Cloth vs Leatherette vs Real Leather....

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Brian Kleinke, May 30, 2002.

  1. Brian Kleinke

    Brian Kleinke Supporting Actor

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    As some of you know I've been trying to figure out which car I'm going to get:
    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...=&pagenumber=1
    But now that I've decided on getting an A4 I've got a new problem.
    On the A4 1.8T I can get Leatherette or Cloth
    and on the A4 3.0 which costs ~5k more there is a Leather Option for $1200 more. I'm not really interested in real leather seats.
    The dealer did a good job of trying to sell me on the leatherette seats, saying that it would hurt the resale value of the car if I got cloth.
    Seeing as I'm intending to keep this car for 6-10 years I'm not so worried about the resale value, heck I might drive it for longer then that. So I'm more interested in the quality of the seats after long term use.
    Does anyone have experience with "older" leatherette (aka fake leather)? I know its easier to clean up then cloth, but I'm anal about what is allowed in my cars as it is, and there is always a good steam bath that will get just about any stains out of cloth.
    So to be short, I don't think I mind the leatherette brand new, but I'm worried about how it will age. I'm going to ask about this over at AudiWorld and see what has been said there, but I'm interested in the opinions of members here for hopefully obvious reasons [​IMG]
    So any opinions are welcome. I've got 2 months to decide before I will even have the chance to order my new '03 A4
    Thanks in advance,
    Brian
     
  2. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    I think you'll get some very good responses at Audiworld. (do you have a link to your thread?) The leather that Audi uses is very high quality and very supple. Leather requires regular cleaning and conditioning. Cloth stains. Vinyl (leahterette) cracks. All have their plusses and minuses.
     
  3. Kevin P

    Kevin P Screenwriter

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    It's a personal preference, but I do prefer cloth. It's more comfortable and not slippery. I had leather seats in my prior car ('94 Taurus LX) and they were always cold in winter and hot in summer, and when wearing shorts my legs would stick to them. My present car (a Saturn), with cloth seats, is far more comfortable.

    If I were to get a $28-40K range car next time around, a lot of them are only available in leather. I would have to go with something like the A4 so I can get the cloth seats.

    I wouldn't worry about resale, etc. If cloth seats get ruined or worn out, they can be replaced, a lot cheaper than leather ones.

    KJP
     
  4. PatrickM

    PatrickM Screenwriter

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    My friend has an older (MY2000) A4 1.8T with leatherette and he likes it. I've been in it and it seems fine. Its not leather but its pretty good. Easier to clean if you have kids or eat in the car.

    I had cloth on my last car and went for full leather this time which I prefer without a doubt. Heated seats help in the winter. We'll have to see about summer when it comes.

    Patrick
     
  5. Brian Kleinke

    Brian Kleinke Supporting Actor

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    http://forums.audiworld.com/a4gen2/msgs/79780.phtml
    Is the thread over at AudiWorld, I've alrady recieved a few responses [​IMG]
    Cloth may stain, but I've never had a stain in the 2 cars with cloth seats I've had. It helps that I'm somewhat anal.
    My co-workers are making a stink that Leatherette is cheap and plastically looking, and would look real ugly in 10 years... But then again they just know its made of Vinyl and have never owned a car with it.
    Brian
     
  6. Rob TT

    Rob TT Stunt Coordinator

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    Most leather seats that come in cars are not completely leather to begin with. Most of the time, the seat has leather inserts and the rest of it is vinyl. The car companies can still advertise "leather seats" because there is some leather in them. I work for a company that has done tests between the two, and vinyl seats last longer and when you put the two side by side, you can't tell which one is which.
     
  7. Justin Doring

    Justin Doring Screenwriter

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    Leatherette (the German version of vinyl) will look brand new a decade from now, and it requires no maintenance. If you spill or get dirt on it, you just wipe it off with a damp rag. No mess! Most of the BMW 3-series enthusiasts opt for leatherette for a good reason. Cloth and leather get nasty over time (the former gets dirty and the latter cracks). Besides, 99% of people won't know the difference between leatherette and leather, and you'll save money to boot.

    Personally, I think cloth looks terrible, especially in an Audi. Also, living in Minnesota where there is mud most of the year, I'd go for a darker interior color (black or dark gray), as it won't show the dirt.
     
  8. John Tillman

    John Tillman Supporting Actor

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    I just went through all this myself. Cloth was to be the choice, and my first test drive felt good with it. Second test drive was leather and I felt much better. I think when the phrase "fit like a glove" was coined, they weren't talking about cloth.

    Now, I've had one leased vehicle with leather and it did have a crack after three years, but in all honesty, I never performed any maintenance on it. I think what Rob TT said about manufacturers mixing materials is true. We are not getting pure hide here. Four leather seats (plus door panels) for $1200? I don't think so.

    That said, I've made my choice (this was a purchase not lease) so now I have to learn the proper way to maintain my leather.
     
  9. AjayM

    AjayM Screenwriter

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    You stick two identical cars side by side, for instance this is popular with BMW's 3 series cars where most don't have a "cloth" option (letherette is standard, leather an added cost option). Then gather a group of say 100 people, and I bet over 95% of them would never be able to tell you which one is which. I've seen/sat/felt/smelt both versions from Audi and BMW and I couldn't tell the difference without looking at the window sticker.

    Andrew
     
  10. Daniel Swartz

    Daniel Swartz Second Unit

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    As someone who owns a 330i, I can tell you that I found it easy to tell the difference in between the leather and the leatherette. Personally, it wouldn't even occur to me to buy a luxury car without a leather interior, but there are many who swear by cloth and leatherette.

    Sorry I can't help you on the durability of each option. I do know that Audi uses a higher quality leather than BMW though.
     
  11. Rob TT

    Rob TT Stunt Coordinator

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    Trust me, The company I work for makes seats for the auto industry, and when we ask people which one do they like better? the vinyl gets picked a little more, and they think its leather. Vinyl has come a long way in last 5 years but people still think that leather is better just because it sounds nice. I guess it doesnt sound cool when you go around saying your car has vinyl seats in it. The vinyl does cost a lot less to produce.
     
  12. Jason Reich

    Jason Reich Stunt Coordinator

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    My first Audi had leatherette, and after 120,000+ miles with 2 kids it stills looked new. I have leather in my new Audi IMHO you can't go wrong either way. By the way congrats on your choice. Since I purchased my first Audi I have bought nothing but Audi. The build is excellent, fun to drive, and comfortable ride. I have had nothing but good luck with mine, and will buy another in a couple years. Enjoy!
     

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