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Barry
04-13-1999, 05:46 AM
I recently test drove a 3 - series and didn't notice much difference between the leather and the leatherette. Does anyone have any thoughts?

Sandi
04-13-1999, 07:20 AM
<i>: I recently test drove a 3 - series and didn't notice much difference between the leather and the leatherette. Does anyone have any thoughts?<p></i>I have owned three cars with leather and honestly three years later leather looks like crap. And the cleaners like lexol while they are good makes the leather smell over the years. I bought my 323 5 months ago with leatherette. It shows zero wear, cleans easy and most people who have been in my car think it is leather.

Malcom
04-13-1999, 08:40 AM
I test drove a 323 with leatherette and thought it looked and felt like real leather. The problem was the smell. It had a very strong chemical smell. Was this normal, if so, how long until it goes away?

Jon
04-13-1999, 09:18 AM
<i>: I recently test drove a 3 - series and didn't notice much difference between the leather and the leatherette. Does anyone have any thoughts?<p></i>This was one of the concerns I had when I ordered my car--do I get leather or leatherette? I chose black leatherette on my 328i, and wondered if I made the right choice up until I got the car. Well, the leatherette is great. I took some colleagues out to lunch yesterday (2 PhDs) and they were remarking about what great leather I had in my car. I couldn't bear to tell them the truth. My boss has had 4 BMWs, including an L7, all with leather. He said, don't get leather, it doesn't hold up over time, and this is from a person who takes meticulous care of his cars. I haven't noticed much of an irritating chemical smell, but that might just be me. I find the leatherette quite comfortable. It doesn't have the feel or the smell of leather, but spending the extra $ wasn't worth it to me. By the way, my wife has leather on her Lexus and we're starting to have some slight cracking problems with it.

YS
04-13-1999, 10:37 AM
<i>: I recently test drove a 3 - series and didn't notice much difference between the leather and the leatherette. Does anyone have any thoughts?<p></i>

RickS
04-13-1999, 10:54 AM
I have the same question. I'm picking up my 323 in a week, and noticed a strong odor from the leatherette. Is there any way to get rid of it??

CCP
04-13-1999, 11:57 AM
I went with grey leather, here's why:<p>- grey matches my exterior (steel blue) better (IMHO) and is unavailable in leatherette<p>- smells great<p>- breathes better--not quite as hot and sticky in the summer<p>- breaks in better (although some might say that it shows more wear) and gets more comfortable with age<p>- will get some of the outlay back upon resale<p>- I could tell the difference right away. Some folks might not care, but I did.<p><p><i>: I recently test drove a 3 - series and didn't notice much difference between the leather and the leatherette. Does anyone have any thoughts?<p></i>

lzh
04-13-1999, 01:36 PM
value with leather over leatherette. It might actually be worst, since leather ages much faster.<p><i>: I recently test drove a 3 - series and didn't notice much difference between the leather and the leatherette. Does anyone have any thoughts?<p></i>

Alex
04-13-1999, 01:47 PM
I just had a relative pick up his brand new bright red 323i sport a few weeks ago. His interior is black leatherette and mine (323i sport, silver/gray leather) is of course, the real deal. I sat in his car the other day, and if he had not told me, there is no way in hell I would know that it was not leather. As far as the smell factor, whatever you get, you get used to it anyway, and after a while, you don't even smell your own car's leathere. <p>Take it from a guy who dished out $1230 for his leather: Don't waste your money. Get leatherette. Much easier to take care of and when it comes to resale, you don't get a dime on the leather you paid for (like I did).<p>Said all that, I would not get the tan leatherette though. It does look like plastic to me. The black is much better and it looks like the real thing. If they had gray leatherette, I would have gotten it in a heartbeat. <p>I hope that helps.<p>My $0.02 (I am sure other leather owners may disagree with me on this.)<p>Alex<br>99 323i sport

gk
04-13-1999, 01:59 PM
<i>Leather breaks in over a period of a few years and gets a shiny patina - that's the way it's supposed to be. I personally like it, it gives character (As long as you take car of the leather)<br>It also smells better and (to me at least) looks better. But it's all personal anyway, so to each his own.<p>: : I recently test drove a 3 - series and didn't notice much difference between the leather and the leatherette. Does anyone have any thoughts?<p>: I have owned three cars with leather and honestly three years later leather looks like crap. And the cleaners like lexol while they are good makes the leather smell over the years. I bought my 323 5 months ago with leatherette. It shows zero wear, cleans easy and most people who have been in my car think it is leather.<p><br></i>

lzh
04-13-1999, 02:05 PM
In fact they keep commenting about how great it looks in their long-term tests.

bryan
04-13-1999, 02:23 PM
I've got a leather jacket I've owned for over ten years and it looks brand new. I do everything in it. Would a 'leatherette' (vinyl) jacket last like this? Consumer reports did an analysis of vinyl vs. cloth vs. leather years ago and cloth lasted much longer than vinyl but leather lasted much much longer than both. Am I missing something? Does BMW use 'cheap' leather - if there is such a thing?<p><p><i>: I recently test drove a 3 - series and didn't notice much difference between the leather and the leatherette. Does anyone have any thoughts?<p></i>

what to look for
04-13-1999, 02:32 PM
<i>: I recently test drove a 3 - series and didn't notice much difference between the leather and the leatherette. Does anyone have any thoughts?<p></i><p>I have found it very easy to tell the difference between leather and leatherette, but only because I know in advance what to look for. The BMW leather hangs looser and has folds and ripples in it. The leatherette fits very tightly. Both look nice, although to me, worn leather looks terrible, while the leatherette will look the same for years to come. This is just my personal opinion. Other people like leather for this reason.<p>However, I've been in many other cars with leather (most other manufacturers don't fit their leather as loosely) and let me tell you, it looks exactly like the leatherette in the BMW.<p>I'm going to get beige leatherette. And I'm not going to tell anyone that it's really vinyl...I want to see how many "Ohh...nice leather!" compliments I get. :) I would get grey leatherette in a heartbeat, if they offered it (damn BMW for that one). Actually, Alex, to me the black looks more fake than the beige. I guess we pick up on different things that say "fake" to us.<p>Mofongo

Gilbert
04-13-1999, 03:11 PM
I don't know if I'm used to it or not. I've had my car 2 months and don't notice the smell anymore. Perhaps cleaning it with a UVprotectant cleaner has an effect on oxidation, which in turn has an effect on odor. Don't know.

Chris
04-13-1999, 04:11 PM
Just a few comments from someone that has a 328i (sport) on order and had a 318iC with 'ette. The 'ette looked just fine from the moment I got the car until I sold it. No cracks or abrasions or anything. I did zilch to take care of it.<p>It was sand (new one will be black) and I can understand the people that say the light color is more easily distinguished from the 'er. Maybe the "no color variation" nature of 'ette is harder to tell with black. Makes sense.<p>The 'ette was in a black car and it didn't seem to make much difference in hot or cold weather (we get both here in Minnesota) vs. 'er from other cars I've had. Florida or Texas might be another matter.<p>Also, since I'm getting the sport package, I think you tend to slip less with 'ette than with 'er. May not be true with bimmers since the 'er and 'ette are both textured (vs. real smooth).<p>Finally, from some perspectives it seems like a strange argument. Apart from the wood trim (I actually really dig the aluminum and would have paid extra for it) and the seats, there's not a "natural" material in the whole car. Steel this, aluminum that, plastic, plastic, plastic. Rubber, paint glass and copper. Seems kind of weird that we should want the Ultimate Driving Machine to have bits of tree and cow in it.<p>Now, how about a little Quisp vs Quake?

Mike
04-13-1999, 04:37 PM
<i>: I'm going to get beige leatherette. And I'm not going to tell anyone that it's really vinyl...I want to see how many "Ohh...nice leather!" compliments I get. <p><br>You won't get many. That's because most people will be covering their mouth and nose due to the noxious smell that leatherette emits. You're getting a Bimmer, get leather!! Why would you want to be cheap with a $30K+ car???<br></i>

AndrewinLA
04-13-1999, 04:50 PM
I just bought a MZ3 I wish they offered leatherette. The leather already seems to show a little age where I drop into the seat on the side bolster. I was going to get a 328i and drove one with the leatherette and loved it. I have to baby my interior to try and delay that cracked look that I will eventually end up with.

CCP
04-13-1999, 05:00 PM
There is definitely added resale value with leather. Check both Edmunds (as you site above) and Kelly Blue book. Of course, the value of the leather depreciates along with the rest of the car...<p><p><i>: value with leather over leatherette. It might actually be worst, since leather ages much faster.<p>: : I recently test drove a 3 - series and didn't notice much difference between the leather and the leatherette. Does anyone have any thoughts?<p></i>

Alex
04-13-1999, 05:41 PM
nt

Alex
04-13-1999, 05:54 PM
I have a buddy who has a 318i (1996) with sand leatherette and it looks downright horrible to me. It looks all fake and "plasticky". On the other hand, I have seen the E46 sand leatherette and it is a big improvement over the E36 leatherette. But, I think the lighter the color of the leatherette, the easier you can tell it from the leather. I am sure you are also correct in your reverse theory of mine !!! <p>My point was that the leatherette is the way to go, regardless of the color of it. Let the new guys same their money on the leather by skipping it. I guess I found out the hard way that I should have done this and gotten the black leatherette on my 323i silver sport. I can think of a whole bunch of things to do with that $1230 and my interior would have also looked great when the car was up for sale in 6 or 7 years from now.<p>Alex<br>99 323i sport

CCP
04-13-1999, 05:59 PM
<i>: nt<p></i>

Alex
04-13-1999, 06:05 PM
paragraph in KBB that shows you get $$$ for having leather in the E36/E46??? I am not trying to be a snob my friend, but prior to getting my 323i, I read KBB and they did not have any extra dollars given to your car ( BMW 3's) upon resale with leather. If you can show me where it says so, I believe you. <p>I went to Sterling BMW in Newport Beach, CA and even the dealer told me that there is no incentive, resale-wise, for getting leather. It just makes the car more attractive to buyers.<p>Alex

CCP
04-13-1999, 06:07 PM
Alex, I don't understand your reasoning in saying that you won't get a penny back in resale. Check the link I indicated. You'll find that for a 1996 model E36, leather seats are worth an aditional <b> $575</b). Of course, the original value may have been $1200 or whatever, but you DO get some of it back.

Alex
04-13-1999, 06:19 PM
...says something else. You are correct CCP. I just tried the same thing and they do give you more $$$ for leather. However, the little book that the dealers and banks all have does not give you extra $$$ for it. Go figure. <p>Alex<p>PS: I have the 99 KBB book. It was given to me by a friend (dealer).

Scotty
04-13-1999, 06:20 PM
Using KBB.com's trade in price report, I choose a 1998 BMW 328i Sedan with 16K miles. Deselecting the leather option resulted in a trade-in value of $28725. Going back and selecting the leather option resulted in a value of $29285.<p>Whether this is correct or not, I do not pretend to know. I was just using your KBB example to show you what KBB had to say on the subject.<p><i>: paragraph in KBB that shows you get $$$ for having leather in the E36/E46??? I am not trying to be a snob my friend, but prior to getting my 323i, I read KBB and they did not have any extra dollars given to your car ( BMW 3's) upon resale with leather. If you can show me where it says so, I believe you. <p>: I went to Sterling BMW in Newport Beach, CA and even the dealer told me that there is no incentive, resale-wise, for getting leather. It just makes the car more attractive to buyers.<p>: Alex<p></i>

CCP
04-13-1999, 06:21 PM
Check the link below. Configure a car with leather and without leather to calculate trade in values. You'll find that the leather is worth an extra $450-600.<p>Regards,<p>CCP<br>

Alex
04-13-1999, 06:24 PM
The schedule fees for BMW 3's on the little KBB book says otherwise. It says that a 98 328i with leather does not have any different resale than one without it. I am sure one of them is right. I just don't know which one.<p>Alex

Mike
04-13-1999, 06:36 PM
<i>: I recently test drove a 3 - series and didn't notice much difference between the leather and the leatherette. Does anyone have any thoughts?<p></i><p>I think <B><FONT COLOR=blue>leatherette</FONT></B> is more durable than leather. I had black leather on my 328i(E46), and I had a big scratch on it the second week I owned it, what a pain. I don't think leatherette would have this problem.

CCP
04-13-1999, 06:40 PM
No problem. Sorry 'bout the misunderstanding :-)<p><br>

Mofongo
04-13-1999, 07:20 PM
<i>: I have a buddy who has a 318i (1996) with sand leatherette and it looks downright horrible to me. It looks all fake and "plasticky". On the other hand, I have seen the E46 sand leatherette and it is a big improvement over the E36 leatherette. But, I think the lighter the color of the leatherette, the easier you can tell it from the leather. I am sure you are also correct in your reverse theory of mine !!! <p>: My point was that the leatherette is the way to go, regardless of the color of it. Let the new guys same their money on the leather by skipping it. I guess I found out the hard way that I should have done this and gotten the black leatherette on my 323i silver sport. I can think of a whole bunch of things to do with that $1230 and my interior would have also looked great when the car was up for sale in 6 or 7 years from now.<p>: Alex<br>: 99 323i sport<p></i><p>Don't feel bad about your purchase, Alex, you have the best interior/exterior color combo IMHO. I love the grey. If money were no object, I think I'd have exactly your car. :)<p>I just would prefer not to spend an extra $1700 for metallic paint and leather when red/sand is such a close second choice for me. I don't want a black interior since I may soon move to the southeast U.S. and I'd rather not hear my flesh sizzle every time I sit down in the summer.<p>Mofongo<br>

Alex
04-13-1999, 07:28 PM
As a matter of fact, my own cousin just picked up a 99 red 323i sport with black leatheretter and it looks awesome ! That red is a beauty I say!<p>Alex

Jim
04-14-1999, 01:15 PM
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