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Please Help: Leather vs Cloth Seats

drezheredrezhere Member Posts: 12
edited March 2014 in Honda
I am going to purchase a 2013 Accord Coupe soon and I am having the leather vs cloth dilemma. My major concerns are durability and comfort. Durability: I have seen several 10 year old vehicles (Hondas included) with worn and cracked leather, but I have personally never seen cloth seats with the same issues within 10 years. Comfort: Only LX or EX-L Coupes come with the 10 point adjustable seat. I have a bad back, so I think the highly adjustable seat would be a benefit. Although, I have been in cars with leather seats that cause you to slip forward slightly over time. So, you are always readjusting you posture or sitting position. Cloth seats cause you to just stick in place due to the fiber. Meanwhile, I have seen many people rave about how comfortable leather seats are. I do not want to make a mistake. Please share your experience with me and thanks in advance.


  • benjaminhbenjaminh Member Posts: 6,311
    edited February 2013
    drezhere: I've owned both cloth and leather Accords, and I think you've got the pros and cons pretty much down.

    The bottom line is that I slightly prefer cloth, and yet my 2008 Accord sedan is leather, and my new 2013 Accord sedan is going to be leather. Why? Because the other options I want are only on the higher levels of Accord, and as you know once you go to a certain level you are forced to get leather.

    But the leather seats are quite comfortable. In my 2008 Accord EXL there is power adjustable lumbar support that works well, two level heating for cold mornings, and generally the seats are comfortable and supportive.

    The cloth seats on my 2002 Accord LX were also comfortable, and I liked them a lot.

    I agree with you that in the long run cloth seems to be more durable. But the leather on the 2013 Accord has been upgraded to almost the Acura level to improve comfort and durability. The key to making leather last, I think, is to apply a leather moisturizer and cleaner about once a year. Garaging your car can help too, of course.

    Good luck with your decision! Let us know how it goes....Some thorough test drives are priceless in terms of figuring our your personal comfort with your back of leather vs. cloth.
    2018 Acura TLX 2.4 Tech 4WS (mine), 2018 Honda CR-V EX AWD (wife's)
  • mrbill1957mrbill1957 Member Posts: 823
    I agree 100% with your comments. I have an 04 Accord EX-L with only 55k miles on it. I'm fussy with maintaining the condition of the leather seats, treating them 3x a year with leather conditioner. The car is always garaged so it's not being attacked by the sun. It only took a couple of years before small cracks in the finish of the leather started to appear. Honda uses very thin leather. Since it's so thin, the leather streaches and folds easier then thicker leather causing the finish to fail faster. I'm the sole driver of the car and the side bolsters on the driver's seat are looking cracked. My main transportation is a 95 Toyota Tacoma pick-up and the cloth seats still look new. No tears whatsoever. 160k miles with most of it's time sitting outdoors.

    Other then making entering/exiting the car easier since you slide on the leather, I don't see much of a plus with them. I would disagree with anyone if they claim the leather seats in their Accord "breathe". Mine don't.

    If it wasn't for the requirement of buying my Accord with leather seats so I could get the navigation option, I would have gone with a model with cloth seats. The heated option is nice, but since I park my car for the winter to keep it out of the salt, I rarely get to use that option.

  • drezheredrezhere Member Posts: 12
    Thank you both for your input. Thoroughly checked out the Coupe today and was not quite sold on the leather seats and the comfort. So I decided to check out the EX sedan, because it has all of the features that I am really looking for (except for a spoiler and dual exhaust, but I can add the spoiler). The seats were great in the EX and will be better suited for me. The Coupe EX does not come with the 10-point adjustable seats. So instead of the sporty look I will be going for the classy look. :shades: The new Accord Sedans do look much better this year! I can buy my new car anytime between now and mid September, before it becomes a necessity. Now the question is when to buy?
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Member Posts: 6,311
    The EX sedan in cloth is a great choice! The cloth is even a bit upgraded from the LX model, plus it's a 10 way power seat, you get moonroof/sunroof, side camera, push button start, V-rated tired and larger wheels etc.

    And you can carry people in the back seat easily...
    2018 Acura TLX 2.4 Tech 4WS (mine), 2018 Honda CR-V EX AWD (wife's)
  • igozoomzoomigozoomzoom Member Posts: 801
    Honda has always used very high quality fabric on Accords with the cloth interior. I owned a ’92 Accord EX 4-door until late 2005 and the seats didn’t show any signs of wear or fading. That’s pretty impressive for a 13-year old car that was exposed to Atlanta heat and sun every day and not kept in a garage. It was all the more impressive because the cloth interior was Dark Blue, which would have faded to a ‘Smurf’ blue in any other car!

    I wasn’t a fan of 2008-2012 Accord, but the 2013 Accord Sedan is a much better vehicle! I had a 2013 Accord Sport 4-door CVT for a weekend-long extended test drive a few months ago. I also drove an EX 4-door CVT after the Sport and I really liked both of them. There is a very good chance that a 2013 Accord Sedan (Sport or EX trim level) will be my next car!

    The Sport comes with the same Black Fabric used on the EX Coupe. The EX Sedan has a unique Fabric that looks and feels more upscale and high quality than the cloth on lower trim levels, even though the entry-level LX cloth is nicer than most already. The EX Sedan cloth comes in Black, Ivory and Gray, depending on exterior color; all Sport models have Black regardless of exterior color.

    In typical Honda fashion, there are some features included on the Sport that aren’t on the EX and vice versa! The Sport is my favorite with sporty 18” alloy wheels, rear spoiler and leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter. My only complaint is that it has the same 4-speaker 160-watt Audio System found in LX models.

    The EX has a Power Moonroof, Push Button Start, and Honda LaneWatch, all of which I can do without. It does get an upgrade to 6-speakers over the LX/Sport, but it still has the same fairly basic 160-watt system.

    It really ticks me off that you can get a 7-speaker Premium Audio System with Subwoofer & XM Radio…if you get the EX-L!!!

    BTW, I currently have a 2006 Mazda3 that I bought new in 12/2005. I had to travel 430 miles round-trip to Knoxville, TN (from Atlanta) to get a 5-door in the color I wanted with a 5-speed manual and WITHOUT leather seats! I was very excited about the recently introduced 2014 Mazda6 and expected that it would be my next car. It comes in three trim levels- Sport, Touring and Grand Touring and the mid-level Touring is expected to be the high volume model. It is also the model with all the features I want except for the seats- the Sport has cloth, the Grand Touring has perforated leather but the Touring has “leatherette”!?!? It has fake leather (pleather?) but it isn’t even heated, which sucks even more…..
    2015.5 Volvo S60 T6 Drive-E Platinum, 2012 Mazda CX-9 GT
  • drezheredrezhere Member Posts: 12
    Kind of funny that you mentioned the Sport vs EX comparison. I just went through the same exact process. I chose the 2013 Accord EX Sedan and added the spoiler. :) The cloth interior is very nice and I enjoy the Power Moonroof, Push Button Start, and Honda LaneWatch. The LaneWatch is a great feature that I have used to squeeze between cars, so that I did not miss my exit! The 17" wheels look pretty nice on the EX and the moonroof is a nice feature. We have had moonroofs in our last three vehicles, so why stop now. The pushbutton start is just a fun toy, but was not a must have. The six speaker audio system sounds nice, but I think the EX should come with a subwoofer like the EX-L. The Honda spoiler that I added does make a big difference in the appearance, so you can have the best of both worlds! Now I am getting the Wheelskins leather steering wheel cover and putting that on myself (it will look factory installed.
  • choppedntubbedchoppedntubbed Member Posts: 39
    Hey, drezhere. I couldn't agree with you more. I could care less about the push button start, but not having a moon roof is a deal breaker for me. Could you post the link to the steering wheel cover you are referring to?
  • choppedntubbedchoppedntubbed Member Posts: 39
    Just googled Wheelskins and took a look at their product. Take a close looks at the pics. I don't see them remotely resembling a factory installation. I think the steering wheel would really look better without it. Just my opinion. :)
  • marcus216marcus216 Member Posts: 78
    Just purchased a 2013 Honda Accord Sedan EXL V6 that comes with perforated leather seats. I can attest that these seats are extremely comfortable, much more so than the last generation Accord. Leather generally cleans up much easier than cloth and that is a huge consideration for me especially after a few drink spills. I, too, will use a leather cleaner and and a leather conditioner on my seats 4 or 5 times per year and I have never had a problem, historically with cracking. Also the new perforated leather on my EXL seats should vent very well and be cooler in the summer heat.
  • drezheredrezhere Member Posts: 12
    After much consideration, I think you are right. :shades: What is your opinion on the Body Side Moldings to prevent door dings? I was considering buying them and putting them on myself, but I do not think they match the lines of the car (Sedan or your Coupe). Did you buy an extended warranty?
  • choppedntubbedchoppedntubbed Member Posts: 39
    Hey, drezhere. Just like you, the moon roof was an important option for me, as I have had in on my cars for years. I just got the 2013 Accord EX I4 6MT coupe in black on black (actually, the only color it comes in). I have had leather seats in my Hondas for years, and I really wanted a change to the cloth (also have a 2010 Accord EXL V6 Navi coupe). However, like you, I miss the leather wrapped steering wheel. They do make Honda OEM, but it looks like we will have to wait on the Accord. It appears they are out there, but just not for the 2013 Accord just yet, e.g., http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Genuine-OEM-2009-2013-Honda-Fit-Leather-Steering-Whe- el-Cover-08U98-TK6-120-/350580575323#vi-content

    I have asked this ebayer if they have it for the '13 Accord, and will let you know what they say.

    As for the body side molding, my last Honda to have it was my 2003 Honda EXL Sedan )not an option at the time, the car came with it). I agree with you that on the later model sedans and coupes, they do not match the body lines and don't plan on getting them. The only mods I did were to tint the windows (along with a sun strip), in addition to tinting the fog lights.

    I did get the extended warranty, 8 years/120K/0 deduct. In view of Honda's reliability, it is probably a waste of money. But all factory installed electronics are covered, and it simply gives me piece of mind.
  • drezheredrezhere Member Posts: 12
    Hey choppedntubbed,

    I emailed bernardiparts.com to see if they have the OEM leather steering wheel cover. I will let you know what they say.

    Concerning the extended warranty, I can go either way. One day I do not think it is a good idea, then the next day I believe it is a good idea considering it is the first year of the redesign and all of the new electronics. I have a quote that is good through the end of the month, so I might get the extended warranty. I guess it depends on how I feel that day. :confuse:

    I bet the tinted fog lights look nice!
  • drezheredrezhere Member Posts: 12
    Hey choppedntubbed,

    According to Bernardi, Honda has not made a leather steering wheel cover for the 2013 Accords. Who knows if they will later this year...

    I am still up in the air on the extended warranty. We will see how I feel tomorrow. :)
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