjustable driver seats, the seat has multiple motors where each motor can handle 2-way adjustment. A 6-way adjustable power driver seat is the most common among mass-market cars and it gets fore-aft, recline and height adjustment. For each adjustment, there’s a specific motor, which rotates in a certain direction to achieve your desired position.

How Expensive Is It To Repair Or Replace A Power-Adjustable Driver Seat?

Given the complex nature of an electrically-adjustable driver seat, repairing one is not easy for a regular mechanic. If a single motor stops working, then you can expect to spend Rs. 6,000 - 9,000 to replace it. If the entire assembly stops working, then you can expect to spend Rs. 20,000 - 30,000 to replace the entire seat. This estimation is based on the OEM-spec part for a car like the Seltos or Creta.

What Is The Cost Of An Aftermarket Power-Adjustable Driver Seat?

Unfortunately, power-adjustable driver seats are not available from the aftermarket. However, various accessories, such as cushions and seat risers, from the aftermarket allow you to increase the seat height in your car. However, we do not recommend these devices as they can prove unsafe in the event of an accident. Unlike car seats, aftermarket seat cushions are not tethered to the car. Hence, they can slide you forward in the event of a crash. This is a risky setup for your safety because, in the event of a crash, the airbags could hit your face and chest at a different point than the manufacturer intended. The quality of seat risers cannot be guaranteed as the metal used in their construction may not be as strong as the original seat mounts that come with your car from the factory.

The only viable option is to replace the original car seat with a power-adjustable seat from the higher variant that gets this feature. Even this is advisable only for manually-adjustable seats. It could cost Rs. 20,000 - 30,000 to get an OEM-spec powered seat. Generally, cars which get an electrically-adjustable driver seat have manual adjustment in lower variants. So, there are good chances that you won’t have to fiddle with installing an electrically-adjustable driver seat just to get height adjustment. So, we don’t recommend spending this amount on a good-to-have feature like a powered driver seat.

How Easy Or Complex Is It To Install A Power-Adjustable Driver Seat?

If you intend to get a power-adjustable driver seat, you will have to ensure that at least the top variants of the model you own come with this feature. If so, then you need to buy the seat from the top variant that gets the power adjustment feature. Then you can get an experienced mechanic to replace the driver seat with the new one and make the necessary electrical connections.

We strongly recommend against installing an electrically-adjustable driver seat after the purchase as it will not only void the warranty but also pose potential reliability problems in the long term. Moreover, this is a good-to-have feature and you can adjust the seat even without this feature. If you absolutely want this feature, then you should consider buying the suitable variant, which gets this feature straight from the factory.

What Cars Get Power-Adjustable Driver Seats?

In India, some cars from the C-segment (Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos) and above get power-adjustable driver seats, at least in their higher variants.

Verdict - Should I Get An Aftermarket Power-Adjustable Driver Seat?

It’s a little tedious and expensive to get a power-adjustable driver seat after buying the car. So, you should consider the variant that comes with this feature from the factory. While you could get an OEM height-adjustable seat from your authorised car service centre, we do not recommend them as they are quite pricey considering that this is a good-to-have feature.

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Nikil Jonathan

Nikil's a huge fan of classic cars, especially Italian beauties such as the Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint and the Iso Grifo. His love for cars and bikes originated when he first laid his eyes on a poster of the Ferrari F40 and the MV Agusta F4 when he was just a child. He also loves all things analogue, especially vintage cameras and turntables.


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