By on February 5, 2008

mats.JPGGiven half a chance, most car guys would spend big bucks pimping their wheels. Needless to say, their better half ain’t buying it. So neither are they. While aerodynamic addenda and wikkid wheels are [ultimately] a less costly ego enhancement than regular spa treatments, all car mods tend to appear fairly low on the list of financial priorities known as the family budget. But guys, it’s time to go to the mat. Literally.

Floor mats. Yes, I said floor mats. But not just ANY floor mats. I’m talking high quality rubber, deep-grooved floor mats specifically designed to keep the water and mud off the carpet of your mint 92’ Pontiac Sunfire. I know, I know; contain yourself. The best is yet to come!

If you’re looking for the sine qua non of rubber floor mats, it’s WeatherTech®. Their all-weather mats withstand sub-zero weather without curling, cracking or hardening, for at least ten years! That’s one decade, or seventy dog years (which is just as well if you let Fido in your car). Guaranteed.

Navigate to www.weathertech.com, input your car make and model, and voila! A set of black, tan or gray mats custom-contoured to your car’s curves for about $55, AND you can add matching rear mats for an additional $45 (must be trimmed). 

Problem: WeatherTech® mats look a lot like the cheap rubber mats you get at the local auto parts store for ten bucks. Sure they work better. But we’re looking for maximum pimpification. Stand back folks; I’m going OEM!

Audi sells custom-fit floor mats for various models for about $100 to $130. They come in any color you like as long as it’s black, with a contrasting car name logo in white. Yes, that’s twice the freight of a WeatherTech® set, but you gain the fancy logo. So if you forget what car you’re driving, you can simply look down for a reminder (closed course, professional driver). My mats proudly and accurately proclaim allroad. 

The mats include mounting holes that affix the rubber widgets into place on the carpeted floor. The design features WeatherTech®-tonic deep-ribbed channels PLUS a high surrounding lip designed to keep liquids from spilling onto the carpet. I tested this premise by removing the driver’s mat from the car and slowly pouring water into the mat until the liquid spilled out of the mat.

As I poured the water ever-so-slowly into the mat, I pondered the usefulness of this experiment. Liquids get to the car’s floor either from the outside via rain, car wash, garden hose, water balloons, etc., and from the inside from drinks, leaking ac, involuntary urination, exploding bottles, etc. Any liquid intrusion (save slow leaks from your shoes) would likely go all over the place– not just on the mat (regardless of the mat’s fluid holding capacity).

I was able to pour seven fluid ounces into the Audi mat before the liquid spilled over the mat’s edge. This is one-sixth the amount of soda in a McDonalds super-sized drink or if you prefer (God knows I do) a twelve-ounce Bud Light.  With this low capture level, I concluded that drink spills of any real quantity are going to end-up on the carpet. Therefore, in truth, the mats can only really handle very small spills and minor drips from wet shoes.

Of course, that still leaves another claimed benefit for floor mats: mud and snow protection. However, all floor mats provide a similar service. At least with rubber mats you can easily remove the mud which would have otherwise clung to– and stained– a carpeted floor mat.

The rubber solution also offers psychological benefits. Even if you never go anywhere near mud, having Audi floor mats tells passengers you’re a hardy, adventurous spirit, unafraid to venture off the beaten path to someplace… muddy. Or snowy. Or both.

Well if floor protection is not a major benefit, how about durability?

I used a similar set of Audi mats in an Audi A4 for a period of eighteen months and 15k miles. No snow, mud or spills of any sort occurred on my watch (nor involuntary urination). After that time, the driver’s side mat was worn down where my feet rest. The mat had split along one of the deep ribbed channels, making those dreaded leaks a potentially ruinous problem. This quick wear was really no better than a quality carpeted mat that costs less than half the price.

Overall if you’re into rubber, like to express your ruggedness in your floorware and share my customization compulsion, you will want a set of stylish Original Equipment Manufacturer mats in your car. Yes, they’re basically useless. But your wife won’t mind if you do. Take your victories where you can find ‘em lads.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

31 Comments on “WeatherTech®, Audi OEM Floor Mats Review...”


  • avatar
    dancote

    Be careful when dealing with this company. When you … “Navigate to http://www.weathertech.com, input your car make and model, and voila! A set of black, tan or gray mats custom-contoured to your car’s curves for about $55″

    Here’s what you’ll get:

    “Front Mats
    The WeatherTech® Mat you have received is one of many styles. The mats are not marked right or left. Please try both mats on each side to determine which mat is best in each position. If the mat covers part of the transmission tunnel, this is acceptable and also desirable–the more area it covers, the more protection you get. In some unusual cases you may wish to trim excess side material on the front half of the mat slightly. Just follow the score lines between the molded squares/ovals on the top of the mat. Some vehicles may require trimming one or more blocks to the left of the accelerator pedal, or around an existing block under the accelerator pedal. Be careful to do this so that the mat does not interfere with the safe operation of the accelerator pedal.”

    And forget trying to get a refund. Don’t ask me how I know.

  • avatar
    Von

    I was considering their floor liners. But after seeing feedback from an independent site (thanks to TTAC), they’ve been crossed off my list.

    Testimonials from the seller’s marketing is useless, well and marketing stuff in general. I especially like this little nugget from their website:

    “From the creators of the revolutionary FloorLinerTM comes the most startling advancement in exterior protection available today.”

    All that for a F’ing mud flap, they would shit themselves silly if they actually made something useful.

  • avatar
    timoted

    Overpriced, overhyped and oversold…..Pass

  • avatar
    Stephan Wilkinson

    How strange. I have never thought the Weathertech mats were for any purpose other than to keep snow and water off the fabric floormats. I never assumed you were supposed to pee on them or dump a Big Gulp on them. (Perhaps because one of my inviolable rules is, “No Food of Any Kind in the Car. Go Eat in the Kitchen.”)

    For exactly that purpose, here in the snowbelt, they work just fine. There’s no way in the world that my boots can bring enough snow into the cockpit to overwhelm them.

    I find them very useful for the winter. (I have Weathertech’s Audi A4 mats, which fit perfectly and even fit just fine in the Volvo V50 that took over from Mr. Audi.)

    I don’t know what kind of low-ball mats dancote got–or maybe they were for a car that Weathertech doesn’t bother to make custom mats for–but if you order the true custom mats, they are distinctly handed, and they’re not just mirror images of each other; my Audi left mat is very specifically molded to fit the car’s dead pedal.

    A baffling review.

  • avatar
    MRL325i

    WeatherTech advertises all over the place and they used to use a smiling MILF in heels in most of their ads. She was also in the big double-page ad that showed the owners and staff of WT posed in front of their machinery. I noticed a while back that they were using her less and less in the ads, and now, if you see that group picture, she is no longer in it. And, it looks like the same picture — she apparently was edited out. My guess is that she was the wife, and is now the ex-wife.

  • avatar
    jazbo123

    Living in the Lake Ontario snowbelt, I wouldn’t be without my “deep-dish” thick rubber floormats -I can’t tell you what brand they are though. I would guess mine hold much more than 7 Oz. I’d guess a full quart (or litre). They work great.

    Shop around!

  • avatar
    dancote

    “I don’t know what kind of low-ball mats dancote got–or maybe they were for a car that Weathertech doesn’t bother to make custom mats for–but if you order the true custom mats, they are distinctly handed, and they’re not just mirror images of each other; my Audi left mat is very specifically molded to fit the car’s dead pedal.

    A baffling review.”

    The information I posted was for a set of mats for a 2007 Suzuki Grand Vitara. Just for grins, I shopped for a set of mats for a 2007 Chevy Malibu and got the same information. Caveat Emptor

  • avatar
    Stephan Wilkinson

    Well, I guess it’s just that they don’t think Suzukis or Malibus are major markets for relatively expensive custom-fitted aftermarket floormats that are intended to save relatively expensive stock floor carpeting. Certainly if you order mats for a Cadillac Escalade or a Benz they’ll be fully fitted. I suspect the reason they aren’t giving you your money back is that there was a warning when you ordered them that said they were somewhat generic and not totally fitted. As you say, caveat emptor.

  • avatar

    Stephan Wilkinson – Brings back memories of a snowy 1978..Wanted to see Animal House for the umpteenth time but had to get wasted first on a dozen cold ones. Friend went to ticket window while I stayed in the warm car. Suddenly, the urge to pee came over me and I though, why get out, just use one of the 40 empty beer bottles. Well more than 12 ounces later, me the seat and the floor (if I only had rubber mats!!!!) were sharing the love. At least it felt warm…

  • avatar
    dancote

    Stephan Wilkinson – Whether they consider my car in a major market for their product or not, they charge the same for the generic mats as they do for the custom-fitted mats and their checkout calls them

    All-Weather Floor Mats
    1st Row
    2007 Suzuki Grand Vitara

    Sure seems like they’re selling me fitted mats. I consider myself to be a pretty savvy consumer and I’ve purchased many items on line. I haven’t been burned like this before.

  • avatar
    Stephan Wilkinson

    dancote: I’m going to try to get an answer from Weathertech by using my Conde Nast Traveler automotive editor bludgeon, because I went to the site and it sure looks like you’re absolutely right. If you’ll send your e-mail address to me at stephwilkinson@earthlink.net, I will blind-copy you in and let you know thereby whatever response I get.

  • avatar
    Stephan Wilkinson

    My post on page 1 is quite wrong. Ignore it. Hell, maybe you should ignore _me_. Anyway, after following up on what dancote said about his Suzuki mats not fitting, I looked more carefully at both the Weathertech website and their multi-page Car and Driver ad.

    Not only does it nowhere specifically say that their floor mats are “custom fitted,” in the frequently asked questions on their “contact us” page is one that reads, “My floor mats don’t fit. Why?”

    Their answer, in a nutshell, is that the floor mats aren’t fitted, they’re just made in about 80 different sizes that they have correlated to groups of cars, and either they’ll by happenstance fit perfectly (my Audi) or not so perfectly (dancote’s Suzuki).

    This isn’t true of their “laser-measured floorliners,” which they offer only for specific vehicles, unlike the 80-sizes-fit-all floor mats.

    Bottom line seems to be that Weathertech does everything they can to make you think their floor mats are cut to fit (including calling them “custom,” which on consideration is about as meaningful a word as “nice”), but they aren’t. I just got lucky.

    Oh, and dancote further pointed out, in an e-mail to me, that Weathertech uses all sorts of references to CAD and engineering and the latest computerized tooling, in their behind-the-technology section, to make you think they’re doing something different than the old butcher-paper-and-shears technique.

  • avatar
    Austin Greene

    MRL325i :

    WeatherTech advertises all over the place and they used to use a smiling MILF in heels in most of their ads. She was also in the big double-page ad that showed the owners and staff of WT posed in front of their machinery. I noticed a while back that they were using her less and less in the ads, and now, if you see that group picture, she is no longer in it. And, it looks like the same picture — she apparently was edited out. My guess is that she was the wife, and is now the ex-wife.

    Now that I think about it, that smiling MILF in heels was the only reason I ever looked at those ads in the first place.

  • avatar
    lprocter1982

    Not to nitpick, Mr. Posner, but there was no Sunfire in 92. At that time, it was still the Sunbird. I know because my mom had one, and still raves about what a good car it was… and conveniently ignores the fact everything rusted off…

    By the way, you can get rubber floor mats with grooves, similar to the ones reviewed, at Canadian Tire, for about $20. They’re two-layered, the top one comes off so you can dump it of the liquid, and they look like they work a hell of a lot better than the ones reviewed. Mind you, I haven’t bought any, since I have better things to spend $20 on than floor mats… like gas… and beer.

  • avatar
    moto

    There’s nothing wrong with McNeil WeatherTech mats, they work fine. In the sh*tty climate where i live, I wouldn’t have a car without a good tough floor mat. But for Audi owners who actually give a damn:

    Audi sells mats that fit their vehicles and are buttoned down with the expected German precision.

    Check the prices carefully, because Audi offers multiple styles (slim Euro style and also ribbed for your pleasure).

    Audi often gives you 4 mats. Weathertech and your local Wally World typically sell them two at a time.

    Getting the junky mats at Wlly World means that the stupid things are specifically designed to curl up and entangle the pedals. Getting a good mat from Weathertech frequently means waiting while your special mat migrates through the backorder list. Getting an excellent mat from Audi involves walking into the accessories department and flashing them a credit card.

    Yes, Audi mats cost a bit more. If you’re going to drive an uber car, that shouldn’t be a problem.

  • avatar
    pls

    We got a Weathertech cargo liner for the big hole in the back of our Odyssey and it fits so perfectly it must be custom cut. It’s been great for 4 years now and has enough of a lip on it you could dump a few gallon in it before the carpet got wet. We highly recommend that product.

  • avatar
    rpn453

    I wondered about these mats. Thanks for the review. It was good to know that these aren’t actually custom-fit.

    If you own a truck and want some serious custom-fit floor mats, a company called Husky makes good ones.

  • avatar
    Gardiner Westbound

    The shipping box for the custom mats Infiniti dealers sell, for a king’s ransom, confirm they are WeatherTech products. They fit like a glove. Whether they’re worth the coin is a whole other thing.

  • avatar
    rjzinger

    If I may and if this get me in trouble.. well remove it. I USED to work for a company that sold these mats and many others, they are nice mats but there are other companies that make really nice mats as well. Here is a link and, No, I won’t get anything for it. http://www.AutosportCatalog.com They sell some nice stuff.

  • avatar
    HankScorpio

    I had a 2001 Audi allroad and the only item that didn’t break on that car were the OEM Audi all-weather mats. I say A+ Audi, well designed, reliable floor mats.

  • avatar
    golden2husky

    WeatherTech advertises all over the place and they used to use a smiling MILF in heels in most of their ads. She was also in the big double-page ad that showed the owners and staff of WT posed in front of their machinery. I noticed a while back that they were using her less and less in the ads, and now, if you see that group picture, she is no longer in it. And, it looks like the same picture — she apparently was edited out. My guess is that she was the wife, and is now the ex-wife.…

    You made me laugh. I, too, thought the same thing. Funny he kept his golden retriever in the ads. Collectively, he gave her a serious, nationally broadcast middle finger! I wonder how much of WeatherTech she got. Not a bad looker, either…

  • avatar
    newcarscostalot

    Bud Light? You should drink better beer.

  • avatar
    johnny ro

    Had worn out nicer custom mats one per year.

    I got my WT for a lot of $, was suitably horrified, called to return, was shocked, took the return haircut. Whew. Never looked back.

    I half wonder if their business model is to live on the return discount. Whats the big deal with measuring every car and storing dimension on a hard drive.

    With weathertech saying to work with them I have to cut my own mat, I decided to start with better raw material than what weathertech uses. Pickup bed rubber from autozone. Polka dots underneath. I use it polka dots up.

    So now I have mats that fit, no dork labels. I let material run up under trim on both sides, back under seat and forward up firewall. Can’t see edges from seat or outside car. Material is way tough, never cut a hole with shoe heel. I like the polka dots too. And if I drive shoeless it feels great underfoot.

    It makes great trunk liner as well, things dont slide around.

    My new Audi oems are waiting on shelf for when I get rid of car.

  • avatar
    Syn-Ack

    If you order from MacNeil, just pray you don’t ever need customer service, it’s abysmal.

    I ordered the FloorLiners and a trunk (cargo) liner for my TL. The Floor Liners fit really well, the trunk liner was crap. I’m not sure what the deal was, but it was too big. It took several phone calls, and a few weeks to get a refund. Before they would process the refund I had to send photos to prove it really didn’t fit. I bought the Acura OEM trunk liner and it fits perfectly.

    WeatherTech FloorLiners and Floor Mats are completely different animals, don’t bother with the Floor Mats.

    Carefully consider OEM all weather floor mats for your vehicle before buying anything from WeatherTech.

  • avatar

    Hooray! The best review I’ve read in my life. Posner, my man! Posner is the Mark Twain of accessories, the Tom Wolfe of floormats. Tip of the hat to tastefully slipping in the rubber fetish reference, with only the in-the-know noticing. Someone give him the Nobel Prize in Literature.

    Deeply in awe, your humble admirer forever.

    And fist in my forehead: How could I have missed this piece of perfect product prose since friggen February?????

    PS: Ex factory price FOB Shanghai for a set of rubber mats around $5. Minimum purchase a full 20 foot container …..

  • avatar
    RetardedSparks

    I can’t tell if this is for WeatherTech or Audi OEM mats? I really can’t believe Audi would buy their OEM stuff from WeatherTech, but I guess it’s possible.
    I also never considered using them year round. I have OEM BMW mats that fit perfectly and have lasted 4 winters without a problem. I swap them in in the winter (when I put the snow tires on. You all have snow tires, right?).
    They work great, and in the spring the carpet underneath needs just a quick vacuum. They also cut the wear in half on the OEM carpet mats.

    There are so many places online to get OEM stuff at a discount I can’t understand why you’d mess with aftermarket mats.

  • avatar
    will2009

    Just got the Weathertech W39 front car mat set for my 2009 Hyundai Sonata. What a disappointment! No longer made in England, and very lightweight compared to the Cannon/Weathertech mats in my old 1996 Infiniti G20. Not even close to a good fit, either. For a few dollars more I could have gotten the genuine article from an authorized Hyundai dealer. Ugh…

  • avatar
    amalana

    so audi OEM mats are not much durable and do not catch many spills, Weathertech mats look cheap. Would this be a summary of this review?

  • avatar
    amalana

    I am confused as well. what’s the review for? Weathertech mats or Audi OEM mats?

  • avatar

    I personally used them on my 98 tacoma and they lasted far longer than the stock mats that the truck came with.

  • avatar

    Complete SCAM
    After looking everywhere for mats that were custom fitted to my 1995 Audi S6 I was recommended to check out weathertech. I went to their website and after choosing my Year(1995) Make(Audi) and model(S6) I was provided with the opportunity to get CUSTOM FITTED WINTER MATS for the price of $99 + $15 shipping. I was hoping that these were going to be similar to the OEM winter mats that came in the Audis. Weathertech was quick to take my money and tell me my CUSTOM MATS were on there way. It took them days to send out. 2 weeks later they are at my door and I couldn’t be more excited, especially with another colorado snow storm headed this way. After taking out my OEM carpet mats I was worried looking at the Weathertechs because they did not look the same at all. I placed the Weathertech mat into my car and couldn’t have been more disappointed. That tabs did not even come close to matching up (at least 4inches off) and they did not contour to the vehicle by any means. I quickly contacted Weathertech and was informed then that THEY ARE NOT CUSTOM FITTED. Are you serious???????? Why in the hell would you make me go through a menu that states these mats are specific for my vehicle and send me some cheap ass $20 mats? COMPLETE SCAM!!!!!!!!! Of course I wanted to return them and was told that I’M LUCKY THAT I WILL BE RECEIVING A FULL REFUND AND BUT I WOULD HAVE TO PAY FOR SHIPPING?!?!?!?

    IT HAS BEEN 2 MONTHS AND CALLS UPON CALLS AND I MIGHT RECEIVE MY REFUND IN THE NEXT COUPLE DAYS. AND IT’S ONLY GONNA COST ME $30 FOR THIS SCAM!

    THIS COMPANY IS  A SCAMMING POS!

    DON’T WASTE YOUR MONEY!!!!!!!!!!!


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Authors

  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Faisal Ali Khan, India