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New Cars with No Leather?

fraulein0fraulein0 Posts: 2
edited March 6 in Mazda
I'm looking for a new car, and I want some performance, but I don't want anything in it that has been chopped off the butt of a cow basically. It looks like there isn't much selection in that area on sporty cars; almost all of them have at least a leather wraped steering wheel. Best things I've found so far are the Mazda MX-5 SV (which doesn't even come with air conditioning) and the Scion tC Spec. The tC sound like it could be good. It comes with power windows, power remote doors, and AC, and you can also get the factory supercharger on it. Is there anything else out there?

Certainly a lot of what manufacturers describe as leather is probably fake leather material, right? Is there a good way to tell if it's real of fake?

Comments

  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    BMW 335i at $39K has Vinyl seats called leatherette as standard equip. :surprise:

    Rocky
  • john_324john_324 Posts: 974
    "Certainly a lot of what manufacturers describe as leather is probably fake leather material, right? Is there a good way to tell if it's real of fake?"

    Easy...if they call it anything else but simply "leather", it's not. Leatherette, no. Tex, no. Leather-something, no.

    I think Mustangs can still be had with a cloth interior, though I think the leather-wrapped steering wheel is standard. Still, you can just have them cut it off if you don't like it...
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,007
    Certainly a lot of what manufacturers describe as leather is probably fake leather material, right? Is there a good way to tell if it's real of fake?

    Sometimes vinyls can be deceptively plush and expensive looking, and I've seen some leathers that look so low-rent you'd swear that you were sitting on a Hefty bag. However, I think one way to tell leather apart from vinyl is the way it wrinkles and creases when you sit on it or poke a finger at it. Leather seems to stretch a bit more than vinyl. And with a bit of age, leather will usually get cracks and creases here and there, whereas vinyl will just tear.

    Most cars with leather interiors just have the leather on the actual seating surfaces. The sides of the seat, and the backs, and that little part under the front of the seat, are usually vinyl. And any accenting that they put on the door panels is usually vinyl as well. Also, any pull-down armrests that the car has is usually just vinyl on the sides.

    Now on some of the really expensive luxury cars, I'm sure that the whole seat is leather.
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,643
    Last I heard lower end Audis (A3 & A4) could be had with leatherette interiors, Minis can be had w cloth and even Porsche and Mercedes have leatherette standard (real leather is extra).

    The leathette on my '98 A4 was better-looking and lasted better than the cheap optional leather in my '86 Mustang GT.

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Posts: 1,986
    it's what's for dinner.

    Leatherette me likey. Not half as much as the real thing done right, but it's a great product.

    Another you may find out there is Alcantara, which is a man-made seating fabric resembling suede. It's a great option, IMO. Grippy as all get-out and easy to care for.

    For me, just the thought of pissing off PETA members keeps me buying dead cow on wheels...
    }-]
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    Alcantara, at least has a authentic "feel" and is stylish. ;)

    Rocky
  • john_324john_324 Posts: 974
    "Last I heard lower end Audis (A3 & A4) could be had with leatherette interiors, Minis can be had w cloth and even Porsche and Mercedes have leatherette standard (real leather is extra)."

    I miss the days when Porsches could be had with cloth interiors. I loved the Teutonic stubborness of Porsche's worldview: "you're paying for years of racetrack-tuned performance knowledge first and foremost, not frivolous luxury!"

    As far as I know, Porsche still refuses to offer cupholders...at least on its real vehicles. I wouldn't be surprised if that Porsche Toureg has 'em though... :(
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,730
    my neighbor just got a new porsche carrera S. it has cupholders, and get ready for this, a button labelled 'mail'. :confuse:
  • Probably has a integrated or bluetooh phone hook up and the mail button is for programed to auto dial voicemail.
  • The Audi A3 and A4 have a leather trim shifter standard. BMW 3 has a leather steering wheel standard. Porsches have a lot of leather trim standard. Mini has a leather steering wheel standard. This is according to the Edmunds standard equipment list, and I don't know if they differentiate between leather and faux-leather trim, especially since I havn't seen that on any of the equipment lists, except when regarding seating surfaces.

    Looks like the Civic coupe can be had all the way up to EX without any leather, and the Mazda 3i is also devoid of leather. Not much performance, but I can't complain much, having put myself into a small selection.

    "Still, you can just have them cut it off if you don't like it..."

    I'd still be buying the leather though. I don't think you can have it left off from the factory; it may be worth asking about though.
  • john_324john_324 Posts: 974
    "my neighbor just got a new porsche carrera S. it has cupholders, and get ready for this, a button labelled 'mail'"

    Looks like I spoke too soon. Sigh. :cry:
  • john_324john_324 Posts: 974
    Actually, looking at the Ford website further, you can get a V6 Mustang w/o any leather.

    Cloth interior, plastic steering wheel. :shades:
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,359
    "I'd still be buying the leather though. I don't think you can have it left off from the factory; it may be worth asking about though."

    what ever happened to delete options? There used to be a whole list of standard equipment but there were items you could get the car without which essentially made the car below the base model. Some had automatic trannys standard with a manual as a delete option.

    I'd think leather should play right into that, but naturally the market feels otherwise.
  • kronykrony Posts: 110
    Unfortunately from a manufacturing perspective, the delete option never recovers the added cost on the factory line to source and swap out the parts. If your dealer is good...he may do some swapping for you if the low-wnd model doesn't have the leather.
  • john_324john_324 Posts: 974
    Option delete seems to be only available occasionally, usually on items that the manufactuer has a feeling may be "too much" for many buyers.

    The new Mustangs have a spoiler delete option, and the old, first-gen Dodge Neon R/T coupes came with Le Mans body striping that could be deleted if desired. :)
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,359
    I'd gladly delete almost any spoiler on a car. Most of teh spoiling any of them actually do is spoiling the look of the car!
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,643
    it's possible to order an optional wooden steering wheel in a Mini in place of the standard leather, or do you object to killing trees as well?

    I 'spect it's possible to replace leather covered shiters in most of the cars that offer them as standard.

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Posts: 1,986
    Yeah, very few butts are enhanced by a spoiler.

    I'm especially fond of them on things like Acura TLs, which derive so much benefit from the added downforce supplied by the aerodynamically designed attachment... ;)

    I like leather surrogates, to put it in Aldous Huxley terms. Really, even as a leather fan, I wouldn't mind moving to a mix of Leatherette and Alcantara for all the appropriate surfaces. I can see that as very functional, from both wear and performance stances, as well as comfortable.

    I do think that since they are manufactured from completely non-renewable sources, though, and that the processes themselves are fairly dirty, and that they emit gasses for years after manufacture, that the real thing may be a much greener product all around.

    Regrowing cows is easy. Regrowing compressed dinosaurs not so very much... :blush:
  • Strippos come standard with cloth and a plastic steering wheel. The step up option package comes with some really good "tex" vinyl (so good that most people think its actually leather) and a plastic steering wheel...get into the next option package tho and you get dead cows. They're not terribly exciting to drive, but not too boring either, have good seats, almost perfect ergonomics, and environmentally friendly 10K mile service intervals.
  • I'd also like to see a cloth option in more cars. I hate the way leather and anything leather-like feels (and smells as well). Damn cold/hot, hard/impermeable/un-breathing, slippery, smooth surface is just nasty
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,022
    I kind of agree with the hot and cold aspect of leather seats. I do like the smell of a good quality leather. What would we do with all the cow hides if not use the leather in our cars? That seems environmentally wasteful to me.
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    I kind of agree with the hot and cold aspect of leather seats.

    I can solve that problem for you. Buy only cars with heated seats for when it's cold and ventialated seats for when it's warm.

    I do like the smell of a good quality leather.

    Not really a better scent is their ? The only one that I can think of that rivals it is a handful of crisp $100 dollar bills. :blush:

    What would we do with all the cow hides if not use the leather in our cars? That seems environmentally wasteful to me.

    I must have a little bit on Indian, in my blood because I feel the same as you do. :P

    Rocky
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Posts: 1,986
    Alcantara to cloth as a seating surface. It's breathable, a lot grippier than cloth, much more sophisticated looking (IMO), and pretty easy to care for.

    Still, perfed leather is pretty darn good as a surface. I haven't found mine to be particularly slippery at all, and it's plenty breathable as well. Darn durable too. The aroma? OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG! Can't get enough!
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    wale_bate,

    I 100% agree with both of your points sir. ;)

    Rocky
  • I wish manufacturers would offer a higher quality cloth as an option, if they insist on sticking us with low quality cloth as in base models. With the upcharge of leather seats, you get to buy seat heaters and coolers for big bucks.
    You can get cloth in an Impala, even for credit in the SS.
  • texasestexases Posts: 5,605
    What's worse here (Dallas) is the Honda dealer that's offering discounts on their LX (cloth) models - but only if they have the aftermark leather!
This discussion has been closed.