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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, This is my first vehicle with leather and I have read a few different comments on this very board that the leather is fake / cheap. Is this true in the majority of opinion? By that I mean, is the leather really fake or vinyl? It's too early for me to tell with no 'break-in' period but I like the feel so far. I have noticed the different textures to the feel from the perforated section to the solid section. If the leather truly is fake, what sections of the seat are fake? Is the seat back leather?

I know, lots of questions but when I started thinking about it, the option does say 'leather seating surface, not leather seats.

Thanks for any opinions you can offer.
 

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At least with the 6, Mazda's stance is that "anything your body touches is real leather." I'd assume it's the same with the 3.

So fake leather may be on like... the back of the seat (not where your back goes, like the reverse side that your rear passengers stare at)... but that's just a guess (the location of fake stuff... not the Mazda statement).
 

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from mazda ad "seating surface upholstered in leather exept for leather-look vinyl on seat side panels, rear sides of seatbacks and other minor areas" which alot of auto makers do.
 

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The quality of both real and fake leather varies greatly. I personally would much rather have the fake leather that is standard in the BMW 3-series, Audi A4, or Mercedes C-class than the real leather [seating surfaces] in nearly any sub $35K car I've ever been in.

It's my opinion that the companies that offer real leather in their sub-$35K cars do so because it looks good on paper and people like to impress their friends by saying they have leather. Sorry folks, but the only leather worth having in a car is just too expensive to put in a car that costs less than $35K. High quality fake leather is more than up to the task - nobody can tell the difference.
 

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Brian_B said:
The quality of both real and fake leather varies greatly. I personally would much rather have the fake leather that is standard in the BMW 3-series, Audi A4, or Mercedes C-class than the real leather [seating surfaces] in nearly any sub $35K car I've ever been in.

It's my opinion that the companies that offer real leather in their sub-$35K cars do so because it looks good on paper and people like to impress their friends by saying they have leather. Sorry folks, but the only leather worth having in a car is just too expensive to put in a car that costs less than $35K. High quality fake leather is more than up to the task - nobody can tell the difference.
Brian you hit the nail right on the head...
 

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I believe Mazda is using real leather, albeit a lower grade leather than found in higher priced cars, but as described earlier, they save a lot of money by using vinyl on the sides and backs of the seats. Thus the leather option on the 3 is only $570.

This makes a lot of sense to me, as long as the seams don't pull apart over time. Who cares if the backs of the driver & passenger seats aren't real leather?

Personally, I wouldn't care if the back seats were all vinyl, a nice performated leather-like vinyl.

I do remember sitting in a top-of-the-line Accord EX a couple of years ago and the leather was pretty nice. Not up to that of a high-end Mercedes, but a lot nicer than what I've seen on most cars in the $20K range.

I'm not sure what Audi's "leatherette" material is made of. All vinyl? I know some books nowadays are bound in "bonded leather" which is ground up leather bonded with adhesives. Don't know if anyone is using something like this.

My gripe with Mazda is that the leather for the 3 comes only in black. Just like all of the cloth choices for some of the models.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I did actually sit in an Accord EX also. The leather seemed much softer but to me, the leather in the 3 would last longer and be less vulnerable to scrathes. At least it SEEMS that way.

It don't matter though, I love the feel of the seats.
 

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A question related to leather how comfortable leather is in cold weather & ofcourse summer is coming so will it be more hot in summer and more cold in winter ? As per what I've read the leather seats are not heated so what difference it makes during winter.
 

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I don't really notice the leather seats in my Tribute which feel more real than the leather in the Mazda3. The fake leather thats in the base Audis and BMWs is the closest comparison to the Mazda3's leather.

Winter, you don't feel the cold in leather seats unless you're wearing shorts. ;) Summer is a different story.
 

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Question of taste. I agree it's far from the quality leather in a 40K car but isn't it just like anything else??? If you feel that something does note belong to a car under 40K only because it's not the same quality, you won't be buying a car under 40K my friend...just because everything is cheaper on a car under 40K...that's why they're selling it at 23K...Am I missing something???

If you don't like it, leave it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Not sure who you are replying to here but if it's me, I sated that I liked the feel of the seats. Besides, it's only a 500 something package. Well worth it in my opinion.
 

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Brian_B said:
The quality of both real and fake leather varies greatly. I personally would much rather have the fake leather that is standard in the BMW 3-series, Audi A4, or Mercedes C-class than the real leather [seating surfaces] in nearly any sub $35K car I've ever been in.

It's my opinion that the companies that offer real leather in their sub-$35K cars do so because it looks good on paper and people like to impress their friends by saying they have leather. Sorry folks, but the only leather worth having in a car is just too expensive to put in a car that costs less than $35K. High quality fake leather is more than up to the task - nobody can tell the difference.
I don't care what kind of leather we're talking about here - I would rather have the cheap leather than vinyl. And no, I didn't get the leather to impress my friends - I got it because I prefer it to the cloth alternative. Your post seems to suggest that all us leather buyers bought it out of vanity. My post suggest that we have simply bought it because we prefer it and the high quality plastic you are referring to was not available.
 

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I actually prefer the black/red seats to the leather in the Mz3. As of now, there are only 2 things that would make me buy leather:

- Preference over the Black/Blue cloth seats
- Electronically adjustable seats (not available)
 

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No need to worry people .The seats in the 3 has real leather, the way you can make sure is in the booklet read the option for leather , it does'nt say leather - ett which is the fake stuff. If for any reason any one can correct me plz feel free to do so . have a nice day :lol: [/b]
 

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The point being discussed is not that Mazda is using vinyl. Everyone acknowledges that they are using leather. The point had to do with the quality of the leather. "Real" leather being the high quality stuff that a good sofa might have. Sort of like getting a "real" steak instead of what you might get at a $4.99 steak restaurant.

Some of the leather used in cheaper cars is hard to distinguish from the fake leather used in better cars, in fact, some contend it is lower quality than a good fake.
 
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