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    When the A/C is not enough: Cars in India with ventilated seats under Rs 15 lakh

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    Siddharth

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    Ventilated seats in Indian cars

    Picture this — it is a sweltering hot day; you get into your car and switch on the A/C for some respite. But the cooling is disproportionate — the hands, face, and parts of your upper body are cooler than your back and thighs. What do you do? Mostly, you lean forward to keep a gap between the seat and your back and wait.

    That’s where ventilated seats come in the picture; it is the perfect solution for effective cooling comfort, especially in the hot climatic conditions that most of India experiences during summers. With time, more and more car manufacturers have been adding this feature to their cars sold in India. And thankfully, you don’t need to pay a lot to get a car with this feature now.

    Tata Nexon Left Front Three Quarter

    The first car to be offered with temperature-controlled seats was a 1966 Cadillac Fleetwood, but it only offered the option of heating the seats, not cooling them. In fact, that took more than two decades, with the 1998 Saab 9-5 being the first car ever to be fitted with ventilated seats. It took advantage of perforated leather covers and two fans — one on the bottom of the backrest and the other on the seat squab — to pull hot air away and induce a cooling sensation for the occupant.

    The mechanism for ventilated seats with cooling function hasn’t changed much since then, though two distinct types are being used currently. One is the same as the Saab’s system mentioned above - utilising fans to pull hot air away from the occupant's body and thus making them feel cooler. The other is amore complex and expensive system that employs a mini-condenser unit along with fans. The condenser cools the air, just like the car’s A/C system, and the fans push the air through the seat material, unlike the previous system which pulls the air away. This system allows the seat to be both cooled and heated and may even allow precise temperature controls.

    Tata Nexon Front Row Seats

    Beyond the obvious comfort-enhancing property of this system, ventilated seats can improve a car’s mileage and reduce emissions too. This is because the occupants tend not to reduce the temperature of the main A/C system as much, thus reducing the load on the engine, which in turn improves the mileage and reduces emissions. Let’s take a look at all the cars under Rs 15 lakh (ex-showroom) that offer this feature.

    Tata Nexon

    Tata Nexon Right Front Three Quarter

    Variants with ventilated seats: XZ Plus Premium (including Dark Edition and Kaziranga Edition)

    Price: Rs 11.75 lakh (ex-showroom) onwards

    The popular compact SUV from Tata received this feature in February 2022, becoming the most affordable car in India to be fitted with it. The feature, which is limited to the front two seats only, is also available in the ZX Plus Premium Dark Edition and Kaziranga Edition variants of the Nexon, with four drivetrains to choose from.

    Kia Sonet

    Tata Nexon Right Front Three Quarter

    Variants with ventilated seats: HTX Plus, GTX Plus

    Price: Rs 12.09 lakh (ex-showroom) onwards

    The Kia Sonet was the first car in the compact segment to be offered with ventilated seats when it was launched back in 2020. This, along with many other segment-first features, made the Sonet a very desirable product. Here, seat ventilation is limited to the two front seats only. The feature can be had with all the drivetrains of the Sonet except the 1.2-litre petrol paired to the five-speed manual transmission.

    Maruti Suzuki XL6

    Tata Nexon Right Front Three Quarter

    Variants with ventilated seats: Alpha Plus

    Price: Rs 12.89 lakh (ex-showroom) onwards

    The newest product from Maruti Suzuki is also the first from the stable to be offered with this comfort-enhancing feature. Available only in the top-of-the-line Alpha Plus trim with both manual and automatic transmissions, you will have to shell out a minimum of Rs 12.89 lakh, ex-showroom to enjoy this feature. Again, is limited to the front two seats only.

    Hyundai Verna

    Tata Nexon Right Front Three Quarter

    Variants with ventilated seats: SX (O)

    Price: Rs 12.98 lakh onwards

    The Verna held the record of being the most affordable car to be offered with ventilated seats before the launch of the Kia Sonet. It was the only sedan in its segment to get the feature, till the launch of the Skoda Slavia. Although Verna’s design is showing its age, this feature, among others, makes the Verna a value-for-money proposition.

    Skoda Slavia

    Tata Nexon Right Front Three Quarter

    Variants with ventilated seats: Style

    Price: Rs 13.59 lakh onwards

    Skoda’s entry-level sedan gets ventilated front seats in the top-of-the-line Style trim. The effectiveness of the system is not great though, with the fans being too noisy beyond the first of the three available speeds.

    Skoda Kushaq

    Tata Nexon Right Front Three Quarter

    Variants with ventilated seats: Style

    Price: Rs 13.59 lakh onwards

    Skoda’s most affordable SUV offering in India is also offered with ventilated front seats. It uses the same seats as the Slavia sedan and thus suffers from the same issue where the fans in the seats become too loud, except when run in the lowest setting.  

    Tata Nexon Gallery

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