BMW 1 Series Coupe Forum / 1 Series Convertible Forum (1M / tii / 135i / 128i / Coupe / Cabrio / Hatchback) (BMW E82 E88 128i 130i 135i)
 





 

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      03-09-2009, 10:14 PM   #1
JHZR2
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Convertibles and leather

Hello,

New here, second post. Looking at a 135i convertible to replace my beloved but now starting to rust E30 318i that is my daily driver

The question is, how good a choice is leather for a convertible, long-term. I easily keep cars to 200k+, or rust out.. Long-life isnt an issue.

In my longest-term set of cars, my MB diesels, the MB-tex vinyl lasts forever and looks like new. In my 91 E30 318i, the vinyl looks like new...

But I really dig the look of the red boston leather...

So the question is, how well does leather age, and how good/bad of an idea is it to have leather vs. vinyl in a convertible, where there is the potential for UV? I assume that leather does not age as well as vinyl, but perhaps there are other benefits I do not see?

Im really torn... red leather, or taupe everlasting looking like new vinyl????

Any insight would be appreciated.

Thanks!
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      03-09-2009, 10:15 PM   #2
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I have the black boston leather on my vert. The chemical they coat to stop the seats from heating up actually works. I saddle soap my leather every few weeks. Eight months in and no issues yet!
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      03-09-2009, 10:21 PM   #3
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Thanks! At 8 months, Id certainly hope that there would be no issues... I guess the question was more a long-term one... e.g. to folks who have owned convertibles (other than the 135i) long-term.

Interesting and great to hear that the pigment trick they mentioned in their brochure really works... And with black, you have the toughest color to keep cool and comfortable. Good news!

Any idea if similar pigmentation is used in the vinyl-seat versions?
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      03-09-2009, 10:32 PM   #4
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like gtaday, ive had mine for 8 months or so, and obviously no problems yet.

one insight i do have is....ive seen many OLDER BMWs (sedans even) and the leather doesn't age that well.....and im talking about cars 4+ years old. from my viewpoint, i think the darker colors age worse. black, for instance, really shows the creases and blemishes. convertibles are probably even worse.
i don't plan to keep mine past the warranty period, so i guess i never really considered it for my leather choice. but i like your idea of red seats....mine really turns heads and i like it...even if its a bit femanine! love it!!!
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      03-09-2009, 10:45 PM   #5
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Well I lied a bit. I weight like 220 and my driver seat at 10K miles is showing a bit of those in and out of the car fat guy wrinkles. But that happens to any car. A few of my friends fathers have 3 and 5 series that are 5+ years old. Thay kept good care of their leather, and other than the expected creaes they are still comfy and they still support well.

Just keep on the leather. Saddle soap, wipes, that kind of stuff. It should end up fine.
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      03-09-2009, 10:49 PM   #6
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Thanks very much... and thanks x97 for that signature pic... have any more that show off that red? I requested any good pics that show off the leather in the picture topical area.

Thanks again.
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      03-10-2009, 01:23 AM   #7
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dont get leather....bmw leathers dont last very long....i have leather now but thats cos the M3 doesnt have an option for leatherette and i wasnt bout to choose cloth.
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      03-10-2009, 07:23 AM   #8
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I will grant that BMW has had terrible leather for a while now. Lighter-color leather seats turn green, and the black fades quickly. My mother has black leather in her 5Series, and I am currently working on restoring it, and she is a very light woman and EXTREMELY GRANNY on handling her car, only has 19K miles after 3 years.

BUT, having said that, I will repeat what was mentioned above, that BMW has a new type leather for the verts that reflects the sun and stay cooler. I am hoping that it works.

Plus, yes, saddle soap is the tried&true stuff to use, very good, a little extra effort for it. I have used Lexol for years, as it is the recommended product from the premium market automakers, and it works extremely well. Beige leather in two of my Audis in New England, which is cold dry air, snow on the seats all the time, and SALT SALT SALT! I used the Lexol cleaner and then the conditioner once a month up north, and down in sunny So FL, once every two months or after having a lot of people in the car.

No worries after that.
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      03-10-2009, 10:16 AM   #9
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If wear is your main concern I would definitely go with the Leatherette.
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      03-10-2009, 12:08 PM   #10
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I had a Z3 with red leather for 5 years, a Z4 with beige leather for 5 years and have had my Coral Red 128 'vert for nearly a year.
I always avoid parking for more than an hour with the top down and I treat the leather at least 4 times a year - either with Connolly Hide Care or Zymol Treat Conditioner.
The leather on all 3 has always looked & felt like new.
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      03-10-2009, 12:16 PM   #11
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I think it depends on how you treat it. My tiny wife, with her '89 318ic leaves the top down all the time, and parks it at the country club, with the top down while she plays tennis for a few hours.

We had to replace front and back seats a few years back.

My 5 1/2 year old Lexus, with black leather, is garaged at home, and I have an awning to park under at work. The leather shows sitting wear, but otherwise looks new in the rest of the car.

Your leather/vinyl wear will ultimately depend on how you treat it. This forum is full of folks who care for their car, and most are obsessive about car care (I am not unfortunately)

This car also has not been out long enough for anything except over-fast discoloration to show up.

So - get vinyl if you leave your car in the sun with the top down a lot, consider leather for the looks, and take care of it - minimizing UV exposure, and careful cleaning/protecting solutions.
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      03-10-2009, 01:31 PM   #12
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The bottom line is how well the leather lasts depends on how well it's cared for.
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      03-10-2009, 06:09 PM   #13
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Great info. Care is great to a point (and I do care for my cars very well), but wear of leather is an issue.

It seems that there was a "low point" but that things are getting better. Makes it a tough decision, especially given that leatherette is a $1200-$1400 savings...

But that red seems to look really good too! I wont get a huge amount of UV on it, my commute is only 9 miles!

Thanks again!
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      03-10-2009, 06:39 PM   #14
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I have a convertible with black leatherette. It is wearing very well compared to the leather I have on my E36 convertible. It is also easy to clean. You can just use a damp cloth is most cases or use a little soap for the sticky stuff. However the black ette gets very hot in the sun. I think the taupe ette would be the best of both worlds for a convertible (if you like that color). It should stay cool and be easy clean and wear well.
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      03-10-2009, 06:45 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nordique14 View Post
I have a convertible with black leatherette. It is wearing very well compared to the leather I have on my E36 convertible. It is also easy to clean. You can just use a damp cloth is most cases or use a little soap for the sticky stuff. However the black ette gets very hot in the sun. I think the taupe ette would be the best of both worlds for a convertible (if you like that color). It should stay cool and be easy clean and wear well.
Do you use any sort of a preservative, or is the cleaning sufficient?
Tom
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      03-10-2009, 06:57 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom K. View Post
Do you use any sort of a preservative, or is the cleaning sufficient?
Tom
I have not used anything so far but my car only has 4k miles. It is always parked with the top up and is garaged. I suspect I will be using a little Vinylex when it begins looking a little dull.
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      03-10-2009, 07:22 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom K. View Post
Do you use any sort of a preservative, or is the cleaning sufficient?
Tom
I use 303 protectant on my MB tex vinyl and my E30 BMW vinyl.

The vinyl lasts forever... but UV does funny things. 303 protects from UV, and that should solve most any potential issues...
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      03-10-2009, 08:53 PM   #18
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So is it fair to say that leatherette requires less maintenance and will still last longer than boston leather?
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      03-11-2009, 01:51 PM   #19
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The answer for the 1-Series Convertible is to go LEATHER.

Reason? This latest version of the leather incorporates special technology to reflect the sun's heat. You can read about it on the BMW website. And... it works!!!

My Porsche and other previous convertibles would get hot when sitting in the sun. This BMW leather is the most comfortable interior ever. It's awesome. And... my passengers love me for choosing this leather interior. They are waaaaay more comfortable.

This leather is at least 15-20 degrees cooler than the alternatives!

Take care of it and you have your answer!



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      03-12-2009, 08:46 AM   #20
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Real simple:
If you are worried about costs and maintenance more, then definitely go with the vinyl. It is much cheaper, and will last for....well....decades.

If you want style and comfort and better residual resale value, get leather. You will pay more and have to put in more effort. That is the trade-off.

It is not a point of "Which is better", it is a point of "Which is better.....for you"
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