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Best seat in the house? The Audi A3

The interior of a 2017 Audi A3. Photo credit: AUDI

The seats in the 2017 Audi A3, supplied by Magna International, received a perfect score in J.D. Power’s latest Seat Quality and Satisfaction Study, underscoring the steady overall improvement in automotive seating systems.

According to the study, A3 owners expressed 0.0 problems per 100 cars sold with the seat.

And as automakers lavish more time and attention on their interiors, seats are making consumers happier.

That’s the way things are going, says Brent Gruber, senior director of global automotive at J.D. Power.

“When we go back the last four years, we see a trend going upwards with satisfaction,” Gruber said, noting that J.D. Power believes that trend will continue with seats.

Power, one of the industry’s leading conduits of consumer gripes about their vehicles, said there is still a variety of problems that owners encounter with their seats. Some of the more common problems this year were blue dye transfer, cracking and peeling leather or vinyl, as well as squeaks and rattles.

The study asks individual owners to rate the quality of their vehicle’s seats and seat belts based on whether they experienced defects, malfunctions or design problems during the first 90 days of ownership.

The second-best rating this year went to a fellow Volkswagen Group product, the Porsche Cayenne, for which consumers reported only 0.8 problems per 100 vehicles. Those seats are supplied by Adient.

In last year’s study, the best results came from the Porsche Cayman’s seats, produced by Lear Corp. Those owners listed 1.3 problems per 100 vehicles.

This year’s study counted eight seat suppliers among the 23 highest quality seats in seven segments. Power divided the group into luxury car, mass market compact car, mass market midsize/large car, luxury SUV, mass market compact SUV/MPV, mass market midsize/large SUV and mass market truck/van.

Lear has five vehicles in the top 23, followed by Adient, Toyota Boshoku Corp. and TS Tech Co. with four apiece.

Magna has three vehicles, while Delta Kogyo Co., Tachi-S Co. and Avanzar Interior Technologies each had one vehicle.

The data are based on responses this year from more than 77,000 new-vehicle owners of 2017 cars and light trucks.

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