Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

Two rows of seating is shown in a 2023 GMC Sierra 1500 during a 2023 GMC Sierra 1500 vs the 2023 Ford F-150 comparison.

Yes, Adjustable Seats Matter. Here’s Why

If you’re shopping for a new vehicle, the sales person might talk to you a lot about the seat’s great features and functions. Perforated, ventilated, heated, lumbar support, adjustable, and so on. These might sound like luxury features that are nice to have but not essential. That, however, is not true. Having the correct posture when driving is very important. It can reduce the chances of chronic pain over time, it can reduce the chances that you develop walking and standing posture problems, and it can even reduce the risk of getting into an accident, as well as the chances of a severe injury in the event of an accident. Suddenly, those adjustable seats aren’t sounding so invaluable after all, are they?

If you’ve realized how important it is to find a car that lets you make specific adjustments to your seat to get that perfect posture, then you should know that the 2023 GMC Sierra 1500 is one of the best cars for the job. Throughout its lineup, it has highly adjustable seats, ranging from 10-way adjustable all the way up to 16-way adjustable. It also has other features that offer tremendous benefits, like lumbar support and massage features. Other trucks can’t compare to the creature comforts of the 2023 GMC Sierra; just take a quick look at the 2023 GMC Sierra 1500 vs the 2023 Ford F-150. The Ford F-150 only has a 10-way power adjustable seat.

No matter which 2023 GMC Sierra 1500 you get, you can set your seat to the perfect height, angle, and distance from the steering wheel to enhance comfort and safety. So, on that note, let’s take a look at the importance of using your seat settings, finding the perfect position, and using the seat preference memory function on your 2023 GMC Sierra 1500.

Why Adjustable Seats Matter

We already touched on this briefly in the introduction, but it bears repeating: adjustable seats aren’t just a luxury – they’re a necessity and can even be life-saving. Experts have found that people with the proper driving posture are less likely to not only get in a crash in the first place but also less likely to suffer a severe injury in the event of an accident.

There are a few reasons this is true. First, finding the right seating position lets you get a good view of the road. It also allows you full range of motion of your arms, wrists, legs, and feet, which is important to have total control over the steering wheel and pedals. Sitting the right distance from the steering wheel and the roof also minimizes the chances of harming your face or head and neck in an accident. Finally, it’s important to sit in a way that positions you properly in the path of the airbags so that they can protect you in the event of a collision.

Accidents aside, getting the right driving position can also prevent long-term, chronic pain. Sitting too low, too high, too far, or too near the steering wheel, too steeply angled or not angled enough can lead to lower back issues, neck pain, and even leg and hip problems. You’re probably starting to see that it’s worth learning the best way to set up your seat. The great news is that we will get to that next.

The black and brown seats are shown fully reclined in a 2023 Ford F-150 King Ranch.

How to Adjust Your Seat to the Safest Position

Because everybody is built differently, there is no one exact setting that is right for every driver. However, there are some things to keep in mind when setting up your seat. It might take a few tries and testing out several positions before you get it right. Aim for the following conditions when setting up your seat:

  • Make sure that the top of the steering wheel is not higher than your shoulders. Ideally, the steering wheel should be aligned with your wrist, so you don’t feel you’re reaching down or up to steer.
  • Scoot your tailbone back as close to the seatback as possible. This will help keep your back straight.
  • In terms of seat angle, make sure that your thighs are making contact with the seat all the way to your knees. The seat should be angled so that the knees are slightly lower than the hips, enabling the best circulation.
  • Set the angle of your seatback to just more than 90 degrees. You should be leaning back slightly.
  • Adjust the lumbar support to ensure even pressure across the hips all the way up to the shoulders.

The Different Seat Settings for Each 2023 GMC Sierra 1500

Let’s now take a look at exactly which seat features you’ll find in each trim of the 2023 GMC Sierra 1500. The SLT has 10-way driver and front passenger seats, as well as two-way lumbar control. It also has driver seat memory that will recall your preferred settings and power-tilting steering, letting you adjust the steering wheel for comfort and safety. The Denali and Denali Ultimate boast 16-way power adjustable seats with a massage function, while the ATX4 has heated and ventilated 16-way power front seats with the massage function as well.

How To Use Your Seat’s Memory Feature

Once you’ve explored all the angles, heights, and other adjustments and found your perfect settings, it’s time to enlist the memory feature. Your Sierra 1500 can remember up to two driver preferences, which is in line with the two key fobs. Each key fob has a number, 1 or 2; when you get in the car, the current corresponding key fob’s number will appear on the driver information center. Take note of this when setting up your preferences. Only have one key fob in the car at a time when setting up preferences.

Turn the car on and put it in park. Now adjust the seat, mirrors, and steering column (if possible in your trim) to your preferred positions. Once set, press and release the SET button (it should be found by the door handle). You should hear a beeping sound. Next, press and hold the memory button for the corresponding key fob. You’ll hear two beeps.
Moving forward, you can press the corresponding memory button when you get in the car for an automatic adjustment. Or, you can enable auto memory recall, and your preferred positions will slide in place when you turn the vehicle on.

A close up shows the leather seats in a 2023 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4.

More Than Just a Luxury

Adjustable seats aren’t just a luxury feature that is nice to have but not essential. If your sales representative promotes this feature, it’s not an upsell. A great speaker system or ambient lighting are luxury features. Adjustable seats are essential if you are serious about preventing chronic pain and discomfort, as well as minimizing your chances of getting injured in an accident.

Because every driver is different, there isn’t one universal set of positions that works for everyone. If you are particularly petite or tall, you might need a car with a maximum number of settings, like 16-way adjustable seats, to ensure you can get that perfect position. One thing is for sure: make seat adjustments a mandatory part of test driving any vehicle. Make sure you can set the seat in the car you’re interested in to the most comfortable and safe position before signing any paperwork. If you can’t make these adjustments, look for a trim with more position preferences. It’s critical that you can command all components of the car and see properly in your seat.