Leather trim - Oli rag

Why is leather trim seen as being so top end? Don't get me wrong I do like leather in some situations just not in a car.

I would much prefer if a high spec car was available with cloth or alcantara interior, which I, and I suspect many others would find more desirable than leather.

What's the big attraction of leather?

Leather trim - gordonbennet

Indeed, Toyota's Century plutocrat machines almost all came with velour (and lace curtains), warm comfortable and most importantly quiet.

I'm not a great lover of leather either, but it is easy to keep clean and is generally quite hard wearing.

Edited by gordonbennet on 06/08/2017 at 21:04

Leather trim - badbusdriver

I'm not a lover of leather seats in a car either, though I do remember the 'bridge of weir' leather on new Saab's back in the early 90's had a lovely aroma!.

Kind of ironic that leather is considered the height of luxury now. If you go back far enough, it was the other way round, in cars at least. With chauffeur driven cars up to at least the 40's, the driver would be sitting on leather, but the 'important' people in the back would be sitting on some kind of fancy cloth!.

Leather trim - SkodaIan

Leather trim in premium cars can be quite decent. However for most mass market cars I think the leather trim is usually worse than the standard cloth and I can't see why anyone would spend the best part of £2000 adding it as option to something like a Focus. The one (surprising) exception I found was in a Zafira I had as a hire car recently. The leather seemed really good, and the seats were significantly more comfortable than in the standard model I'd had a few weeks before.

Leather trim - RT

The leather in my 2011 Hyundai was actually lower quality than the vinyl parts used on non-facing panels on a previous Vauxhall. But to be fair, the previous model had excellent leatther.

There are many grades of leather, ask any upholsterer, depending how much chemical processing it's had.

My VW Touareg, not a cheap car, has three grades of leather - the basic which is just acceptable, the medium upgrade which is a good balance between quality and life-span, the top level being extremely comfortable but not that hard-wearing.

Leather trim - Falkirk Bairn

Leather is easily cleaned better with kids & incontinent pensioners!!

Leather trim - Stanb Sevento

Im with the OP, leather has no attraction for me. Its alcantara all the way and I'd pay a premium for it but not leather. My last two cars have had alcantara centre pannels with leather side bolsters and to me thats perfect, hard wearing , easy to ckean and keeps its looks for years.

A couple of months ago I was looking at a Golf estate, I had one as my previous car, the seats looked like alcantara but as soon as you touch it it was obviously a cheap copy,. Put me right off a car they were asking so much for. Cost cutting again. Interestingly the Skoda version of the same car still uses the real stuff. Well done Skoda.

Leather trim - skidpan

Leather trim in premium cars can be quite decent.

Not in a Merc.

All now appear to be fitted as standard with "Artico Leather" which when you read the small print is actually plastic. When we looked at the C Class I researched this product and there are loads of complaints about it cracking with a few years, insome caes months.

Real leather was £1200 and you only got the bits you sat on, the rest was still Artico.

There is no option to have nice comfortable hard wearing warm in wither cool in summer cloth.

Leather trim - corax

I've rattled on about this before, but the days of the type of sumptuous leather used on old Jags and Rovers e.t.c are long gone, the kind of seats that needed taking out and putting in the living room before the car was scrapped.

There are a lot of good things about the modern world but seat quality?

Leather trim - Avant

"Not in a Merc.

All now appear to be fitted as standard with "Artico Leather" which when you read the small print is actually plastic."

That sounds as if we're back to those awful vinyl-covered seats that cars in the 60s and 70s had before cloth took over. My elder son still remembers the unpleasant combination in hot weather of shorts and vinyl seats in the first Maxi that we had when he was a small boy. The Maxi Highline was the first car we had with cloth seats - a great relief.

One of several reasons I can think of why I don't want a Mercedes - the main one being the dreary, droning diesel B-class I had in the mid-2000s. August 2007, ten years ago, was a good month - the B-class was PXed for a Golf estate. Oddly enough, the cloth-covered seats in the B-class were one of its better features.

Leather trim - Andrew-T

<< That sounds as if we're back to those awful vinyl-covered seats that cars in the 60s and 70s had before cloth took over. >>

I seem to remember that about then demand for leather outstripped supply, which probably reinforced the need for plastic substitutes. Anyone recall shoes made of Porvair, the fake leather made by duPont ?

Leather trim - RobJP

Leather trim in premium cars can be quite decent.

Not in a Merc.

All now appear to be fitted as standard with "Artico Leather" which when you read the small print is actually plastic. When we looked at the C Class I researched this product and there are loads of complaints about it cracking with a few years, insome caes months.

Real leather was £1200 and you only got the bits you sat on, the rest was still Artico.

There is no option to have nice comfortable hard wearing warm in wither cool in summer cloth.

BMW are similar. Their 'Dakota' leather is not hugely impressive. Though ours is still in pretty much perfect condition after 4+ years, it's certainly not 'luxurious'

Interestingly, The leather (whatever type it may be) on new JLR vehicles seems of a very high quality. My dad's Discovery sport is very luxurious. BMW, on the other hand, I seem to find quite hard, and you seem to sit 'on' it, rather than sinking into it a little bit.

Leather trim - Terry W

Most leather used in cars is pigmented and has a polymer coating to protect the surface and add durability. In this respect leather has the characteristics of old school vinyl upholstery - but aircon and the the nature of the product may reduce the hot and sweaty experience.

Leather is regarded as a premium product, costs more to produce than fabric, and the price reflects this. Sub standard leather products (it's a natural material) are easily substitued for good as there is a very direct link between quality and price.

Personally I would go for a good quality fabric every time - the seats in my Octavia are barely worn after 90k.

Leather trim - John F

Personally I would go for a good quality fabric every time - the seats in my Octavia are barely worn after 90k.

So would I. The fabric in my old A6 was as good when sold at 16yrs and 133,000m as when I bought it 12yrs earlier. Unfortunately my current A8 only came with leather - thankfully the Pavlovian reaction of nausea (childhood carsick memories of the stench of leather seats impregnated with fag smoke and petrol fumes) has worn off.

Leather trim - Manatee

I prefer leather, even the Japanese kind that looks to be made from compressed paper.

A worn cloth seat just looks scruffy. Leather is expected to 'patinate'.

Leather trim - expat

Cloth every time for me. Leather burns you in summer and freezes you in winter. Sheepskin seat covers or throwovers are the answer to both those problems.

Leather trim - scot22

I prefer good quality cloth. However, the nappa leather seats on my Volvo C30 are incredibly comfortable - shame about the mechanical problems !

Leather trim - badbusdriver

I prefer good quality cloth. However, the nappa leather seats on my Volvo C30 are incredibly comfortable - shame about the mechanical problems !

Most comfortable car seat for me was in a saab 9000CS aero, just the dogs danglies!. It was leather though, with alcantara inserts.

Never tried one myself, but the seats in the renault vel satis look amazingly comfortable with their 2 piece backrest.

Leather trim - RT

I prefer good quality cloth. However, the nappa leather seats on my Volvo C30 are incredibly comfortable - shame about the mechanical problems !

Most comfortable car seat for me was in a saab 9000CS aero, just the dogs danglies!. It was leather though, with alcantara inserts.

Never tried one myself, but the seats in the renault vel satis look amazingly comfortable with their 2 piece backrest.

Which shows that the seat itself is more important than the material used.

Leather trim - corax

Most comfortable car seat for me was in a saab 9000CS aero, just the dogs danglies!. It was leather though, with alcantara inserts.

Agreed. They have to be one of the best designed car seats ever. The velour trimmed Recaros in my Monza were superb. It wasn't easy to get into them, but once in they gripped and supported perfectly and I could travel hundreds of miles with no twinges. Pull out sections at the front for extra leg support. I really miss them.

Leather trim - John F

..... Leather burns you in summer and freezes you in winter. Sheepskin seat covers or throwovers are the answer to both those problems.

Thankfully the Audi A8's answers are solar PV panels in the sunroof which automatically switch on a cooling fan when parked in the sun - and of course heated seats in winter. Vorsprung....etc.

Leather trim - jamie745

Cloth is dreadful and ages badly, always ends up with holes in it and little bits of cushion poking out. I've never owned a car without leather seats.

Leather trim - Engineer Andy

My sister's car (Fusion) has leather seats, comfort is ok (though I'm not sure what would happen in really hot weather as they're black - would it be similar to Vinyl because of the colour not reflecting the heat?) but I do find that you move about in them when cornering more than sitting in standard fabric seats (like my Mazda3) or even suede or similar (my old Micra). I noticed the same when test driving a Mazda CX-3 Sport which had leather seats. I also wondered what what happen to the leather as the seats had a warming function - would it dry out and split the leather early, as you see on older cars?

Leather trim - focussed

The leather seats in my 2015 Accord made in Japan are great, perforated, heated, soft, thin leather - not hot in hot weather and not too cold in cold weather, much better than previous offerings such as from Volvo - 245 GLT estate with horrible thick shiny leather seats that you could have made a pair of shoes from.

Leather trim - gordonbennet

245 GLT estate with horrible thick shiny leather seats that you could have made a pair of shoes from.

Elsewhere we've been discussing a clocked V70 thats done over 300k miles yet the interior (indeed the whole car) could pass for its current 90odd k, that heavy leather might not feel wonderful to the touch, but like a Chesterfield suite from eons ago it'll cope with your boots/wellies rough jeans and belt rivets and still see you out.

Leather trim - NAthan smith
Leather does without a doubt give a premium look and feel. It also is a lot easier to clean with 2 kids under 5!!
Leather trim - grumpyscot

Two things would put me off buying a car:

1. Leather seats, and

2. Black wheels -- especially with elastic band tyres

Leather trim - RT

Two things would put me off buying a car:

1. Leather seats, and

2. Black wheels -- especially with elastic band tyres

Quality leather is a pre-requisite for me - but not black

Wheels can be changed - my Touareg came on 19" grey wheel with /50 tyres, not good, but could be optioned up to 21" with /40 tyres, even worse - but my winter 17" with /65 tyres look much better

 

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