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When car shopping, you likely have a long list of must-haves. You want good safety ratings, fuel economy, performance, style, and comfort. But in the hot summer months, you might want something beyond air conditioning. Ventilated seats provide much-needed cooling, and you can find them even in affordable cars. For instance, the Toyota Camry, Hyundai Elantra, and Kia Forte all offer this luxurious feature.

What’s the difference between ventilated seats and cooled seats?

Let’s get this out of the way first: For heated seats, the heating elements are located in the seat and upholstery. But ventilated and cooled seats work a bit differently.

Ventilated seats offer a cooling effect. However, they’re designed with a series of fans that move air through the seat and backrest, cooling any trapped heat in the materials.

Cooled seats differ in that they deliver refrigerated air through the seats. 

2 Toyota Camry trims with ventilated seats

The Toyota Camry is the best-selling midsize sedan for many reasons, including its balance of features and affordability. It also offers plenty of trims and options. For instance, for 2021, you can choose between an impressive 2.5-liter Dynamic Force four-cylinder and a beefy 3.5-liter V6. There’s also a hybrid powertrain that gets an attractive 46 mpg combined. Safety is big with the Camry, too, and the Toyota Safety Sense 2.5 suite of driver’s aids comes standard.

To get ventilated front seats, you’ll have to buy the Camry XLE or XLE V6. Because these seats are part of an optional package, there may be an added cost. But the Camry XLE starts at an affordable $29,870, and the XLE V6 has an MSRP of $34,995.

The 2021 Hyundai Elantra Limited Hybrid has ventilated seats

Another exciting sedan is the 2021 Hyundai Elantra. If you’re looking for ventilated seats, look at the Elantra Limited Hybrid for all the bells and whistles. They include ventilated front seats, a memory driver’s seat, and leather upholstery. Oh, and you’ll get a 10.25-inch touchscreen navigation system, too. Hyundai prices this Elantra model starting at $28,100.

Sure, hybrids are a bit pricier than their gas-powered counterparts, but this Elantra gets an impressive 49 mpg in the city and 52 on the highway for excellent long-term savings at the pump.

Even the compact Kia Forte has this high-end feature


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Despite its compact-car status, the 2021 Kia Forte boasts an upscale cabin experience, U.S. News reports. Its standard features are robust, and this car has one of the most spacious trunks in its class.

Plus, optional comfort extras include synthetic leather seating, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and a 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat. And, yes, it offers ventilated front seats too. And you’ll pay only about $24,460 for a Forte with all of those extras.

One final thing: If you don’t want to buy a new car just for ventilated seats, know that you can get aftermarket seats installed in various car models. But if you’re thinking about purchasing a new car, check out the 2021 Toyota Camry, 2021 Kia Forte, and 2021 Hyundai Elantra to help keep you cool this summer and beyond.