The Volvo V90 Cross Country AWD wagon has a unique feature we have never before seen in a test vehicle at Torque News. It can both heat and cool the seats at the same time. Don't laugh, we've been waiting for this exact feature.
We have looked for years for a vehicle that could run the fans that ventilate seats while at the same time heating them via the elements that are embedded in the seats. It is reasonable to ask "Why would anyone want that." Our reason is simple; Comfort.
Heated seats worthy of the name can get very warm and stay warm. A surprising number of the vehicles we test with heated seats don't do that. The author owns a 2016 Subaru Forester with heated seats. They barely warm the cloth seats to a noticeable degree. However, some car makers, for example, Volkswagen, Volvo, and other more affordable brands off and on depending upon model, do have really warm seats.
Those with chronic back pain (and there are many of us out there) enjoy heated seats on all but the warmest of days. Even then, once the cabin is cooled by AC we still use the heated seats. The cooled seats in any car are simply fans that blow air through the perforated fabric. When the AC is on, cooled air is directed at the seats. When the AC is off, the air is cabin air. The Volvo system allows a driver to use the heat function, but still direct ventilation air (or cooled air) at the seats. This enables the use of the seats in situations where sweating would be an issue. So, in effect, the Volvo system extends the operational effectiveness of these seats for those who really enjoy heating in the seats.
We reached out to Volvo for more on this topic, who confirmed our "backside" judgment that both systems do in fact work at the same time.