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X3 F25 (2011 - current)
The latest X3 brings some added style and some new features to the BMW SUV family. Talk about the new F25 now!

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  #1  
Old 02-06-2011, 02:35 PM
alpineX3 alpineX3 is offline
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x3 leatherette

Could anybody tell me if they have seen the leatherette ( quality , and looks ) I had leatherette on our 2001 330i and loved it . It still looked new when I sold it to my cousin last year. I know most of you enjoy the leather but could you just comment on whether it looks good or not We have already ordered a 35i with it,(black interior) but read a comment on a road test that had it down on its pros and cons list ( as a con). I wish they had samples at the dealership so I could at least look at them. Thanks in advance
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  #2  
Old 02-06-2011, 04:55 PM
nick776 nick776 is offline
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I saw it in beige on one of the "demo" X3's they had at the dealer for a special invitation event last November. In my opinion, it's pretty much the same as the leatherette they put in all BMWs. As far as cons go, it did not have the counter-stitching that the "real" leather in the new X3 has. I do not know whether black leatherette has the counter stitching, though (i.e. the stitching is a contrasting color from the seating surface itself, kind of like how a baseball is sewn together).

If price is your consideration, it does not cost much more for "real" leather if you get the premium package (or order the leather as a stand-alone option for that matter). I've never owned a BMW with leatherette, but I did have a Mercedes with MB Tex. I actually preferred the MB Tex over the real deal (although I ordered Mojave Leather in my new X3 and it looks FANTASTIC).
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  #3  
Old 02-07-2011, 08:06 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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I used to be a big leatherette fan but I just noticed the "sensatech" in my '06 X3 is starting to crack at the driver's side left bolster. Arghhh! Now I have to rethink my position. I have had the wonderful MB-tex and the earlier BMW synthetic that lasted like iron, I hope the new stuff is as good. Leather OTOH is always a great choice IMHO!
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  #4  
Old 02-07-2011, 08:18 AM
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MarcA78 MarcA78 is offline
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The leatherette in my dearly departed 328i looked brand new on the day it was towed to the wrecking heap. And I haul around a two year old on a fairly regular basis.
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  #5  
Old 02-07-2011, 08:47 AM
energetik9 energetik9 is offline
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I saw it at a recent car show. I'm sorry, but leatherette is leatherette. I'd rather just get the real deal.
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  #6  
Old 02-08-2011, 06:36 AM
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harplayr harplayr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UncleJ View Post
I used to be a big leatherette fan but I just noticed the "sensatech" in my '06 X3 is starting to crack at the driver's side left bolster. Arghhh! Now I have to rethink my position. I have had the wonderful MB-tex and the earlier BMW synthetic that lasted like iron, I hope the new stuff is as good. Leather OTOH is always a great choice IMHO!
I had the same problem with my 04-X3.
It should hold up better than it did.
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  #7  
Old 02-09-2011, 08:45 AM
energetik9 energetik9 is offline
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Originally Posted by harplayr View Post
I had the same problem with my 04-X3.
It should hold up better than it did.
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  #8  
Old 02-09-2011, 12:31 PM
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The leatherette used in the early 2004-2006 X3s was problematic so BMW pretty much stopped using it. So the leatherette on the F25 should be like that found on other BMWs like the 1er and 3er, which would be pretty good. The leather quality on the F25 X3 and E70 X5 is nothing to write home about (feels rubbery).
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  #9  
Old 02-28-2011, 10:55 PM
Davisra Davisra is offline
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I'm curious about leatherette too

Hello

I'm just ending a 36-month lease on a 2008 X3 - sadly I have 56,700+ miles on a 45,000 mile lease so I'm obviously going to have to pay up for the extra miles.

That said, I'm trying to price out a lease for a 2011 X3 and husband is concerned about the cost. Using leatherette instead of leather is one way to save $. Is it worth it?

By the way, we also have a 2005 Mini Cooper S with the leatherette & it's really pretty good quality - difficult to tell the difference. My biggest question on the leather vs. leatherette, though, is this - is there a difference in the seat cushioning/bolstering (other than the lack of lumbar support)? I'm already having trouble with my back (guess old age is catching up to me). I'm ok with the leatherette but not at the expense of uncomfortable, non-supportive seating. I haven't been able to find anything that addresses the difference of sitting in leatherette seat vs. sitting in the leather one - most comments seem to be about the aesthetic differences which I'm not too concerned about.

Thanks for any feedback!
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  #10  
Old 02-28-2011, 11:40 PM
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MarcA78 MarcA78 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davisra View Post
Hello

I'm just ending a 36-month lease on a 2008 X3 - sadly I have 56,700+ miles on a 45,000 mile lease so I'm obviously going to have to pay up for the extra miles.

That said, I'm trying to price out a lease for a 2011 X3 and husband is concerned about the cost. Using leatherette instead of leather is one way to save $. Is it worth it?

By the way, we also have a 2005 Mini Cooper S with the leatherette & it's really pretty good quality - difficult to tell the difference. My biggest question on the leather vs. leatherette, though, is this - is there a difference in the seat cushioning/bolstering (other than the lack of lumbar support)? I'm already having trouble with my back (guess old age is catching up to me). I'm ok with the leatherette but not at the expense of uncomfortable, non-supportive seating. I haven't been able to find anything that addresses the difference of sitting in leatherette seat vs. sitting in the leather one - most comments seem to be about the aesthetic differences which I'm not too concerned about.

Thanks for any feedback!
Nope, no difference in the bolstering or support. Only this different is the outer materials.

I had leatherette in my 328 and thought it was decent enough. But the leatherette in my new X3 is different. Not sure if it's better or worse, but it sure has a different feel. It feels softer and a little more...I dunno...rubbery maybe?
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  #11  
Old 03-01-2011, 12:00 AM
Davisra Davisra is offline
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oh oh..."rubbery" doesn't sound like a ringing endorsement for leatherette!

My 2008 X3 has the premium package which included the leather seats. I'd go for the premium package again, but not at the expense of the heated steering wheel, heated seats and Xenon adaptive headlights. I'm hooked on these simple touches. My husband thinks I'm nuts, but here in Wisconsin, home of the "frozen tundra", my hands & butt get pretty cold driving his jeep. At night it's no comparison - while riding with him in the jeep the other night I had to ask him if his headlights were burned out - they were so much dimmer than mine.

Brings up the other big issue - I could either lease a new X3 or buy a CPO 2008 X3 (thus keeping all my current options but getting a vehicle with 16,500 miles instead of my 56,700+ miles one). Decisions decisions!

What made you choose leatherette? Are you happy enough with it?

Thanks for the help!
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  #12  
Old 03-02-2011, 08:07 PM
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rich8566 rich8566 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alpineX3 View Post
Could anybody tell me if they have seen the leatherette ( quality , and looks ) I had leatherette on our 2001 330i and loved it . It still looked new when I sold it to my cousin last year. I know most of you enjoy the leather but could you just comment on whether it looks good or not We have already ordered a 35i with it,(black interior) but read a comment on a road test that had it down on its pros and cons list ( as a con). I wish they had samples at the dealership so I could at least look at them. Thanks in advance
I picked up our 2011 X3 3.5 at PCD last week - it has beige leatherette and it is perfect. I also have black leatherette in my 2011 335i and I love it. I also had black ette in my 2007 335i and it looked new after 3 years and 47000 miles. I still have a 2001 Audi A4 with black ette and even after 10 years and 95,000 miles it looks brand new. Love the ette ... you should go for it....
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  #13  
Old 03-13-2011, 04:47 AM
Babbage Babbage is offline
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I just took delivery of my 2011 X3 35, with black letherette.

I think it looks and feels great. I didn't go for real leather because:
(1) I've seen BMW's real leather show bad signs of wear if not properly cared for (letherette requires no care)
(2) extra cost (+$2000 in Canada)
(3) I believe kids are less likely to damage letherette (spilled juice, crayons, dirt, etc.)
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  #14  
Old 03-13-2011, 08:33 AM
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MarcA78 MarcA78 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Babbage View Post
I just took delivery of my 2011 X3 35, with black letherette.

I think it looks and feels great. I didn't go for real leather because:
(1) I've seen BMW's real leather show bad signs of wear if not properly cared for (letherette requires no care)
(2) extra cost (+$2000 in Canada)
(3) I believe kids are less likely to damage letherette (spilled juice, crayons, dirt, etc.)
You nailed it. that's why I went for the 'ette too.
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  #15  
Old 03-13-2011, 11:24 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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I have always been a fan of the leatherette in both the MB and BMW (the "mertex" has been some of the best I have seen) but this last BMW (06 X3) with the "sensatech" has not worn well at all, cracking in the driver's left bolster (high wear point of any seat). Thankfully BMW has seen the error of their ways and replaced the sensatech with "real" leatherette just like it used to be. Drove a 2011 328 loaner for 5 days and thought that seat covering was just great. Would have no problem with the new leatherette at all!

Last edited by UncleJ; 03-13-2011 at 11:26 AM.
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  #16  
Old 03-13-2011, 01:31 PM
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MarcA78 MarcA78 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UncleJ View Post
I have always been a fan of the leatherette in both the MB and BMW (the "mertex" has been some of the best I have seen) but this last BMW (06 X3) with the "sensatech" has not worn well at all, cracking in the driver's left bolster (high wear point of any seat). Thankfully BMW has seen the error of their ways and replaced the sensatech with "real" leatherette just like it used to be. Drove a 2011 328 loaner for 5 days and thought that seat covering was just great. Would have no problem with the new leatherette at all!
Does real leatherette come from real cowettes?
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  #17  
Old 03-13-2011, 01:49 PM
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AzNMpower32 AzNMpower32 is offline
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Originally Posted by MarcA78 View Post
Does real leatherette come from real cowettes?
From 2004-2006 BMW used a different kind of Leatherette on the X3, with good intentions of trying to make it feel like athletic clothing material, but I guess it ended up just wearing badly. So with the LCI, they switched back to the more typical Leatherette offered on other BMWs (1er, 3er, 5er, X5)

I'm not sure why BMW doesn't offer a leather/cloth split option or standard. It's not like its any worse for perception than "full leatherette".
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  #18  
Old 03-13-2011, 02:39 PM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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Actually since Cowettes became endangered they began hunting the very prolific and abundent Naugas. However to differ from the "domestically raised" Naugas it was felt that it would help seperate the two by calling the new hide "Leatherette" instead of the more common domestic "Naugahide".
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  #19  
Old 03-13-2011, 09:45 PM
Lotus7 Lotus7 is offline
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Originally Posted by UncleJ View Post
Actually since Cowettes became endangered they began hunting the very prolific and abundent Naugas. However to differ from the "domestically raised" Naugas it was felt that it would help seperate the two by calling the new hide "Leatherette" instead of the more common domestic "Naugahide".
I've heard that the Peruvian Naugas raised at altitudes above 3000 meters make the most supple hides. However now that X3's are made exclusively in the States, who knows where the hides come from - probably China!

Anyone know how many Naugas are sacrificed to cover one X3 interior?
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