Author Topic: Seat Review: V7 JDM STI vs EVO X Recaro (vs USDM)  (Read 9956 times)

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Offline jellynuts

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Seat Review: V7 JDM STI vs EVO X Recaro (vs USDM)
« on: January 25, 2014, 03:54:42 PM »
V7 JDMEVO X Recaro

v7 STI Seats 04
by Tang3nt, on Flickr

Evo X Recaro
by Jonny W, on Flickr

Disclaimer
This post is to convey my thoughts on V7 JDM Seats and EVO X Recaros and compare them to USDM seats as a baseline.  However, there is a conflict of interest as my pair will be for sale as soon as this post is up.  I will try to be as unbiased as possible. 

This review is written from 8 months of experience with the V7 JDM’s and 18 months with the EVO X Recaros.  I decided to buy them, thanks to the internet telling me I needed something I didn't know I needed.  Prior to that, my USDM STI Seats served me just fine. 

Comfort
I am 135 lbs, with a 30 size waist.  For a person my size, V7 JDM’s are very comfortable and the bolstering around the waist is significantly improved.  The bolstering around the shoulders is different, as they pushed my shoulders forward more than the USDM's.  This was different and perceived as uncomfortable at first, but I grew accustomed to them in about a week's worth of driving. 

For long distance trips, the V7's are just as comfortable (or uncomfortable) as USDM's.  The longest trip we've taken with these seats was about 800km's and yes, we did need to take a few breaks to stretch and let the blood back into our butts.  I think this would be the case for any seat on any long distance trip.  Medium trips such as 300kms from Calgary to Edmonton were easily doable for us. 

Something to note, the previous owner of my V7's (Hilux) did transfer the seat bases, so the levers were not reversed if you were to just install JDM seats.  This also means that the driver's seat sits lower than the passenger, and the V7 driver's seat does sit a bit lower than the USDM. 

The EVO X seats are comfortable from the get go.  Just to give an idea of how impressive they are, I drove our babysitter home and as she threw herself into the passenger seat [which I cringed at], she remarked “Wow, these are comfy!”  To which I replied, “Yeah!  They’re racekar seats!”  “Sweet!  I feel like I’m in a racekar!” 

So there you have it.  If there’s any standard, it should be to impress young adolescent girls who wouldn’t even give a second thought to seats in a car.  And the EVO X seat’s pass with flying colours. 

In regards to bolstering, the shoulder section is more comfortable than the V7’s.  It doesn’t push forward as much.  There’s a bit more room around the hips, and all in all, the seat is not as firm.  It still hugs and keeps you snug in the seat around spirited driving, but also more refined and comfortable than the V7’s.


Winner: 1st Place: EVO X Recaros. Like I said, even a teenage girl noticed.  But seriously, these seats keep you planted and are comfortable at the same time.  2nd Place:  V7 JDM The bolstering is just that much better than OEM USDM. 

Aesthetics
First, the cons.  Being that the V7's are 10+ years old, there is some wear (well, there's wear on my pair).  The cherry STI embroidery is wearing out:

v7 STI Seats 01 by Tang3nt, on Flickr

And in the following picture, you can see the the embroidery on the USDM seat on the right is more vibrant:

jdm vs usdm by Tang3nt, on Flickr

In the sun or from a distance, the embroidery on my V7's are still vibrant, but up close, you can definitely see it's wear.  Either that, or the embroidering was thinner than that of the later models.  Either way, USDM wins.

The bolsters around the hips are also showing it's age:

v7 STI Seats 05 by Tang3nt, on Flickr

The pros.  The V7's have a different stitching pattern which add a new level of texture that looks very nice in different lighting.  The back and the butt portions are the same with the blue perforated material but the sides around the waist and shoulders on the V7's have this parallel line thing going.  You can see what I mean in the above pictures, as well as the following:

v7 STI Seats 02 by Tang3nt, on Flickr

Another difference is in the darker non-accent colours of the seats.  The USDM's use a plain black material which you wouldn't give a second thought to.  The V7's use black as well, but with a blue pinstripe pattern going on:

v7 STI Seats 06 by Tang3nt, on Flickr

If you're into the GD STI's blue interior, the V7's blue is a perfect match. 

The EVO X seats are black on black.  They come in leather as well but mine are the fabric (suede?).  The material itself is not much to look at as the sides are plain and the center strip is textured. 

Evo X Recaro
by Jonny W, on Flickr

The material does wear out as well.  There is some colour fade on the out hip bolster [not pictured] and the texture has worn from where I sit [pictured].  As a moot point, the Recaros do not hold up well against cigarette burns.

Evo X Recaro
by Jonny W, on Flickr

There is an aggressive design for a harness which has a carbon fibery pattern, but if you're honest with yourself, it's plastic and looks kind of cheap.

Evo X Recaro
by Jonny W, on Flickr

What really catches the eye is the bold, off white, sanserif RECARO logo on the head.  If we’re talking branding, this trumps the other two seats in question.

Evo X Recaro
by Jonny W, on Flickr

Winner: Tie between V7 JDM and Recaros.   A very subjective call but in my opinion, the stitching and the blue pinstripe material of the V7's adds a subtle, but significant level of class to these seats, but having RECARO on both headstocks is class in itself.  This comes down to personal preference, if you want something stock looking, or something that stands out

Safety
The V7's do not have side airbags and modifications are required to get the remainder of the SRS functioning.  This is a downside that has always concerned me so as a result, I drive my car with a heightened level of awareness of my surroundings (not).

The EVO X’s do come with side airbags.  However, they are not plug and play into the Subaru harnesses.  Only one person on the internet has managed to wire them into the car.

Winner: USDM Having side airbags allows my own or other drivers' margin of error to be less consequential.  A significant factor to consider. 

Weight
To my regret, I never did weigh the seats.  But I have done the biceps test to all three; the results from lightest to heaviest are: V7 JDM, OEM USDM, EVO X Recaro.   

Conclusion
I have certainly enjoyed my V7's these past 8 months.  I personally consider them an upgrade from the USDM's, but I am also willfully negating the fact that I put myself and my passenger in greater risk.  Other reviews say that USDM seats are not comfortable, to which I disagree.  The USDM's are perfectly functional and comfortable, but have much less bolstering support than V7's.  That being said, changing to V7's will not make you a better driver.  I say this because the use of stock STI seats has not diminished the level of performance in say... snacker's driving.  And he wins all the competitions.  That said, if you are dissatisfied with your seats, don't mind losing your side airbags, and/or an impulsive mod-addict, then I would highly recommend V7 JDM STI seats. 

As an update, I would still recommend V7 seats to anyone looking for more bolstering.  However, if the budget allows for it, I would recommend EVO X Recaros.  They are more affordable than other modern Recaro seats or aftermarket racing seat.  They are more comfortable than the V7's, provide a little more forgiveness for people with a larger build than myself, yet still serve great in keeping you snug and planted in the seat.  Despite being plain and black, they add an aggressive persona in the car and the branded logo screams baller status.   
uckfay, Johnny with the back-handed slap. You're clearly the Oracle.

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Offline canehdianJ

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Re: Review: V7 JDM STI Seats (verses USDM)
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2014, 10:23:38 AM »
Recaro's are nice too ;)


Offline Way_Gone

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Re: Review: V7 JDM STI Seats (verses USDM)
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2014, 10:55:44 AM »
Well thought, well written. Good little comparo/review!


If anyone is wondering about the pros vs cons of v7 STi seats compared against v1 GC8 seats- they win. In every category. Forever and ever. Amen.

Offline SLO GTR

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Re: Review: V7 JDM STI Seats (verses USDM)
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2014, 02:37:39 PM »
Good review. I had a set of JDM v8's in a GC8. They are definitely way better bolstered than the USDM version.

Offline JasperSTi

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Re: Review: V7 JDM STI Seats (verses USDM)
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2014, 06:50:27 AM »
Great review Jelly.   Method do you use when cleaning the Alcantara blue ?  I have a pair arriving next week.   Prior to installing them I would like to give them a nice clean up. ? Thanks to your post review,  your influence amongst a few others were some of the variables that helped me make my decision.   =)

Offline jellynuts

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Re: Review: V7 JDM STI Seats (verses USDM)
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2014, 07:39:54 PM »
Thanks everyone, and thanks Jasper for buying them :D  I hope they serve you well!

Recaro's are nice too ;)

I'll be reviewing and comparing the Recaro's soon...  but for the time being, Chief Justice Roberts' words are the best I can sum :):

uckfay, Johnny with the back-handed slap. You're clearly the Oracle.

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Offline EvanCL93

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Re: Review: V7 JDM STI Seats (verses USDM)
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2015, 10:48:11 AM »
Hey, I know this thread hasn't been posted in for a while. But you may have some information about these seats I can't find anywhere else. I just purchased a set of them, but they already have USDM rails mounted to them. Do you know which version of JDM seat rails would have the same mounting points as these v7's? My current v2 seat rails will not mount.

Offline Ambystom01

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Re: Review: V7 JDM STI Seats (verses USDM)
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2015, 11:04:31 AM »
Hey, I know this thread hasn't been posted in for a while. But you may have some information about these seats I can't find anywhere else. I just purchased a set of them, but they already have USDM rails mounted to them. Do you know which version of JDM seat rails would have the same mounting points as these v7's? My current v2 seat rails will not mount.

Why not ask this in the JDM corner? Jellynuts has a USDM car.
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Offline EvanCL93

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Re: Review: V7 JDM STI Seats (verses USDM)
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2015, 11:39:04 AM »
Why not ask this in the JDM corner? Jellynuts has a USDM car.
I've also asked this in the JDM section, but seeing as these seats I have are JDM but made to fit a USDM I was posting in other places. Maybe he has the old JDM rails off his seats sitting around? That's what I'm looking for. Not many JDM owners come into the predicament of having to swap USDM rails back to JDM rails I figure. 

Offline jellynuts

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Re: Review: V7 JDM STI Seats (verses USDM)
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2015, 02:57:38 PM »
Did you purchase your seats from Topfuelman?  It seems he's taken down the FS. 

No, I don't have the original rails as it was Hilux who did the conversion.  However, I'm confused as to why they don't mount into your car.  I was under the impression that the mounting points were the same from GC-GD.  If the seat bases have been converted to USDM, then that should only mean that your driver side seat will sit at a passenger seat height(?)

While you could reconvert them back to JDM...  It might be easier to to just buy a JDM set and resell yours :( 
uckfay, Johnny with the back-handed slap. You're clearly the Oracle.

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Offline EvanCL93

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Re: Review: V7 JDM STI Seats (verses USDM)
« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2015, 04:05:59 PM »
The drivers seat has tighter bolstering. They do bolt in, but I sit a bit to high being in the passanger seat on my drivers side. Its kind of looking like I might have to sell them, but I dont want to. Ill need to find someone with v7's jdms that wants to swap them into their USDM car. Or someone thats done the swap and has their old rails. And yes I bought them off topfuelman.

Offline 97STB

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Re: Review: V7 JDM STI Seats (verses USDM)
« Reply #11 on: April 02, 2015, 10:18:53 AM »
I have the V7 JDM seats and absolutely love them! For an OEM seat they are unbelievable for the track... however I'm a smaller guy 5'6" 156lb... I will be selling them eventually though for some Recaro Pole Positions to drop the pounds. I think they were a few pounds heavier than my OEM Forester S/tb seats. Nice review

Offline jellynuts

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Re: Seat Review: V7 JDM STI vs EVO X Recaro (vs USDM)
« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2015, 12:53:43 AM »
I'll be reviewing and comparing the Recaro's soon... 

First post updated in red font for the long awaited EVO X Recaro review.
uckfay, Johnny with the back-handed slap. You're clearly the Oracle.

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Offline LilDrunkenSmurf

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Re: Seat Review: V7 JDM STI vs EVO X Recaro (vs USDM)
« Reply #13 on: July 23, 2015, 07:04:49 AM »
Weak.
If the sea was vodka, and I was a duck.
I would swim to the bottom, and drink my way up.
But the sea isn't vodka, and I'm not a duck.
So give me the vodka, and stfu.
If you're having forum problems, I feel bad for you son, I got 99 problems but your post ain't one.

Offline canehdianJ

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Re: Seat Review: V7 JDM STI vs EVO X Recaro (vs USDM)
« Reply #14 on: July 23, 2015, 07:30:18 AM »
to be fair.  everything is better then USDM for bolstering.

the only advantages to USDM is its easy to gut the seat for heat (cant do that with the V7)


Offline jellynuts

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Re: Seat Review: V7 JDM STI vs EVO X Recaro (vs USDM)
« Reply #15 on: July 23, 2015, 09:34:04 AM »
LOL
uckfay, Johnny with the back-handed slap. You're clearly the Oracle.

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Offline canehdianJ

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Re: Seat Review: V7 JDM STI vs EVO X Recaro (vs USDM)
« Reply #16 on: July 23, 2015, 05:28:29 PM »
Jelly you could have just told me that my fat butt stretched out your seats you did have get new seats and make a big long winded post about it.  :'(

OMG HE HAS AN AVATAR.