Are WeatherTech FloorLiners Really Worth It?
Do the custom-fit, high-end car mats warrant their prices?
Many gearheads swear that American company WeatherTech is the pinnacle interior protection, particularly the company’s famous FloorLiners. But thrifty consumers are wondering how much better these are than the one-size-fits-all mats you can buy at Wal-Mart for a fraction of the price.
Recently, The News Wheel checked out a set of WeatherTech FloorLiners for a 2014 Hyundai Elantra sent to us by PartCatalog.com. After a thorough hands-on test and inspection, we decided that these FloorLiners did indeed live up to their reputation.
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How do WeatherTech FloorLiners work?
Unlike other aftermarket car floor mats, WeatherTech uses advanced DigitalFit technology to scan and measure the dimensions and curvature of every single vehicle, even down to the precise year and body configuration (e.g., coupe vs. sedan). Using that information, designers craft customized liners to fill any vehicle’s footwell using a rigid, high-density material.
To install WeatherTech FloorLiners, remove the original cloth mats and thoroughly clean the floor before fitting the replacement in. The liner should snap into the same anchors that the original mats did. But unlike traditional mats, FloorLiners rise up to cover the sides of the footwell. Because of their shape and water-resistant material, these liners aim to keep mud, water, and dirt from getting underneath, where they have the potential to damage the cabin’s carpet permanently.
Are WeatherTech FloorLiners really that good?
It seems obvious for worksite trucks and off-roading utility vehicles to have WeatherTech FloorLiners to protect against extreme messes, but they might not seem necessary for your average urban sedan or suburban crossover. That’s what I always believed, so I was surprised to see what a difference WeatherTech FloorLiners made in keeping the car clean.
Even heavy-duty mats can let water and dirt slip underneath, which you’ll uncover the next time you pull them out to vacuum the car. When we pulled the Hyundai Elantra’s WeatherTech FloorLiners out, there wasn’t any more dirt underneath than there had been when we installed the liners.
The most common criticism I’ve heard of about WeatherTech FloorLiners is that although they claim to fit flush against the sides of the footwell, there are still gaps.
When I installed these liners, there were indeed small spaces showing in certain areas, particularly on the sides. But over a month of use, the liners gradually settled into place and those gaps essentially closed. Plus, nothing seemed to get inside those gaps. So, unless so leave your car door open so the interior gets drenched (in which case, dirt in the gap won’t be your main concern), you should be fine.
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WeatherTech vs. heavy-duty OEM floor mats: Which are better?
If you’re a traditionalist, you may favor buying floormats directly from your car’s OEM instead of a third-party manufacturer like WeatherTech. For my Hyundai Veloster, I choose OEM mats over WeatherTech Floorliners, so I was able to compare the two options side-by-side.
Heavy duty OEM rubber mats are weightier and thicker than liners, providing a cushion while keeping the mat from sliding around. They’re definitely an improvement over the original carpeted mats. But, they don’t protect from spills, dust, and tiny debris like liners do—especially behind the pedals and against the sill plate. Only WeatherTech Floorliners can do that.
As one of our reviewers put it, “They’re not mats; they’re a second interior lining for your car. Once you install them, it’s like they’re not even there. They basically become the car’s new and improved footwell.”
WeatherTech FloorLiners are a must for anyone who wants to protect the interior of their car and make cleanup much easier.
To save money, purchase WeatherTech FloorLiners for any vehicle through PartCatalog, which guarantees the lowest prices and free shipping.