When you think about it, it’s kind of inconsiderate that the driver gets fancy 16-way power adjustable seating, while the front passenger is stuck with a manual handle and no height adjustment. Fortunately, there are a few manufacturers that understand this plight. If you ride shotgun a lot, or care about the person that does, here are a handful of vehicles they will enjoy.
The Sonata is a driver favorite for its good looks, reliability, and large interior for the class. Tall drivers like the class-leading headroom of a full 40 inches, while your front passenger seat can handle NBA players with its 45.5 inches of legroom. The power driver’s seat features adjustable lumbar support and can be had on any trim level except the base SE. For a power passenger seat, you’ll need to get the top two trims, Limited and Limited 2.0T (basically a premium sport package). Bonus, leather is standard on both. Other nice features here are wood trim, a panoramic sunroof, and a larger infotainment screen. It’s hard to beat the value of a used Hyundai, due to their massive 10-year/100,000-mile transferable warranty. If you buy slightly used, you still have many years of the factory warranty left.
Toyota commercials used to show the Avalon driving on a cloud, and that’s not far off from the truth. The nicest Toyota sedan on the market does ride like a limo, and it’s as quiet as a library thanks to the active noise cancellation system. Avalon offered supreme reliability and excellent resale value from introduction in 1995, and it became a solid driver’s car at redesign in 2005. Toyota created a hybrid version in 2013, bringing size, tech, and luxury to the hybrid market. Inside, there’s plenty of leather and wood, Qi-wireless charging and Wi-Fi, and every Avalon features Toyota Safety Sense standard. The driver gets eight-way power seats with two-way adjustable lumbar support. Here’s the nice thing about the Avalon: the front passenger gets the exact same seat and adjustability on any trim level. Deciding between XLE, hybrid, or XSE? Yup, all are passenger approved, with 37.4 inches of headroom, and a generous 42 inches of legroom.
Owners love the Escape for its efficiency, value, and comfort for a great price. Efficiency comes in the form of class leading 30 mpg highway, while value comes from 68 cu-ft cargo space and 2,000-pound towing ability in a compact, easy to drive package. On the comfort side, drivers like the upright seating position, excellent visibility, and comfortable seats. Drivers and front passengers are looking at 39.9 inches of headroom, and 43 inches of legroom, which is more than the exterior dimensions would suggest. The driver gets six-way power seats in SE trim and 10-way in SEL trim. You’ll have to get the platinum trim level to get the front passenger a 10-way power seat trimmed in leather. Platinum is worth the price, as it comes with many other features, including driver’s seat memory, voice activated navigation, heated steering wheel, better headlights, and Co-Pilot360 – Ford’s active safety suite. Due to those active features, NHTSA gave the Escape five stars overall.
Need more seating than the Escape provides? The Honda Pilot offers three-row seating for up to eight passengers. The driver gets 10-way power adjustment, including lumbar support on every trim but the hard to find base LX model. The front passenger gets a four-way power seat on EX-L, Touring, and Elite. If you care about those rear passengers, the highest two trim levels deliver heated second-row captain’s chairs, and heated/cooled front seats. This does take the seating down to seven, but comfort goes up to 10. The front passenger has 39.5 inches headroom and nearly 41 inches of legroom, and even the third row proves adult friendly at 39 inches of headroom and 32 inches legroom. The right height combined with the wide opening doors make it an easy SUV to get in and out of. Honda’s trusty 3.5-liter V6 is standard, making a solid 280 horsepower and driving just the front, or all four wheels. Every trim level includes Honda Sensing active safety features, which earned an overall five stars from NHTSA and solid “Good” scores from IIHS.