: Leatherette any good?



investor74
05-10-12, 07:04 PM
I love the leather seating on my Catera which I have owned for over 15 years. The seats look better than brand new, having that aged-leather patina.

Now I am considering an ATS to replace the Catera. The ATS comes standard with Leatherette and you must buy the Luxury package for $4,500 to get leather.

Anyone have experience with Cadillac "leatherette"? Does it start to crack and look shoddy after a while like other plastics?

gohawks63
05-10-12, 07:30 PM
I have read many times where people say that all leather (and possibly leatherette) has a "plastic" coating on it that makes conditioning needless.

I will strongly disagree with that statement as my last 6 cars or so that were purchased new and when traded in had close to 6 digits on the odometer when traded in, never had a crack or tear in them, and I religously conditioned those seats. My wife's current car is a 2004 Toyota Land Cruiser that has 155K miles on it. It was bought new, has endured kids, and the seats are still soft, supple and crack free. Compare that with our previous Land Cruiser ('98) that we bought used with 50K miles on her that had seats that looked worse that the seats in our current Land Cruiser.

My point in this is that I have no doubt if you keep the seats from drying out, whether they are leather or vinyl (leatherette), they will last.

JimmyH
05-11-12, 02:19 PM
I wish they would bring back velour. I miss velour seats. Much nicer and more comfortable than leather. Especially in extreme temperatures.

gohawks63
05-11-12, 06:10 PM
I wish they would bring back velour. I miss velour seats. Much nicer and more comfortable than leather. Especially in extreme temperatures.

Velour just isn't as durable as leather. It will fade, the material will wear over time (you can't condition it like leather), it's more difficult to keep clean, especially with kids, and absorbs odors easier.

JimmyH
05-11-12, 07:27 PM
I don't think so. My 2000 Maxima had velour seats. There was a tad bit of wear from my butt over the course of 8 years and 190000 miles. But it still looked great when I sold it. There were no odors or stains (despite my two kids). I would bet nearly all odors and stains are on the carpeting anyway. I did shampoo it yearly, and vacuum once every couple of months. Best of all, on a 100 day, it didn't burn my legs.

thebigjimsho
05-12-12, 04:08 PM
Wear pants.

marktanner
05-13-12, 11:48 AM
Vinyl upholstery is practically indestructible. It lasts a lot longer than leather. It dries out much less, and tends to be tougher, too. While today's vinyl can be pretty nice, it still doesn't feel as luxurious as leather, nor does it have that wonderful smell. Since the vinyl is considered to be more downscale, it's rarely perforated, so one will tend to sweat more, and ventilated seats are not available with vinyl, either. Still, if one wants to keep a car forever, vinyl is the best choice. Check out classic Mercedes with the MB Tex; always looks like new, unlike the leather.

JimmyH
05-13-12, 04:00 PM
My leather seats are a year old and the driver seat is already all cracked. Granted I don't condition it regularly, but I have a couple times. I did the seats on my V once a month, and they still managed to have a few cracks on the driver's seat.

gohawks63
05-14-12, 12:47 AM
My leather seats are a year old and the driver seat is already all cracked. Granted I don't condition it regularly, but I have a couple times. I did the seats on my V once a month, and they still managed to have a few cracks on the driver's seat.

Do you have cracks or wrinkles? Two different things. I find it hard to believe that the leather would crack that soon, especially if you've conditioned them a couple of times.

JimmyH
05-14-12, 01:46 PM
Well, no, they are not really cracks. They are creases. But the very surface of the leather is cracked. Point being, the very peak of those wrinkles are broken. Which isn't a huge deal since this is my daily driver. I am not complaining or anything, I can live with it. But I would still rather have velour. I just don't like leather. These days, though, it is impossible to find a well equipped car without leather seats.

bodam
05-14-12, 01:49 PM
My last CTS had the leatherette seats, and it didn't have any creases or cracks at all when I traded it with around 50K miles. They looked new at 50K.

thebigjimsho
05-16-12, 06:01 PM
Velour. No wonder you hate C&D and BMWs...

gohawks63
05-16-12, 07:04 PM
Wrinkles and creases in leather are normal. Just like a leather jacket. Cracking and peeling is not.

georgewerr
05-24-12, 12:15 PM
I have read many times where people say that all leather (and possibly leatherette) has a "plastic" coating on it that makes conditioning needless.

I will strongly disagree with that statement as my last 6 cars or so that were purchased new and when traded in had close to 6 digits on the odometer when traded in, never had a crack or tear in them, and I religously conditioned those seats. My wife's current car is a 2004 Toyota Land Cruiser that has 155K miles on it. It was bought new, has endured kids, and the seats are still soft, supple and crack free. Compare that with our previous Land Cruiser ('98) that we bought used with 50K miles on her that had seats that looked worse that the seats in our current Land Cruiser.

My point in this is that I have no doubt if you keep the seats from drying out, whether they are leather or vinyl (leatherette), they will last.

I have a 04 SRX with 149000 on the clock, have never touched the leather seats and they look like new

DG2
06-24-12, 01:21 AM
I have a 04 SRX with 149000 on the clock, have never touched the leather seats and they look like new

Ditto for my '05 STS with 174,000 Seats still look new. However , I do treat them to Mequires cleaning and conditioning wipes. BTW. I have two enormous dogs that try their best to drool and dirty up the seats. Hence, the Mequires wipes. Look new !!

Jesda
06-24-12, 09:07 AM
Leatherette is such a cute word for vinyl.

It's like referring to poop as "droppings."

M5eater
06-29-12, 01:50 PM
I'm not sure I could distinguish the difference to be honest. The CTS's leather on the Recaro's and back seats feel completly like vinyl to me compared to the leather I've felt in an IS250 I recently drove in. That stuff was plush, soft, it was a pleasure to sit in.

The CTS's leather feels like sand paper.

JimmyH
06-29-12, 02:31 PM
I'll still take velour.

dkozloski
06-30-12, 01:34 PM
Leatherette is tacky and intended for the "little people". The best word to describe it is the German word, ersatz.

dkozloski
06-30-12, 04:26 PM
Real cars have mohair or leather.

JimmyH
07-01-12, 02:34 PM
If the car handles well and is fast, they can give me plastic seats, I don't care.

Jesda
07-01-12, 05:01 PM
I wouldn't mind seeing more fabric options like velour. I'd also enjoy interesting patterns like houndstooth, plaid, or argyle.

http://bringatrailer.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/1979_Volkswagen_GTI_Plaid_Interior_1.jpg

Though I'll admit, that might be a bit out of place in an ATS.

M5eater
07-01-12, 05:07 PM
let bad habits stay dead I say.


velour does not belong in a sports sedan.

JimmyH
07-01-12, 06:32 PM
Worked pretty well in my maxima. Held me firmly in place without side bolsters. And was extremely comfortable. Unlike dead cow skin. I'll never understand leather.

Jesda
07-02-12, 03:02 AM
Leather has a nice smell, is less inclined to absorb odors, is easier to clean, and your shirt doesn't bunch up when you sit down. However, I'm glad I switched the front seats in my convertible to cloth. They're comfortable all year round and I drive with the top open 98% of the time.


So for me, I'd prefer leather in a fixed-roof car, cloth in a vert. And we know an ATS convertible is likely around the corner.

concorso
07-03-12, 12:05 PM
If the car handles well and is fast, they can give me plastic seats, I don't care.Sounds like a BMW 3er....I thought you didnt like those? :P

concorso
07-03-12, 12:22 PM
I'm not sure I could distinguish the difference to be honest. The CTS's leather on the Recaro's and back seats feel completly like vinyl to me compared to the leather I've felt in an IS250 I recently drove in. That stuff was plush, soft, it was a pleasure to sit in.

The CTS's leather feels like sand paper.Check out a base 04 CTS. See if you can tell the difference between vinyl and leather on those seats. :) The STS-V used very nice leather. You could get quality leather throughout the STS lineup.

concorso
07-03-12, 12:28 PM
I have read many times where people say that all leather (and possibly leatherette) has a "plastic" coating on it that makes conditioning needless.

I will strongly disagree with that statement as my last 6 cars or so that were purchased new and when traded in had close to 6 digits on the odometer when traded in, never had a crack or tear in them, and I religously conditioned those seats. My wife's current car is a 2004 Toyota Land Cruiser that has 155K miles on it. It was bought new, has endured kids, and the seats are still soft, supple and crack free. Compare that with our previous Land Cruiser ('98) that we bought used with 50K miles on her that had seats that looked worse that the seats in our current Land Cruiser.

My point in this is that I have no doubt if you keep the seats from drying out, whether they are leather or vinyl (leatherette), they will last.Lol you made me giggle. Im too old to giggle.
Lowend leather has a vinly coating, and if you follow the experts suggestions, including the ones in your manual, the suggestions of companies making the best leather products, the suggestions of manufactuerers of leather, etc...then you dont need to condition your 'painted' leather seats. Want to restore a little moisture? After cleaning wipe it down with a damp MF. That will give it plenty of moisture.
The fact that you conditioned your leather doest prove that it was neccessary. It just indicates that conditioning doesnt do any damage long term. Which isnt true for peopel who live in dirty climates, as there is a direct correlation between conditioning seats and attracting dirt. You can strongly disagree all you like. I spose the earth is flat and noone has been to the moon either. :P

There are different levels of interior leather. Check them out, learn a little about leather, before you continue to educate.

JimmyH
07-03-12, 01:13 PM
Sounds like a BMW 3er....I thought you didnt like those? :P

I don't like the stigma. I just like giving bmw a hard time. I haven't driven a recent bmw so I am not really qualified to say.

ddawson
07-03-12, 02:28 PM
The name of this forum isn't CHIT CHAT.

JimmyH
07-03-12, 03:59 PM
it's not boo hoo either

concorso
07-03-12, 04:06 PM
I don't like the stigma. I just like giving bmw a hard time. I haven't driven a recent bmw so I am not really qualified to say.I dont like the stigma either. I just choose to ignore the reputation a vehicle or its owner. Maybe Im lucky to live in a smaller city then something like LA or NYC, as it allows for affordable luxury vehicles to be rarer items. I still dont care what others think about my car, whether its positive or negative.

concorso
07-03-12, 04:07 PM
The name of this forum isn't CHIT CHAT.A conversatoin about 3 series BMW's in an ATS forum? Thats about as close to on-topic as you get in an off-topic conversation. Especially considering everything about the ATS is up for speculation for most of us.

JimmyH
07-03-12, 04:21 PM
I dont like the stigma either. I just choose to ignore the reputation a vehicle or its owner. Maybe Im lucky to live in a smaller city then something like LA or NYC, as it allows for affordable luxury vehicles to be rarer items. I still dont care what others think about my car, whether its positive or negative.

I don't really care what others think either. But I don't want to be noticed either (said the guy in the Camaro; I know) and people generally see BMUUs and think "oh look that snooty a**hole. Which is more often than not, an incorrect assessment. But it's still the stigma.

I actually get tailgated very frequently since I got the Camaro. It's one of the many reasons I don't want to daily drive it anymore. People see a sports car and assume the driver (that's me) is a first class jerk. And admittedly, I used to be :D But I grew up and I am a very defensive driver now. It would be nice to be treated as such.

My next car is going to be as plain and forgettable as possible. Cruze Eco is on my short list. Now that they are finally commonplace, I am hoping if I get one, I won't get a second glance.

JimmyH
07-03-12, 04:24 PM
And ddawson, threads do get off track. It's part of forum life. Yes, many forums will close or start deleting posts when that happens. We do not. I would not be part of any forum that shuts down topics just because some posts went off-topic. If we ever get to that, you won't see me around here for long.

2004ctsv
07-04-12, 03:05 PM
We had a 1984 celebrity sw with cloth seats. After 4 years of spilled food, milk, juice and other liquids (kids are murder on car seats) the cloth felt like leather.
But could never develop that leathery smell.

thebigjimsho
07-05-12, 09:39 PM
it's not boo hoo either

POTD right thurr...

thebigjimsho
07-05-12, 09:40 PM
We had a 1984 celebrity sw with cloth seats. After 4 years of spilled food, milk, juice and other liquids (kids are murder on car seats) the cloth felt like leather.
But could never develop that leathery smell.

Close runner-up...

gohawks63
07-07-12, 01:33 PM
Lol you made me giggle. Im too old to giggle.
Lowend leather has a vinly coating, and if you follow the experts suggestions, including the ones in your manual, the suggestions of companies making the best leather products, the suggestions of manufactuerers of leather, etc...then you dont need to condition your 'painted' leather seats. Want to restore a little moisture? After cleaning wipe it down with a damp MF. That will give it plenty of moisture.
The fact that you conditioned your leather doest prove that it was neccessary. It just indicates that conditioning doesnt do any damage long term. Which isnt true for peopel who live in dirty climates, as there is a direct correlation between conditioning seats and attracting dirt. You can strongly disagree all you like. I spose the earth is flat and noone has been to the moon either. :P

There are different levels of interior leather. Check them out, learn a little about leather, before you continue to educate.

So if conditioning does no good, why do I constantly see neglected seats that are cracked and worn, especially on the outer edge of the driver's seat that are subject to the most wear from getting in and out?

The Raven
09-19-12, 01:45 PM
Leatherette is such a cute word for vinyl.

It's like referring to poop as "droppings."

"Leavings" would be my favorite.

The Raven
09-19-12, 02:01 PM
Lol you made me giggle. Im too old to giggle.
Lowend leather has a vinly coating, and if you follow the experts suggestions, including the ones in your manual, the suggestions of companies making the best leather products, the suggestions of manufactuerers of leather, etc...then you dont need to condition your 'painted' leather seats. Want to restore a little moisture? After cleaning wipe it down with a damp MF. That will give it plenty of moisture.
The fact that you conditioned your leather doest prove that it was neccessary. It just indicates that conditioning doesnt do any damage long term. Which isnt true for peopel who live in dirty climates, as there is a direct correlation between conditioning seats and attracting dirt. You can strongly disagree all you like. I spose the earth is flat and noone has been to the moon either. :P

There are different levels of interior leather. Check them out, learn a little about leather, before you continue to educate.

I'm confused...all I saw that he said was that people who say ALL automotive leather has a plastic coating are wrong...and he's correct about that. Like you say, there are many different grades of "leather" that are used in automotive applications.

The important point to "educate" people on is that REAL automotive leather must be maintained. You can't just let it go with a dry or wet wipe-down and expect it to last. Even vinyl will benefit from a good conditioner because good conditioners contain "sunblock" to protect the leather or vinyl from UV exposure. UV exposure is the primary cause of leather and vinyl damage in automobiles.