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2014 MINI Cooper - Edmunds Road Test

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Posts: 10,130
edited March 2015 in MINI
2014 MINI Cooper - Edmunds Road Test

Let's start at the bottom. The seat bottoms have my favorite feature a seat can have: extendable thigh support. I don't have long legs, but I've got a long hip-to-knee length which means on most seats, my legs are mostly unsupported and I feel like I'm only half-sitting.

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  • darexdarex Posts: 187
    Weird!! My seats get so hot, I've never had them above "2", and have to shortly thereafter go to "1." I have the same seats you guys have (the sport seats), but mine are leatherette, not leather. That can't be the explanation.

    Of note, the heaters cover ALL seating surfaces, including the extension part (but not the headrest). Not sure how common that is, but I know that many only head the bottom cushion.
  • I don't understand people's love affair with leather seats in cars. The worst cloth seat is more comfortable than the best leather seat. Leather is hot in the summer, and cold in the winter, and after a couple of hours your clothes are wet with sweat. For this you pay extra?
  • s197gts197gt Posts: 486
    i can tell you a couple of reason we love leather seats: they are extremely durable if you get decent ones and are extremely easy to clean. we just clicked over 146k miles on our e90 with dakota leather seats. i have conditioned them a handful of times over the years with meguiar's leather conditioner. they look fantastic after a little scrubbing. my wife is smaller so she isn't too hard on the driver's seat and there is just a little wear on the left bolster from entry/exit. it really gives the vehicle a sense of luxury and quality; a sense that it is built to last.

    we have never had a problem with breathability and the seat heaters are the best in any car i've been in. (our cx-9 heaters are WEAK!)

    i've seen some pretty ugly leather seats though. the quality of leather and the care provided make all the difference. i'll certainly take a good cloth seat over a cheap leather seat.
  • Perforated leather seems to help them breath much better. I never get sweaty in my current seats. My prior ones weren't perforated and they would get quite hot in the summer.

    The biggest plus for me is if you try to move around at all to adjust your seating position on a long drive with cloth seats the cloth will tend to keep your clothes in one place while you move, whereas the leather will allow your clothes to slide with you.

    To me, it seems like the leather gives and conforms to you more than cloth too. You can see in the picture above the leather in the bottom cushion hasn't settled back to its original shape from being sat on and conforming to the sitter.

    The best reason for leather? Most companies do a terrible job with cloth, it is hard to find comfortable, good looking, cloth seats.
  • vvkvvk Posts: 196
    > There are a couple of complaints, however. First up is the breathability. These seats don't really have any.

    One of the best reasons to buy a Mini is that you can order it exactly the way you like it. Unlike vast majority of other cars, these outstanding seats ARE available in cloth. Which makes this one of the very few cars I would consider buying.

    Now days it is customary to create problems and then charge people money for solutions to these problems. Leather seats are the perfect example of this. Sure, let's market leather to make people want it. This creates several serious problems, such as breathability, slippery surface, cold/hot/sweaty butt -- let's now market solutions to these issues and charge people for them. Heated seats, ventilated seats, perforation -- all these are solutions for artificially created problems. Cloth seats are wonderful -- beautiful, durable, sanitary, breathable, etc., etc. They hold you in place while cornering. They feel neutral to the touch in both winter cold and summer heat. But NOOOO, we want the damp, sweaty, smelly, disgusting skin of dead animals to sit on in our cars. Something that requires 2 hours of hard labor every six weeks to maintain in order to stay reasonably presentable for more than a few years. More than 2 hours if you have child seats. Oh, it also makes child seats far more difficult to install! It is lunacy!
  • throwbackthrowback Posts: 445
    I am surprised about the heaters. The ones in my wife's 4 door hardtop warm quickly and get pretty hot on the highest settings. She has the pleather seats, not real leather.
  • misterfusionmisterfusion Posts: 471
    edited March 2015
    @vvk - I enjoyed your rant, but I have to disagree on one point: Ventilated seats are one of the greatest inventions in history, and if there were such a thing as ventilated cloth seats, I would not hesitate to buy them. It's true that you do not sweat as much on cloth, but that is not to say that you do not sweat at all. I guess what I am saying is that "swamp [non-permissible content removed]" must be eliminated at all costs. :P
  • chol92594chol92594 Posts: 208
    I'm surprised that there are any complaints about the seat heaters on this MINI. Every German car I've ever driven (since MINI is owned and build by BMW) has had more than adequate heated seats. Most of the time, I've had to turn them down after a few minutes because they start to get uncomfortably hot. This holds true for a 2013 Tiguan, 2007 A4, and 2012 528xi that I've driven recently. Since other posters with MINIs are saying that their heated seats are fine, maybe it's something with the LT car?

    Also, as far as leather vs. cloth, leather is almost always a better choice unless the leather in question is of terrible quality (the 3rd gen Acura TL comes to mind). As long as it's regularly cleaned and conditioned, leather should last a long time and stay in decent condition, provided that it's not abused or mistreated. There are some cars with terrible quality leather that requires constant upkeep to keep it in decent condition (I've seen plenty of 2004-2008 TLs with deplorable leather), but even the leather on my 2009 Civic EX-L is in decent shape after 74k miles of regular cleaning and conditioning with Mother's VLR. Despite what Honda says, I'm not even convinced that it's genuine leather.

    Also, perforated leather may breathe better and allow for cooled seats, but the perforations collect a ton of dirt and grime, making the seats a nightmare to clean. Since I've never experienced cooled seats that actually impressed me, I'd probably forego perforated leather and make the seats a little easier to clean.
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