Browse over 9,000 car reviews

Which cars are the most comfortable?

I've been focusing on how cars make you feel in the body instead of in the head.

You know you're getting old when car comfort is more important than a stoplight sprint. Either that or, like me, you've recently spent too much time with doctors and comfort suddenly becomes the single most important thing in your driving day.

I love the Ferrari 458, but right now I would hobble straight past the rip-snorter Italian thoroughbred on the way to a cushy Jaguar XJ limo. It would be the same situation for my first-choice funster, the Porsche Cayman.

I've recently driven a race-prepared Fiat 500 Abarth and the pain was almost - almost - worse than the pleasure of romping the pocket rocket around the high-speed swoops and curves of Phillip Island. I was more than happy to slide back into the cushiness of a Chrysler 300 for the drive home, even if the seats in the motown monster don't give as much support as I normally like.

The ride back to the airport got me thinking about the strengths and weaknesses of a number of vehicles that have recently passed through the Carsguide garage, focusing on how they make you feel in the body instead of in the head. Every week there are emails to CarsGuide from people of age, asking about upgrading - from a conventional passenger car into something in the SUV style that's easier on the hips and legs at mounting and dismounting time.

An SUV can look like a good idea on the comfort front, but lots have bench-flat seats, crappy ergonomics and nowhere near enough suspension compliance. The Subaru Forester has a nice ride, but I prefer the seats in the Toyota RAV4. On the car front, the new Nissan Pulsar has seats that do nothing for me, but the Renault Clio is surprisingly comfy for a little, affordable car.

My top favourite seat is a Recaro racing bucket that is almost shrink-wrapped to my shape, like a bathtub full of jelly that provides perfect support. But it's just about the toughest seat to get into or away from. So, right now, the first-choice comfort car is a Range Rover. It's stupidly expensive, but everything works for me, from a body that drops down on its air springs for easy access to beautifully-shaped front buckets finished in lovely leather and even a user-friendly automatic gearbox that means my left leg never has to move out of its comfort zone.

This reporter is on Twitter: @PaulWardGover