2009 BMW M3: Blind operation of the driver seat
July 08, 2009
Our long-term 2009 BMW M3 sedan has very supportive and comfortable front seats.
And a lot of available adjustments.
Let's run them down, from left to right in the top pic:
1. Adjusts seat back side bolster width, so both supermodels and those aspiring to be on "The Biggest Loser" can be comfortable.
2. 4-way adjustable lumbar support: In/Out & Up/Down. I have never found the Up/Down feature useful in any vehicle -- but that's just me.
3. Seat bottom fore/aft and height
4. Seat back rake
5. 2-setting memory control
6. (Bottom pic shows manual thigh support extension)
The first few times I drove the M3, I was confused by all the seat controls. You see, when the controls are in this position, we use blind operation to control them -- you just reach down without looking. There is a low limit as to the amount of information we can process without visual cues. (I suppose you could conduct trial & error -- what a pain.)
Benz and others have previously gotten around this by placing the seat adjust switches on the door panel -- it's a better user interface. However, this is undesirable from a styling standpoint.
After a short time, I was able to discern our M3's different seat switches with blind operation because they are well-spaced. But I had to first get out and look at them from outside.
All of these seat adjustments could befuddle a Camry driver.
But on a driver's car like the M3, once you understand them, they're quite useful.
Albert Austria, Sr Vehicle Evaluation Engineer @ 5600 miles