Corbeau DFX Racing Seat Review
The FR-S comes from the factory with pretty solid seats that don't REALLY need to be replaced to meet the needs of most owners. They're very supportive by most OEM standards, they're lightweight (only 2-3 lbs heavier than the Corbeau DFX mounted on Corbeau sliders), and they're reasonably comfortable on long trips.
So why replace them? For me, there were 4 reasons:
- Additional support while autocrossing
- To make the car feel more special to drive - like it's not an average, everyday car
- Weight saving (although this became pretty irrelevant once I realized the difference in weight between stock and the fixed back seat is the same difference as heavier shoes and a thick sweatshirt)
- I've always wanted a racing seat because I have the mental age of 9
The Corbeau DFX seat is a perfect blend of race capability, street comfort, and value. I chose it because it is a fixed back bucket seat that does provide the support one would expect from a racing seat. That being said, the DFX wasn't designed solely for track duty - it was made to be used on the street, so comfort is much better dedicated track seats. I also chose the DFX because it's made by Corbeau - which is a reputable brand that makes quality products at a reasonable price.
The "reputable brand" part is important. After talking to several people that have ebay racing seats and knockoff brands in their cars, none of them gave any thought to the importance safety when making their purchase decision. Everyone's heard the argument, "invest in good tires because it's the only part of the car that's actually in contact with the road." The same reasoning should be applied to a seat since it's the only thing connecting YOU to the car. If the seat snaps in half in an accident or the seat rails disconnect from the floor, you're going to have a bad time.
Granted, the Corbeau DFX is a relatively inexpensive seat compared to some other brands, and it's not FIA approved. However, it's a trusted brand that's been around for 50 years, so you know you're getting a quality product. Additionally, many expensive FIA approved seats have fiberglass construction which flex because they're intended to be bolted to a roll cage for additional strength. When they aren't bolted to a roll cage, you can feel them flex while driving, and they may not be as rigid as intended in an accident. The DFX is made with tubular steel construction, so there's no need (or option) to bolt it to a cage.
After using the Corbeau DFX for about five months, I couldn't be happier with it. To sum it up, here are my major findings since ain't nobody got time for a 5,000 word piece about a chair:
- Initially, I was a little worried about it being a pain to get in and out of on a day-to-day basis. In all honesty, it's not bad at all. You have to plop yourself in a little bit less elegantly than a normal seat, but it's not a hassle
- My longest trip in the Corbeau DFX seat is around two hours. I was a bit uncomfortable at that point, but no more uncomfortable than I would've been in the stock seat
- You feel more like you're part of the car. You feel vibrations that you don't feel with the stock seat. It's not annoying - it's informative. You have a better sense of what the car is doing
- It's a weight control device. You can use that argument to validate buying the seat if you're looking for justification. When you sit in it, it hugs you. If you get fatter, it reminds you that you've gotten fatter. This part is slightly depressing
- When cornering hard, you don't need to brace yourself against the wheel, transmission tunnel, or door. The seat holds you firmly in place
- There are no signs of wear, loose threads, or anything to indicate the seat is anything other than brand new
- It looks amazing, and it makes me smile
As previously stated, the quality is very good. When I first got the seat five months ago, I had no complaints about any aspect of the seat. I genuinely couldn’t find anything in the look or construction that I was unhappy about. The stitching was neat and tidy. Materials all felt very nice. The overall seat felt sturdy and well designed.
After using the DFX for the past five months, none of my initial thoughts have changed. Everything is as it was when it was new with no signs of wear or other issues.
The biggest quality fault with the DFX seat isn’t actually with the seat itself. The seat bracket is also from Corbeau but sold separately. I was disappointed with the bracket. It did fit in the car without modification, which is more than can be said for many aftermarket seat brackets, but it felt cheap. It’s still in the car, and I haven’t separated from the floor at any point, so I guess it’s alright. However, the sturdiness and thought about its’ design seemed much lower than the seat itself.
- The clearance for the seat belt buckle against the transmission tunnel is very tight - it fits, but only just
- The seat belt mounting bracket has a bigger bolt hole than the Corbeau seat bracket. It works, but I had to use spacers to feel confident in using it. The factory seat connects the seat belt buckle to itself using a large diameter peg (same diameter as the seat belt buckle mounting bracket) with a smaller diameter thread on the end where a nut is used. The Corbeau bracket does accommodate the buckle, but the buckle can only be attached using a nut and bolt (not included with bracket). The required bolt is the same diameter/thread as the nut used to bolt the buckelt to the factory seat - which causes play in the seat belt buckle since it's smaller than the diameter of the peg that the buckle rests on when bolted to the factory seat.... I know this description probably makes no sense, but it will when you see it yourself
- The factory seat contains an airbag, which aftermarket seats don't have. I honestly don't know what happens if you drive the car with nothing plugged into the airbag sensor. There's definitely an airbag light that illuminates on the dashboard. Whether that interferes with the rest of the airbags in the car, I'm not sure. I bought a Bride airbag canceller from Evasive Motorsports so I wouldn't have to find out. So far there have been no random airbag deployments or airbag lights