BMWs are synonymous with sporty driving and engaging handling, but they are also great as daily drivers. For this role, they need to be comfortable, and a lot of that comfort comes from the excellent seats that you find in so many modern BMWs. Even its really sporty cars still offer surprisingly comfortable seats—they may not look it at first, and it can be a bit difficult to climb aboard by jumping over the big side bolsters, but once aboard, comfort levels are surprisingly high.

In fact, after driving many BMWs from different eras and with different types of seats, I’ve come to the conclusion that the manufacturer’s sport seats, with their superior support and adjustability, are even more comfortable than the standard seats the car comes with. Even in those larger BMWs (5 Series and up) that offer a comfort seat option, I’d still pick the sportier seats just because I may drive it spiritedly at some point when the extra side support would be invaluable.

After talking it over and discussing seats with Horațiu, we settled upon a selection of the best seats we’ve ever tried in BMWs. He picked the ones from the latest models, and I chose the ones from older but still relatively modern BMWs.

Best Modern BMW Seats

X5 G05 Multicontour Seats

The optional multicontour seats in the X5 G05 offer remarkable long-distance comfort. You can add them as a separate option or as part of a Luxury Seating Package, and they transform the experience of traveling aboard the X5. The fully upgraded version of these seats features heating, cooling and a massaging function, so they are simply superb if you want to cover vast distances in an X5.

These seats still offer decent side bolstering to keep you in place when attacking corners at higher speeds, although they are not quite as good as the dedicated M Sport seats. Their biggest plus point is their range of adjustability (they are 18-way adjustable compared to 12-way for the standard seats), which allows you to fine-tune your ideal driving position. The extending thigh support is a godsend for drivers with longer legs.

7 Series/i7 Seats

The seats in the new 7 Series/i7 are probably the most comfortable of any BMW ever. They aren’t particularly sporty, but since you won’t be throwing the big 7 around corners too much, it doesn’t really matter. They excel in terms of plushness and adjustability, and both Horațiu and I agree that they are unparalleled in the BMW world.

The backrest is split, so you can adjust the top part separately and have it curve around your back. This brings the headrest closer to the back of your head and shoulders, and while it can also promote bad posture, it gives a feeling of supreme comfort that you don’t get to feel in too many cars, even at the 7’s price point. This feeling is further emphasized if you go for the cashmere upholstery, which is more expensive than any of the available leathers, but we say it’s the best choice if you want a cozy feeling interior.

G80 M3/G82 M4, F90 M5 CS, G87 M2 Seats

Photo @lucasjohnsonvisuals for BMW Autohaus

Even though the standard seats that BMW equips its M models with are very good, providing a great blend of comfort and sportiness, it is definitely worth paying extra for the optional carbon fiber bucket seats. They make access into the front a bit trickier, and they have a protrusion between occupants’ legs that allows for the installation of a racing harness, but they completely transform the vehicles they equip. The seating position is a bit lower with these seats compared to the standard ones.

Once aboard, comfort levels are still high, even if you do have to straddle the squab bulge, so you have less range of motion for your legs, but the extra lateral support is outstanding through the corners. These seats are a must for any serious driver who enjoys a backroad blast or frequently attends track days. They come as standard on special versions of M cars, like the M3 CS and M5 CS, but you can add them as an option to any M car.

Best Modern Classic BMW Seats

E38/E39 Contour 18-Way-Adjustable Seats

BMW has a history of making great seats, and we need look no further than the 18-way-adjustable contour seats that it equipped the E38 7 Series and E39 5 Series of the 1990s and early 2000s. They are a mix of comfort and sport seats, with plenty of lateral support but also lots of adjustability, including giving you the ability to move the upper part of the backrest for extra shoulder comfort.

They are a sought-after mod for anybody looking to upgrade their E38 or E39, and they are a simple plug-and-play swap. If you’ve ever had the chance to sit in one of these seats, you will know why owners of these two models are willing to pay up to $2,000 for a pair of these seats that are in good condition.

F10 M5 Standard Seats

One of the most comfortable sport seats I’ve ever sat in was in a BMW F10 M5. Its standard electric seats looked more like comfort seats, but they held you in place exceptionally well, and, in my experience, they were more comfortable than any other seats available on the F10 (even the dedicated comfort seats).

There was a multifunction option box available that F10 M5 buyers could tick, and that gave a bit more adjustability, including making the thigh support electric, but it didn’t significantly improve the seats. This is a very popular mod for non-M F10 owners who want their vehicle to feel sportier but don’t want to lose any comfort, although the M seats aren’t very common and they are very expensive to buy if in good condition.

E9X M3 Standard Seats

Much like the F10 M5 seats, the ones in the E9X are also very good. The E9X 3 Series had excellent sport seats that were far superior to the standard seats the car came with. The difference when upgrading from the sport seats to the full M seats was even bigger, both in terms of comfort and sportiness, and they also helped lift the look of the interior and make it feel more special.

Tell us in the comments which BMW seats were the best in your experience and why.