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Cooled Seats Don't Cool - 2014 Toyota Highlander Limited Long-Term Road Test

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Posts: 10,059
edited August 2014 in Toyota
imageCooled Seats Don't Cool - 2014 Toyota Highlander Limited Long-Term Road Test

The 2014 Toyota Highlander Limited comes standard with ventilated seats. But they don't seem to work very well at all.

Read the full story here


Comments

  • You should get one of those $15 laser thermometers and see what the temperature is and if it makes any difference. I'm sure it doesn't actually reduce the temperature and just provides air flow, but would be interesting.

  • Toyota's website specifically states that they are "heated and ventilated" so they just provide air flow. No cooling.

  • benson2175benson2175 Vancouver, BCPosts: 68

    That console is a mess of materials and textures and those seat control dials look like they're recycled from a cheap 80's ghetto blaster. In this day and age you've got to do better.

  • yutachyutach Posts: 1

    I'm surprised that Edmunds' review of this car doesn't list this feature, but everywhere that I have seen it it's been called "ventilated", so there was never any reason to think it was at all going to cool down the seat.

    Personally, I think a true 'cooled' seat is more important than a heated seat. I don't know why it's taken this long to get them into cars.

  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    edited August 2014

    I shopped a Soul a few months back and ventilated seats were an option, but it was clear that the venting was done with a fan that circulated cabin air into the seats and out the perforations. So if you cool down the cabin, that should help cool down the seats.

    True "cooled" seats are available in some luxury rides, like the MKZ (it uses a thermal engine to cool air that circulates through the seats).

  • miedenmieden Posts: 75

    @benson2175, are you kidding? The grain on that console cover (where the seat temp switches are) is so fine it could pass as leather, and the slush molded pieces have almost no sheen and a consistent grain around each radius. The knurled finish on the actual switches looks pretty intricate and consistent too. What more could you want in a Highlander?

  • misterfusionmisterfusion Posts: 471
    edited August 2014

    @yutach said:

    Personally, I think a true 'cooled' seat is more important than a heated seat. I don't know why it's taken this long to get them into cars.

    A-freaking-men, brother! :P

  • nizzonizzo Posts: 7

    I disagree. While I haven't had to contend with any 100+ degree days with the HL just yet, they have definitely fit the bill in the 80-90 degree days (with the giant pano roof closed but with the retractable cover opened all the way at all times). You most definitely feel a considerable cool air draft in the small of your back, between your thighs (which it was more to the sides right under where my thighs would be typically), and in the center of your upper back. Yes, I doubt it's "air conditioned" but it DOES stand out and is noticeable.

  • The concensus on the Highlander owner's forum that I visit is that these seats just circulate cabin air and are less than effective.

  • steverstever Posts: 52,462

    I'm moving to southern New Mexico soon, and I'd still want them just for the air flow.

  • schen72schen72 Posts: 433

    I would think even just circulating cabin air under your butt and back would help keep you cool in the seat. At least it would help to prevent "swamp butt." I drove a Lexus RX350 a while back and it had the same ventilated seats (even the exact same dial controls!) and I felt it did a good job. It's somewhat subtle, so don't expect a gush of air coming out of the seat.

  • dsoy1998dsoy1998 Posts: 8
    edited September 2014
    Key to my success has been to direct the air flow down on me feet and after the AC begins to cool the cabin, the ventilation works more effectively as it blows the cool cabin air.
  • rcummelinrcummelin Posts: 184
    The seats are "ventilated", NOT "cooled" which causes some confusion. All there is, is a fan under the seat that blows ambient air up thru the perforations. The same is true on several Lexus models too. Some Lexus RX owners have devised a cardboard or plastic air dam that re-directs the cooled air from the rear feet vents upward toward the fan. This seems to make the air blowing on your butt a bit cooler, FWIW. As it is from the factory, the system is almost worthless.
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