Cars with ventilated seats

If you struggle to get comfortable in hotter temperatures, a car with cooled seats might well be the salvation you've been looking for

Simon Ostler
Jul 22, 2021

It might not be a common occurrence here in the UK, but sometimes the weather is just too hot. Those days when it's impossible to get comfortable, no matter how many fans you have blasting air in your direction.

By far the worst part of a particularly hot day is that moment you have to get into your car. It's like opening the oven door, followed by a race to get the air-conditioning up and running. But even then, that cool air can't get everywhere - what you need is ventilated seats.

For those days when even climate control can't save you, a car with cooled seats will likely be your preferred rest space when the temperature picks up. They aren't a very common feature on more affordable models, but there are a handful of cheaper cars on sale that do offer cooled seats - although often on more expensive trim levels or as an optional extra.

Shopping for a used car with cooled seats is a bit more of a challenge, as you'll want to be sure the exact car you're looking at has the feature included, but if you know what you're looking for, a luxurious and chilled driving experience could be yours at a very reasonable price.

Best cars with ventilated seats

What are cooled seats?

There are different methods of cooling seats. Some manufacturers install small fans inside the seat to help keep the air around you moving - this is the most popular and most affordable version, although it doesn't actually cool the air, it works in the same way as your standard room fan.

If you are looking for the ultimate in cooling proficiency, however, more upmarket manufacturers install a small element inside the seat that's connected to the car’s air-conditioning system. Alternatively, they may simply pump cooled air from the system directly into the seat.

1. Ford Mondeo

Our pick Ford Mondeo Titanium
Used deals Limited stock

Although the Ford Mondeo in this form is on its way out of production in 2022, it's still an incredibly popular car among commuters and families. Used versions of the Mondeo in either saloon or estate guise are in good supply, and there's nothing to suggest this car is going out with a whimper. It still looks modern, and the interior is both comfortable and high quality.

The latest Titanium models come equipped with what Ford calls variable heated front seats - these can be controlled in increments, with the option of cooling. With the Mondeo crossing the boundaries between luxury and affordability, this option could be yours from  per month on BuyaCar.

FORD MONDEO BUYERS' GUIDE

2. Hyundai i40

Our pick Hyundai i40 SE Nav Business and Premium
Used deals Limited stock

The Hyundai i40 was on sale in the UK from 2015-2019, and during that time offered ventilated front seats with the higher-end models in the range. It's an affordable family car of a similar style to the Mondeo, available in both saloon and estate forms, but it costs as little as  with BuyaCar - making it an incredibly cheap option if you're desperate for cooled seats.

One downside of the i40, though, is the fact it was only ever available with diesel power, so it has come to feel a touch outdated among the wide choice of turbocharged petrol and hybrid engine alternatives.

HYUNDAI I40 BUYERS' GUIDE

3. Kia Optima

Our pick Kia Optima 3
Used deals from £12,500
Monthly finance from £232*

The Kia Optima is a direct rival/relative of the Hyundai i40, both share much of the same tech. Like the i40, the Optima is no longer available as a new car, so it too represents a great value choice if you're keen to get hold of some affordable cooled seats.

The seat ventilation system is the same as you'll find the i40, so in terms of which one you should buy, it comes down to everything else around them, and the only real difference between the two is what they look like.

KIA OPTIMA BUYERS' GUIDE

4. Kia Stinger

Our pick Kia Stinger GT-S
Used deals Limited stock

The Kia Stinger is a four-door coupe with a hatchback boot, making it a surprisingly practical car despite its sporty nature. The ventilated seats are only available on the GT-S model, which is both the most powerful and the most expensive, so you don't have a choice here but to go all in.

With the 3.3-litre petrol engine producing 370hp bringing up a 0-62mph time of 4.7 seconds, this version of the Stinger is seriously hot, but at least those cooling seats will help to balance everything out.

KIA STINGER BUYERS' GUIDE

5. Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport

Our pick Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport (with Brownstone Nappa premium seats)
Used deals from £10,850
Monthly finance from £196*

As a direct rival to the likes of the Ford Mondeo and Kia Optima, the Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport is another relatively affordable commuter/family car that brings an element of luxury.

Although in the case of the Insignia, the option of ventilated seats had to be specified by the buyer when it was new - they were included in the Brownstone Nappa premium pack, so be sure to check whether the exact car you're looking at is fitted with this optional extra.

VAUXHALL INSIGNIA GRAND SPORT BUYERS' GUIDE

6. Ford Edge

Our pick Ford Edge Titanium (Lux Pack)
Used deals Limited stock

Another relatively affordable Ford model making use of those variable heated front seats. This time it's the Ford Edge, a large SUV with bulky looks and a fair share of practicality.

In order to get hold of a used model with ventilated seats you'll be looking out for those fitted with the Lux pack - this is an optional extra fitted when it was new that includes cooling at the front, but also heated rear seats and a panoramic sunroof.

FORD EDGE BUYERS' GUIDE

*Representative PCP finance - Ford Fiesta:

48 monthly payments of £192
Deposit: £0
Mileage limit: 8,000 per year
Optional final payment to buy car: £2,923
Total amount payable to buy car: £11,926
Total cost of credit: £2,426
Amount borrowed: £9,500
APR: 9.9%

BuyaCar is a credit broker, not a lender. Our rates start from 6.9% APR. The rate you are offered will depend on your individual circumstances.

 

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