Whats the difference between leatherette and leather ?
I have read a few threads which talk about leatherette and I'm not to sure what this is. I'm looking at getting Full Beige Leather when I order my MINI but what does leatherette mean ? Is it different of just another word with the same meaning ?
Is the leather on the newer cars still baggy? IIRC, after a few months use, the leather would look "loose", whereas the leatherette still looked tight on the seat cushions.
That, plus the money ($1250) convinced me to go with the leatherette, and I'm glad I did - it's very grippy (actually tends to pull the back of my shirt out when I sit in the car) and holds you in place in the turns. It looks good, too. I've had to correct people who said: "Oh, you got the leather!" when they saw it.
I think the leather problem is on some cars, but certainly not all of them. I have the lapis blue leather seats in my Cooper S. With one year of use and 13,000 miles, both the driver's seat and the passenger seat still look new. They are identical - no wrinkles or sagging. And the passenger's seat only gets used perhaps 15% of the time vs. constant use of the driver's seat.
Now here's the wierd part. A month ago I saw a brand new Cooper S with lapis blue leather seats at my local the dealership. On a brand new car, both the driver and passenger seat bottoms looked terrible. The leather was indeed baggy and looked like it had been badly stretched. Was there a bad day a the seat factory? Did someone leave the windows down and the seats got drenched during a rain storm? Who knows?
+ 2002 MINI Cooper S - Dark Silver / White roof, Sport, Premium, Lapis blue leather
+ 1965 Mini Traveller - Tartan Red / White roof, 1275, Cooper S discs, fully restored/renewed
I think the quality of the leather being used at time of manufacture tends to vary, it shouldn't, but it seems to be the case.
I personally have a very bad concept of MINI's real cowhide upholstery options. Everytime I look inside a used MINI with leather seats these tend to look horrible, whereas, the cars with the Leatherette still look factory fresh.
Even new MINIs in the showroom, probably ex-demos, already show big signs of leather seating wear...yuck!
IMHO, don't waste the money in leather ($1,250) and get the standard no cost and fantastic Leatherette material...has the look and feel of leather without the hefty costs (The MINI leather is overpriced, period)of real cowhide and all the durability and maintenance issues.
Our leatherette seats still look showroom new after 10 months of use. When people come to "motor" with us, they think we have leather seats and their jaws drop when we tell them that the seats are "plastic" or vinyl!!!! Platic has come a long way baby!!
The Leatherette seating material used in the MINI is the same exact high quality BMW Leatherette material found in the current BMW 3 series. Unfortunately, the same can't be said about the MINI's real leather vs the Leather quality used in BMW products.
'02 MINI Cooper CVT
On Order: 2004 MCS (Est production date: 9/5/03)
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