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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I picked up my Touring a few days ago and am discovering that there is a lot to like about this car. Likewise, there are some growing pains. I came out of a top-of-the-line Sienna van with leather seats. Those seats were spectacularly soft and supportive and enveloped the driver in a wonderfully comfortable cocoon of comfort, sort of like a memory foam bed. The leather seats on the Ascent are quite firm, not as Draconian as the regular Subaru seats (we are now on #9), but certainly not as cushiony and soft was the Sienna. (In fact, I have traded out 2 of our older Subarus mainly because the seats got so uncomfortable.) The seats in the 2nd row are fairly close to the floor, presumably so they can fold almost flat to use as cargo room. Rear seat passengers will find that when their feet are on the floor, their legs aren't completely supported by the seat, a rather uncomfortable situation for a long ride. The seats in the Sienna were a few inches higher making them some of the most comfortable seats I have every sat in in any vehicle. The Ascent's rear seats recline, but there is no height adjustment for that leg dilemma.


My main reason for this message has to do with the ventilated seats. Before I bought the Ascent, I tested a Toyota Highlander with ventilated seats. It still had the plastic protective covers on the seats. When I turned on the ventilated seats, the plastic blew up like a balloon. Clearly, a lot of air was moving through those seats. With the Ascent, I feel almost nothing. Today I tried putting a large piece of plastic wrap on each of the front seats and cranked up the ventilated seat control. NOTHING! There was a hint of coolness, but certainly no ventilation. You can clearly hear the fan motor just behind your head on the high setting, but is doesn't seem to be doing very much good. This is my first car with a ventilated seat, so I'll let you know what I think n a few weeks.



My wife thinks the Simonize protectant the dealer applied clogged all of the holes, I doubt it. I'll bring this up to the dealer next visit.


BTW, as delivered, the power windows don't work in accessory mode. The car must be running. (Not a good thing.)
 

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The air from the ventilated seats is subtle, and it's pulling in cabin air, but, it works very well to do the job of ventilation (and cooling if the cabin air is being kept cool). It's very subtle but very effective. I found it to feel better, but, for those who are used to air blowing through their clothes, they may feel the opposite way - nothing wrong with that, just different desires for how it works.
 

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"BTW, as delivered, the power windows don't work in accessory mode. The car must be running. (Not a good thing.)"

Power windows do work in accy. mode but you need to press the start button 2 times (without your foot on the brake) to get to accy mode with the push button.

I feel like sometimes the vent. seats work great and i notice it and other times not as much. Like Robert mentioned it probably depends on the temp inside the cabin as the air being pulled through is the temp you have set inside.
 

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You can ask... not a clue what they'd say.

Is it possible ask service add ventilated seats function in Limited ? Thank you
You can ask, but if they said yes, it would be costly. They need to swap out the climate control unit with one from a Touring, as well as swap the front seats with Touring seats (which have the vent holes, air intakes and two fans per seat, as well as padding designed to allow air flow). It's a lot of work.

Not sure if a dealership would take that on. Perhaps if the price was right for them. :tango_face_wink:
 

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"BTW, as delivered, the power windows don't work in accessory mode. The car must be running. (Not a good thing.)"

Power windows do work in accy. mode but you need to press the start button 2 times (without your foot on the brake) to get to accy mode with the push button.

I feel like sometimes the vent. seats work great and i notice it and other times not as much. Like Robert mentioned it probably depends on the temp inside the cabin as the air being pulled through is the temp you have set inside.
This is a gem! Thank you! Clearly need to dig deeper into my manual because I was surprised that I couldn’t close the pano moonroof cover in accy. mode either but I bet that works, too, with two pushes of the button instead of just one. Der. And thank you again for sharing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
It's been pretty hot here lately and I can tell you that the ventilated seats rate about a 1.5 out of 6. The noise is much more noticeable than the cooling effect. In a perfect world, we wouldn't hear the motor at all. Remember the early days of computers when the cooling fans sounded like small motors running on the floor? Now they are SILENT. That's what these seats need... along with some actual air moving through them.



This is one area that Subaru must improve if they want to play with the big boys. This option is currently only available on the Touring which means that everyone else is fortunate that they don't have to deal with it. IMHO, it's a big disappointment.
 

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It's been pretty hot here lately and I can tell you that the ventilated seats rate about a 1.5 out of 6. The noise is much more noticeable than the cooling effect. In a perfect world, we wouldn't hear the motor at all. Remember the early days of computers when the cooling fans sounded like small motors running on the floor? Now they are SILENT. That's what these seats need... along with some actual air moving through them.



This is one area that Subaru must improve if they want to play with the big boys. This option is currently only available on the Touring which means that everyone else is fortunate that they don't have to deal with it. IMHO, it's a big disappointment.
One fan is behind your head. That aside, they only work as well as whatever temperature you have the cabin cooled to. They're just forced air ventilation using the vehicle's interior ambient air. In knowing that, and having the car AC on, I found no issues during a 101° day. YMMV.

But, if they're loud (except on perhaps full blast), I'd have that checked out. I'm at 3,000 miles, and though I can definitely hear them, they're not loud on setting 1 or 2, and I rarely need them on anything other than setting 1.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
It was a cooler day today and I could feel a hint of seat ventilation on HIGH, barely noticeable on the MED and LOW.



Maybe I'm expecting more, but this is WAY LESS than I expected. Why put in ventilated seats if it's barely noticeable? That's like putting in AC that only works if the inside air temp is under 80 degrees.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
No. It's cabin air barely blown through the seat. The heated seats are traditional and work fine (no blower).


There are AC/heat vents under the front seats for back seat passengers. Perhaps by setting the AC airflow to "panel" and "foot", the ventilated seats would draw in some of the cooler air to circulate through the seats. I don't know where the intake for the ventilated seats are located. Perhaps a Subaru tech expert here knows. If the seat intake is near the vent discharge, this might be a workaround for the seats.
 

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...


BTW, as delivered, the power windows don't work in accessory mode. The car must be running. (Not a good thing.)
I have never ran into a vehicle that designed for windows to function on "ACC" (accessory) mode, and only function on "IGN" (ignition). I installed mobile security for many years and all of the brands are the same.
 

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No. It's cabin air barely blown through the seat. The heated seats are traditional and work fine (no blower).


There are AC/heat vents under the front seats for back seat passengers. Perhaps by setting the AC airflow to "panel" and "foot", the ventilated seats would draw in some of the cooler air to circulate through the seats. I don't know where the intake for the ventilated seats are located. Perhaps a Subaru tech expert here knows. If the seat intake is near the vent discharge, this might be a workaround for the seats.
There are two fans and two intake vent sets per seat. The bottom fan is located under the seat slightly towards front. The air intake is, IIRC, under the seat. The seat back fan is located right behind your shoulders near your ears (assuming you're about my height). The vents are in the top of the seat back, towards the rear.

The system isn't supposed to be a butt and back dryer with the feel of lots of forced air. It's designed to keep your back and butt from getting sweaty from pressing up against leather that doesn't breathe very well against a human body.

To judge the effectiveness, on a hot day, drive with and without it for 20 minutes each and see if your back gets sweaty or not.

Some luxury cars have subtle ones like this, some have ones where it feels like you're sitting on a fan. They both do the job, albeit in a different fashion, and people's tastes towards one or the other are quite varied. For instance, while you're looking for the "sitting on a fan" feeling (hyperbole for comparison purposes only), I'm looking for the subtle feel, so, I appreciate the subtle feel of the Ascent and some other cars, and dislike the lotsa air feel of some of the other systems.
 

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The air from the ventilated seats is subtle, and it's pulling in cabin air, but, it works very well to do the job of ventilation (and cooling if the cabin air is being kept cool). It's very subtle but very effective. I found it to feel better, but, for those who are used to air blowing through their clothes, they may feel the opposite way - nothing wrong with that, just different desires for how it works.
The term "ventilated seats" can be a misnomer if the function is not defined. The two seat ventilation methods are either suction and supply types.

1. suction method is to cool your balls and then the seats (Subaru, Tesla)
2. supply method is to cool your seats and then your balls (Toyota/Lexus)

The two method achieve the same goal but function differently. I'm willing to bet that the Subaru seats will work better if the cabin "static pressure" is increased; another word, the seats will work better if the AC for the cabin is blasted with air to help circulate the heated air thru the evaporator coil. At a high-level, the engineers think about the two different air flows that's competing between the seats and cabin.
 

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The term "ventilated seats" can be a misnomer if the function is not defined. The two seat ventilation methods are either suction and supply types.

1. suction method is to cool your balls and then the seats (Subaru, Tesla)
2. supply method is to cool your seats and then your balls (Toyota/Lexus)

The two method achieve the same goal but function differently. I'm willing to bet that the Subaru seats will work better if the cabin "static pressure" is increased; another word, the seats will work better if the AC for the cabin is blasted with air to help circulate the heated air thru the evaporator coil. At a high-level, the engineers think about the two different air flows that's competing between the seats and cabin.
First I think we need to make sure everyone understands the Subaru Ascent seats do not push air out into the backside of the seat instead they suck air in. I tested this just recently with a piece of paper. Seats off the paper falls off the seat. Turn on the Seats and the paper will stick.

Audi has this same system and I found it to work much better than the System in the Ascent. That is not to say the system in the Ascent doesn't work it just isn't as good.

If you are really hot just lean forward for 5-10 seconds and you will notice the seats will cool down very quickly. Saying this my wife's Hyundai Sonata with air blowing out seem to cool much better and I'm hoping Subaru will get better with this in future years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
The term "ventilated seats" can be a misnomer if the function is not defined. The two seat ventilation methods are either suction and supply types.

1. suction method is to cool your balls and then the seats (Subaru, Tesla)
2. supply method is to cool your seats and then your balls (Toyota/Lexus)
I covered a seat with plastic wrap and noticed NO movement with the ventilated seat set on HI, so I suspect that your suction description is accurate. My only question is WHY? If you are a big person in the slightly smaller-than- industry-average Subaru seats, your back, butt and legs are blocking most of the air holes preventing the ventilation from doing anything. Can we reverse the fan motors to get more actual ventilation? Any HVAC person will tell you that subjective cooling (what you feel) is the result of air passing over your body and taking BTUs with it.
 
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