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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 06-21-2007, 06:03 PM   #21
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oh i see. thanks
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Old 07-02-2007, 10:28 PM   #22
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How many cows have died to prolong this obsession? I'm sure I have leather because it's cracking. Anybody wanna trade for leatherette?

Seriously, if it's a daily driver and you allow the "unwashed masses" to ride in your car, I'd say you're better off with leatherette.

Me, I'll continue with the leather conditioning routine and hope that nobody pukes unannounced.
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Old 07-05-2007, 07:22 PM   #23
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I just got my car and purchased leather cleaner/reconditioner from detailed image because the previous owner said it was leather. I was like "wow this is in excellent shape for how old it is". Then I find this thread.

On the plus side...it DOES look very good and is very soft. Anyone want some leather conditioner?
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Old 07-10-2007, 08:12 AM   #24
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Here are my light gray Montana Leather Seats...Concerning whether a seat is leather or leatherette (fake leather) it is better to focus on the colors (beige and black are the only leatherette colors) and the rear fold...

Last edited by Sharkfin; 07-10-2007 at 08:14 AM.
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Old 07-10-2007, 04:06 PM   #25
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If it is really that hard to tell then I say leatherette is better. What does it matter if you need an extra fold in the seat to tell when it is? I never thought it was that hard to tell that my seats were leatherette but I guess that is because I have never seen what the real leather ones are like.

Funny thing is that when the I bought my car in 1999 I didn't know what leatherette was. If the salesman had told me it was vinyl I probably would have ordered leather but I'm now I'm glad I got leatherette. You're right that it holds up to abuse much better than real leather. After 8 years my seats still look new. I had a similar situation with the color. The salesman tried to get me to pay an extra $1000 I think for metallic black instead of jet black. I pointed to a car on the lot and asked him what color that was. When he said that he couldn't tell from 10 feet away and he needed to go up to the car and take a closer look, I told him to just give me jet black.
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Old 08-28-2007, 09:22 PM   #26
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How to tell if ANYTHING is real leather or not

All you've got to do is press down on the surface with 1 finger. Press down on your own skin. See all the little miniscule folds that form when you press down on it? Go do the same to your leather jacket, or your cat. Any real hide does that. Vinyl, etc. does not. The entire surface bends in without those little folds forming. Now we can close the thread out for good.
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Old 09-25-2007, 01:23 AM   #27
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On the topic of leather, check these out: http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/BMW-E...QQcmdZViewItem

I just scooped up an alcantara one with M3 stitch to match my steering wheel
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Old 10-02-2007, 07:24 PM   #28
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I'm quite glad I have leatherette. I plan on having this car for a few years as my DD and leather just doesn't age well at all.

It is almost an inverse argument of a very cute athletic natural girl next door type vs. some overly madeup coked out fake-boobed plastic surgery porn star.

I like my girls real, and my seats fake, not the other way around.
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Old 10-03-2007, 09:17 PM   #29
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If you are not sure...just go to your nearest BMW dealership, give them you vin number, and they can give you a one page printout of exactly what you have. This is especially helpful if you bought your car used.

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Old 10-04-2007, 05:09 PM   #30
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The new bmw leatherette is pretty nice. The fold idea is good, or just peek in by the edge of the seat near the power controls, and if you see the honeycomb fabric on the back then its not leather.
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Old 10-05-2007, 10:18 AM   #31
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Mine is a 2000 328Ci coupe with premium package, I'm pretty sure it is leather...
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Old 10-30-2007, 12:03 AM   #32
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Just touch the damn seats. If you can't tell by touch, then there's something wrong with your nerves. BTW, all the steering wheels are leather wrapped. They don't make leatherette steering wheels

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Old 12-15-2007, 09:34 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by akhbhaat View Post
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.
I don't know dude. My car is 8 years old and about to break 105K miles. Except for an almost unnocticable amount of wear on the edge of the left sports seat bolster, the light grey leather looks completely beautiful. The previous owner said he used the Luxol stuff regularly. Plus his wife drove the car. And she wasn't fat. So maybe that makes the difference. I like the quality of the leather better than that in my parents two Lexuses. I don't think it sucks. My friends' 3 has the vinyl and I don't think it feels as good.

That said, leather was like 18th on my list of priorities when I bought the car. I would have preferred a grippy cloth Recaro if I'd had my way. At least for the driver's seat.
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Old 12-18-2007, 04:53 AM   #34
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Just sold my car. About to buy a Lexus. Originally, I was a little annoyed my car didn't have leather, but it wasn't a deal breaker so I bought it anyways. Now, I'm sooo glad I got leatherette.

The guy who bought my car bought it over a SC430 he was considering b/c he thought the interior looked unused. The steering wheel and shifter (leather) show wear. Nothing else does. For that, I have to thank the leatherette. It looks the same as the day I bought it. My sports seat bolsters look untouched. I've yet to see a leather sports seat bolster that looks untouched after a couple of years.

I don't think leatherette feels as good, but once the BMW leather dries out a little, it doesn't feel good either. So, either maintain the leather meticulously or do nothing if you have leatherette. I just used water once in a while to maintain my leatherette.
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Old 01-10-2008, 04:49 PM   #35
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thanks! very nice to know!
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Old 02-08-2008, 08:41 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by undien717 View Post
Just touch the damn seats. If you can't tell by touch, then there's something wrong with your nerves. BTW, all the steering wheels are leather wrapped. They don't make leatherette steering wheels
My Alcantara steering wheel isnt leather.

But we know what you meant.
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Old 02-08-2008, 09:36 PM   #37
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Can anyone tell if thier sac is leather?

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Old 02-14-2008, 09:24 PM   #38
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I have leather seats in my 325i.....2005 with 29k and they look absolutely brand new..no scuffs, wear marks or wrinkles of any kind.
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Old 05-23-2008, 11:09 PM   #39
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To all those with the smart ass attitude. This thread was designed for the people who can't tell, and it is fool proof in letting someone know. Personally i can tell by sight & touch, and fake leather is fake, real is real. I personally prefer real leather.
So ya, the there are a lot of people who can't tell, and this thread will help them. alrighty?

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Old 09-15-2008, 09:40 PM   #40
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Newbie here and I hope I am not going to rock the boat to much, but I have the black seats that dont have the fold and have the stiching around the perimeter of the seats and yet BMW says I have black Nappa Leather in my M3...
Originally Posted by Lair View Post
I'm not intelligent enough to understand satire.

Last edited by CAG; 09-15-2008 at 09:46 PM.
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