Traditionally, steering wheels on SUVs have been responsible for just one, all-important task: controlling the direction the vehicle moves in. However, over the last few years, we’ve seen them take on more roles, and become the hub of numerous controls.
The main idea behind this was to enhance driving safety and practicality. Automakers thought that if all the controls were moved to the steering wheel, the driver wouldn’t feel the need to take their hands off it as much.
As steering wheels have become more and more gadget-y, we’ve seen the emergence of another highly popular feature: heated steering wheels. At a glance, heated steering wheels appear to be another frivolous item on the optional extras list. However, when you consider that automakers are charging extra for things like ‘painted brake calipers’ and ‘titanium wheel nuts’, heated steering wheels seem like quite a useful option, don’t they?. And believe us, few things are as satisfying as a nice, warm steering wheel on a freezing day.
A few years ago, heated steering wheel was an option that was only offered with high-end, luxury cars. But like most new features, it has worked its way down to many mass-market models. Over the course of this article, we’ll go over the top ten mainstream SUVs, in no particular order, that come with a happy hand warmer.
2019 Honda CR-V
A car that has dominated the crossover segment in Canada for a while now, the Honda CR-V has been revamped for 2019, and is now better than ever. Honda has kept all the elements that made the outgoing model so popular, while adding some new and improved perks. Priced an extremely attractive $27,690, the base ‘LX’ trim is one of the best bang-for-your-buck SUVs on the market right now. However, you can only enjoy a heated steering wheel if you move up a couple of trim levels to the ‘EX-L’ package.
Engine & Performance
Fitting virtually every box on a SUV shoppers’ list, the CR-V EX-L is fitted with a turbocharged 1.5-liter engine that delivers 190 hp and 179 ft-lbs. of torque. While small-displacement turbo engines are notorious for struggling in SUVs and crossovers, this isn’t the case with the CR-V. The engine delivers plenty of low-range oomph, and we found it to be a capable highway cruiser Equipped with the 1.5-liter turbo powerplant, the CR-V can get from 0-60 mph in an impressive 7.5 seconds.
Ride Quality& Handling
The CR-V doesn’t disappoint in the ride and handling department either. Its suspension is setup to provide the perfect balance between ride quality and handling. Body roll is minimal, and it’s not fazed by road irregularities and mid-corner bumps at all. Even if you do manage to upset it, the electronic stability control will step in and set things right at once. While the ride is a bit on the firm side, it’s fairly quiet and compliant. While the CR-V is not designed to be driven on challenging terrains, its ample 7.8-8.2-inch ground clearance means you won’t have any problems with occasional off-road driving. All trims of the new CR-V are equipped with the latest generation of Honda’s CVT transmission – and we have to say that it’s one of the best in class. Accelerating from a stop feels silky-smooth and natural.
Moving on to the interior, we found the CR-V’s cabin to be really spacious and well-designed. Things that stood out to us include unmatched ease of entry, class-leading passenger room, and excellent visibility. We found the driving position to be quite perfect as well. It’s easy to adjust the seat and steering wheel to your preferred position, and entirety of the gauge cluster is easy to see, and the arm rests sit at a perfect height.
Tech & Features
The CR-V also makes a strong case in the tech and features department, especially if you opt for the mid-range EX-L package. In addition to heated steering wheel, the standard equipment that comes with the package includes Apple CarPlay, Android Auto integration, and a host of advanced electronic driving aids. These include adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and blind-spot monitoring.
2019 Honda CR-V Heated Steering Wheel Summary
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2020 Nissan Rogue
There’s a reason why the Rogue is Nissan’s best-selling vehicle in Canada. It’s affordable, extremely practical, and Nissan’s top-of-the-line suite of advanced safety features, The ProPilot Assist, is offered as an optional extra. Oh, and have we mentioned that it’s one of the IIHS’s top safety picks for crash safety?
The Japanese automaker is offering the new Rogue in three trim levels: the ‘S’, priced at $26,898, the ‘SV’, priced at $31,398, and the AWD ‘SL’ priced at $37,698. While the range-topping Rogue SL is equipped with the best features, its heftier price tag puts it above more attractive competitors like the Subaru Forrester This is why the midrange ‘SV’ package is the best value-for-money in our opinion.
The feature that come as standard equipment with the Rogue SV include a power driving seat, heated front seats, dual-zone climate control, rear automated emergency braking, and a motion-activated lift gate. Optional extras include AWD and the ‘SV Premium’ package, which includes additional amenities such as memory foam front seats, 360-degree camera system, Nissan’s semi-autonomous ProPilot Assist, and a heated steering wheel.
When it comes to the powertrain department, the big news is that Nissan decided to drop the hybrid option for 2020. All variants of the new Rogue will be equipped with a gasoline 2.5-liter naturally-aspirated inline-four engine that produces 170 hp and 170 ft-lbs. of torque. Moreover, like its rival the Honda CR-V, the Rogue is also equipped with a CVT transmission. Unfortunately, the gearbox isn’t as responsive or as smooth as the Honda’s. However, the Rogue makes up for that with its class-leading fuel economy. This Japanese SUV’s estimated EPA figures are 26-mpg city and 33 mpg for the highway.
Ride Quality & Handling
In terms of handling and ride quality, we found the Rogue to be a smooth highway performer. The suspension is set up to deliver a soft, relaxed ride. However, that does come at the expense of handling. The Rogue doesn’t possess the CR-V’s mid corner stability or composure.
The Rogue also boasts a high-quality and well-equipped interior. All trims come standard with the 7.0-inch ‘Nissan Connect’ infotainment system that supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and 4G LTE Wi-Fi is included as a dealer installed accessory.
Luggage capacity is where the Nissan Rogue truly shines. With the rear seats folded down, there’s an amazing 70 cubic feet of space. When you combine that with the multitude of cabin compartments and cubbies, the Rogue emerges as a highly practical vehicle.
Rogue comes solid manufacturer warranties. Nissan offers a limited warranty that covers 36,000 miles or 3 years, and a powertrain warranty that covers 60,000 miles or 5 years.
2020 Nissan Rogue Heated Steering Wheel Summary
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2020 Hyundai Tucson
Hyundai’s compact SUV, the Tucson, has been a mainstay in the Canadian market for well over a decade, and it’s not surprising why. Since its debut back in 2004,the Tucson has been one of the best looking, one of the best equipped, and one of the most reliable options in the crossover segment.
The popular Korean SUV received a mid-cycle refresh this year, which, we have to say, has transformed an already handsome car into one of the best-looking crossovers on the market. Hyundai really has developed a penchant for designing some beautiful-looking cars. However, there’s a lot more to this mid-cycle refresh than just a new front grill and some fancy new headlights. The 2020 Tucson has a brand-new engine, the interior has been drastically redesigned, and the list of standard and optional features has been elongated to include – you guessed it – a heated steering wheel.
Powertrain and Mileage
Starting with the powertrain, the updated engine is completely new for 2019. The 1.6-liter turbocharged powerplant has been replaced with naturally-aspirated 2.0 liter for the base model, and a 2.4 liter inline four that produces 181 hp and 175 ft-lbs. of torque for all other trim levels. Moreover, unlike its rivals from Honda and Nissan, the Hyundai Tucson features a traditional six-speed automatic transmission instead of a CVT. While the new engine is certainly more responsive than the outgoing unit, it’s not as fuel efficient. In the AWD ‘Preferred’ trim, the Tucson offers 22 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway.
While Hyundai hasn’t gone crazy with exterior changes, it’s a different story when you open the doors. The new layout features light-colored upholstery, and a panoramic sunroof that’s standard with the top three trims, including the ‘Preferred’ package. Changes made to the completely revamped center stack include the infotainment screen now being mounted independently on the dashboard.
Talking about the infotainment system, it now comes standard with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration. We have to say that the Tucson’s infotainment system is one of the better ones out there – it’s great in terms of usability and features—a welcome change!
Hyundai cars are well-known for packing a ton of tech and features at a reasonable price point – and the Tucson is no different. Equipment that is standard across all trim levels includes 17-inch wheels, heated front seats, and the brilliant 7-inch infotainment system we just mentioned. However, the mid-range ‘Preferred’ package (weird name, right?) provides the best value for money in our opinion. Placed just above the base variant, the ‘Preferred’ includes the powerful 2.4-liter engine, as well as a boot load of features and driving aids, including heated steering and seats, lane-change assist, blind-spot monitoring system, and a rear-cross traffic collision warning system.
If that’s not enough for you, there’s the option of adding the ‘Trend’ package on top of the preferred trim. With this, you get AWD 18-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry, and a panoramic sunroof among other options.
Of course, there’s the range-topping ultimate trim, which features 19-inch alloys, power-adjustable and ventilated front seats, and a larger 8-inch infotainment system, but that will cost you $37,999
Although the Tucson is just about perfect in every aspect, especially in the ‘Preferred’ trim, it does have slight chink in its armor: it can’t haul as much cargo as its rivals. With the rear seats folded down, the Tucson offers just 1,754 liters of space. Even the comparatively smaller Ford Escape trumps that with its 1,925 liters.
However, the 2020 Hyundai Tucson is undoubtedly one of the best bang-for-your-buck mid-range SUVs available right now, especially if you opt for the ‘Preferred’ trim.
2020 Hyundai Tucson Heated Steering Wheel Summary
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2019 Ford Escape
The compact sport-utility segment is perhaps the most competitive one right now, and automakers need to get it just right in order to survive. That’s exactly what Ford has been doing with its popular Escape crossover. The current generation of the Ford Escape has been battling it out right at the top of the segment for the past three years, and the 2020 model is set to continue the tradition. Still, the 2019 Ford Escape is showing no signs of slowing down and continues to be one of the American automaker’s hottest sellers.
The 2019 Ford Escape is available in four trim levels. The base ‘S’ and the mid-range ‘SE’ and ‘SEL’ variants can be equipped with 4WD. However, the range-topping ‘Titanium’ trim with the heated steering wheel is our pick of the lot in terms of value for money.
Starting with the engine, the Escape Titanium is equipped with 2.0-liter turbocharged ‘Ford EcoBoost’ engine that delivers an eyebrow-raising 245 hp and 275 ft-lbs. of torque. When you couple that with a smooth-shifting 6-speed automatic transmission, the effect is quite good. None of the other cars we’ve mentioned can touch the Escape Titanium in terms of acceleration and responsiveness. However, you’ll need to fill up the tank with premium fuel if you want maximum performance. And the best part about these small EcoBoost engines is that they don’t compromise fuel-efficiency in favor of performance. If you don’t go overboard with your right foot, you can expect a mileage of 21 mpg in the city and 29 on the highway.
The other notable thing about the Escape is that it’s great for your daily commute The steering wheel is light enough for easy parking-lot maneuverability, and hefty enough to be stable at high speeds. The large windshield provides excellent visibility, and the tight turning circle is a huge help in tight spots. If you have an aversion to parallel parking, the Titanium includes a self-park feature which will sort it out for you. The Escape Titanium also features smart AWD system that is closely connected to the traction control. The car primarily runs in front-wheel drive, but the traction control sends power to the rear wheels if it senses the need for more traction.
Passenger & Cargo Space
However, the 2019 Ford Escape is on the small side for a crossover, and while it provides decent cargo space, the size difference is reflected in the rear passenger legroom. You get a decent amount of cargo space, and the option to fold the rear seats down to fit those impulse-buy 60-inch LED TVs.
So, how does the Ford Escape fare in terms of interior quality and cabin design? Well, not bad at all. The driving position is good, and the cabin is fairly spacious. The controls are all where you would expect them and are simple. The Titanium trim also comes with a myriad of high-end features. These include a heating steering wheel, bi-xenon headlamps, auto-dimming mirrors, and ten-way leather seats. For an additional $2,500 (check Canadian Prices), you can get a package of advanced driving aids, including lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control and blind spot monitoring – oh, and a panoramic sunroof is also bundled with this package.
The 2019 Ford Escape Titanium should be on your list of test drives if you’re in the market for a mid-range SUV. If the next-generation Ford Escape manages to trump the outgoing one, it’ll be one hell of a vehicle.
2019 Ford Escape Titanium Heated Steering Wheel Summary
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2019 Mazda CX-5
The Mazda CX-5 has been another major player in the crossover segment over the last few years. The hallmarks of this popular SUV include a sporty design and sharp performance. Other prominent qualities of the CX-5 include a premium interior and excellent handling.
For 2019, the Mazda CX-5 is available in three trims: the base ‘Sport’ the mid-range ‘GS’, and the range-topping ‘Grand Touring’. In our humble opinion, the CX-5 provides the best value for money when dressed in the mid-range ‘GS’ trim. You get a powerful 2.5-liter naturally aspirated DOHC engine that’s equipped with Mazda’s proprietary SKYACTIV technology. It delivers 187 hp and 186 ft-lbs. of torque. The engine also features Cylinder Deactivation, making the CX-5 GS one of the most fuel economical cars in the class. Other prominent mechanical features of the 2019 CX-5 include emergency brake assist (EBA), power-assisted four-wheel disc brakes and G-Vectoring control.
The CX-5 is one of the most sporty crossovers in its segment. While the responsive engine plays an important role, it’s mostly down to how the suspension is set up. It features telescopic double-acting shock absorbers and is set up to be slightly stiffer. This translates into great mid-corner grip and minimal body roll. The car feels sharp and responsive and the steering is superbly weighted and provides great feedback, letting the driver know exactly where the wheels are pointed. However, the sportier handling comes at the cost of reduced ride comfort. The standard CX-5 GS comes with front-wheel drive, however, the i-ACTIV all-wheel drive system is offered as an optional extra.
Tech Features & Driving Aids
The Mazda CX-5 GS also passes with flying colors in the safety department. You get a variety of electronic driving aids as standard equipment, including rear-cross traffic alert, adaptive cruise control hill launch assist, tire pressure monitoring system, dynamic stability control, traction control, and an advanced blind spot monitoring system. Amenities and tech features that are offered as standard equipment include a leather-wrapped heated steering wheel, heated front seats, dual-zone climate control and Mazda’s excellent 7-inch ‘MAZDA CONNECT’ infotainment system. Mazda has also introduced Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration for 2019. The CX-5 also features a great voice control system. It’s great at natural speech recognition and doesn’t require any prompts whatsoever.
The cabin of the Mazda CX-5 is spacious, ergonomic and beautifully designed, and when dressed in the ‘GS’ trim, it’s a cacophony of leather, suede and glossy trim pieces. Really, the interior of the CX-5 wouldn’t look out of place in a car that costs twice as much as this modest SUV. Mazda has also generously sprinkled USB ports throughout the cabin. There are four in total – two in the front and two in the back.
Mazda is known for its penchant of making cars that possess great handling prowess – and the CX-5 is a great example. If you’re looking for a sporty, mid-range SUV that provides great value for money, there aren’t many cars that are as good as the Mazda CX-5, especially if you opt for the ‘GS’ trim.
2019 Mazda CX-5 Heated Steering Wheel Summary
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2019 Toyota RAV4
Completely revamped for 2019, Toyota’s wildly popular crossover, the RAV4, has received a myriad of updates, with the most notable ones including a stylish new design, a brand new, more powerful engine, and a wide array of new tech features—including, of course, a heated steering wheel.
Power & Fuel Economy
The new engine is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder powerplant that produces a commendable 203 hp (27 hp more than the outgoing model). What really impressed us is that not only is the new engine more powerful than the old one, it’s also more fuel-efficient. The new RAV4 delivers an EPA-estimated 26 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway, which comfortably makes it one of the most fuel-efficient cars in the segment. The primary reason behind these impressive figures is that the new powertrain, which includes a brand-new, lighter 8-speed automatic gearbox, is considerable lighter than the old one.
While the 2019 RAV4 doesn’t set the world alight with insane driving dynamics, it’s one of the most balanced and versatile crossovers currently on the market. In terms of acceleration and responsiveness, the RAV4 is a solid performer. While the engine is somewhat lacking in low-end torque the new transmission covers up this deficiency quite well. The RAV4 feels sprightly around town, and merging and passing are more or less drama-free. The new RAV4 also performs admirably on the highway. It tracks well and offers good resistance against crosswinds.
Ride Quality & Handling
When it comes to handling, the RAV4 feels balanced and coordinated. There’s not much body roll during cornering and it deals with mid-corner bumps quite well. An all-wheel drive system that’s equipped with torque-vectoring offer additional traction and security in wet or snowy conditions provided that you opt for the ‘Limited’ or ‘Adventure’ pack. The RAV4 is also a pleasant long-distance highway cruiser. The ride comfort is excellent, the back seats are plush and comfortable, and the cabin manages to block out road noises quite well. The suspension has been set up to provide optimal balance between softness and control, which translates into a smooth overall ride and superb absorption of moderate impacts.
The new RAV4 also features a well-designed cabin. The controls are logically laid out and easy to use. Roominess, ease of entry and exit, and driving position – the RAV4 passes with flying colors in all departments. Moreover, its cargo capacity is among the best in the segment, whether the rear seats are folded or not. There’s 37.5 cubic feet of capacity behind the rear seats, and a generous 69.8 cubic feet when they’re folded down. The cabin is also littered with small-capacity shelves and useful nooks for small-item storage.
The 2019 RAV4 is available in five trim levels: the base ‘LE’, the mid-range ‘XLE’ and ‘XLE Premium’, and the range-topping ‘Limited’ and ‘Adventure’. While the ‘Limited’ package offers the most feature, we feel that it doesn’t offer the best value for the money. The mid-range ‘XLE’ is the model to go for, in our opinion.
On top of low-profile roof rails, rear privacy glass and Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 (adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, automatic high beams, and forward collision warning) that come as standard equipment on the base trim, the XLE package adds 17-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, automatic LED headlights, push-button start, heated mirrors, keyless entry, dual-zone climate control4 extra USB ports, and a sunroof.
You also get additional driving aids on top of the Toyota Sense 2.0, including a blind spot monitoring system with rear-cross traffic alert. You can also add some upgrades from the top-of-the-line ‘Limited’ package to the XLE trim. These include a heated steering wheel, wireless smartphone charging, and a panoramic sunroof.
2019 Toyota RAV4 Heated Steering Wheel Summary
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2020 Jeep Cherokee
Ever since the 5th generation Jeep Cherokee was launched back in 2013, the all-American SUV has firmly established itself as one of the leading players in this highly competitive segment. Since the Cherokee was revamped less than a year ago, Jeep hasn’t made too many changes in the 2020 model. However, a few of the most prominent changes include the introduction of the Advanced Safety Group package which includes a host of new electronic driving aids and tech features, including a heated steering wheel.
The 2020 Jeep Cherokee is available in five trim levels: ‘Latitude’, ‘Altitude’ ,‘Limited’,‘Trailhawk’, ‘High Altitude’ and ‘Overland’. Although it’s a bit on the pricier side of the lineup, the mid-range ‘Trailhawk’ is our favorite. Dressed in this particular trim, the Jeep Cherokee is one of the select few crossovers on the market that offer serious off-road capabilities.
The Trailhawk comes equipped with a 3.2-liter V6 engine that delivers 271 hp, which makes it one of the most powerful vehicles in its class. Moreover, you get a smooth-shifting 9-speed automatic gearbox and a sophisticated 4-wheel drive system. This drivetrain setup is good for a class-leading 4,500 lbs. towing capacity.
As you’d expect from a Jeep product, the Cherokee Trailhawk drives with a solidity and heftiness that makes it feel larger than its competitors. While it’s an extremely capable off-road vehicle, it still shares its underpinnings with a sedan. This translates into decent handling and a comfortable ride on the road. The suspension has been tuned to be relatively firm to ensure that body roll is minimal during corners. However, this does not at the expense of ride quality. The Cherokee Trailhawk never feels floaty on the highway and is able to absorb impacts without excessive reverberations. Moreover, the brakes offer good stopping performance, and the steering wheel is perfectly weighted and offers good feedback.
So, what makes the Trailhawk such a good off-roader? Well, if you opt for the “Elite” package, it comes equipped with an advanced all-wheel drive system, which we have already mentioned. This particular AWD system also features Active Drive Lock. Other trail-ready equipment includes 17-inch wheels and all-terrain tires, off-road oriented suspension, hill ascent and descent assist, tow hooks, skid plates, and locking rear differentials.
However, all that heft and power comes at the cost of fuel efficiency. The Cherokee Trailhawk is one of the worst performers in its class in terms of fuel-efficiency, offering an EPA-estimated combined average of just 25 mpg.
So, what’s the Trailhawk like on the inside? It features a comfortable cabin with supportive seats and easy-to-use controls. You get an attractive dashboard that looks very similar to the one you get in the larger and more expensive Grand Cherokee. However, the Trailhawk doesn’t fare so well in the cargo capacity department. It trails its main rivals, the Honda CR-V and the Ford Escape, by a considerable margin. Interior cubby storage is also average at best.
If you opt for the “Elite” package with your Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk, you get a variety of tech features and amenities, including a heated steering wheel, a foot-activated liftgate, power front and rear seats, remote start, leather upholstery, and an auto-dimming mirror. Another available option is Cherokee’s ‘Technology Group’, which is comprised of the advanced driving aids we mentioned earlier.
All in all, the Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk is an extremely capable off-road vehicle and is a must-have on your test-drive list if you’re shopping for a vehicle in this segment.
2020 Jeep Cherokee Heated Steering Wheel Summary
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2019 Volkswagen Tiguan
Volkswagen’s popular crossover, the Tiguan, received a fresh redesign last year, and the new model is significantly larger than its predecessor, offering much more passenger and cargo space. In fact, the 2019 Tiguan is one of the few compact SUVs that offer an optional third-row seat. The new “Tiggy” is offered in three trim levels, and the mid-range ‘Highline’ trim is our pick of the lot. The Tiguan comes loaded with a plethora of tech features and advanced electronic driving aids, and for a reasonable price of $39,575, offers a great bang-for-your-buck.
Like many of its rivals from Asia and the United States, the Tiguan comes with a small-displacement turbocharged engine – a 2.0-liter turbocharged unit in this case. While the 2019 Tiguan’s engine is all-new, it’s surprisingly less powerful than the outgoing model. While the old engine offered 200 hp, the new one only delivers 184 hp, which makes it one of the least powerful cars on this list. However, Volkswagen has made amends by offering more low-end torque. The new powerplant produces 221ft-lbs. of torque (14 ft-lbs. more than the outgoing engine) from just 1,600 rpm.
But if we’re honest, you won’t notice this reduction in power in the cut-and-thrust grind of the city commute. However, it does become a bit more apparent when you’re trying to merge on to the highway or overtaking a slower-moving vehicle. You get the feeling that the Tiguan is made to offer exceptional space, rather than pace. If power is really high on your list of priorities, you can always opt for the ‘R-Line Tech’ pack, which includes a 227 hp version of the turbocharged 2.0-liter engine and a 7-speed DSG gearbox.
When it comes to driving dynamics, the Tiguan is not what you’d call “athletic”. While its calm and collected in long, sweeping turns, there’s noticeable body roll when you take on tight corners. We wouldn’t recommend the Tiguan if spirited driving is your thing. Ride quality, however, is where the Tiguan truly shines. The suspension is soft and supple, and the seats are extremely supportive, which makes this German crossover a great highway cruiser.
Surprisingly, the Tiguan is also a capable off-roader, especially in the ‘Highline’ trim which includes a 4Motion all-wheel drive system, a terrain selector knob, and hill ascent and descent assist. There’s also an impressive 7.9 inches of ground clearance.
Cargo capacity is another area where the Tiguan shines. There’s 37.6 cubic feet of cargo space between the second row of seats, and a mammoth 73.5 cubic feet if you fold them flat. Even if you opt for the optional third row of seats, you’ll have 12 cubic feet of space.
Tech Features & Amenities
Moving on the tech features and amenities, the Tiguan provides good value. The standard 8-inch infotainment system is one of the best in the segment. You also get Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as standard. In terms of smartphone integration, you get 3 USB ports with the Tiguan Highline – two in the front and one in the rear.
Other amenities that are included with the ‘Highline’ trim include a heated steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control, rain-sensing windshield wipers, 400-watt Fender premium audio system, park distance control, and remote start among other features. There’s also the strictly-cosmetic ‘R-Line’ package, which includes 19-inch alloy wheels, larger front bumper air inlets, and R-Line exterior badges and side skirts.
The VW Tiguan Highline is a little on the pricier side of the segment. However, it’s a solid choice if you’re looking for a comfortable and spacious SUV.
2019 Volkswagen Tiguan Heated Steering Wheel Summary
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2020 Kia Sportage
While this Korean compact crossover isn’t as popular as some of the heavy hitters of the segment, like the Toyota RAV4, the Ford Escape, and the Honda CR-V, it offers a myriad of strong selling points. While it was launched back in 2016, the fourth-generation Sportage looks as crisp and stylish as ever, especially after the cosmetic update it has received for the 2020 model year, which includes a redesigned front bumper and grill, revamped headlights, and new wheels.
The latest Kia Sportage is offered in 5 trim levels: the base ‘LX’, the mid-range ‘S’ and ‘EX’ and the fully-loaded ‘SX Turbo’. The range-topping ‘SX Turbo’ is the only trim that features a 2.0-liter turbo engine. All the rest are offered with a naturally-aspirated 2.4-liter inline four that delivers 181 hp and 175 ft-lbs. of torque. FWD is standard and 4WD is an option on all trims.
If power isn’t high on your list of priorities, we would recommend the ‘EX’ trim since it provides the best value for money in our opinion. However, even the base ‘LX’ Sportage offers a lot as standard equipment, including LED daytime-running headlights, 17-inch alloy wheels, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a driver information display, Kia’s 8-inch ‘Uvo’ infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, and a 6-speaker audio system. Electronic aids that come as standard across all trims include a driver attention monitor, lane departure warning and mitigation, pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking and forward collision warning.
If you add the ‘Popular’ package on the top of the base LX trim, you get additional equipment, including UV-reducing glass, fog lights, a windshield wiper de-icer, and ambient interior lighting. The EX trim adds further to this already impressive list of goodies. It adds 18-inch alloys, a hands-free tailgate, roof rails, black interior trim, keyless entry and ignition, and Sofino faux leather upholstery.
If that’s not enough for you, Kia offers the ‘Technology Package’ on top the Sportage EX. This includes a heated steering wheel, adaptive cruise control, a panoramic sunroof, ventilated, power-adjustable front seats, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, a wireless phone charger, and leather upholstery among an extensive list of other amenities.
So, how does the new Sportage drive? While it’s no sporty coupé, this Korean SUV certainly packs a punch thanks to its responsive powertrain and taut handling. But that’s not all the 2020 Sportage has in its arsenal – it’s also a composed long-distance cruiser.
However, if you’re looking for a compact crossover with off-roading abilities, the 2020 Kia Sportage isn’t the car for you. Although AWD models get a revised front bumper, the Sportage just isn’t built to tackle challenging terrains. Since we’re talking about the AWD system, it does perform admirably in wet and slippery conditions, ensuring that you have maximum traction at all times. However, it does come at the cost of a decreased fuel economy. So, get your priorities straight before you tick that box on the options list.
Kia really seems to have developed a penchant for developing classy, high-quality interiors – and the new Sportage is no exception. The seats are comfortable and supportive, and even though the Sportage is smaller than most of its rivals in the segment, there’s decent space for passengers and cargo. There’s 31 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats, and an impressive 60 cubic feet if you fold them down. The dashboard features a clean and ergonomic design, and you can find all the controls right where you’d expect them.
2020 Kia Sportage Heated Steering Wheel Summary
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2019 Dodge Journey
The last entrant on our list of top SUVs featuring a heated steering is a veteran of the crossover segment. Yes, we’re talking about the Dodge Journey. Since it made its debut around the decade ago, the Journey’s exterior design has remained pretty much unchanged. Perhaps Dodge is inspired by the success of the Mercedes G-Class, which has remained unchanged for decades.
However, Dodge did make some minor changes to the 2019 Journey. They’ve dropped a trim level and introduced the extremely cool Destroyer Graypaint scheme. If we were running Dodge, this would have been the only color option offered with the Journey.
There are three trim levels offered with the Journey: the base level ‘SE’, the mid-range ‘Crossroad’ and the fully-loaded ‘GT’. While the base ‘SE’ trim level isn’t what we’d call well-equipped, you do get a few features as standard. These include 17-inch steel wheels, fog lights, automatic headlights, a height-adjustable driver’s seat, a rear view camera, keyless ignition and entry, a 4.3-inch touchscreen display with auxiliary audio input, and a 6-speaker audio system. If you really want to opt for the SE trim, you should at least consider upgrading to the optional ‘Connectivity’ package. This includes satellite radio, Bluetooth, voice commands, and a USB port.
One rung up the trim level ladder is the mid-range ‘Crossroad, which features 19-inch alloys, leather upholstery, touring-tuned suspension, three-zone climate control, and a proper 8-inch infotainment screen. Optional extras available with the Journey ‘Crossroad’ include a rear-seat entertainment system, heated front seats, a sunroof, a premium 6-speaker sound system, and remote start. Dodge’s Driver Convenience Package is also an optional extra. It includes a universal garage door opener and rear parking sensors.
The top-of-the-range ‘GT’ trim combines all the standard and optional equipment from the Crossroad, and adds an upgraded suspension, a heated steering wheel, and unique 19-inch wheels to the list.
The Dodge Journey is one of the largest, if not the largest, compact SUVs out there. In fact, it’s only the second car on this list, after the VW Tiguan, which offers a third row of seats. And it only requires a brief drive to understand that the Journey isn’t built to be sprightly and agile. Although it features a 3.6-liter V6 engine, the Journey will not pin you back in your seat even if you mesh the throttle. Instead, it slowly builds up acceleration.
Moreover, the suspension has been optimized for comfort rather than handling. When you combine that with the car’s considerable weight, it translates into a considerable amount of body roll in tight corners. However, when it comes to long distance cruising, it’s a different story. You just need to merge onto the highway to understand that it is the Dodge Journey’s ‘Home turf’. The soft, cushioning suspension will shield you from large bumps and the cabin is well-insulated from road and tire noise.
Despite being an aging vehicle, the Dodge Journey does well to keep up with its newer rivals. It’s certainly a worthy choice if you’re looking for a spacious and comfortable crossover.
2019 Dodge Journey Heated Steering Wheel Summary
|2019 Dodge Journey|
|Trim||MSRP||Heated Steering Wheel|
|Canada Value Package||$24,145||No|
Top 10 SUVs with Heated Steering Wheels Vehicle and Trim Summary
|Year Brand Trim||MSRP||Heated Steering Wheel|
|2019 Dodge Journey Canada Value Package||$24,145||No|
|2019 Dodge Journey SE Plus||$27,445||No|
|2019 Dodge Journey SXT||$30,745||No|
|2019 Dodge Journey Crossroad||$34,945||No|
|2019 Dodge Journey GT||$38,145||Yes|
|2019 Ford Escape S||$26,399||No|
|2019 Ford Escape SE||$29,349||No|
|2019 Ford Escape SEL||$30,849||No|
|2019 Ford Escape Titanium||$37,699||Yes|
|2019 Honda CR-V LX||$27,690||No|
|2019 Honda CR-V EX||$33,990||No|
|2019 Honda CR-V EX-L||$36,290||Yes|
|2019 Honda CR-V Touring||$39,090||Yes|
|2020 Hyundai Tucson Essential||$25,999||No|
|2020 Hyundai Tucson Preferred||$28,199||Yes|
|2020 Hyundai Tucson Luxury||$34,699||Yes|
|2020 Hyundai Tucson Ultimate||$37,999||Yes|
|2020 Jeep Cherokee Sport||$30,495||No|
|2020 Jeep Cherokee North||$33,995||No|
|2020 Jeep Cherokee Altitude||$34,890||No|
|2020 Jeep Cherokee Limited||$37,495||No|
|2020 Jeep Cherokee Upland||$36,585||No|
|2020 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk||$39,495||No|
|2020 Jeep Cherokee High Altitude||$41,385||No|
|2020 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk Elite||$42,490||Yes|
|2020 Jeep Cherokee Overland||$44,095||Yes|
|2020 Kia Sportage LX||$25,795||No|
|2020 Kia Sportage EX||$31,695||Yes|
|2020 Kia Sportage EX Premium||$34,695||Yes|
|2020 Kia Sportage EX Tech||$37,995||Yes|
|2020 Kia Sportage SX||$39,995||Yes|
|2019 Mazda CX-5 GX||$27,850||No|
|2019 Mazda CX-5 GS||$30,750||Yes|
|2019 Mazda CX-5 GT||$37,450||Yes|
|2019 Mazda CX-5 Signature||$40,950||Yes|
|2020 Nissan Rogue S||$26,898||No|
|2020 Nissan Rogue SV||$31,398||Yes|
|2020 Nissan Rogue SL Platinum||$37,698||Yes|
|2019 Toyota RAV4 LE||$27,990||No|
|2019 Toyota RAV4 XLE||$31,590||Yes|
|2019 Toyota RAV4 Trail||$38,690||Yes|
|2019 Toyota RAV4 Limited||$40,690||Yes|
|2019 Volkswagen Tiguan Trendline||$27,990||No|
|2019 Volkswagen Tiguan Comfortline||$31,590||No|
|2019 Volkswagen Tiguan Highline||$38,690||Yes|
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