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2011 Hyundai Elantra Touring Seats

hwyhobohwyhobo Posts: 265
I just bought a 2011 Hyundai Elantra Touring GLS Manual. Great car overall, but has one problem which unfortunately I did not sense during a brief drive at the dealership - seats from hell. Perhaps I have been slacking off on my intake of Crispy Creams, but my bony behind hurts so much after driving for a while, I can't find a place for myself. On top of it, even a drive to a local store results in my legs vibrating for a while from some nerve irritation. That worries me. I don't know who at Hyundai decided that seat cushions made of fabric wrapped around articulated concrete were a great idea, but there has to be some remedy, otherwise I won't be able to drive this car.

Has anyone tried some clever cushions that might help? I would hate to have to rip the seats out of a new car and replace them with different ones (if I can find some that would fit and someone who could do it). I tried various improvised solutions like thick folded towels, pillows, etc, no help. If I find a thick enough pillow, it impairs the driving position.

Any pointers will be appreciated.


  • jlflemmonsjlflemmons Posts: 2,242
    Well, I will assume you have tried all the obvious, like adjusting the angle of the back, seat height, etc. Does the GLS have lumbar support? Maybe one of those beaded seat covers?

    I do know that on my SE if the seat isn't just where I like it, I just don't feel comfortable. But when it is right, I can drive all day long with no problems.

    You might try talking to the dealer if this is a vehicle you just purchased. They might be willing to move you to something that works?
  • hwyhobohwyhobo Posts: 265
    edited July 2010
    On the GLS Manual Hyundai decided in its wisdom not to offer the Popular Equipment Package, so you can't order seats with height or lumbar adjustments. Bizarre if you ask me, but there it is.

    > You might try talking to the dealer if this is a vehicle you just
    > purchased. They might be willing to move you to something
    > that works?

    Have you actually ever seen a dealer that would do that after they sell a vehicle?
  • jlflemmonsjlflemmons Posts: 2,242
    >Have you actually ever seen a dealer that would do that after they sell a vehicle?

    Yep, the local Hyundai dealer. There has to be a penalty for several reasons, the big one being the 10/100K warranty not transferring. But in cases where a vehicle is just not working, and the dealer is looking beyond the end of the month, it can happen.

    How about a seat replacement with the SE seats? Or drive an SE and see if the seats work, and if they do, change out the mechanicals to get the height and lumbar?

    Just throwing out ideas here. I do understand. We owned a 2004 Yukon that had the most uncomfortable seats I ever tried to ride in, especially the back seat. We had the thing about two months when we took off on a 1800mile road trip. The only reason we didn't dump it after the trip was because it was the wife's primarily, and she was comfortable in it.
  • hwyhobohwyhobo Posts: 265
    Well, lesson learned. Yes, the dealer might be willing to move me into something else, but that essentially means trading in the car as used. Lots of money lost. I think instead of dealing with another Hyundai, I will somehow improvise and manage for a year and then trade in on a new Focus Hatchback or C-Max.

    I have owned many cars in the past (Fords and imports), never had an experience like this even though I have always bought standard seats. Like I said, lesson learned. Too bad on Hyundai. You know what they say, once bitten twice shy.
  • hwyhobohwyhobo Posts: 265
    edited July 2010
    Just to add to the last post, I am beginning to believe that the bouncy suspension may be adding to it. It is not really harsh, just bouncy, springy. Does not want to swallow even the slightest unevenness in the road.
  • maxx4memaxx4me Posts: 1,340
    yep, the seats are odd. I don't like the feeling of sliding forward when the brakes are applied. I don't drive it normally, so I can't complain too much.
  • 67gtx67gtx Posts: 9
    I am 5'10" with long legs and I have a 2010 GLS manual trans which does not have the telescoping wheel. When I adjust the seat for the proper distance from the wheel, the seat bottom is too close so my thighs to not come in contact with the seat bottom hense, there is no thigh support, which is very uncomfortable after just a short drive. What I did was remove the two front seat bolts and placed a shime under the seat frame which, when longer bolts a reinstalled, lifts the front of the seat up about 1.5 inches. This perfect for me because my thighs are supported by the seat all the way to the end of the cushion. THIS GREATLY IMPROVES THE COMFORT OF THE SEAT!!! This should work well for anyone who has no thigh support
  • hwyhobohwyhobo Posts: 265
    What is even stranger is that I drove a Kia for 10 years prior, and it had wonderful suspension and seats. Suspension was firm, but swallowed easily minor imperfections in the road and was a delight to drive on mountain twisties and side roads. Since Hyundai owns Kia, what did they do to that technology? Throw it away? Why would they put such an unrefined suspension in the Elantra Touring? Why the punishing seats?

    Why don't the reviews mention the "three-bounces-on-a-pebble" suspension? Do all reviewers only drive on perfect freeways?
  • jlflemmonsjlflemmons Posts: 2,242
    I drive my SE in Austin, Texas, where rough irregular pavement is the norm, not the exception. I have not notice any issues with harshness in the ride on anything but the stuff that is just crazy rough. The tires are a bit stiffer than the GLS, but not at all what I would call harsh.
  • hwyhobohwyhobo Posts: 265
    edited July 2010
    Perhaps the adjustable seats in the SE help? Alas, GLS Manual cannot be so equipped.

    Hm, I am thinking... I'm 6'3", 185 lbs (that's 190 cm, 84 kg for the metric-inclined). Perhaps if I threw four 50 lb sacks in the back that would help settle the suspension?

    It wouldn't do wonders for the cargo space, though.
  • hwyhobohwyhobo Posts: 265
    Just for kicks, I took some friends today for a ride around the neighborhood, and to see if extra weight would help. After 20 minutes I felt nauseated. My friends commented that the car seems to vibrate on all imperfections, like a resonance box. One commented that an hour of drive like this, and you would begin to feel your kidneys. I have lived here for a long time, and never had that problem with previous cars. It looks like I won't be able to trade it in on a new Focus in a year from now but will have to dump it long before then (the sooner the better).

    Now I will have to wait for an hour to settle my stomach.
  • strei007strei007 Posts: 16
    #213 of 343 stiff ride, tight seats, high RPM, by strei007 in the 2010 Forum.

    In the reviews of the 2010 touring I wrote

    Makes me car sick

    Written by: Car sick on 05/09/2010

    The good news is. The stiffness in the supension gets much better after a few thousand miles and a few heavy loads. My buddy who has a Versa, thinks my Touring is a much better car. I like the car now except I keep killing the engine when trying to engage 1st gear. The ride is real jerky in 1st gear when trying to maintain 10 mph. This happens when stuck in freeway traffic.
  • jlflemmonsjlflemmons Posts: 2,242
    For whatever reason Hyundai has, the 2.0L engine when coupled with the 5spd has no throttle action between idle and 2K rpm. I have investigated this, had the dealer and zone rep check it, and it is normal. I even went out on international Hyundai boards and found that the same thing occurs on all flavors of Elantra with this engine and transmission combo, here in the U.S., in Australia, Europe, etc.The only reason I could come up with is if the 2.0L just doesn't develop enough torque just off idle to not stall, so the computer sets the minimum throttle at 2K.
  • hwyhobohwyhobo Posts: 265
    The stiffness in the supension gets much better after a few thousand miles and a few heavy loads.

    That's good news. How heavy? Should I carry sand bags in the back to get the suspension to settle down a bit? Does it ever learn to absorb minor imperfections in the road, or does it just soften and still remain bouncy?
  • hwyhobohwyhobo Posts: 265
    For whatever reason Hyundai has, the 2.0L engine when coupled with the 5spd has no throttle action between idle and 2K rpm.

    I didn't notice that, but I suppose I don't keep it below 2K.

    I like the fit and finish inside. Drive by wire is not bad either, as far as that goes.
  • jlflemmonsjlflemmons Posts: 2,242
    Well, it isn't a "true" drive by wire as the accelerator is connected directly to the throttle plate. But the sensors for throttle position, MAP, etc all give input to the ECM controlling the fuel injectors and ignition, so in that sense it is sort of a hybrid set up. The computer just ignores the throttle position sensor until it is past a certain point. Only on the manuals from what I have seen. I would suppose in the automatic it can compensate with the torque converter "slipping" until the torque comes on.

    The only time I have an issue with it is in stop and go traffic, or trying to run 30mph in 5th gear. "Pearl" really, REALLY doesn't like that, so I just stay in 4th below 40.
  • blh7068blh7068 Posts: 375
    "The only time I have an issue with it is in stop and go traffic, or trying to run 30mph in 5th gear. "Pearl" really, REALLY doesn't like that, so I just stay in 4th below 40."

    Ive found with the auto tranny on occasion will shudder between 20 - 25 mph.

    Talk about a slushbox... lol. BTW no resolution on the pulling. Though my low tech abilities of putting between 1-2 psi more in the right hand side tires helps about 30% or so.

    Im officially more disenchanted with Hyundai than the car itself.
  • The bounciness was my problem with my 2009 Touring, which led to my decision to trade it last night for the sedan. I just didn't feel comfortable in it. In October I started having kidney stone issues and still suffer from some soreness. Every time I would hit a bump with the Touring I felt as though my internal organs would fall out.
  • jb2090jb2090 Posts: 1
    a close relative of mine just traded a 2008 civic for a 2010 hyundai elantra , i must say this is honestly the worst car i have ever been in.

    even my race cars ride smoother than this thing , it literally bounces for days after a crack in the street.

    the seats are awkwardly positioned which leads to everyone complaining , which just makes things worse.

    downshifts feel like the car is about to break

    i do like the xm radio , but whats up with having to stretch to reach the volume knob
    ?( if you werent using the wheel controls )

    ALSO , i searched online minutes ago (which led me to this thread / forum ) just to see if anyone has had this same issue. There is no way that im the only person that feels this.

    PS : this car is the first car that has ever made me car sick ( with me driving even! )

    hyundai , who are you ?

    were you designed by monkeys?

    it also blows my mind that this same relative bought this car and said " i love how smooth it rides" haha
  • mrh4mrh4 Posts: 1
    You must be an old woman or something. I've had this car (GLS w/popular package) for a month. I like the way it rides and handles, stiff and flat. You could wip this thing around corners. It has eight ways to adjust the drivers seat, you can't find one comfortable position?? Lots of interior room and the electric power steering feels true and in control
  • hwyhobohwyhobo Posts: 265
    You drive an automatic, but you call someone else an old woman, and then you talk about "whipping this thing around corners". Funny.

    For your information, part of the problem with GLS with a stick is the horrible seats with next to no adjustments. Huyndai does not offer popular package on GLS stick, only on an old woman version.
  • mike567mike567 Posts: 1
    edited March 2011
    Having the same problem here with the suspension. I am considering this might be a problem with some tourings but not all... in which case a trip to the dealer might fix the problem. Anyone try to get this fixed?
  • dougndodougndo Posts: 136
    I do not know know if there were any changes or tweaks in the 2012 Elantra Touring SE from earlier models, though I suspect not. In any event, I find the seats comfortable, the ride stable and smooth, and the handling precise and predictable. (For the sake of comparison, our other two cars are a Maserati Convertible and a Chrysler Crossfire Convertible.)

    One thing I can confirm is the tightness of the MT especially in 1st gear. I've stalled it a couple of times even though I've been driving MTs in most of my vehicles for 42 years. I live on a canyon side, so uphill stops are a common occurrence, and that's tougher to do with this car than any other I've owned.
  • hwyhobohwyhobo Posts: 265
    > 2012 Elantra Touring SE [...] I find the seats comfortable

    SE has different seats from GL manual. Alas, on GL they were only available on automatic. I wanted to buy them as an option (Popular Option #2), but Hyundai did not offer that option package on manual transmission with GL. I think that is a bad marketing mistake, as it soured me on Hyundai, and I suspect my next car will be one of their competitors where I can pick my options and am not treated like a pariah just because I want to drive a stick.

    Yes, the first gear is tight. The good news is you will get used to it soon, but it's giving my wife fits (she is trying to learn stick ;)).
  • dougndodougndo Posts: 136
    The 2012 Touring continues to grow on me. Last week I took it for an LA to LV trip and back, with two co-workers accompanying me to a conference. The larger of the two weighs well in excess of 300 lb. and occupies a lot of space. He spent about 70% of his time in the front passenger seat and commented more than once how roomy and comfortable it was. (I checked the seat later to be sure he hadn't crushed it; he hadn't.) He was very comfortable in the back seat, too.

    The mileage I got was 31.5, and this included the obligatory stop-and-go freeway mess for more than an hour just to get out of LA (and getting back in), as well as an average speed of 80 MPH on the desert freeways. The little four banger seemed just fine on the upgrades and passes, even with the extra weight of passengers and bags, only needing me to downshift once at near the top of the Cajon Pass and once just after crossing the NV/CA border as I headed to Mountain Pass.

    The car was a pleasure to ride drive and ride in, though a couple of stretches of NV I-15 concrete made the tires hum.

    All in all, happy with this car. :)
  • dougndodougndo Posts: 136
    edited December 2011
    I had an opportunity to purchase two really big JBL professional subwoofers in their giant enclosures from Cherokee Studios in LA. The 4645C monsters looked too big for the Elantra Touring, but my measurements had indicated they'd fit. I was a bit concerned when the guy from the studio said, "No way. You'll need something bigger."

    When I folded the easy-to-do rear seatbacks down we slid both JBLs in from the rear with no problem, and could have put a third one in through the side door if need be. Both he and I were impressed, plus I got to say, "Told you they'd fit."

    The 18" subwoofers didn't complain at all about either the ride or the back seats. ;)
  • I have a 2010 GLS A/T with 30k miles. The support of the seat bottom cushion on the driver's side has greatly diminished since purchased. I can now feel the metal side supports on either side of my hips! Fortunately Hyundai will cover this under warranty! I go in this week to have the foam redone to give more support.

    Also the brakes are a bit spongy now. I think they were less spongy when I bought the ET as they were never really all as firm as I'd want, but not enough to scare me from purchase. Should I bleed them out and start fresh? I'm leaning that direction.
  • hwyhobohwyhobo Posts: 265
    Thankfully mine have gotten a bit better over time (they were hard as a rock initially), but of course that is no guarantee it won't change (I only have 8K miles on mine). Suspension is still bone-jarring on any road imperfections, though.

    I will likely keep it for a while and then trade it in for another make. Pity, because there are many aspects of this car I like a lot (utility, interior quality for the price, etc). Alas, if I have to look forward to getting out of the car and letting my bones settle down after longer driving, it is no fun.
  • I've heard suspension complains. Mine doesn't feel too bone jarring, but it's somewhat sways to much in turns I think. Yes there are a lot of pluses about this car, but some refinement oversights keep it from being great. However, a lot of people really like it.
  • hwyhobohwyhobo Posts: 265
    One plus I did not mention previously is how good the steering is considering it's some kind of hybrid drive-by-wire. It's very consistent, and the effort required is spot on to me.
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