Words: Calvin Chan
Photography: Calvin Chan
Published: August 28, 2018
Car mats are a Canadian necessity. Everyone wants to keep their vehicle intact and free from damage year-round, whether it’s from snow and salt in the winter months, or sand and dust in the summer months. There really is no better barrier of protection than installing a proper set of custom car mats or liners to cover every section of your vehicle’s cabin. Nevertheless, our team was in need of a set for our new 2018 Volvo XC60 and didn’t quite like the way the factory ones held up. They were too thin and though they were easy to clean, didn’t have high or thick ridges to cover the majority of the footwell.
TuxMat, a Canadian company building custom car mats (warehoused in Scarborough, Ontario, but mass produced in China), contacted us to review their product, which they claim to be different from their competitors in three distinct ways. TuxMat says their product carries a luxurious surface finish that will match your vehicle’s interior, there is added vertical coverage around the edges and a rubber heel pad on the driver’s side mat, and it is 100% waterproof.
Their car mat is made up of three layers. The top layer is PVC vinyl, which is waterproof and made to match the vehicle’s interior. The middle layer is an EVA foam material that allows for vertical coverage and is also waterproof, and the bottom layer is an anti-skid cloth that prevents slipping and sliding underneath and also adds a layer of soundproofing.
(Disclaimer: TuxMat provided us with a full complimentary set of custom car mats for our 2018 Volvo XC60 for review purposes. This article was subject to review.)
Luckily, TuxMat had our XC60 mats in stock and within a few days they were shipped to us in a large box, with the front and rear mats covered in separate plastic sheets. The rear mats arrived folded in half due to its size but did not result in any noticeable creases or unwanted fold marks. The mats came out clean and without any chemical odour smells. First impressions were great: the textures felt soft yet rugged, and there was a clear luxurious finish to the visible surface.
Installation was simple and they include a visual handout to explain how to properly fit them into your vehicle. Video tutorials are also available online. TuxMat even throws in free in-house installation if you go pick up the mat yourself at their Scarborough location, saving you the dirty work. After we took out our old crusty mats and did a bit of previously-neglected vacuuming, we slipped the front and rear mats in.
The fit was near perfect, especially in those cramped corners around the panel edges, and the mat extends with vertical flaps to truly make sure nothing seeps over and about into the carpet below. The driver’s side mat did come in contact with the accelerator at the base of the pedal, as it’s attached to the floor bed and not hanging out from the top like other vehicles. Fortunately, the mat did not hamper the actual pedal movement, and the attachable hooks and locking system made sure the mat was snug and did not wiggle around. Still, I have no doubt that snow and salt will inevitably drip down from the pedal through the minor gap and onto the base carpet, so that’s something to keep in mind.
The rear mats come in one piece with an overlap over the center footwell, and a TuxMat logo placed in the center - not huge but noticeable with its chrome-like finish. The mat’s leatherette-like texture did exhibit some fold and flex, but it did come with clips so that you can stick the edge of the clip under any plastic panel to keep the mat flush with the rest of the surface, ensuring they stay wiggle-free. Our mats came with a large bag of clips, but we only needed to utilize a few of them to keep the mat edges firmly in place.
What stood out to us most was the extra coverage that TuxMat provides not only to the floor bed, but also to the side panels running along the footwell. This extension ensures the entire area is kept damage-free, but it does make it tougher to quickly install and reinstall them after a cleaning, as the mats do need a bit of massage to get them properly fitted and in place, especially with the clips. Competitive mats might not have that same extensive coverage, but they are easier to swap in and out in a hurry.
In use, the mats are soft and pillowy with noticeably thick layers, and you can definitely feel the difference when setting your feet on top of them. They do feel upscale, and the mats are void of any large crevices or grooves for crumbs or particles to get stuck in, yet there are enough anti-slip grooves that your feet don’t slip and slide around. We haven’t had the opportunity to test them in snow or slush as the winter season has yet to approach, but I can tell you that when doused with soggy boots, the water cleared up and dried quickly despite its thick texture. The quality in some areas of the mat are questionable - we noticed inconsistent stitching and folds in some edges of the mat where it appeared frayed or rushed, but overall these TuxMats are decent quality at a competitive price.
TuxMat claims that their vehicle list for custom mats are very extensive, but admit to the limitations of covering every single vehicle on the market. That being said, if you are a potential customer and they do not have your vehicle scanned and mapped, and are within the Greater Toronto Area, they will happily scan your personal vehicle where it will take roughly six weeks to be constructed.
The total price for our full set (two front mats, and single piece rear mat) was $228.90 plus applicable taxes. TuxMat offers free shipping within Canada, and $18.50 on USA orders. You can read more about their product at https://www.tuxmat.ca