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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I drive alot and have recently developed back pain from sitting in my 1993 325i sedan.

I've been driving a borrowed 740iL for the last two weeks, and sitting in very comfortable seats. Today, I picked up my 3 series, and, unfortunately, within about five minutes, my back started hurting.

I'm researching new models and was wondering if anyone had any lower back pain from the seats in the earlier 3's which went away when they started driving an e46? What differences in the seats did you notice?

I am especially interested in the sport package seats.

Thanks.
 

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The E46 SP seats are a little wider in back. (This MAY have been a change for 2001, I'm not sure.)

(I had a 1994 325i SP.)

IMHO, this is a bad thing, but if you're having back problems, this may be the ticket. Go get a test drive, hopefully that would tell you.
 

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One other thing to consider: 740i resale value seems to have cratered... Even for very nice ones.
 

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I think the SP seats are a vast improvement over the standard seats. I could drive for days in the SP seats, it total comfort. They are very supportive.
 

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Order the car with SP seats they are very comfortable and supportive. I have a bad back and have not had any problems with my seats on long drives.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
thanks for the information... I'm going to arrange for a test drive one of these days, but I've never heard very many things about my local dealer, so I've been putting it off. I will be sure to try the sport seats....

As nice as the seats in the seven were, it is just way too big of a car... and even a five seems big.... so, hopefully, I'll find a three seat which feels good!
 

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one thing to keep in mind when you go for a test drive... i think lumbar support only comes with the power seats [don't know if that's changed].
 

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I don't have a bad back per se, but really need a seat that supports me and especially my lower back, and this is one reason I opted for the premium package and the lumbar support. I've been able to find a number of positions that I am very comfortable in, even for long drives. This is my first BMW so I can't compare with other models but I like the seats. Oh, mine are sport seats as well.
 

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Seat heaters may be useful, as well... I've found them very comforting if I have a little back pain from sleeping funny or whatever.
 

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The seats in the 5 and 7 series (e38 atleast), are some of the most comfortable automotive seats i've sat in. The standard e46 seats kind of suck and aren't very adjustable or comfortable. The sport seats are the only tolerable seats. They're not as good comfort wise as the e39 and e38 seats-- but they're much better than the standard seats. I still find that I become uncomfortable after about 2 hours of driving-- whereas I was able to drive over 4 hours straight in a 5 series (std seats) w/ no discomfort. One thing- you MUST spend time to perfectly adjust the seat and you can't slouch at all in the seat. If you don't take these steps, your back will start hurting pretty quickly. I actually think the seats have enough built in lumbar support w/ out getting the adjustable lumbar of the premium package. In some ways, the adjustable lumbar is more uncomfortable because it feels harder on your lower back. I'm about 5 10" and I find that the most comforable position is with the seat in its fully raised position, the seat cushion tilted up slightly, and the backrest close to vertical. I used to have it in more of reclined position, but found that this became uncomfortable quickly. I keep the steering wheel and the seat fore-aft adjustment such that i can slightly bend my arms when hold the wheel straight and I can see alll of the guage faces fully.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I've started adjusting the seat again, and it seems like one solution is to have the seat higher up, so my legs are straighter.... although that costs headroom. It occurred to me that I may have been sitting higher in the seven than I am used to doing in my three.

I think one problem may be that I have sat in the wrong position for so long that my back immediately starts hurting when I hit the seat. I first noticed the pain after driving about 2400 in two weeks. The seven felt much better, but the size and gas mileage make it unrealistic for me, even with the great prices on 98-2002 models now that the new body has come out.

I'm going to try to go to the dealer this weekend and and test drive a 3 with SP and PP and see how it feels. Of course, a short test drive won't really tell the whole story, but I don't want to buy a car solely on faith.
Thanks for all of your help. I'll be sure to post some comments after the test drive.
 

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Back problems. Get the lumbar. Either buy the premium package, 330 of course, :bigpimp: or let Mr. Shafer do his magic. :bigpimp:
 

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ObD said:
Back problems. Get the lumbar. Either buy the premium package, 330 of course, :bigpimp: or let Mr. Shafer do his magic. :bigpimp:
:thumbup: That's what I did.... (the last part... hehe) :bigpimp:

no PP for me... (uh... that sounds kinda weird huh... :eeps: )
 
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