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What Is a Cooled Seat?


2014 S P85 | 2020 3 P19"
Jun 27, 2013
Kansas City, MO
Since some of you seem to be familiar with them, what exactly is a cooled seat? I've never in my life seen such a thing. A heated seat is easy; like putting a heating blanket in the seat. But air conditioning usually requires a complicated heat exchange system which usually involves fluids and compressors and such. Surely they don't have that kind of ridiculousness built into a seat?
Typically they use cold air ducted from the A/C system, though I believe a couple models have thermoelectric coolers built in directly, and a lot just use cabin air without cooling (more properly called ventilated seats than cooled in that case, though some folks confuse them.) A set of fans built in to the seat blows the air through the seat surface onto your back and rear, preventing sweating.

Fairly common in upper end luxury cars, I've only had them once on a rental Cadillac. Very much on my short list for features for my next car, so glad to see them showing up on the X. :)
The leather is perforated with a bunch of small holes that allows the a/c to flow from underneath up through the seat and through the seat backs. I had them previously in my Lexus and keeps your legs from getting sweaty if you're wearing shorts on a hot day.
My previous Cadillac had them. One thing that was nice is if I remotely started the car, and the cabin temperature was above a certain point, it would turn the seat coolers on in addition to the air conditioning (similar thing with seat heaters in the winter). That was appreciated, especially with the black interior I had!
Correct, that is not correct, at least for our Sig S. The seats are solid leather, no perforations.

Some of the Sigs did have perforated leather seats, but I guess not all. Not ventilated though.

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I've had both Porsche and Mercedes ventilated seats. Neither worked well nor worth the money.

The ones in my Cadillac were amazingly good.
I've had both Porsche and Mercedes ventilated seats. Neither worked well nor worth the money.
I had ventilated seats on my Mercedes and thought they worked fine -- certainly better than nothing. Maybe it's just the high heat here that makes the benefits more pronounced.

My loaner yesterday was black leather -- I don't know how you folks in Texas can stand it! It was so much hotter than my Tan.