2014 Mini Cooper: Great Seats, Weak Heaters
March 13, 2015
Somewhere in the post about my road trip in our 2014 Mini Cooper, I briefly mentioned the seats and said I'd give them a full post.
Here's why: They're great and I didn't want that greatness to be buried in a post about a long drive.
Let's start at the bottom. The seat bottoms have my favorite feature a seat can have: extendable thigh support. I don't have long legs, but I've got a long hip-to-knee length which means on most seats, my legs are mostly unsupported and I feel like I'm only half-sitting.
Not in the Mini. This thing's got manual thigh support that extends out a fair bit. Love it.
Beyond that, these optional (included in $1,500 sport pack or $300 on their own) seats are very well structured. The bolsters are supportive, not tight. The leather feels strong, but not stiff and there's no intrusive lumbar support or wonky lumps. Over 800-ish miles over three days, neither I nor my passenger had any complaints. Lots of adjustability. No fidgeting. No sore spots. No complaints. Seriously, these seats are great and are worth the upgrade price.
There are a couple of complaints, however. First up is the breathability. These seats don't really have any. After a few hours in the seat, you've got a serious case of back-and-lower sweat. (Sorry, anyone who drove the Mini after me.)
Considering this, it's a bit surprising at how bad the seat heaters perform. On more than one occasion, one of us would reach to turn on the seat heater only to realize it was already on. Considering these are an additional $500 (or included in the $600 cold weather pack which also includes power-folding mirrors) I'm a little disappointed. It's more like sitting on someone's lap than sitting on an electric blanket. If it were my car, I'd still get them, but they're nothing to write home about. Better than nothing.
In short, if you're considering a Mini, spend the money and get these seats. And if you're not considering a Mini, spend the money and have these seats installed in whatever it is you're buying.
Mike Magrath, Features Editor