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Review: Ventilated seats DO work and the leather is fine if not abused.

Discussion in 'Model S' started by calisnow, May 14, 2017.

  1. calisnow

    calisnow Active Member

    Oct 11, 2014
    Los Angeles
    Just took "delivery" of my 2017 75D (60D when ordered and then held hostage by my out of state girlfriend for several weeks before finding its way to me) - woot woot woot. Best Tesla yet - it's noticeably quieter inside than my 2016. Could just be the new tires though - the 2016 has 2XK miles on it now.

    So I'm making this review of the ventilated seats to encourage Tesla to bring them back. I assume they will - perhaps improved. But I am really glad I stuck to my guns and hunted for a car with them - because they work exactly as designed and yes the cooling is noticeable.

    I have always had "sweaty back" in the summer time in leather seats. Maybe we all sweat in different places - well for me continuous contact with leather in summer results in a sweaty damp back even if the air conditioner is on.

    So I was very excited to try them today - and they work. In fact they work well enough that after a few minutes of them on level 3 I turned the fan down to level 1.

    Folks will complain about anything at TMC - they really will. Ventilated/air conditioned/cooled seats are supposed to keep you from getting a wet shirt and butt - and these do the trick *perfectly.* Maybe some folks want an ice cube on their butt. Maybe we have different sensitivity levels.

    I rented a Mustang GT last summer that had cooled seats - and yes it was some kind of active cooling that really did blast chilled air on your butt and back vs Tesla's solution of simply drawing fresh cabin air in one side of the seat and out the other. The GT's ice cube seats were *not* comfortable. The Tesla's effect is subtle but it works - my body's sweat has a continuous supply of dry cool air to evaporate into. It's great. Really too bad that Tesla discontinued it because no - pre-cooling the car is not the same thing. I've tried it now a couple times - pre-cool but don't turn on the fans, and what happens? After a few minutes an uncomfortably warm back. Pre-cool AND use the fan? PERFECTION. :)

    As for the delicate leather here is my take: I have *always* been anal retentive about leather seats and the way I get in and out of them. I avoid swiveling in seats with my body weight pressed down and I try my best not to brush/rub against bolsters on my way in and out of cars. I have always done a move where I get in, sit down with one leg outside the car. Then I use my left arm to lift my weight OFF the seat and rotate my body forward toward the wheel as I pull my left leg in the car. Then I relax my arm and apply my full 165-180 lbs on the seat only AFTER I no longer need to rotate. This avoids stretching/shearing forces on the leather - which over time of course will mess up the leather. It would make sense that these super soft, push premium seats have less tensile strength than non-perforated seats because they are full of holes. DUH.

    Already I see this effect - my drivers seat looks fine. But I took one ride with a buddy who is almost 200 lbs and forgot to ask him to be careful. He just grunted and plopped himself in the car. When he got out I saw the wrinkles people complain about.

    Lesson - take a bit of care and you should be fine. Probably not the best seat for children.

    With air suspension, ventilation, what seems to be more sound deadening than my 2016, and new premium seats this Tesla feels much more luxurious than my 2016 70D with Next Gens riding on coils. More lux, less sport - which is what I wanted. The ride is so much nicer over broken pavement it isn't even a close comparison. Yes there's float - that's what I wanted lol. No it wouldn't be as good a track machine and it feels more disconnected.

    But that smooth ride is the perfect way to accompany the smooth, vibration free motor. Goes together like peanut butter and jelly. For a real sports car there are other toys. For a long distance cruising machine I want the most comfortable ride possible over freeway expansion joints and other bumps/cracks/heaves. :)

    When the new roadster comes out I guess I'll have no excuse to keep driving my occasional Sunday Italian ICE machine. :(

    Silent mental note from myself in 2019/2020 to one of my other automotive heroes:

    "Dear Enzo - your creations were the love of my life. I sacrificed in more ways than one for them and will never forget them. But time has moved on and Elon's new roadster beckons. I have no excuses left to spew carbon in the air - even on occasion. One last ride together - one last 8500 rpm symphony through a tunnel giving me goose bumps. That V8 was the best sounding engine of all time. But the future is silent and here we go..."
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  2. SMAlset

    SMAlset Active Member

    Mar 4, 2017
    SF Bay Area
    We've had only a few days in the 90s so far to use our seat cooling setting on our ventilated seats and find ours to be as equally useful and comfortable as you, calisnow. I had a thinner material top on when using them and could definitely sense my back felt cooler and not sweaty. Hubby had jeans on and didn't really notice his butt/thighs cooler but I did with a thinner cotton slack on. My back didn't feel cold per se, just not sweaty. I really would not have wanted cold air conditioning (like in the forced blowing kind) sent to my back as I'm sensitive to fans blowing on me. Not much of a sampling to go on since we've been pretty cool here in May but as far as I'm concerned I'm happy with them and they work as advertised. I find the perforated seats very comfortable to sit in as well. I was super excited to be getting these in our PUP package for the short time it was offered on the S. Always loved sitting in the X model with them.

    We have noticed a bit of I guess what you'd call stretching on both front seats in the main part of the seat where we sit, but having worn leather skirts and slacks back in the 80s it's something I expected. Each piece of real leather is a unique skin and will behave how it will. Same with leather shoes and it's look over time. Sometimes it stays smooth when stretched and other times you'll notice the texturing of the skin in the form of creases or wrinkles. Our second car right now is a Toyota Avalon and it's high end leather seat material is thicker than the leather in our MS and it's held up really well over the years. We have some stretching and leather creases in it in various spots too despite being thicker.
    • Informative x 1
  3. cruiserlarry

    cruiserlarry Gadgetologist

    Jan 24, 2017
    Los Angeles, CA
    When I ordered my S90D in Nov, 2016, I was excited to learn, after the fact, that ventilated seats would be included. While waiting for delivery of the car, I was feeling less enthusiastic after reading many of the negative comments written about them on this forum.
    However, now having used them, I would gladly buy them again.

    My wife and I have used them on many occasions, and we both can definitely feel the difference after the car has been parked in the sun for a while. We both feel the ventilated seats help keep you more comfortable in the hot So Cal sunshine. I agree with calisnow's assessment, that it is a more subtle affect which helps reduce sweating, as opposed to chilling you. I guess how you feel about the appearance of the perforated leather on the seats is subjective as well, but it certainly doesn't bother me, especially given the functionality of the cooling feature.
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