E46 BMW Social Directory E46 FAQ 3-Series Discussion Forums BMW Photo Gallery BMW 3-Series Technical Information E46 Fanatics - The Ultimate BMW Resource BMW Vendors General E46 Forum The Tire Rack's Tire Wheel Forum Forced Induction Forum The Off-Topic The E46 BMW Showroom For Sale, For Trade or Wanting to Buy

Welcome to the E46Fanatics forums. E46Fanatics is the premiere website for BMW 3 series owners around the world with interactive forums, a geographical enthusiast directory, photo galleries, and technical information for BMW enthusiasts.

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our free community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact contact us.

Go Back   E46Fanatics > E46 BMW > General E46 Forum

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!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rating: Thread Rating: 17 votes, 5.00 average. Display Modes
Old 06-21-2007, 06:03 PM   #21
bumdavid
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Ontario Cailfornia
Posts: 85
My Ride: 330ci
oh i see. thanks
__________________
bumdavid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2007, 10:28 PM   #22
nickdeck
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Missouri
Posts: 186
My Ride: '02 325i
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.
nickdeck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2007, 07:22 PM   #23
sbocaj55
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: SE PA
Posts: 397
My Ride: 330
Send a message via AIM to sbocaj55
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?
sbocaj55 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2007, 08:12 AM   #24
Sharkfin
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Turkiye
Posts: 19
My Ride: E46 3.18iA, Audi A4
Cool

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.
Sharkfin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2007, 04:06 PM   #25
salocin111
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Toronto
Posts: 162
My Ride: '99 323i
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.
salocin111 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2007, 09:22 PM   #26
jayzbird
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: CA
Posts: 5
My Ride: Depends on the day
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.
jayzbird is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2007, 01:23 AM   #27
studying_2b_dr
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: New York
Posts: 24
My Ride: 2004 BMW M3
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
studying_2b_dr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-2007, 07:24 PM   #28
zentanker
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Austin
Posts: 56
My Ride: 2004 325i
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.
zentanker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2007, 09:17 PM   #29
CNi2i
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: SoCal
Posts: 708
My Ride: '09 335i
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.
__________________


'09 e90 335i Msport | AW | 6MT | iDrive | ZPP and ZCW | BMW Performance Tune | BMW Performance Gloss Blk Grills
CNi2i is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2007, 05:09 PM   #30
bmwrepairmike
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Austin
Posts: 9
My Ride: Miata, Jetta
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.
bmwrepairmike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-05-2007, 10:18 AM   #31
SaN NizZLe
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: New York
Posts: 1,024
My Ride: 2000 328Ci
Mine is a 2000 328Ci coupe with premium package, I'm pretty sure it is leather...
SaN NizZLe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2007, 12:03 AM   #32
surewin
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Southern CA
Posts: 166
My Ride: AW '08 E92 M3
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
__________________

Alpine White | Carbon Fiber Roof | 6-Speed | Inconel M Exhaust
surewin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-15-2007, 08:34 PM   #33
Orient2.8
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Las Vegas
Posts: 23
My Ride: 2000 328i
Quote:
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.
__________________
2000 328i | 5-speed | Sports Package | DICE
Orient2.8 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2007, 03:53 AM   #34
guest1008
Banned User
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Roseville, CA
Posts: 2,048
My Ride: 08 Lexus ES350
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.
guest1008 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2008, 03:49 PM   #35
hipvspec
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: IRVINE, Calif.
Posts: 97
My Ride: 06'M36mt+535Xi
thanks! very nice to know!
__________________
WE BITE DAILY
hipvspec is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2008, 07:41 PM   #36
SC4ME
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Posts: 104
My Ride: 04 330i ZHP 6MT
Quote:
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.
__________________
SC4ME is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2008, 08:36 PM   #37
Daddy MO
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: NOR*CAL - Benicia
Posts: 622
My Ride: e30/K5 Blazer/Xterra
Can anyone tell if thier sac is leather?
__________________

Thanks to: Lubrify.com / TOMAS Sport Tuning / BRRacing / Craftwerx Concepts / I/O Port Racing Supplies / AGUND1S Tire
Daddy MO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2008, 08:24 PM   #38
Screwdriver
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: North Hollywood, CA
Posts: 7
My Ride: 2005 325i
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.
Screwdriver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2008, 11:09 PM   #39
kinggrimwood
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: oregon
Posts: 568
My Ride: 1999 328i
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?
__________________

If you're not scared, you need to be driving Faster!
kinggrimwood is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-15-2008, 09:40 PM   #40
CAG
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Texas
Posts: 50
My Ride: e46 M3 Cabrio & 323i
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...
__________________
Quote:
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.
CAG is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Censor is ON





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:07 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
(c) 1999 - 2011 performanceIX Inc - privacy policy - terms of use