Back pain and driving are two things that don’t belong together. I’ve had back pain for ten years, and since day one, driving has been a real torture.
And even when I started getting better, a few years later, sitting in the car & driving would still be a problem.
Until last year, when I got my Mercedes B Class with automatic gearbox and business pack: this is a serious piece of a car, not everybody can afford it I know that, but from all the vehicles that I’ve had, it’s definitely the best car for back pain.
With the B Class, Mercedes has produced a car which is not only very comfortable, but also very easy to drive and park.
This post is not the usual test drive of the B Class: it’s just my first impressions about this B Class, which might be of interest to those who have back problems and are wondering what car is right when you have a bad back ?
What car should you buy if you suffer from back pain, drive a lot, and would rather not end up in pieces at the end of the day, because your back hurts like hell?
The Mercedes B Class, with the automatic gearbox and business pack, is worth a bit more than 30 000 € (It’s a company car, I didn’t pay that price per sé).
I realize this is a lot of money, and not anybody can afford it.
Nevertheless…Is the B Class good for back pain ?
The Mercedes B Class offers lots of room everywhere!
This is one of my favorites features about this car.
People suffering from sciatica in the car should keep their legs spread while driving, and in the Mercedes B class, I can drive with my legs spread all the way, preventing sciatica and also back pain.
Either in front or in the back, there is more than enough room for for the legs (or for your head, if your tall.)
You can get in the car and out of the car very quickly (this is not just a detail: it makes my life much easier).
There is no gearbox or handbrake between the two front seats, this is weird at first, but it gives a sense of “more room for me”, I like that.
The seats of the B Class: best car seats for back pain
The seating of the B Class is wide and firm, very well suited for people who suffer from back pain.
It doesn’t seem like it at first glance, but it’s extremely comfortable, my back loves this seat!
The front part of the seating can even be lifted up, offering more support to the back of the thighs and the legs.
Thanks to this great feature, one sits up straight, never slouching, and can drive longer without feeling any back pain.
It’s very relaxing for the back.
It looks like the seat designers at Mercedes are smarter than the guys who design office chairs.
Wait, there is more…
The Mercedes B Class offers a nice big supportive central armrest
Since there is no gearbox or handbrake between the front seats, there is more room for that big supportive armrest. And again, the designers at Mercedes have done a great job: by setting the seat height at it’s minimum, the height of the armrest is right where it needs to be to support a consistent part of the weight of the upper body.
Driving this car is like sitting in a lounge: there is absolutely no hurry to get out of there.
Thanks to the automatic gearbox and to the cruise control, the legs are often free to support the body, instead of pushing pedals: again this helps relaxing the back while driving.
The Mercedes B Class offers an intuitive dashboard
Well, it’s a Mercedes, so no unnecessary or misplaced widget on or around the dashboard. Almost all commands are located on the wheel (there are lots of menus and sub-menus, but the navigation is fairly intuitive).
The GPS is ok, but I confess I will always use Google Map rather than any other navigation system.
And that’s fine because the Bluetooth works extremely well in the Mercedes B Class. Once the Smartphone is paired with the car, the voice from Google Maps comes out from the car speakers and the radio sound adjusts automatically.
The sound is just perfect, the same as the sound from the built-in navigation system.
And the same goes for the telephone: the voice of the caller is extremely clear, you do not have to shout or pay attention to have a conversion on the phone while you’re driving.
Speaking of which: there are 2 USB slots under the armrest: these will be used to charge your smartphone battery and connect to the media console of the car: once plugged, all of your music starts playing automatically and the media console displays information over the song that is playing.
Driving the Mercedes B Class
Senior citizens or people who don’t like to drive fast will be very happy with the 109 HP engine.
To me, the engine is a bit weak, and it’s the only flaw of this car I found so far.
Sure, You can engage the sports mode, but still, the engine is being pushed all the time, it’s okay, and I don’t like driving like that.
Other than that, this B Class 2015 is a real pleasure to drive. The steering wheel is very smooth and precise, the car has a fantastic suspension (another great thing for the back), the car literally sticks to the road when taking a turn a bit to fast, and finally, there is an auto parking feature and a park assist feature.
Watch the Mercedes B Class park itself with the Active Parktronic
This video shows how the Active Parking Assist works and how easy it is to park the Mercedes B Class (By the way, it’s not me behind the wheel and it’s not my car in the video)
I was a bit skeptical when returning my Golf Plus (which I also found to be an excellent car for people with back problems by the way).
And there’a this new model now, it’s the golf Sportsvan.
I mean, look at those seats! These have got to be the most comfortable car seats for long trips.
The Sportsvan is cheaper than the Mercedes, and as long as you get it with automatic gearbox, park assist & all the driving assistance features, you will buy one of the best cars for people with bad backs.
I’ve driven a Golf Plus for a couple of years: you can trust my judgment, but you need to have the automatic gearbox and driving assistance: together with the comfortable seats, these features make a whole difference.
Dealing with back pain while driving always resolves to the legs supporting the back, and with a regular gearbox, you need your left leg (at least when you’re in the traffic or in the city), and thus, you’re not using it to support your back.
At first sight, I thought this Mercedes B Class was not very sexy (neither is the Golf Plus, I agree on that), and I had not seen or read any convincing test drives about the car.
I was totally convinced after a few kilometers, and the more I drive it, the more I love it.
The Mercedes B Class 2015 is a fantastic car and I would recommend it to anybody who can afford it and who suffers from back pain.
Tip to relief back pain regardless of the type of car
A thin wooden board helps to avoid back pain when driving.
Placing a skinny wooden board to support the lower back or upper back, shoulder blades, or wherever you need it is something that helps a lot to avoid or relieve back pain when driving, and that works for every car brand, not just premium which already has good seats.
I started using this thin wooden board to avoid back pain in bed, and as I realized it was helping, I put another wooden board in the seat of my car. The one I have in my car is only 30cm by 30cm (10 inches by 10 inches) and as discreet as it is, it’s doing a great job on my back.
The thing is that it’s very thin yet supportive, so it never hurts, wherever I place it, and it offers excellent support to the back, which allows me to make longer road trips without feeling discomfort or pain in my back.