The temperatures are heating up this summer, and sometimes even air conditioning can’t keep drivers cool enough. Some vehicles offer ventilated seats for extra relief on hot days. You might think it’s a feature reserved for only luxury SUVs, but even the affordable Mazda CX-5 has them. The Hyundai Tucson and relatively inexpensive Jeep Grand Cherokee also offer ventilated front seats.
So, which one of these three affordable SUVs is right for you?
Which Jeep Grand Cherokee trims have ventilated seats?
Of the 12 Jeep Grand Cherokee trims available, eight can be optioned with ventilated seats. The Grand Cherokee Limited starts at $40,950, but the special seats cost extra through the Luxury II package. It costs $2,895, which also includes a panoramic sunroof and heated second-row seats.
The Grand Cherokee 80th Edition also has ventilated front seats, made from Capri leather instead of Nappa. These seats are available through the Luxury Group package for a total of $44,835. The Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk, starting at $46,150, comes standard with ventilated seats.
Starting at $47,490, the Grand Cherokee Overland also has standard ventilated seats. The High Altitude and Summit are both within the $50,000 range and come with ventilated leather seats. Finally, the most powerful Grand Cherokee models — the SRT and Trackhawk — can have exclusive ventilated Laguna leather seats.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is the most expensive, starting at a whopping $88,445. However, it justifies that price with a 707-hp V8 and several performance enhancements.
But if you’re looking for a sub-$35,000 SUV to keep you cool, keep reading.
Is the Mazda CX-5 a better value?
Ventilated seats for the Mazda CX-5 are available beginning in the Grand Touring trim, which starts at $30,560. The ventilated seats come with the optional GT Premium package, which costs an extra $1,625. But the Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring Reserve, which retails for $35,385, comes with the GT Premium package included.
The CX-5 Grand Touring Reserve and the Signature model are also the only trims to get the turbo-four engine standard. It makes 250 hp and 320 lb-ft of torque, paired with a six-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive. Critics usually have nothing but praise for the CX-5’s handling with the turbo engine.
Car and Driver also liked the standard head-up display and heated seats on the Signature trim. The leather upholstery is more comfortable than the standard cloth, and passengers can also enjoy peering through the moonroof. The CX-5 already comes with an expansive suite of safety features, but this trim offers optional traffic sign recognition and navigation.
The CX-5 Signature also comes with ventilated seats, but this trim is pricier at $37,505. It features Nappa leather seats complemented with real wood trim on the dashboard. Every available safety feature is included, plus some tasteful ambient lighting.
What about the Hyundai Tucson Ultimate?
Ventilated seats come standard in the 2021 Hyundai Tucson Ultimate, which starts at $32,050. It’s a fully loaded model, so it also comes with all the best tech and high-end interior features. In addition, the newly redesigned 2022 Tucson offers ventilated seats as early as the SEL trim.
With the optional Premium package, the 2022 Tucson SEL costs $28,200. This package comes standard on the Limited trim, which retails for $34,700. This model comes packed with every one of the Tucson’s available features, including semiautonomous driving and a 10.25-inch touchscreen.
The 2022 Hyundai Tucson Ultimate is definitely the cheapest of the three SUVs on this list, but performance-minded shoppers might be more satisfied with the Mazda CX-5. The Jeep Grand Cherokee is the largest of the three, so it’s the best one for bigger families, but it’s also the most expensive. However, all are guaranteed to keep front-seat riders cool with ventilated seats.