The only thing that irks me about vented seats is the perforated leather. I don't know how long it would last before cracking, and debris can get stuck in them.
My '13 CC has passive cooling/ventilated front seats- and "massage" on the driver's. Thought these would be gimmicky, but the ventilation really works and I use it everyday when it's warm. The massage is merely a cycling of the lumbar support air bladder, but that is still nice on long drives.
What I'd build from the VAG parts bin: The "CC R25" : 2.5 TFSI engine, 7spd DSG, 4Motion w/ Haldex controller, plus ALL the toys Europe gets....
I recently had a Taurus rental that had them, and the cooling is absolutely wonderful. If I had to pick between heated seats and cooled seats I'd take cooling every time, especially in hotter climates. It takes a long time for the seats to cool down just from the ambient cooling of the A/C in the summertime after a car has been sitting in the sun.
I had them in my Maxima and now again in my Grand Cherokee.
The Maxima actually only had a ventilated driver's seat but it was Godly. That car used a cooling device in addition to forced air ventilation.
With the Grand Cherokee, I now have ventilation of both front seats but I've lost the thermoelectric cooling from the Maxima so it just ventilates at whatever cabin temperature happens to be. This works surprisingly well and I don't really have any complains other than it's lost the "edge" the Maxima had.
i examined patent applications for ventilated seats at the US Patent Office. There are MANY for blowers, blowers tied in with the AC system, and peltier devices as well.
The patents have been rolling out for a LONG time before we have seen them in the market.
I own a Passat cc with black interior and after owning this car for 2 years i retrofitted ventilated seats because in the summer i drive from stockholm to macedonia where it can get up to 55c and i`m glad that i got these seats because now get out of the car without haveing my shirt coverd i sweat. Now you can turn on the heating and vents at the same time when it`s cold outside to make it blow warm air on your back
They really are worth it. And even better on German cars where you can turn on both ventilated and heated seats simultaneously as when it rains it dries and warms you. Also helps you get a better seat temp more quickly imo. For some reason the Japanese, Korean and American brands seem to make it one or the other when activating the heated or vented seats.