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Honda CR-V Leather Questions

socalmomsocalmom Posts: 5
edited April 27 in Honda
I am considering a 2007 CR-V and I went to the local dealer today to take a test-drive. Upon remarking my continued disdain at Honda's choice of only offering certain options on the trim line with leather seats, the salesman responded to me that they were not actually *real* leather. I was shocked. I kept on to make sure I was understanding him correctly and he insisted that it was 'manufactured leather,' not from any animals and to get a vehicle with real leather seats these days you have to go very high end. I was baffled as to how they can advertise seats as leather when they are not (and yet at the same time VERY excited as this is what has kept me three cars in a row now from going with Honda). Then I saw the sticker says "leather-TRIMMED seats." So, is there just one tiny patch of leather hidden somewhere and they are plastic?

Does anyone know?


  • I had a salesman tell me that the seat itself was leather but other than the part you sit on it is not real leather.
  • terry92270terry92270 Posts: 1,247
    Like MOST things called "Leather" including most recliners and sofa's, Leather is used on the seating surfaces, the part your body makes contact with, and the rest will be imitation. This includes $87,000 Mercedes as well as Honda. ;)

    It does wear better than the cloth, and easier to clean, etc.
  • lzclzc Posts: 483
    The term "leather trimmed" is common to all but the most expensive car brands, including Toyota and Honda. It means the seat and back, where you and the seat meet, is leather. Everywhere else, where wear and tear isn't an issue, is vinyl. Why pay for more?

    In my years of car buying, I've rarely found anyone that knows less about what they sell than car salesmen. The job turnover is high. Most of those out prowling the lot are green. They're usually trained for one thing--to sell whatever they have in stock, and often trash everything else.

    As to the term "manufactured leather," no leather comes off the cow suitable for car seats (or the right color). It's all highly processed. That, of course, isn't to say there's no quality difference between leather seats in a $25,000 car and one costing twice as much.
  • Thanks, that is what I thought. Do you think that means the rear-seats are also leather on the top but not the sides?

    ---She asks trying to decide just how much dead cow is too much dead cow to live with in her car just to get a NAV system.
  • terry92270terry92270 Posts: 1,247
    Isn't that just what I said :confuse:

    What it means is the leather is on the surface your bottom and back actually touch, plus the steering wheel.

    Go to or Honda, look at the specifications for all items on the EX-L, for a complete list of differences between the EX and EX-L. There are more than just 2-3. ;)
  • lzclzc Posts: 483
    Yes, the seating area, front and back, is leather.

    And, yes, neither Honda nor Toyota can advertise their cars as "Have it your way." The economies gained from limiting choices is significant. Many grumble, but most of us swallow the unwanted feature to get the rest.

    OT - You realize that the cow was slaughtered for reasons other than its hide.
  • Yeah, that is one thing I LOVE about Ford, you can get your car anyway you want. I thought perhaps I could order a car the way I wanted, I've known people to do that with other Makers, I've just never been patient enough. Honda said no. Grumble is right.

    My husband says the same thing about the cow, but how do we know? Is that written somewhere?
  • lzclzc Posts: 483
    >>Is that written somewhere?

    Sure, but it's buried in ag economic data. I can tell you the avg slaughtered steer weighs about 1200 lbs and yields $80-90 per hundred pounds of weight, or around $1,000. The hide sells for $55-60, or 5-6% of the steer's value.

    Good luck in squaring your wants with your personal morality.
  • terry92270terry92270 Posts: 1,247
    Please don't eat me!


    ROFLMAO!! :P
  • drive62drive62 Posts: 637
    Yeah, that is one thing I LOVE about Ford, you can get your car anyway you want.

    That's one of the differences between domestics and imports. It goes back to the days when they shipped 'em over as is and any "option" you wanted had to be added by the dealer.

    Some imports (Toyota for one) have moved toward the business model of optioning you to death. Personally I like Honda's way of doing it, and as a business it makes sense to make the assembly line less complicated.

    Although you are getting your domestic configured the way you want, unless someone who works on the line can confirm it, I have my doubts that they actually build it as you order it. At least they didn't used to. When I bought a GM vehicle and ordered this and that I could tell that they had put in the upgraded stereo after the fact and a few other things like that (although not at the dealr...I think).
  • terry92270terry92270 Posts: 1,247
    You could just "tell" eh? Is Kreskin your Uncle? :P

    Ford, GM, Chrysler, and even Mercedes would, could and still does build "special order" vehicles if you are willing to wait. It isn't all that big a deal, really. They just tag the next car on the line with the specialty items wanted, and it goes down the line next to the normal stock. Typically it adds a month or so to the delivery time.
  • snoopy21snoopy21 Posts: 114
    typically, it also means you can't strike as good a deal as a vehicle already on the lot...when i inquired a few years ago, it was MSRP for special-order vehicles but i could get near invoice price on the ones they already had.
  • terry92270terry92270 Posts: 1,247
    Well, in that eventuality, I would change dealers, or deal with the Fleet Manager there.

    Dealerships receive incentives from the manufacturer based upon total volume of sales, regardless of stock or special orders. The more total sales they have, the more in total dollar rebates/SPIFS from the company. They just had you pegged as wanting it now, is all. ;)

    I didn't pay anywhere near MSRP for my Viper, and it was special order. And that is a real specialty car, never a stock one.
  • drive62drive62 Posts: 637
    Yeah smart aleck I could tell. Even if it was built to order on the line, it was a lousy job. "Ordering" can mean different things. It was my car, thanks for assuming I don't know what I was talking about. I'm an import fan and you don't even get it. Add me to the people here you have pissed off.
  • I know, I actually like everything about the EX-L the best, except the "L."
  • lzclzc Posts: 483
    >> . . .look at the specifications for all items on the EX-L, for a complete list of differences between the EX and EX-L. There are more than just 2-3.

    Technically, you are right, but barely. There are 5. For most people, though, I doubt it's more than 2-3 that cause them to want the EX-L.
  • marig0107marig0107 Posts: 92
    thank you all for the serious laugh! I am now a disappointed leather owner now that I know just my tender parts are touching leather... :) I can't bring up quite as much love now :P rofl
  • subhashsubhash Posts: 5
    I'd like to know if anybody has any experience with custom leather seat covers.

    I'm planning to buy a CRV LX 4WD. But then, I also wish to have leather seats, which come only with EX, which costs much more (3K+) than LX. I really don't need the additional features EX (moonroof, 6CD, rear privacy glass, etc). The LX features are good enough for me.

    So, I'm thinking if I can simply buy an LX 4WD, and then get the leather seat covers installed, which can cost upto $500 + installation charges, if any.

    I could find custom leather seat covers on the internet, but apparently none had any reviews on them.

    Just want to check if anybody has had experience with custom leather seats covers. Can they be installed (say, by a professional) nicely without spoiling the interior look. How closely can the leather seat cover installation match the factory installed leather.

    Any suggestions or inputs are appreciated.

  • We talked to one dealer about doing that. We were considering an EX instead of an EX-L just due to availability problems (we were eventually able to get an EX-L). There is a company that will replace all the upholstery with leather. We didn't see this done on a CR-V, but we did see it on a Civic. The quality was better than the factory installed leather. It felt like a better quality leather, and unlike the factory leather, it was all leather - there was no vinyl anywhere on the seats.

    I don't know what company they were using, but it wasn't any less expensive than upgrading to the leather upholstery from Honda. The leather upholstery plus heated front seats installed came to about $2K, so we didn't see much of an advantage to it.

  • subhashsubhash Posts: 5
    Thanks for the useful info Doug.
    In the process, do you know if the entire upholstery is replaced or if it is just using a leather cover over the existing upholstery.

This discussion has been closed.