Heating steering wheels used to be a marker of luxury in the auto industry. However, that has changed over the past decade or so. Today, just about every manufacturer offers the option of a heated steering wheel. It can sometimes even be found in lower trim levels. If you’ve never used it, it’s an amenity that truly is priceless for anyone living in colder climates. Since winter has officially come, we’ve decided to round up ten great cars with heated steering wheels — all of which can be had without breaking the bank.
2021 Kia Soul Turbo
The 2021 Kia Soul offers a heated steering wheel on the top-tier Turbo trim. It’s powered by a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine, good for 201 horsepower. In addition to the heated steering wheel, the Soul Turbo also comes standard with a simulated leather interior, a Harman Kardon sound system, and a heads-up display. Although the Soul is not available with all-wheel drive, a set of good winter tires should be all it takes to tackle the snowy roads of most northern cities.
2021 Subaru Outback Touring
The Subaru Outback is not quite a station wagon and not quite a crossover SUV. Despite not really fitting into a segment, the Outback is still incredibly popular among drivers. They value its mix of off-road capabilities (it comes with a high ride height and standard all-wheel drive) and creature comforts. Speaking of creature comforts, the 2021 Outback comes standard with a heated steering wheel, which is optional on the Limited trim (MSRP $33,595) and standard on the range-topping Touring model.
2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo X
While heated steering wheels have become more common in recent years, automakers still tend to include them as standard features only on costlier, higher trim levels. Not so with Jeep. They have made a heated steering wheel (and heated front seats) standard features on the 2021 Grand Cherokee Laredo X — the trim level right above the entry-level model. In addition to keeping drivers warm, the Grand Cherokee Laredo X is also incredibly capable with a maximum towing capacity of 6,200 pounds and available four-wheel drive.
2021 Toyota Venza Limited
At first glance, the 2021 Venza looks a bit too luxurious to be a Toyota. That is by design, as the Venza looks incredibly similar to the crossovers found across the lot at Lexus. The Venza is much more than a poor man’s Lexus, though. It comes standard with a hybrid powertrain and all-wheel drive. The Premium trim, which adds a heated steering wheel, also includes a 360-degree surround-view camera, 12.3-inch touchscreen, and 19-inch chrome alloy wheels.
2021 Hyundai Tucson Limited
It’s rare to find a crossover that looks as good as the Hyundai Tucson and is as affordably priced. The 2021 Tucson can be had with a heated steering wheel, provided you opt for the Limited trim. That model also includes a surround-view monitor, leather seating, and a 181-horsepower four-cylinder engine. All-wheel drive is available, which makes the Tucson a serious option for those looking for a small crossover that won’t need to be dug out after a snow storm.
2021 Volkswagen Jetta SEL
German sedans with heated steering wheels are a dime a dozen. However, none are as affordable as the 2021 Volkswagen Jetta. The venerable sedan comes standard with a heated steering wheel on the SEL trim. Unfortunately, the Jetta SEL does leave a bit to be desired in the performance department. Its 1.4-liter turbo-four only puts out a measly 147 horsepower. Those with a need for speed will want to check out the 228-hp Jetta GLI, which can also be optioned with a heated steering wheel.
2021 Nissan Sentra SR
For years, the Nissan Sentra was the first thing that came to mind when someone said the words “rental car.” That all changed with the 2020 Nissan Sentra, a complete redesign inside and out. It packed more standard features and a bigger engine. The Sentra SR is the top model and along with a standard heated steering wheel it also sports LED headlights and fog lights, a chrome exhaust, and 18-inch alloy wheels.
2021 Mazda6 Grand Touring Reserve
Mazda is using a simple formula to steal consumers away from the likes of BMW, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz — drop-dead gorgeous styling, luxury features, and attractive pricing. This combination is perhaps most potent in the Mazda6, an affordable family sedan with head-turning good looks.
The Mazda6 can be had with a heated steering wheel in the Grand Touring Reserve trim. Despite its somewhat pretentious name, it’s actually a pretty big bargain. The Grand Touring Reserve packs a turbocharged four-cylinder engine good for 250-hp and a whopping 320 lb-ft of torque, an interior covered in leather, and front seats that are both heated and ventilated.
2021 Nissan Leaf SV
The Nissan Leaf debuted at a time when electric cars were an afterthought among most automakers. That is no longer the case. The Leaf now faces incredibly tough competition from both established car companies and upstarts like Tesla. While Nissan no longer has the first-mover advantage, it does have an edge when it comes to pricing and standard features.
The 2021 Leaf SV comes in at under $35,000 and features a heated steering wheel standard. However, its range is limited to just 150 miles as it only packs a 40-kWh battery pack. That said, a larger 62-kWh battery pack is available. The Leaf can travel up to 226 miles with the larger battery. Even the most expensive Leaf can be had for under $40,000 with the federal EV tax credit. That makes it a solid buy for those in the market for an electric car with a heated steering wheel.
2021 Chrysler Pacifica Touring L
These days, an SUV might be the default family hauler. But that doesn’t mean car companies have stopped building minivans. In fact, the minivan segment is alive and well, as evidenced by the Chrysler Pacifica. The Pacifica is a stylish minivan that offers seating for eight, a ton of storage capacity (thanks to its Stow ‘N Go rear seats), and a heated steering wheel starting on the Touring L trim level. Although the Pacifica is a bit slower than its rivals, the Chrysler makes up for it with great fuel economy (31 mpg) and available all-wheel drive.