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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Volt forum,

I might as well give you the long version. So I had been driving a Prius V for about four years, and had racked up a lot of miles on it. After driving the Prius, I was totally committed to the idea of another fuel efficient vehicle. I also really wanted a car with adaptive cruise control, so despite the soon-to-arrive Bolt, I didn't think I would want it due to the absence of that feature, at least on the first year's model.

I tried some more Toyota Hybrids like a Prius and a Rav4 hybrid, but then I also tried a BMW i3 and a Volt. I actually test drove the Volt twice, once with my wife. In both cases, I think the dealers must have reclined the seats a bit, and I didn't really notice how tight things were for me.

I ended up buying a Volt Premiere, and I'm totally enamored with the car except, well, the headroom. I'm about 6'3", but apparently I carry most of my height in my torso, not my legs, so sitting in a car, I'm functionally taller. In the position I've been driving around on, with a slightly reclined seat, I have a comfortable amount of headroom, but it's only because I'm reclining the seat. So what's the problem, you might ask? The problem is that if I ever get in an accident, and I am flung forward, I think I might hit the ceiling before the airbag. It all depends on where the seatbelt catches me, and from what I could tell, it would be really close.

Obviously, I have the car seat pushed down all the way to the bottom.

Can anybody conceive of a modification to make me fit better in the Volt? Even an inch might do it. I looked underneath the seat, and it looks like there's not really any room between the underseat mechanism and the car floor to attach it differently. I saw a modification online of a tall guy who shaved down the padding of his car seat. Obviously the would void my warrantee. I have also heard about replacement seats such as racing seats that may sit a bit lower in the car, though swapping out a seat would almost certainly void my warrantee as well, and the replacement seats I've seen don't have side airbags.

So basically, I'm pretty sure I'm screwed. I either drive my Volt safely for a while and don't get into any accidents or trade it relatively soon, which I'd prefer not to do, as I love the car otherwise and would take a large hit if I traded it now. Yeah, I know, I probably shouldn't have bought it in the first place, but I'm sure lots of you were wowed with your test drive of the Volt. Me too. Any ideas welcomed.
 

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It sounds like you have already dropped the seat all the way down, so getting your seating position another inch lower is going to be a bear. One thing to keep in mind, if you do get into an accident with high negative g force, it isn't like your butt is going to stay back against the seat back while your upper body rotates forward, allowing your head to move through an arc and cause you to strike your head on the headliner. Your whole body will shift forward into the airbag and seat belt, so your head won't get any closer to the headliner.
I mean, who are you going to believe? Your own sense of self-preservation or some idiot commenting on GM Volt dot com? ;-)

It is interesting how different drivers fit the Volt completely differently. I am 6'4" with a 34" inseam, so I am fairly middle ground when it comes to height and torso length, but I can wear a baseball hat and it only touches the headliner when I brake hard. I don't even come close to touching without a hat.
I like the feel of the front seats, it is the back seats I despise. But I do recline the drivers seat a couple inches back, which makes the b pillar situated just right to block my lateral peripheral vision...
 

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Wondering how modifying the seat cushion would void the Volt's warranty? Maybe for the seat heater but for the entire car? I doubt it. I would take the car to a reputable upholstery shop and have them fashion a seat cushion to make it work for your needs. Put the original leather seat cover back on and no one will know the difference!
 

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I haven't looked at the mechanism on the Volt seats, but is it possible you could modify the seat by removing the height adjust mechanism only, and lower the seat that way, by fastening the seat directly to the slider rails?

It would probably require fabricating an intermediate adapter to replace the height adjustment mechanism.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It sounds like you have already dropped the seat all the way down, so getting your seating position another inch lower is going to be a bear. One thing to keep in mind, if you do get into an accident with high negative g force, it isn't like your butt is going to stay back against the seat back while your upper body rotates forward, allowing your head to move through an arc and cause you to strike your head on the headliner. Your whole body will shift forward into the airbag and seat belt, so your head won't get any closer to the headliner.
I mean, who are you going to believe? Your own sense of self-preservation or some idiot commenting on GM Volt dot com? ;-)

It is interesting how different drivers fit the Volt completely differently. I am 6'4" with a 34" inseam, so I am fairly middle ground when it comes to height and torso length, but I can wear a baseball hat and it only touches the headliner when I brake hard. I don't even come close to touching without a hat.
I like the feel of the front seats, it is the back seats I despise. But I do recline the drivers seat a couple inches back, which makes the b pillar situated just right to block my lateral peripheral vision...
Ziv,

First off, I thank you for your thoughtful reply.

Your comment about the G-forces is interesting. I've tried to simulate an experiment to see how quickly the seatbelt catches by pressing the belt quickly. It seems like the belt across my chest gives a bit before locking, but the waste is tight. Therefore, because of the seat belt more than the G-forces, it seems my upper body might move a bit in an arc. And I haven't seen any info that the Volt has a seatbelt pre-tensioning feature like the Toyotas do. Does that make sense? Again, it is really close from what I can tell.

By the way, I have a 32 inch inseam, so despite the fact that you are an inch taller, I may actually sit an inch closer to the ceiling.

Yeah, and I have the same issue with my peripheral vision and the pillar.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Wondering how modifying the seat cushion would void the Volt's warranty? Maybe for the seat heater but for the entire car? I doubt it. I would take the car to a reputable upholstery shop and have them fashion a seat cushion to make it work for your needs. Put the original leather seat cover back on and no one will know the difference!
If the upholstery shop could take out the current seat cushion but it could potentially be put back later, that might do the trick. Also, I'd prefer if I could put the car back to its original form in case I wanted to sell it at some point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I haven't looked at the mechanism on the Volt seats, but is it possible you could modify the seat by removing the height adjust mechanism only, and lower the seat that way, by fastening the seat directly to the slider rails?

It would probably require fabricating an intermediate adapter to replace the height adjustment mechanism.
I'm not knowledgable to know if this would work, but again, looking under the volt, some of the under-seat mechanism was really close to the floor. It's not like some other cars where there is a 2 inch gap under there.
 

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have you tried extending the steering wheel and moving the back of the seat away from steering wheel
is there not a airbag in the steering wheel
 

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I don't know... how many times have you totaled a car where you had to be concerned about the seat belt and airbags deploying. I'm 6'3" and I've driven some cars where my torso was a tight fit, but I didn't worry about it. Although I'd love to get a larger EV for comfort, additional rear passenger and cargo space, etc. I'm not going to trade in my volt on the off chance that I might hit my head against the headliner in an accident. Remember, the headliner is padded.

I did however worry about owning a tesla model 3 where they did away with the headliner and had an optional glass roof. With only the side roof rails where the doors meet the roof, it was one of the factors that caused me to cancel my model 3 order. I won't be buying a model x for the same reason and if I got a model S, it will not have the glass roof or the sunroof. Again, I don't plan on rolling or crashing the car, but these things seem potentially more dangerous than a low padded roof.
 
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It is interesting how different drivers fit the Volt completely differently. I am 6'4" with a 34" inseam, so I am fairly middle ground when it comes to height and torso length, but I can wear a baseball hat and it only touches the headliner when I brake hard. I don't even come close to touching without a hat.
I like the feel of the front seats, it is the back seats I despise. But I do recline the drivers seat a couple inches back, which makes the b pillar situated just right to block my lateral peripheral vision...
Same with me... 6'4", 34" inseam, need to look around the b-pillar. Gen 1 worked better from than Gen 2...
 

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I'm 6'7" with a 36 inseam... so very similar upper torso. The trick is to recline slightly. If the seat is fully upright I won't fit...but just a few clicks of recline and its extremely roomy. I Have to move the seat forward 1-2 inches for correct legroom and cram myself when there is a backseat driver side passenger.... still not too bad though.
 

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It sounds like you have already dropped the seat all the way down, so getting your seating position another inch lower is going to be a bear. One thing to keep in mind, if you do get into an accident with high negative g force, it isn't like your butt is going to stay back against the seat back while your upper body rotates forward, allowing your head to move through an arc and cause you to strike your head on the headliner. Your whole body will shift forward into the airbag and seat belt, so your head won't get any closer to the headliner.
I mean, who are you going to believe? Your own sense of self-preservation or some idiot commenting on GM Volt dot com? ;-)

It is interesting how different drivers fit the Volt completely differently. I am 6'4" with a 34" inseam, so I am fairly middle ground when it comes to height and torso length, but I can wear a baseball hat and it only touches the headliner when I brake hard. I don't even come close to touching without a hat.
I like the feel of the front seats, it is the back seats I despise. But I do recline the drivers seat a couple inches back, which makes the b pillar situated just right to block my lateral peripheral vision...
The Volt has a back seat? :ROFLMAO:
 
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