Wilkinson on the Nocord Heated Seat Cover

Stephan Wilkinson
by Stephan Wilkinson

When I spied an ad for a Nocord heated seat cover in The Atlantic magazine, I remembered my wife's complaints about her bare bones Boxsters' chilling effect on her buns and signed up. The $60 seat cover arrived covered with K-Mart Hallowe'en costume-quality fabric, and, need I say, a cord. The device was [vaguely] held in place by shoddy straps; sitting on the rig was like trying to perch on a loose beach towel. Ergonomics aside, it worked. But I doubt for long, since it is truly dreadful made-in-China dreck. It's amusing that Nocord sells both full-price new products and "reconditioned" half-price versions of the exact same wares. Since nobody would bother to actually remanufacture any of this junk, they're obviously flogging the flood of returned-for-refund stuff that Nocord doubtless gets hourly. Chinese-made aftermarket parts. You have been warned.

[TTAC now does product reviews. Check 'em out.]

Stephan Wilkinson
Stephan Wilkinson

I'm the automotive editor of Conde Nast Traveler and a freelancer for a variety of other magazines as well. Go to amazon.com and read more about me than you ever wanted to know if you do a search for either of my current books, "The Gold-Plated Porsche" and "Man and Machine." Been a pilot since 1967 (single- and multi-engine land, single-engine sea, glider, instrument, Cessna Citation 500 type rating all on a commercial license) and I use the gold-plated Porsche, a much-modified and -lightened '83 911SC, as a track car.

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4 of 14 comments
  • Holydonut Holydonut on Jan 27, 2008

    Well, if JCI or Intier had decided to make this thing, it'd cost you over $100. So if you had paid double for the thing and had it read "Made in the USA" would it still be a ripoff and a bad product?

  • David C. Holzman David C. Holzman on Jan 27, 2008

    Thanks for the warning.

  • Ricky Spanish Ricky Spanish on Jan 28, 2008

    You're out of your mind if you pay $500 for factory heated seats. But to be honest, I have them in my Audi and I don't have them in my Z4 - I live in Western NY where the average yearly temperature is 47.5 degrees, and I drive the Z4 more often (including during the winter - snow tires FTW) - with no complaints, even in sub zero weather. Who needs heated seats? Get a coat.

  • Stephan Wilkinson Stephan Wilkinson on Jan 28, 2008

    RayH, I think putting this thing under an existing seatcover would be about like sitting on a warm dog. Don't do it. holydonut, if it said Made in USA I would have a lot more confidence in it being well-made. Not a guarantee, but better than most. And yes, I'd rather pay the $100 for something reliable than the $60 for crap, and if there are people who have found Canadian or cottage-industry versions for $10, more power to 'em.