Heated seats and-or leather seats

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If your vehicle already has heated leather seats from the factory, you don't need to read this article. Enjoy life instead.

You should read this article if:

  1. You have non-heated cloth seats, and you want non-heated leather seats
  2. You have non-heated cloth seats, and you want heated cloth seats.
  3. You have non-heated cloth seats, and you want heated leather seats.
  4. You have heated cloth seats, and you want non-heated leather seats.
  5. You have heated cloth seats, and you want heated leather seats.
  6. You have non-heated leather seats, and you want heated leather seats.
  7. You have non-heated leather seats, and you want heated cloth seats.
  8. You have non-heated leather seats, and you want non-heated cloth seats.
  9. You don't know what you have, and you don't know what you want, and you don't know what you're reading.

Note Icon.pngIn the last case, you shouldn't really read this article. You should instead urgently ask your mechanic to perform a full medical exam on you.

Generally, the best edition is heated leather.

The following solutions for obtaining the desired seats (from cheapest to most expensive) exist:

  1. Swap your seats (and some wiring in case of heated editions) with somebody else who needs cash or hates leather.
  2. Buy the required parts from a dead Jimny in a local vehicle junkyard.
  3. Re-skin the seats with upholstery from another OEM seats.
    • For example, you have heated cloth seats and someone else has non-heated leather seats.
      • A professional upholstery fitter can "re-skin" both seats so that you get heated leather and they get non-heated cloth upholstery.
        • Re-skinning should fit (almost) perfectly, because the seat contours are the same.
  4. Buy the new seats (and some wiring in case of heated editions) from your Suzuki dealer.

The third solution has been successfully performed in practice by forum user Bosanek. He hired a professional upholstery fitter to swap (re-skin) leather from non-heated seats (model 2005-2012) with cloth from heated seats (model 2012-2018), so he got heated leather seats 2012-2018. However, in his combination of seats, the head rests could not be swapped (read more in the corresponding chapter below), so he just wrapped the cloth head rests with aftermarket leather upholstery to roughly match the OEM leather upholstery on the seats.

Common remarks

  • There are several revisions of Jimny seats which roughly follow the most significant Jimny revisions (1998-2001, 2001-2005, 2006-2012 and 2012-on). There are also many special editions of seats.
  • Seat mounts should be universal for all those revisions and editions of seats, but that has not been confirmed.
  • The best combination is heated leather seats (front) and leather seats (back).

Remarks on leather seats

  • All four seat positions exist in leather editions.
    • There have been several leather editions, and it appears that the oldest one appeared around 2001.
  • Most of the leather editions use combination of true natural and synthetic leather.
    • It's usually natural leather in the seat sections which contact the body, and synthetic leather on the sides of the seats and on the rear of the seats.
  • Being leather does not imply that they are heated as well.
    • See more in the chapter about heated seats.
  • Most of the "leather" seat editions are actually "half-leather", where the surfaces which contact your lower back and your butt are still cloth (but a different and finer cloth than the one used in cloth seats), and only the sections near the edges (and the backs of the front seats) are leather.
    • Half-leather construction is actually good, because all leather materials are cold as ice during the winter, and hot & sweaty as a nylon during the summer.
      • This way you get best of both worlds - your butt and most of your back are spared of the inconveniences, while your eyes enjoy the seats and they clean simply.
  • Swapping cloth for leather seats or vice versa is a dead simple bolt-on job.
  • Don't forget to regularly maintain leather seats!
    • Leather is a precious material and it needs regular cleaning and then treating with some specialty leather care "milk"/grease/spray.
      • Otherwise, it will crack and even wear off, and it is quite expensive to repair such damages.
    • If maintained properly and regularly, leather can easily preserve its pristine condition for more than 10-15 years.

Remarks on heated seats

  • Heated seats exist both in cloth and leather editions.
    • Only some front seats exist with seat heating.
    • No rear seats have seat heating.
  • It appears that heated seats became available as a factory option from cca 2001.
  • Factory wiring for seat heating is such that a single switch controls both left and right front seat heating simultaneously, meaning that both front seats heat at once.
    • If you want individual control for each front seat, you have to do your own custom wiring.
  • Each heated seat gets its power from a dedicated cable which comes out from the floor carpet under the seat.

Installing heated seats

You need to obtain the following:

  1. Heated seats themselves;
  2. Wiring (preferably original cables with connectors etc.); [not yet investigated]
  3. Possibly some more electrics like a relay, a fuse etc.); [not yet investigated]
  4. A rectangular switch for the driver's console (for older Jimnys with 1st edition console up to cca 2005);
  5. A round switch for the driver's console (for newer Jimnys with 2nd edition console from cca 2005);

Notes about older rectangular switch

  • In older Jimnys with 1st edition dashboard (until cca 2005), the seat heating switch is located in a three-switch-cluster which also contains switches for rear and front fog lamps.
    • The cluster is located left to the steering wheel (for LHD vehicles) or right to the steering wheel (for RHD vehicles).
  • The switch is a "permanent press-in" type - after you press it, it stays pressed in until pressed again.
  • The switch also contains a small light indicator which is lit when the switch is pressed in.
  • The switch controls heating for both seats simultaneously.
  • If this switch is not obtainable, you could alternatively obtain a rectangular switch for rear window heater or (even better) a rectangular switch for front fog lamps, and install it in the same switch cluster where the rear fog lamp switch is.

Notes about newer round switch

  • In newer Jimnys with 2nd edition dashboard (since cca 2005), the seat heating switch is located just left to the cluster of "2WD/4WD/4WD-L" electric transfer box buttons (for LHD vehicles) or right to that cluster (for RHD vehicles).
  • The switch is a "permanent press-in" type - after you press it, it stays pressed in until pressed again.
  • The switch also contains a small light indicator which is lit when the switch is pressed in.
  • The switch controls heating for both seats simultaneously.
  • If this switch is not obtainable, you could alternatively obtain a round switch for the rear window heater (from 2nd edition console) and install it instead.
    • It's essentially the same switch, but with different markings on it.

Notes about wiring

  • Regarding the wiring, refer to a corresponding wiring diagram manual for your vehicle revision (and for donor's vehicle revision if needed).
  • You can determine the exact name of the corresponding document in a wiki article "Manuals and Owners Guides".
  • Search for "seat heater" within the wiring manual.

Remarks on ISOFIX equipped rear seats

ISOFIX anchors

  • ISOFIX equipped rear seats (both cloth and leather) were added (as standard equipment) to Jimnys sometime in year 2012.
    • The year of introduction could be strongly market/region dependent.
  • Also, as far as it is known, ISOFIX equipped rear seats were not available even as an option before that introduction.
  • ISOFIX equipped rear seats can be easily recognized by looking at them from the back.
    • Such seats have an indentation in the middle of their back panel, with a metal bar going through the middle of the indentation.
      • That bar in the indentation is the ISOFIX anchor - one per seat.
    • As far as it is known, that is the only technical addition for the ISOFIX feature.
      • It looks to be such a simple solution that it should be easily possible to DIY modify a non-ISOFIX rear seat with the addition of that anchor.
        • However, such an ISOFIX anchor would not be legal as it is an uncertified DIY product.
  • Newer ISOFIX equipped rear seats and older non-ISOFIX rear seats (if made after 2005) are fully bolt-on compatible.
    • Therefore, it is dead simple to swap them between vehicles.

Compatible child seats and refridgerators

  • Suzuki offers various models of certified child seats, as well as portable car refridgerators, both for ISOFIX equipped and for non ISOFIX Jimny rear seats.
  • Details about those child seats and refridgerators are written in the wiki article "Accessories for Jimny (genuine Suzuki)" (look in the section "Interior cargo management").
  • There should be a wide variety of compatible aftermarket offerings as well.

Recess for the rear seat belt buckles

  • Another useful modification which was introduced with ISOFIX equipped rear seats is that the rear seat bench has a center hole cut-out to allow both rear seat belt buckles to be easily tucked in when not used, so that they do not stick out from the floor all the time.
  • Compare the pictures of the rear seat bench in the chapter about seat head rests to get the picture of you are reading about.

It has been confirmed in practice that older rear seat benches can be relatively easily modified to have the same functionality:

  1. First remove the rear seat bench from the vehicle.
    • Just put your hands between its front end and the floor and strongly pull upwards.
  2. Now take off the upholstery from the rear seat bench.
    • The upholstery is held by many strong and curled wire laces - just spread them out with pliers and toss them away.
      • You can replace those nasty wire laces with plastic cable ties upon later refitting.
  3. Then cut out a larger / longer center hole in the bench sponge for the rear seat belt buckles.
  4. Now comes the most complicated step - cut out and re-stitch part of the upholstery so that it matches the larger hole cut-out in the bench sponge.
    • If this is too complicated for you, then take the bench to a professional vehicle upholstery fitter - this is easy for them.
  5. Finally, dress the modified upholstery back onto the modified seat bench.
  6. Install the rear seat bench back into the vehicle and enjoy life.

Remarks on seat head rests

  • Jimnys 3 used to have the same seat head rest model (hollow appearance, like a doughnut) from 1998 to 2012.
  • Completely redesigned seat head rests were introduced in year 2012 and used until the end of production in 2018.
  • New head rests are smaller and have no hole in the middle.
  • New front seat head rests are significantly titled forwards, what some people find quite counter-ergonomic.
  • In contrast to the old fixed rear seat head rests, new rear seat head rests can be lowered (slided) all the way down so that the top of the head rest is on the same level as the top of the seat.
    • This is an especially useful functionality, and should be the default rear head rest height when not used.
    • When the rear head rests are in their lowest slided down position, they enable significantly better visibility through the rear window, and much easier (un)loading of cargo from the rear door opening to the rear seats.

  • The best combination (from the perspective of ergonomics and functionality) would be to have old front head rests and new rear head rests.
  • Unfortunately, new and old seat head rests are not interchangeable.
  • Reason: Significantly different thickness of the head rests' rods which go into the seats themselves.
    • Old (hollow) head rests have much thicker rods than new head rests.

Page last edited on 9/07/2019 by user Bosanek