Seats

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Components

Each E30 was fitted with the same seating arrangement. Two front seats bolt directly to the floorpan of the E30, and slide back and forth on rails for adjustment, while a solid rear bench provides space for three at the back. On Touring models, this rear bench folds down to allow boot access, with the seat bases tilted forward to increase the load area. Rear headrests were an optional extra.

All seats feature solid-mounted seat belts which mount to the seat base and the A- and B-pillars respectively.

Seats came in a variety of styles and upholstery options. While the standard seats are known as Comfort seats, the bulkier versions are known as Sports seats to keep your bum where it should be during aggressive cornering.

Front Seats

While front seats are a standard feature in most cars, a few variants were available for the E30.

The key difference regards tilting; seats fitted to a 4-door or Touring do not have a tilting handle like those inside 2-doors and Cabriolets. However, the seat base of all cars is the same, and all seats can be dismantled and rebuilt to tilt if required.

The physical style of the seat determined bolster height and thigh support; sportier seats are known as sports seats for a good reason.

Also available are Heated Seats, which provide a gentle warming sensation for your posterior when needed. These are controlled by switches mounted to the tunnel.

Rear Bench

The rear bench differs on almost all vehicles, and little is interchangeable between models. Rear benches on Tourings, for example, were able to tilt down to lengthen the rear compartment, unlike the fixed versions in 2-door and 4-door saloons.

Headrests

All front seats feature headrests from the factory, and these can be removed from the seat by pulling upwards sharply.

Rear headrests were not fitted as standard, but were an available option and a popular interior upgrade. Most models require mounts to be fitted inside the rear seats, but these mounts are already in place in all Tourings. Learn more about installing Touring rear headrests

Seat Types

Aside from the model-specific differences, it was also possible to order specific types of seats for improved comfort and performance. The changes are made to the front seats, and make some seats worth more than others. Wooden bead mats were an optional aftermarket extra.

Comfort Seats

These are the standard E30 seats. They feature a mildly contoured shape with modest side bolsters on the base and upright part. The seat is able to slide and tilt, and fold over for 2-door versions.

Sports Seats

Fitted to all sport models, these seats feature more bolstering on the side than standard comfort seats, as well as extended thigh support on the base. These seats are also more adjustable, with the ability to raise and lower the height of the seat.

Upgrades

E30 seats are unique; there are no other seats in the BMW range, or any other car, that bolts straight in to an E30. If you wish to fit non-E30 seats, you will have to modify your mounting rails to fit the bolts and holes in the E30 floorpan.

Having said that, with very little modification the following seats will physically fit into an E30:

  • E21 Recaro
  • E24 High-back Recaro front and rear
  • E36 M3/Coupe "Vader"
  • E46

Common Problems

Damaged Front Seats

Decades of wear and tear will take their toll on your front seats eventually. When that happens you'll need to strip your seats down and rebuild them with fresh foam and fabric. To take the edge off this daunting task, learn more about repairing seats.