If you are someone who spends a lot of time driving, you already know that long trips can get tiresome. This is especially true if your car doesn’t happen to be the biggest. While buying a brand-new car is a nice dream to have, financial realities may not always make that possible.
Data shows that there were over 914,000 small cars sold in America last year, a massive 27% decrease when compared to 2011. The truth is, that SUVs and EVs have become very popular these days. However, a lot of people are still stuck with their old vehicles.
As such, it sometimes makes sense to make the best of what you have, but how much can you do? Quite a lot. There are several ways that you can turn even the most uncomfortable rides into something far more enjoyable.
Sure, you will probably need to invest a certain amount, but it’s still going to be far smaller than a new car. So, without further delay, let’s look at four upgrades that you should be looking at right away.
1. Upgrade Your Seats
When it comes to quality of life, there’s often a saying not to skimp out on anything that comes between you and the world. For example, this might include shoes, mattresses, and pillows, but it very much holds true for seats.
Seat upgrades should be your number one priority because it doesn’t just give you more comfort; it also protects your health. That’s right, long-term postural issues from bad seats can cause you a lot of back pain later on.
Stock car seats rarely prioritize aspects like lumbar support. When you combine a small car with uncomfortable seats, it truly becomes a terrible driving experience. Thankfully, there are multiple upgrade options that you can look for.
Your first priority should naturally be better ergonomics and sufficient padding, especially under your thighs. Memory foam or gel-infused padding can work marvelously here.
Similarly, ensure the seats have enough adjustability. This means multiple settings for height, tilt, and lumbar support. Lastly, if you’re getting new seats, it might also be a good time to get new seat covers as well.
2. Don’t Forget the Suspension
Once you make the switch to ergonomic car seats, the next thing you may want to look at is your suspension. This will depend on your particular vehicle, though. You may find the suspension pretty good for you. If that’s the case, skip this section and move on. However, if you feel like it could be better, read on.
A bad suspension can truly ruin any comfort that good seats give you. You have to suffer with terrible vibrations, (especially when driving fast), or experience too much bounce and sway after even mild bumps.
What’s worse is the fact that even the overall handling of the vehicle can be affected. Choosing to upgrade your suspension will ensure that potholes no longer cause your back to cry out in anger.
Did you know that one of the best features in luxury vehicles from manufacturers like Rolls Royce is the silky smooth suspension? It’s often referred to as the “Magic Carpet Ride” and stuns most people lucky enough to try it out.
Sure, you aren’t going to get a similar experience with a new suspension, but you will be surprised at what even a moderately priced upgrade will get you.
3. Switch Storage Space Location
Now, when you think of a small car, the key weakness is obvious. The available free space.
Small cars can be cramped and may only provide you with just enough space. Odds are, the trunk is going to be small as well. Thus, you probably keep shoving extra luggage onto the backseats, ruining the experience for any unfortunate passengers you have.
Thankfully, there’s an easy fix for this situation, and it’s achieved by getting a rooftop cargo carrier. It’s a surprisingly simple solution, isn’t it? Why worry about taking up valuable space inside with luggage when you can store it on top? This allows you to reclaim space and makes your car feel less claustrophobic.
According to RoofPax, installation of such carriers is quite straightforward. You can probably get it down in twenty minutes or less. Then again, rooftop storage isn’t the only way you can reclaim space.
If you paid attention earlier and heeded the advice to upgrade to adjustable car seats, then that can help with space as well. Fold down or push them backward or forward until you find the perfect configuration.
4. Ensure Your Climate Control Works Well
Comfort doesn’t just relate to obvious aspects like seating, suspension, and space. Oftentimes, your car’s air conditioner and climate control system can play a massive role in making a small space easier to stay in. The one benefit of small cars is that you can cool down the inside temperature rapidly.
Sure, you may already have air conditioning, but if it’s not the top-end model, it’s not going to be all that special. One of the best upgrades you can get that will boost comfort for anyone traveling with you is a multi-zone climate control system.
This allows your passengers to set their own levels of cooling individually. No more complaints from your kids in the back to make it colder. Yes, it’s not the easiest upgrade to make, but if you prioritize a comfy driving environment, it’s a no-brainer.
In conclusion, there is a lot that you can do to make a small car feel more comfortable. Making some of the upgrades mentioned in this article can save you what might be an unnecessary upgrade to a new car.
Just remember to do your due diligence when making modifications to your car. Some modifications might end up being way too intensive for a not-so-impressive boost to comfort. This is why it’s a good idea to create a sort of priority list of comfort upgrades and knock out the first three to begin with.
Remember, you don’t have to upgrade everything. Sometimes, all that may be needed is better seats to turn your vehicle into a much more comfortable ride.