Home | Wiki | Discord | Dev Stream | YouTube | Archived Forums | Contact

Old cars and Comfort


Why do old cars generally get such low Comfort scores?

Some gripes are how bench seats seem to make the car go from somewhat comfortable to ‘‘OH GOD MY BACK IS IN TWO PIECES’’.
Comfort seems to be very dependant on the entertainment too (Because a good radio let’s you think of something else while your back is breaking, right?).

Also the suspension tuning seems to have two options, comfort or driveability.
I’ve yet to find a sweet spot inbetween on old cars that let’s you have much of both.


From my experience with a few old 1950/60s cars air conditioning and sometimes even heat were expensive options.

Compared to today’s standards they steered and handled like old barges with a crap ton of body roll, and an extreme amount of un-sprung weight. Not to mention the tires didn’t grip anywhere near as good as they do now.


Try to drive an 1958 Belair with no power steering (option).
Especially on a smaller parking lot. Urgh, talk about heavy steering.
And the front sofa is very soft, you nearly bottom out if you are a 85+ kg person.


I have been in landyachts several times and even driven one once when I was 16, they are not uncomfortable and sometimes their servo steering is literally so strong that there’s no resistance at the wheel. If you look up threads and forum posts you will often see people praising the comfort of old sedans and these are people who have owned them for a long time and sometimes even daily drive them. There is no reason why my well-tuned sedan in 1969 with hydropneumatic suspension, a small and smooth V8, and tons of other expensive things should have less comfort than a basic 90’s sedan or modern hypercar, especially since the game doesn’t simulate a lot of options real cars have.
Of course an old basic model sedan may not be that comfortable but it’s a bit ridiculous when I make a very basic 90’s car and it’s almost on par with a super expensive and luxurious 70’s car.

I have a full on hypercar from 1990 too and it’s very aggressive and should be uncomfortable but it still gets scores on par with some late 60’s premium sedans.


One reason why bench seats hamper comfort, that many people may not be thinking of, and I don’t know if that is calculated in the game either…

But imagine two people up front, one very long and one very short. The bench seat will then have to be adjusted after the driver. With the short person driving, the long person will be sitting with his face in the windshield. If the long person is driving, the short person will then have acres of room in front of him, but the problem then is that all passengers in the back seat will have a more cramped room, with bucket seats there will be more room behind the seat the short person is using. With many passengers of different length, bucket seats up front are offering more flexibility. Sure, split benches that’s sometimes used on more modern cars still running benches are one solution for that problem too…


Let’s not forget that vinyl dominated seating in cars up until the late 70’s and early 80’s.

Raise your hands if you’ve ever been burned THROUGH your clothes getting into a vinyl-seat car that’s been roasting in the sun all day.

raises hand


Sebring convertible with the top left down for an hour in the summer. Vinyl seats do not make for a comfortable past time.

As far as power steering goes, that can be a bit of a toss up. It would seem that something was lost along the way as far as it goes in my opinion. Example:

I have driven one of these. As you’d expect it’s a bit of a boat to turn, particularly when you’re bringing it in to fix the power steering. After that was done, I took it for a spin to make sure all was well. I could turn that wheel with my pinky. This was on a truck from the year 1980-81. My 1986 Grand Wagoneer has similar feeling power steering. Some GM trucks I’ve driven from that era were the same way.


In my imagination, I have somewhat always seen basic interior as vinyl, standard as fabric, premium as velour and luxury / hand made as leather, considering the options in the game.


See, the thing is, even by generation that would be different. Handmade and possibly luxury would be leather in the early years, but cloth was not common at all early on.

In the 70’s there was this fascination with velour and “designer” cloths, which would be “premium” IMO. Standard at that point would be cloth faced vinyl, with plain vinyl being basic.

You get to the early 80’s, and vinyl or vinyl faced cloth would be basic, full cloth would be standard, and leather definitely would be at the premium level (a vinylized leather, with lux/handmade using genuine leather).

In the 90’s onward, your “basic” seats would likely be cloth faced vinyl, with standard being full cloth.

At least IMO.

Edit: You can probably think of other standard interior features as being in various forms of standardization across the years, accounting for more than just changes in material. Like your lux cars would be getting power windows in the 60’s, your premium cars getting them in the late 70’s, and your standard cars getting them somehwere in the mid-late 80’s. It has only been since about 2010 that power windows have become standard on basic cars.

Air conditioning? Optional all over the place by the 60’s. Probably standard on lux by the 70’s, premium in the 80’s, and standards by the mid-90;s… and again only standard within the last handful of years on basic cars.

Power seats… standard on lux in the late 60’s. On premiums in the late 80’s to early 90’s. Standard cars only recently (and on a lot of them they’re still an option)


Guess I am too stuck in the 60s and 70s in my thoughts as usual ,lol…


Once again, I personally think this “issue” is mostly caused by limitations of the game. The interior options are quite limited, and thus have a very generalized effect on comfort. The Game cannot simulate interior design (to me, comfort is largely about interior design, which we cannot control or influence) We can affect the way the suspension behaves, but once again only in a generalized manner. Real life is far more nuanced and complex. Par exemple: I drive a 1995 Nissan Maxima, in fairly basic specification (2.0L V6, manual transmission, cloth seats and no A/C), with a simple suspension setup consisting of MacPherson struts and a well located rear beam axle with coil springs. A friend of mine drives a more modern, far better equipped, larger Audi A6. The Maxima is at a considerable disadvantage in terms of suspension and equipment, yet mostly due to the way the interior is designed it is just as comfortable as it’ll comfortably seat four european sized persons without feeling cramped in any way, has greater window area that increases the amount of light inside, and the seats which are wide, well cushioned and fitted with a soft, plush, almost woolen fabric that has better thermal capabilities than leather or vinyl could ever have.


I said this when explaining braking force to somebody else but its equally applicable here:

The numbers on old cars are going to make you uncomfortable (no pun intended) and a lot of times its perfectly okay.

Lets talk about a few things here.

First of all, I would describe the comfort of old cars as quaint or even superficial. Yes they are nice to sit in. But what about to ride in? Well thats when things get entertaining. These are my notes from driving my own bonafide classic land yacth, a 1967 Pontiac Bonneville.

  1. That power steering you talk about. Its actually not as great as you would think. No effort in parking lots and slow city streets - yeah thats fine. But on rural roads, highways, expressways, or larger avenues, it starts getting laborious because you’re constantly steering the car! Even the slightest inputs can effect changes because its so amplified. The result is twitchy steering any kind of speed. By the 1980s we had figured out this wasn’t such a great method and cars at that point started employing significantly less boosted steering or variable boost steering. In a rather counter-intuitive way, more physical effort leads to greater comfort.

  2. Heavily sprung bench seats. They are great until you reach a corner. And then you slide all the way across if your not wearing a belt and if you are, you are getting flung against the sides of the car mercilessly. Cars in the late 1970s started using bucket seats and even when they do have bench seats, they are recessed for each passenger to avoid this problem.

  3. Suspension. One of the other reasons you slide all the way across the bench seats in old cars is because the suspension tuning and setup was pretty much strictly for straight roads and low speeds. Before about 1970, most cars didn’t have sway bars, so they have loads of body roll and really bad weight transfer characteristics which causes passengers to get hurled. That on top of soft springs and high profile tires with shittastic grip means the driver is having to pay a lot of attention to the roads so they don’t get themselves into a sticky situation that a modern car with stiffer springs, anti-roll bars, and low profile tires would handle competently even if it uses an inferior design such as MacPherson struts.

  4. Climate control. My Bonneville essentially has two temperature settings - cold and hot. Getting the heater set just so is tricky. Plus, no air conditioning. Entry level makes wouldn’t have it at all before about 1975. Premium makes would sometimes have it as an option. Luxury makes it was there, but usually still just an option. By 1990, air-con was an option even on basic economy cars and by 2000 you would have to opt OUT of it for virtually any make assuming opt-out was even possible.

  5. The Simple Things. Modern cars have loads of nice features like power locks, power windows, power automatic windows, remote entry, steering wheel stereo controls, variable intermittent windshield wipers, rear window washers, adjustable vents, cubby holes, cup holders (my Bonneville doesn’t have these though I have needed them), automatic headlights, heated and air conditioned seats, 20 bajillion way adjustable power seats – all manner of things you probably don’t think about until they aren’t there anymore. Its these things in particular that make modern cars so much nicer to deal with on a daily basis because they expect less and less of you the occupant.

So in conclusion, I have a 1967 premium landyacht. Is it more comfortable as my 2006 Scion xB, a basic economy car? Hell no. At least, not taken as a whole. Rough roads, low speed cruising, basking in the approval of onlookers - give me the Bonneville. As a car to drive in any circumstance at any time of year with out care - Scion xB.


And, I have noticed that to make a basic penalty box that is realistic, it is easy to end up with very low comfort values. If looking back as “close” in time as the early 90s, neither radio or power steering used to be standard equipment in the smallest and cheapest cars, but will of course affect values in the game…


Thanks for the explaination kmBlaine, I coudn’t write best. I have a 2005 standart sedan (Civic) and a 1980 basic of the basics hatchback (Brasilia) and MAN what a difference. Sure, I drive the Brasilia with a huge smile, specially because if I’m driving it, it’s because I was able to make it run and drive, but all said above applies. And vinyl seat + big windows:burns. (Raises both hands)