There's an even easier way to tell: if it's cracked, faded, stained, creased and generally just looks like crap, it's leather. Leatherette, being a synthetic material, will have an uncanny "factory perfect" appearance and feel even in an older car. It does not age or wear quickly from exposure to water or UV radiation. Leatherette will not stain, wrinkle, or fade.
As the E46 models age, you'll find that the mediocre quality leather BMW uses in the 3er will begin to show itself without the need for looking at flaps in the seat, or feeling the texture, or anything else.
No significant quantities of judgment-impairing narcotics were consumed during or before the creation of this message.
Last edited by akhbhaat; 05-02-2007 at 11:58 AM.