2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel: A Ventilated Seat With a Brain
June 2, 2014
Our new 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel has heated and ventilated front seats. I've never been one to automatically stab at the seat heater or seat ventilator buttons when I sit down, so I was a bit surprised when cool air spontaneously blew up through my seat as soon as I fired the Ram's engine.
Was this some sort of driver preference set up by a previous Edmunds staffer?
It was a particularly hot day, so I didn't mind so much. But was it supposed to do that? And could I keep it from doing that if I wasn't a fan?
The answers are "Yes" and "Yes."
Our truck has this "Auto-On Comfort" feature because it is equipped with the 8.4-inch Uconnect touch screen and heated and ventilated front seats.
It turns out the driver's seat ventilator automatically comes on at engine start if the outside temperature is greater than 80 degrees. Conversely, the driver's seat heater (and heated steering wheel) will automatically activate when the engine comes to life if the surroundings are chillier than 40 degrees.
Both systems are enabled by checking the box labeled "Auto Heated Seats" on the "Auto-On Comfort & Remote Start" menu page in the settings menu. It's an all-or-nothing selection, though. The heating and cooling functions can't be checked or unchecked separately and the threshold temperatures are not adjustable.
And the front passenger seat's heater and ventilator are left out of the bargain, of course, because that seat is never occupied 100 percent of the time.
It was 95 degrees outside on the day I discovered all of this, so the seat ventilation was welcome once I knew nothing was amiss. I'm not sure I'll be as much of a fan when it's only 81 degrees outside, though. Time will tell.
Then again, 81 degrees outside probably equates to 90-something inside the truck. I'm sure the Ram engineers did their homework when they selected these thresholds.
If it turns out to be too breezy, I don't have to disable the function altogether. Any time I feel too cool I can simply press the seat ventilator button as usual to toggle it off.
However it works out, it's a pretty cool idea. Someone out there will dig it. And those that don't can always uncheck "Auto Heated Seats" in the settings menu.
Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 2,585 miles