GLA45 Recaro Seat Swap - Mercedes GLA Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 Old 05-15-2019, 11:06 AM Thread Starter
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GLA45 Recaro Seat Swap

I have a 2018 GLA45 with the standard AMG seats, and they do not fit me very well at all (seats are way too big). I would like to swap out the seats for the Recaro AMG Performance Seats (Option 555?). I looked around in the forums here and found a couple brief references to this, but I'm wondering if anyone has done this in the USA, by buying the new seats from the dealer after the fact?

I'm assuming I'll need to order new from the dealer as I could not find anything in the current salvage market. My initial trip to the dealer with limited information I was told I might have to buy all the pieces individually and assemble the seat from scratch?!? Does anyone happen to have a part number for this option, for the complete pair of seats? The dealer said perhaps another 2018 that had this option installed at the factory might have a part number to help with the search... but they would need to know part of the VIN on that vehicle to look it up. Not too handy.

I also checked with a reputable local upholstery shop, and they can make a few small changes to the stock seats, but not quite enough to make a difference worth pursuing. I really want to keep all the systems working as intended, like the air bags, heat and power adjustments. Last resort is to go full aftermarket Recaros, and have to disable all those things. I'm not too keen on that idea.

Any help or guidance would be much appreciated!

To hesitate is a waste of time.
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post #2 of 6 Old Yesterday, 10:39 AM Thread Starter
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After giving them a little better information, the local dealer is still telling me they cannot order the complete seats. They will need to order each piece individually and the parts will need to be assembled before installation. Does this sound like there should be an easier way to anyone else? I am very surprised a complete seat cannot be ordered after the factory build?

Any suggestions?

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post #3 of 6 Old Yesterday, 10:55 AM
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The simple under seat storage box had to be ordered by pieces when I installed one a couple years ago!!!

I can't see ordering individual pieces being a big deal. But make sure these seats are really what you want. They have little padding and some have complained that they are inadequate for long trips. The side bolsters are difficult for some to negotiate thus there have been reports to discourage these of you make a lot of short trips. To my recollection they felt wider than the standard AMG Sport seat which is the opposite effect that you want.

The CLA seats felt completely different to me than the GLA seats as well. I loved the CLA seats. Not so much the GLA.
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post #4 of 6 Old Today, 08:54 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the feedback Wayne. I appreciate any information that is available for sure.

Some of this seat-swap need came from an incident shortly after I got the car. A big Cadillac Escalade going 50mph ran a red light and I had to do some quick maneuvers to avoid being T-boned. The tires and throttle did their job, but I felt like I nearly ended up in the passenger seat, and then got slammed against the driver's door, even with the seatbelt on. Hanging on to the steering wheel is what kept me in place.

I am also definitely accustomed to proper racing seats, and understand there will likely be a significant "comfort" difference. I've spent many, many hours in race cars with full race buckets, so I'm totally fine with that. I think my longest continuous shift during a 24-hour race was around 5 hours without the harness coming off. I'm still flexible enough to get over the tall sides to drop into the seat too... for now! At least there's no roll cage to contend with. It sounds strange that the Recaro version would be wider, but if that's the case at least the sides are taller and may be easier to modify to be tighter. There wasn't much they could do with the standard seats since there is hardly any bolster to work with at all. This car will be seeing some track time, so a harness is next on the list. Perhaps just a harness with the stock seats would be enough for those days, but putting on the harness for daily drives is a bit more of a hassle. I did that for a few years on another vehicle.

Good point with the standard CLA seats. Maybe I'll swing by the dealer and sit in a few, and see if a salvage set of those would be any better. If they fit of course. I'll see if I can find any cross-fit info in the forums here on that. Even the seats in my 2014 E350 are way better than the AMG seats in the 2018 GLA45. When I sit in my car now it feels like I'm sitting on a bench seat in an old pickup truck with no sides at all. Still a super fun car so far though! Can't wait to get to a track and get a little more comfortable with how it handles on the edge. You never know when the need for performance driving will save your paint!

To hesitate is a waste of time.
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post #5 of 6 Old Today, 09:55 AM
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It's always good to know a car's limits!!! It used to be a lot easier to explore the edges. Modern cars (technology and tires) have allowed a basic sedan to out perform a 70s or 80s (or 90s) Lotus or Ferrari.

The seats in my Porsche are the limiting factor in handling so, as I brace my knees to the sides, I understand your concerns.
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post #6 of 6 Old Today, 11:41 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne View Post
...The seats in my Porsche are the limiting factor in handling so, as I brace my knees to the sides, I understand your concerns.
Ha ha ha! Exactly! I had to wear knee/shin armor from my downhill mountain biking gear to reduce leg-bruising on track days in my previous vehicle.

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