Electric Seats Should Always Be An Option

(This is from a BRZ)
(This is from a BRZ)
Photo: Andrew Collins

After recently driving and enjoying the new 2019 Hyundai Veloster last week, one of the many things I couldn’t stop thinking about was whether or not the complete lack of electric seats mattered on the fully-loaded Ultimate trim. I’ve settled my thoughts. Electric seats should always be an option.


It’s interesting that electric seats in cars fit with a very specific range of vehicles—between cars that have manual seats as a form of penny-pinching, and cars that have manual seats to save weight for purported performance enhancement.

But I think this is a mistake. You could argue that the Veloster, which starts at $18,500, fits under the lower end of the electric seat spectrum, where manual seats are fitted to keep it affordable. That’s fine for the base model, but if I’m cashing out closer to $25-grand on a car that otherwise features advanced safety systems, better infotainment hardware and software, and leather seating, how are electric seats still not even an option?

Of course, you may think there are limited benefits to electric seats over manual adjustments. For many people, seat adjustment is a one-time thing—buy the car, set the seat where you like it and never think about it again. But for car ownership that involves multiple drivers, electric seats, and particularly seats with memory settings, are a big bonus when swapping drivers.

Electric seats also allow better, more refined and specific adjustments versus the two or three basic settings of a manually-adjusted seat.

But even if you think electric seats aren’t that big of a deal, for automakers that have lineups of dozens of cars, many of which are bound to have electric seating, how could there be one that doesn’t even have the option of upgrading from manual seats?

If I want a high performance sports car that has eliminated electric seats for claimed weight savings, but I want electric seats anyway, I should be able to pay for the option.


At the same time, if I’m buying a entry-level model, like a Veloster, and I want to make sure I can plant my butt in an exact and perfect position, and add a level of refinement and quality to the interior of a car I’m going to be living with for years, it should be an option.

At this point, with the basic standard of quality in cars being so high, electric seats shouldn’t even be a question.

Reviews Editor, Jalopnik


David Tracy

I’m not a huge fan, as I’m one of those folks who think of it as a “set it once and forget it” thing, and thus not worth the money.

Give me a manual recline, manual fore-aft slide, pump-style height adjustment and manual lumbar, and we’re good.

But I agree, it should be an option. I have electric seats in my $800 Jeep Grand Wagoneer, for goodness sake!