Ventilated seats have become somewhat of a must-have for many high-end luxury cars these days which does not necessarily mean that they are worth their asking price. You have to remember that to even be able to tick the ventilated seat option you will have to spend a lot of money on a higher-trim package from the start.
Ventilated seats are designed to cool you down during hot summer months by blowing either normal or refrigerated air onto your back through small fans situated within the seats. Most cars that do offer ventilated seats usually combine it with perforated leather seats which have small holes within the seats.
The reason why one should opt for ventilated seats is that they make the driving experience a lot more enjoyable during the summer. No matter where you park your car during the summer, you should be able to cool the seats down in no time.
However, ventilated seats are far from perfect because they require you to pay a lot of money for not all that much air. Not all ventilated seat systems are made the same because some of them do refrigerate air while others don’t, and that’s important if you want a true cooling experience.
What are ventilated seats and how do they work?
A seat ventilation system is comprised of small fans within the seats that blow air onto the person sitting in the seats in order to cool that person down. These systems are usually available with a few different levels of ventilating and they enable you to choose the level you are comfortable with.
In order to activate ventilated seats, you need to look for designated seat ventilation buttons situated on either the seats or the door panel. Some newer cars also incorporate these systems within the infotainment menu which is not perfect if you are not familiar with how the infotainment system works.
There are two main types of seat ventilation. One is designed to suck in cabin air through little hoses which then send the air through the fans onto your back without pre-cooling the air. Other, more sophisticated systems refrigerate the air in the process which makes the system a lot more enjoyable.
Benefits of ventilated seats: Why you should get them
The reason why you should opt for ventilated seats is that they make the driving experience comfortable no matter what time of the year it is. Even if you park your car exposed to the sun, a system such as this one should help you cool yourself down much faster, especially if the system uses cooled air.
Another reason why you should opt for ventilated seats is that options such as these are not exactly all that expensive if you’ve already picked higher-trim seats. Either way, no one can deny that it’s better to have this system during the summer.
Most cars that do offer ventilated seats come with both the front seats ventilated, but the most luxurious cars on the market also offer seat ventilation in the back. Your passengers will be thankful if you opt for ventilated seats and your car is likely going to have a better resale value if equipped with ventilated seats.
Drawbacks of ventilated seats: Why you should not get them
As mentioned previously, there are a couple of reasons why you should skip ventilated seats altogether. The main reason is the price because you usually need to upgrade to a mid-level spec at the very least to even be able to buy the ventilated seat option.
Furthermore, systems such as these can also be rather noisy, especially if you drive a quite luxurious car. Because these systems differ from one car to the other, you are never 100% sure if the car you are interested in actually uses refrigerated air or not.
Another thing to keep in mind is the fact that most ventilated seat systems require you to opt for a specific type of seat which means that you are likely not even going to be able to specify seat ventilation with cloth seats or full leather seats.
Finally, a lot of people believe that the ventilated seat option is a gimmick anyway because it does not live up to its hype. This mostly refers to those systems that don’t refrigerate the air before they send it through the fans, or in other words, the majority of systems out there.
How much does it cost to get ventilated seats?
It depends on the car in question, but you are likely going to have to pay around $1000 at the very least. Some cars like the Mercedes Benz GLC enable you to opt for ventilated seats if you are willing to pay around $1900 for the upgraded leather package, others will charge you for numerous other options even before you are even eligible to tick the ventilated seats option.
Furthermore, premium brands tend to charge more money for rare options, and that’s often the case with ventilated seats. It’s a lot cheaper to opt for the ventilated seat option in a Japanese economy car than it is in a German Executive sedan even though the system in question is the same.
Are heated seats worth it?
Heated seats are by far a more useful option than ventilated seats because they are way more effective at what they do. That being said, heated seats are also often included with entry-level cars, and that’s not the case with ventilated seats.
To sum it all up, it is worth it to opt for heated seats, especially if you live in colder climate regions. Seat warmers are significantly more effective at what they do when compared to seat ventilation and they are cheaper.
Are massaging seats worth it?
Massaging seats are rather similar to ventilated seats because they can be extremely underwhelming at times. Some cars equip their cars with fancy massage names and functions, but in reality, they are never what you expect them to be.
It’s not easy to design a car seat that can be safe, comfortable, practical, good-looking, heated, cooled, and massaged at the same time. All in all, massaging seats are almost always not worth it, it’s way better to spend that money on a few legitimate massage sessions.