Stat of the day: 2 inches

The amount by which Honda has widened its seats over the past decade - in order to accommodate the more, er, ample-bottomed motorist...

Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013
We all know why obesity’s bad for society: it causes diabetes, putting a strain on the NHS and creating a nation of puffing, panting, red-faced porkers. But according to a report in The Telegraph this morning, car manufacturers haven’t had an easy time of it, either: they’ve been struggling with the problem of how to accommodate the larger driver.

Thus, over the past decade, cars have been getting ever-wider: Honda has widened its seats by up to 2 inches, while its newer cars have larger buttons – for people with big fingers. Compare present-day cars with their predecessors, and you can see just how bad it’s got: while the 1953 Ford Prefect was a svelte 4ft 9in wide, at 6ft 1in, the present-day Ford Focus’ muffin tops are definitely starting to show.

BMW has just started to test its next generation of cars, with 800 volunteers in a range of sizes demonstrating how obesity affects mobility when they’re driving. The name of the operation? ‘Plump my ride’, natch.

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