Cars with cooled seats

Keep your back as cool as a cucumber with these cars with cooled seats

John Evans
Aug 30, 2019

This year’s hot summer has often found air conditioning systems struggling to bring the car’s interior temperature down to an acceptable level. It pays, of course, to make sure the system is serviced at the specified intervals but even then things can get uncomfortable.

Which is when you have to envy those drivers and passengers sitting on cooled and ventilated seats.

Traditionally the preserve of luxury cars, they’re slowly making their way down to more modest models as competition between manufacturers hots up.

There are different methods of cooling seats. Some manufacturers locate multiple small fans within the seat that blow air against your body and carry excess heat away. It doesn’t have to be cooled; by simply moving it cools you down. It’s the most popular solution.

Other manufacturers actually install a small element connected to the car’s air conditioning system to cool the seat. Alternatively, they may simply pump cooled air from the system to the interior of the seat.

For the time being, where cooled or ventilated seats are offered, they tend to be confined to more expensive versions in a manufacturer’s model range and also to the front seats only.
Here are five cars with ventilated or air conditioned seats as standard and one with the feature available as an option.

Ventilated seats: the good

✔  They supplement an overworked air conditioning system
✔  They’re efficient because they cool a smaller area
✔  They’re a treat on hot days

Ventilated seats: the bad

They only come on more expensive trims or as an option
They bring added complexity (and expense) to the humble seat
Assuming you have air conditioning, they’re use is probably limited to baking hot days

Best cars with cooled seats

1.Ford Mondeo

Best car with cooled seats for saloon cars

Our pick Ford Mondeo Titanium
Latest Ford Mondeo deals from £7,699
Monthly finance from £136

Ford’s decision to equip Titanium trim, a few specs below its exclusive Vignale range, suggests ventilated seats are gaining traction as a weapon in the fight to attract customers.

They come as part of what the car maker calls variable heated seats that allow you to adjust the seat’s temperature by increments.

Ford Mondeo buyers' guide

2. Hyundai i40

Best car with cooled seats for junior business executives

Our pick Hyundai i40 SE Nav Business and Premium
Latest Hyundai i40 deals from £7,300
Monthly finance from £142

Hyundai has for a long time offered ventilated seats in its premium Sonata model, not sold in the UK, so it was a small step to make the feature available in its executive i40 model.

Hyundai i40 buyers' guide 

3. Kia Optima 

Best car with cooled seats for Korean luxury

Our pick Kia Optima GT-Line S
Latest Kia Optima deals from £8,999
Monthly finance from £161

Kia has access to sister company Hyundai’s ventilated seating technology so it’s no surprise that its executive rival also incorporates the feature, although only on the most expensive version.

Kia Optima buyers' guide

4. Kia Stinger

Best car with cooled seats for coupe looks and saloon practicality

Our pick Kia Stinger GT S
Latest Kia Stinger deals from £21,849
Monthly finance from £310

In a bid to establish its bold new coupé(ish) model, Kia has pulled out all the stops including making ventilated seats a standard feature.

Kia Stinger buyers' guide

5. Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport

Best car with cooled seats for long commutes

Our pick Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport (with Brownstone Nappa premium leather)
Latest Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport deals from £8,930
Monthly finance from £148

Unlike Ford with its Mondeo, Vauxhall has chosen to make ventilated seats an option on its rival model the Insignia Grand Sport.

Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport buyers' guide

Ford Edge

Best car with cooled seats for space

Our pick Ford Edge Titanium
Latest Ford Edge deals from £14,995
Monthly finance from £237

By offering ventilated seats in relatively lowly Titanium trim, Ford shows its big SUV means business.

They come as part of what the car maker calls variable heated seats that allow you to adjust the seat’s temperature by increments.

Ford Edge buyers' guide


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