MINI Cooper Forum banner
1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
204 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was going to order my Mini with black leatherette sport seats. I was talking to a MA today about leather vs. leatherette. He said that resale would be better if I had leather seats instead of leatherette. Is that true? He was really trying to hard-sell me on a Mini they had on the lot that has almost my exact specs except it has leather seats. Should I reconsider and spend the extra $$ on leather??

Thanks for any advice.

Mary
 

·
MINI Groupie
Joined
·
105 Posts
Not leather!

Upkeep is a pain! You have to treat leather to keep it looking good as well as soft and supple.

Do a search for leather seat wear. Seems the lower edge on the seam of the side bolster takes a hit from garments as you slide into your seat. The big chunk of change that you lay down for leather can really bum a person out when it starts getting scuffed and worn.

Now if you like to baby the inside as well as the outside then leather might be a good choice for you. I'm too lazy! I went with cloth because I feel it looks nicer longer then leather or leatherette. Leather and leatherette will eventually crack. I can't think of anything uglier!

You're the only one who can make this decision...don't settle for something you don't really want.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
Are we forgetting that Mini does offer the best of both worlds.

Just get the leather clothe seat combo. :D

The sections that take the biggest abuse are in clothe and the rest
is in leather. Resale is higher with leather and maintenance is the same.

Just food for thought.



Regards,
:dsblack:
 

·
Sitting on a park bench..
Joined
·
1,183 Posts
Ian's weblog here http://www.gbmini.net/mtblog/archive/000346.shtml is indicative of the wear the prior poster was talking about...there's a bunch in here too if you search on it.

Me, I went with leatherette because of this. I don't think the combo was avail. when I ordered or I might have done it, I thought it was just across the pond.
 

·
MotorCityMadman
Joined
·
3,793 Posts
Sure, resale is higher if you take care of the leather so well that it looks new. If you don't want that kind of maintenance, go with the leatherette or cloth. The leatherette still needs occasional treatment, but is not as heavy-duty as the leather.

And if you get the leather, but don't take care of it, it will decrease, not increase, resale value.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
204 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Cooper76 said:
Sure, resale is higher if you take care of the leather so well that it looks new. If you don't want that kind of maintenance, go with the leatherette or cloth. The leatherette still needs occasional treatment, but is not as heavy-duty as the leather.

And if you get the leather, but don't take care of it, it will decrease, not increase, resale value.
This is a good point. I'm lazy and probably won't do much for the leather (I don't now in my Mini-van). If I go with the combo, how often do I treat the leather?

Thanks!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
375 Posts
All of the leather seats I've seen in the MINI that are old enough to have ware on them all have this really terrible round set of wrinkles, ware marks, and cracks on the bottom of the driver's seat (where your bottom resides). I've seen it so many times on different MINIs and it looks so awful that it really turned me off of the leather seats and I ordered the cloth ones instead.

The problem with the cloth (which is the same problem my neighbor is having on their red/black cloth/leather combo seats) is that the center section of the cloth (which is silver on my car and red on my neighbor's car) stains VERY easily. Even when the rain drips in on the seat on a rainy day it tends to stain the cloth. The stains can be taken out with a good cleaner, but it's a bit of a pain.

Currently, I'm driving around in a 2002 loaner MCS that has 27K miles on it and it has black leatherette seats in it and they seem to be holding up very well. I actually thought that they were leather at first until I saw the specs on the car and found out that they were actually leatherette instead. Thus, the leatherette does seem to hold up better than the leather does. However, I don't like them as they are cold in the winter, hot and sweaty in the summer, and I slide all over the place in them when driving.

I prefer the cloth seats the most (after having tried all of the different types), but they all have their advantages and disadvantages. If I were you, I'd get the leatherette (or the cloth) and spend the $1,300 you'll be saving on some other cool options.
 

·
Slippery When Wet
Joined
·
2,556 Posts
TheOfficeMaven said:
All of the leather seats I've seen in the MINI that are old enough to have ware on them all have this really terrible round set of wrinkles, ware marks, and cracks on the bottom of the driver's seat (where your bottom resides). I've seen it so many times on different MINIs and it looks so awful that it really turned me off of the leather seats and I ordered the cloth ones instead.
Finally! Someone else who had the same experience as me!

When I was speccing my first MINI, I took a look around at all the cars in the showroom. Every car with leather looked pretty horrid. The seats, even on the relatively new ones, were wrinkled and puckered and just looked like they had the worst upholstery job. Consequently, I ordered my MINI with cloth seats and loved them. Whenever I mention the poor leather seats, people look at my like I'm crazy. I've since been more MINIs and all the leather seats (even those owned by those who clean their cars religiously) look pretty worn. Pehaps I'm just too picky? :confused:

After totaling my first MINI, I got a replacement Cooper which has leatherette. The car has 18,000+ miles and the leatherette still looks new. I wish the car had cloth, its still my favorite, but the leatherette is a decent second. Personally, my vote would be for cloth. The leatherette is a good durable alternative to leather.... I would be terrified about what my leather would look like by the time I was ready to sell the car.

Mary - here's my interior at 18,000ish miles... just so you can see how well the leatherette holds up
 

·
MotorCityMadman
Joined
·
3,793 Posts
Maryflute, maybe this side-note will help. Since I owned a BMW and bought my MINI from the same dealer (combo BMW/MINI dealer), I have heard a lot of the ups-and-downs and insides-out of BMW from their perspective. Most of the salesmen, in their personal opinion, not their sales opinion (two different things), will admit that leatherette is the way to go to keep the car sharp, resale high, maintenance low, and that most people who come in to buy the car second-hand don't even realize it's leatherette and not the real thing. BMW is a master at vinyl. They even went far enough to say that more people than they would like to admit come in and ask to take advantage of the BMW Individual Program which states that any option offered on any model manufactured in the world can be offered on that same model regardless of country. Well, in the U.S., as you might know, cloth seats are not available in BMWs. However, they get plenty of wiseguys and BMW sharpies coming in and demanding to use Individual to order cloth (!!!) in their 3ers, 5ers, and even Ms!!!

So, if I were you, leather would be the 3rd out of 3rd choice. But it all comes down to want you want and are willing to take care of. Good luck in your choice!!! And mostly, have fun in choosing!!! :)
 

·
Now With More Cowbell
Joined
·
1,687 Posts
I'm with Cooper76 on this one.

I've had many, many people assume my leatherette is leather, and it has worn better than many leathers I've seen (my RSX-S's leather seating looked worse after 6 months than my MCS does after 25 months).

Leather might look good in am Autotrader ad to the uninitiated, but I would stay away from it if I were in the market for a used MINI.

-CW
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
155 Posts
When I bought my 03 MINI I went through the same questions regarding seat surfaces. I decided on the leatherette because It seems softer than the cloth!. At the time the leather offered with the sport seats (in the Cooper) was only the black profile leather (little bumps). In Cars I saw that were brand new the leather seats were baggy and IMO didn't look good. I've been happy with the leatherette. Still looks good and very durable. Cold and heat are not the problem I thought they'd be. Now their are many more seat options available. The cloth and leather is one I would consider, also the beige leather is available in sport seats. This leather seems tighter and has a nice texture. I wouldn't be disappointed going with the leatherette again especially with the new two tone gray-black option. Try to see (and sit!) in all the options and order the car you want. I'm sure you'll be happy with your choice.
Ken
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
204 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks to all for their advice. I really like leather seats except for the upkeep so I think I'll go with the leatherette. With a small child, it will probably be easier to clean up too.

Does anyone have the 2-tone grey leatherette? I wonder if it shows the dirt.

Also, I remember going to a website for after-market seat covers (can't remember which site) where it covers the middle part of the seat only. (Looks like the cloth/leather combo). I might get some of those too. Anyone have them?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,596 Posts
MaryFlute said:
Thanks to all for their advice. I really like leather seats except for the upkeep so I think I'll go with the leatherette.
Hey Mary....not to try to dissuade from getting the leatherette (because it is very high quality) but the amount of "maintenance" required by the leather seems grossly exaggerated in this thread.

A little wipe with Lexol or other good conditioner now and again will keep them looking good.

After two years I'm pleased with the leather has held up and I've barely treated it.

I don't think you can really go wrong with either option.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
295 Posts
MaryFlute said:
Thanks to all for their advice. I really like leather seats except for the upkeep so I think I'll go with the leatherette. With a small child, it will probably be easier to clean up too.

Does anyone have the 2-tone grey leatherette? I wonder if it shows the dirt.

Also, I remember going to a website for after-market seat covers (can't remember which site) where it covers the middle part of the seat only. (Looks like the cloth/leather combo). I might get some of those too. Anyone have them?
I'm very pleased with the look and feel of the two-tone leatherette.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
134 Posts
That is highly reflective piping on his floor mats.

As much of a blender the MINI becomes regarding drinks and so forth on the road, my vote is for BOTH leatherette and the rubber floor mats. You'll love the combo, and you'll be able to throw a party in it (while stationary of course).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
295 Posts
rrypma said:
That is highly reflective piping on his floor mats.

As much of a blender the MINI becomes regarding drinks and so forth on the road, my vote is for BOTH leatherette and the rubber floor mats. You'll love the combo, and you'll be able to throw a party in it (while stationary of course).
You are right - it is the reflective piping on the carpet mats.
I also have a set of the MINI rubber mats which I will be using for the winter and I would support the look of the rubber mats - my daughter's MC is a year old and the rubber mats still make the interior look sharp.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top