Best Auto Heat/Defrost

Messages
203
Location
NC
Thread starter
It is almost winter in most places now. Which cars have the best heat/defrost systems? I never had a car that wouldn't eventually defrost the glass and heat the cabin but some have been better than others. Best; Volvos have ferocious heaters Toyondas are competent Mercedes/BMWs/Saabs are slow to heat Also 4 cylinders seem to get up to heat faster than 6 or 8 cylinders.
 
Messages
3,899
Location
Canada
Originally Posted by Passport1
Mercedes/BMWs/Saabs are slow to heat Also 4 cylinders seem to get up to heat faster than 6 or 8 cylinders.
I know several BMW owners who'd strongly disagree (myself included). That little e30 listed below with it's inline 6 will literally cook you out of the car with the fan on low and thermostat on high. The Lexus is not far behind. As for 4 cyl engines heating up faster, it's probably from the additional heat (and stress) your turbo is placing on the engine. I know many bigger engines that'll be cooking when the little 4's can't keep themselves warm (many rental late model VW's/Kia/Hyundai products come to mind).
 
Messages
299
Location
SE Michigan
My 2008 Subaru has an amazing climate control system. Heat that will burn your pants and A/C that can stream contrails out of the vents on a humid day. The heater gets going quick compared to some other cars. Some less than stellar: I owned a 2005 Malibu Maxx (the extended wheelbase) that had a weak A/C system and I'd run it on full blast all the way home and get comfortable as I neared my house. The heater wasn't much better. I remember a cold, windy drive in my mid-90s Saturn SL1 on I-39 through Illinois where I saw snow inside the car with the heat on full blast. The fiberglass panels had shrunk so much that air was blowing through like a screen door. I had to pull off and get a hotel because I couldn't come up with a solution to stop it and was tired of being cold. As I was slowing down and pulling into town, I could hear the panels popping as they warmed back up. Riden in but not owned: Fullsize vans/Suburbans are miserable. I remember a 6.2 Diesel suburban in a Minnesota January that never got warm inside, despite running on the interstate.
 
Messages
2,689
Location
Lakeside, CA
My Jeep's heater is weak. Must be a clogged core. Good thing it has heated seats. My Escape has an awesome heater. I can't even turn it on all the way as it would cook me.
 
Messages
1,410
Location
Western Canada
My Subaru has an awesome heater. And it warms up very quickly. Our Mazda 2 is so so. Takes a longish time to warm up, and puts out average heat, at best. Swapped the thermostat, and that made little difference.
 
Messages
2,238
Location
Lyndhurst NJ
BMWs since the early 90s have had amazing heat. My roadside wagon, 95 5 series wagon, would have heat in 2 long blocks, maybe 1000 ft, same with our X3. Our GL has an aux heater that works really well right away. The worst is my Golf Tdi, the needle doesnt move for at least 2-3 miles. Some days, if theres traffic and the heats on, it wont even hit operating temp in my 5 mile commute. My cheapie plug in seat heat helps a lot.
 
Messages
35,854
Location
ME
XJ Cherokee had the most amazing AC. Saturn S-series had mediocre heat, even with new thermostats, which always wore out by running cold. Prius has pretty nice heat in not much time. I turn it off at traffic lights or else it compels the engine to run more.
 
Messages
544
Location
SE Alabama
Both the pickup and Equinox have excellent heat-if it's cold (for us) out, each has heat within a block. The 442 does reasonably well given that it has a convertible top which is not exactly known for being great in cold weather. The T has a Kunkel heater and it is...better than nothing.
 
Messages
3,899
Location
Canada
Originally Posted by MichiganMadMan
My 2008 Subaru has an amazing climate control system. Heat that will burn your pants and A/C that can stream contrails out of the vents on a humid day. The heater gets going quick compared to some other cars.
I never knew that was a "thing" until one time I was driving with a friend in his Nissan 240 one hot summer evening. While driving into the sunset, I could see streams of (much appreciated) ice cold air from the dash vents. shocked2 Never observed that before, or since.
 
Messages
2,892
Location
Chicagoland
The Caliber, 200, and 300 are capable of melting everything or turning the vehicle into a rolling ice cube. My 2011 Durango I had, my parents 2004 Grand Caravan, and our 2018 Grand Caravan are adequate.
 
Messages
16,712
Location
NH
My Jetta had mediocre A/C (I blamed a black and large interior); when the engine got warm it could roast me out of it. But it took miles on a cold winter day to do that, and I could watch the temp gauge drop on really cold ones if I coasted. It even had a coolant heater, but it just could not keep up. [One winter it lost a coolant line, so no circulation. I drove something like 15 or 20 miles home like that. It didn't care.] Our Camry's seem to be decent. Sometimes I think my wife's car has heat pulling out of the driveway. I suspect low coolant amount in the block allows it to heat up really fast. My truck does take longer but once warm it does fine.
 
Messages
3,899
Location
Canada
Originally Posted by supton
My Jetta had mediocre A/C....I could watch the temp gauge drop on really cold ones if I coasted. It even had a coolant heater, but it just could not keep up. [One winter it lost a coolant line, so no circulation. I drove something like 15 or 20 miles home like that. It didn't care.]
Makes sense. Considering their post popular car in history (the Beetle) was designed to run without water.
 
Messages
24,137
Location
MA, Mittelfranken.de
The old Audi 90 with cold weather package would burn you right out of the car, it heated up very quickly. The worst were the old air cooled Beetles, Corvair and Citroen GS which was also an air cooled flat 4. These are cars I have owned but all the air cooled ones didn't do well.
 
Messages
4,553
Location
Pittsburgh,PA U.S.A.
I put an Espar gasoline fueled heater in the trunk of my 1985 Olds 88 coupe with duct work to and from the cab of the car. Hard to beat a vehicle that you can set the temperature and time you want it to heat up, or remote start it, without running the engine, and the thermostat can be set from 60F to 95F and it only burns about 1/2 gallon per hour at the high setting, and draws only a couple of amps for the blower fan. If I ever install another heater in one of my vehicles I would go with the Webasto hydronic system that installs under the hood and plumbs into the vehicles antifreeze lines. The Espar system used up some trunk space.
 
Messages
432
Location
Kevil,Ky
Our Mazda 5 2012 has a blue light for cold motor. Turns off before a mile from the house and then out comes heat. Has automatic temp contol so just set it like at home. AC is excellent too with a coil for rear seat passengers with a 3 speed fan. Instant defrost too. They got climate control spot on.
 
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