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I would like to hear about how well the leather and leatherette seats age. I was thinking about keeping my costs down by getting leatherette but I don't want something that is going to crack/look bad in a couple of years. Thoughts/opinions?
 

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gsko said:
I would like to hear about how well the leather and leatherette seats age. I was thinking about keeping my costs down by getting leatherette but I don't want something that is going to crack/look bad in a couple of years. Thoughts/opinions?
'ette will look brand new six years from now. Leather requires constant care, a lot of attention, and a very specific ingress egress technique.
 

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gsko said:
I would like to hear about how well the leather and leatherette seats age. I was thinking about keeping my costs down by getting leatherette but I don't want something that is going to crack/look bad in a couple of years. Thoughts/opinions?
My previous wagon (95 525iT) had leatherette... very comfortable, looked great, and held up very well with time. Low-effort to maintain is a key feature... cleans easily, and you can use more aggressive cleaners for tougher stains. Leather can last a long time, but that's only if it's properly maintained. Scuffing is the biggest problem with leather... like a cell-phone clip or something dragging or rubbing against it... repairing that can be a headache.

My current wagon (03 325iT) has leather, but that's only because I bought it off the lot that way. If I were to order a car, I wouldn't have any issues requesting leatherette... all based on my positive experience with my previous car.
 

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I've got a '99 with leatherette and to this day people comment on how nice the leather ( :eeps: ) looks in my car and they are amazed at well it has held up over time. :D
 

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I have a 2005 that I ordered with leatherette and I like it a lot. If you search, you'll find tons of pros and cons. I wanted the durability and ease of care. I don't worry about it so much. I think some will mention that it can get a little hotter in the summer, but I don't think it's as much difference as some people say. We have an X5 with leather, and it gets hot too. That said, it smells like leather, and that's nice, and I"m sure it breathes more than the leatherette. But in terms of appearance, everyone thinks I have leather. Only the BMW enthusiasts who actually know how to tell the difference would notice.
 

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gsko said:
I would like to hear about how well the leather and leatherette seats age. I was thinking about keeping my costs down by getting leatherette but I don't want something that is going to crack/look bad in a couple of years. Thoughts/opinions?
I just traded an 330i with leather for a BMW with leatherette. The leather in the 3 wasn't that nice in the first place so I do not miss it at all. I think the leatherette looks just as good if not better. I also have two boys so the leatherette will be better for me over the long haul. Save your money for something that will enhance your driving experience. Really, you won't even notice.
 

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finally330i said:
I just traded an 330i with leather for a BMW with leatherette. The leather in the 3 wasn't that nice in the first place so I do not miss it at all. I think the leatherette looks just as good if not better. I also have two boys so the leatherette will be better for me over the long haul. Save your money for something that will enhance your driving experience. Really, you won't even notice.
Well you will notice based on heat and color. I have gray leather and I think it's a color I will always stick with in future cars - hate beige and not big on black. My bro-in-law's silver 325i has black leatherette and it's nice but boy does it get hot in that car when it's in the sun.
 

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gsko said:
I would like to hear about how well the leather and leatherette seats age. I was thinking about keeping my costs down by getting leatherette but I don't want something that is going to crack/look bad in a couple of years. Thoughts/opinions?
The 330 I ordered that was manufactured 10 days ago has leatherette. I had leatherette in my E36 318 and loved it.
Leather costs more and is more delicate.
 

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Leatherette for me!

As mentioned if the 3 series leather was higher quality it might be worth the $1500.
I saved the money, am very happy with the leatherette...save the $1500 and get yourself a set of autocross or winter wheels! :D
 

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The leatherette in my car still looks the same the day I got it, no wear signs in over 2 years. Like others said, they can get pretty hot in the summer. Other than that, if the 2 color choices of leatherette suits you, than I don't see the point of spending the extra money for leather.
 

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I've had leather in all my cars (9 cars) since 1985 and I'll never get one without it. It's just a personal preference. I've never had an issue, and I always get light colored interiors. I do maintain and clean the leather every couple of months, but it only takes a few minutes and keeps the soil level from getting out of hand. I would guess most 330's are ordered with the premium package which includes leather, so most leatherette is probably in the 325's. I have to admit, I've looked inside many BMW's whose leather looks pretty bad after a few years, so I'm hoping they've just been neglected and mine won't look that way.
 

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hockeynut said:
Leather and pleather both suck down here in the south. I wish I could have gotten cloth.
Bah, you've got a light interior. Get yourself some tint!!! Anyway for those of us down south, the feature where you can automatically roll down your windows gets rid of 90% (<--- insert random statistic here) of the heat.

Of course since you can't get Natural Brown or Gray leatherette, that made my decision easy. But don't forget BMW's Montana leather is more durable than many other cars' leather.
 

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gsko said:
I would like to hear about how well the leather and leatherette seats age. I was thinking about keeping my costs down by getting leatherette but I don't want something that is going to crack/look bad in a couple of years. Thoughts/opinions?
I agree with Nick - if I was buying new, I'd go for leatherette. The creasing works the other way around - leather does it, leatherette does not.

Edit - I think you have your answer, based on the overwhelming leathette vote! ;)
 

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tony
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LEATHERETTE (eg. vinyl) (have had it in my 93 318i, 77 280z, 76 vw rabbit):

pros:
-lasts and looks new forever.
-very easy to clean (use lexol, 409, windex, whaever)
-feels and looks very very similar to leather
-save around $1.5 - $2k
-can get wet, will not absorb water

cons:
- does not smell as good as leather
- perception, leather = luxury (kind of the same as getting boltflex sofas)
- gets hot in summer & cold in winter

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LEATHER (have it in my 05 330 and in my 02 town&country minivan):
pros:
- smells great
- feels great

cons:
- $$$
- needs care
- will eventually crack and/or wear out, no matter what you do (eventually being relative to type of care given)
- gets hot in summer & cold in winter

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CLOTH (have had it in 88 accord and 90 integra):

pros:
- does not get hot nor cold
- feels soft and fuzzy
- does not need much care
- certain cloths can make the car look sporty

cons:
- will let water through, though it can be retarded with repellent
- eventually wears out and rips


CONCLUSION,
There is nothing like the smell and true feel of leather,
There is nothing like the easy care and last forever quality of leatherette,
There is nothing like the cool feeling of cloth on hot/cold days,

It is up to you what you are willing to give up in trade of....
 

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Natural optical phenomena
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Well put testrada!

Excellent summary! My personal choice is for cloth.

jpherit

testrada said:
LEATHERETTE (eg. vinyl) (have had it in my 93 318i, 77 280z, 76 vw rabbit):

pros:
-lasts and looks new forever.
-very easy to clean (use lexol, 409, windex, whaever)
-feels and looks very very similar to leather
-save around $1.5 - $2k
-can get wet, will not absorb water

cons:
- does not smell as good as leather
- perception, leather = luxury (kind of the same as getting boltflex sofas)
- gets hot in summer & cold in winter

------
LEATHER (have it in my 05 330 and in my 02 town&country minivan):
pros:
- smells great
- feels great

cons:
- $$$
- needs care
- will eventually crack and/or wear out, no matter what you do (eventually being relative to type of care given)
- gets hot in summer & cold in winter

------
CLOTH (have had it in 88 accord and 90 integra):

pros:
- does not get hot nor cold
- feels soft and fuzzy
- does not need much care
- certain cloths can make the car look sporty

cons:
- will let water through, though it can be retarded with repellent
- eventually wears out and rips

CONCLUSION,
There is nothing like the smell and true feel of leather,
There is nothing like the easy care and last forever quality of leatherette,
There is nothing like the cool feeling of cloth on hot/cold days,

It is up to you what you are willing to give up in trade of....
 

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Nerd
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When shopping for couches, the salepeople kept pushing us towards leather ones. Here's their spiel: leather starts hard and softens as it ages. It gets better and more pliable with use and therefore more comfortable. Cloth, on the other hand, is best on day one. From that point on it will always be wearing a little at a time.

I didn't get the leather couch. I did get it in my car, though. Why? It depends on how long you want to keep your car. If you plan on keeping it a few years and then selling it, leather helps your resale. The major resale points for these cars are nav, leather, automatic, and sunroof. Oh, and it was pretty much thrown in by the dealer since they wanted to move their last 2004 since the 05's were coming in.

There was a thread not too long ago about the Performance package not having good resale since their cars are not leather (unless upgraded) and typically manuals. Maybe I'll just have to pick one of those up in a few years. :thumbup:

Here's the thread discussing what traits help resale:
 
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