2017 Volkswagen Passat climate controls center stack ・ Photo by Volkswagen
Dual-zone climate control may well be the best thing to happen to relationships since the advent of marriage counseling. When your car has dual-zone climate control, driver and passenger can each set the temperature for their own side of the car—and that means no more freezing or sweating just to keep your significant other happy. Here are 10 cars we like that feature dual-zone climate control.
Dual-zone climate control used to be the exclusive domain of luxury cars, but now you can find it in what we might impolitely refer to as “common” cars—cars like the Chevrolet Malibu, which, come to think of it, is really not all that common. Yes, it’s an affordably-priced midsized sedan that does a great job of hauling a family of five in safety and comfort, but it’s also packed with less-than-common technology—notably the excellent MyLink infotainment system and compact turbocharged powerplants that balance power and fuel economy, along with an optional hybrid powertrain. And yes, you can get the ‘Bu with dual-zone climate control; it comes standard in hybrid models as well as the top-of-the-line Premier model.
Photo by General Motors
The Pacifica is the newest minivan on the market, and we like it because it is an oasis for parents—a vehicle that is designed to keep the kids occupied in back, with a comprehensive rear-seat entertainment system that includes games like solitaire and the License Plate game, while relaxing the harried parents riding up front. We like the Pacifica’s smooth, quiet ride and its well-appointed interior, which includes 3-zone air conditioning as standard. Yep, that’s right, 3-zone—the Pacifica allows rear seat occupants to set their own temperature, separate from that of the front seat occupants. If that doesn’t encourage family harmony, what else will?
Photo by Chrysler
The Dodge Durango is probably one of the most underrated SUVs on the market. Known best for its handsome face, the Durango is actually a multi-talented vehicle that bridges the gap between 7-seat crossovers and fullsize body-on-frame SUVs. Unlike most car-based SUVs, the Durango has the brawn to tow serious trailers—we’re talking boats and 2-axle campers—and yet it is more maneuverable and easier to park than fullsize SUVs like a Ford Excursion or a Chevrolet Tahoe. It’s got a great cabin that treats its occupants well, and dual-zone climate control is one of many comfort and convenience features on its option list.
Photo by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
Time was when pickup trucks had all the ambiance of a storage warehouse, but times have changed, and now you’ll find pickups with creature comforts once reserved for expensive luxury cars. The F-150 is a solid truck with a good work ethic; it’s a stable with a trailer and its lightweight aluminum body allows it to carry a heavier payload than steel-bodied trucks (trucks are rated by weight capacity, and less weight in the sheet metal means you can put more weight in the bed). It offers posh amenities to beat the band, including dual-zone climate control, which is standard in Lariat, King Ranch, Platinum and Limited models.
Photo by Ford
Jaguar’s new SUV really is something unique: It’s not just an SUV with a Jaguar badge pasted on, but rather a racy fastback that has all the elements we expect from a Jaguar: Grace, pace and space. Beautiful on the outside and suitably opulent inside, the F-Pace is brimming with Britishness, and naturally it surrounds its occupants with the finer things. Jaguar has so far eschewed some of the show-off technology found in its German counterparts, but creature comforts are never in short supply, and dual-zone climate control is on the equipment list.
Photo by Jaguar Land Rover
There is a solid demand for cheap Jeeps, and we have become quite fond of Jeep’s newest entry-level model, which was introduced just last year. The Renegade is small and spirited, and it’s brimming with character, including a host of “Easter eggs” scattered around inside and out. Unlike the other entry-level Jeeps, the soon-to-be-discontinued Patriot and the soon-to-be-replaced Compass, the Renegade doesn’t offer merely the bare minimums; you can have your Renegade with several desirable options, including dual-zone climate control.
Photo by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
There’s a lot to like about Lincoln’s fullsize body-on-frame SUV: It has the brawn to do the jobs normally reserved for pickup trucks, such as towing a boat, and the extended-length EL version is just the ticket for getting nine people and all their stuff to a camping site far off the beaten path. But while the competition use pickup-truck mechanicals, the Navigator goes the high-tech route, with a powerful-and-frugal twin turbocharged V6 in place of the traditional V8 and a fully independent rear suspension in place of a solid rear axle. The latter not only does wonders for ride comfort, but it also improves safety in a swerve. Naturally, the Navigator is brimming with premium features, including dual-zone climate control.
Photo by Lincoln
Land Rover’s Range Rover is arguably the most capable and comfortable SUV on the planet, with a sumptuous leather interior, powerful engine choices, and a sophisticated 4-wheel-drive system. But the Range Rover is more than the sum of its parts: It can tackle off-road terrain so treacherous that it is literally impossible to traverse on foot, while the occupants relax in leather-lined, climate-controlled comfort—and dual-zone climate control ensures that said comfort is a matter of individual preference. It’s no wonder that the wealthy and the well-known flock to this best-of-the-best SUV.
Photo by Land Rover
If the Range Rover is for those of lofty aspirations, the Subaru Outback is for those who are more down-to-earth: A crossover SUV with a smart all-wheel drive system optimized for lousy weather (but capable of taking on much rougher terrain than you might expect). Look no further than the thick rubber floor mat in the cargo bay, and you’ll see that the Outback is one SUV that isn’t afraid to get dirty. Subaru has been working hard to increase their appeal beyond their loyal buyer base to a more traditional crowd, and one way they’ve done it is by increasing the level of available equipment. That’s why you’ll find dual-zone climate control on the Outback, not just on the top-of-the-line Limited but on the volume-selling Premium model as well.
Photo by Subaru
Volkswagen is something of a beleaguered brand these days, but that doesn’t change the things we like about their cars. The Passat is a roomy family sedan with a big back seat, a generous trunk, a responsive turbocharged engine, and a well-finished and well-equipped interior. Volkswagen has added a lot of standard equipment to their cars for 2017—a mea culpa, perhaps?—and all Passats now come with dual-zone climate control, even the entry-level S model. Volkswagen dealers are ready to deal, so now is a great time to get a great car with this handy feature.
Photo by Volkswagen