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Hi,
I'm new to this forum and decided to buy a Prius. I'm even more excited now that I've found this forum!!! I was waiting for the 06 because of the leather (pleather, leatherette, etc...) seats, but was wondering which lasts longer, cloth or leather?

I keep cars for at least 10 years, so the material would have to last a long time.

I'm also getting grey interior so the dirt from my dog won't show up as much.

Thanks for your help!
-Sunshine
 

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Cloth Or Leather

which lasts longer, cloth or leather?
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Until the 06 comes out, leather seats are (have been) an after market add-on. I doubt if anyone has had them long enough to wear them out. I'm happy with the cloth seats and plan on them lasting the life of the car. What material you sit on is a matter of personal choice. I haven't seen a price for the leather seats posted but I'm sure someone has. ~JD~
 

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dogs on cloth?

Please heed my advice...Get seat covers for the cloth or wait for pleather...I have 2 st. poodles and they get lenghty runs every weekend unless it is pouring. I have seat covers, and even with them, the car is crusty. Covers come off too easily, car upholstry cleaners too hard to find, etc. I did not have pleather as an option on 02 blue moon Pearl. Cloth is not working out well with the dogs.
 

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I think its all ones personal preferance and how you take care of your cars. My first car was an 85' Maxima that I got from my dad in 94'. I always took care of the car, even when he first got it and when I traded it in 97' it was still in perfect condition. (it has cloth seats.) I had another car with cloth after that but my 3 cars since have all had leather and for me leather is the way to go. Easier to clean, looks better, looks clean most of the time (well I always have had black or dark grey leather in the past 3 cars)... I have an 06' on order and guess what; Got the brey leather. Enjoy whatever you get!
 

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There are only 2 Toyota sales areas in the U.S. that offered leather as an option, down south, and it wasn't not installed in Japan during manufacture, but was installed on the vehicles at port when they arrived. The rest of the regions in the nation I believe do not offer leather, they take the cars as is from Japan. I wouldn't be surprised if an individual dealer chose to put leather in a vehicle after it arrived on the lot to increase what he could charge for it. If you can get a local cloth shop to put in leather for $500-800 and then turn around and up charge your vehicle $2500-3000 for leather, that is a pretty good profit turn.

Anyway, 2006 will have real leather from the factory. Leather wears like steal. You do have to do some maintenance, however a little Lexol conditioner a couple of times a year, and Lexol cleaner when necessary, and the leather will wear a very long time, longer than fabric. Creases and crease marks in leather are normal and standard. Case in point, the driver’s seat will develop, after on a couple of years, crease marks which are created when you sit in it. This is normal. So long as you keep the leather moisturized with a product specifically for leather, like Lexol, you will be fine. Never use Armor All. It tends to dry out leather and vinyls.

A point of clarification, Pleather is fake leather and is basically a vinyl product. Very nice for women's skirts and other clothing uses, but not robust enough for use in a vehicle. Leather seats in the 06 will most assuredly be leather seating surfaces with vinyl sides and backs. Most manufacturers do this. It usually looks very good and the vinyl which is not a seating surface will last the life of the vehicle along with the leather.
 

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Leather (and I believe it will be pleated) is more durable and easier to clean. Cloth is softer and warmer in the winter (no heated seats available for the Prius). Note that with the leather, you'd have to condition it once in a while so that it won't crack under years of hard use and/or intense heat from the sun when parked outside.
 

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Leather is more durable

but hotter or colder depending on season.

Have you ever noticed the low cost airlines have leather seats? They don't do it for you, they do it because they last longer, and it saves them money. :evil:
 

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It all comes down to personal preference.

Since I prefer leather, I had it done locally just last week at a seat cover site that does 95% dealer work that charged me $1099 for my Prius. They order the material specifically for the Prius.

Not only are the seats covered, but also the console and door arm rests. If you didn't know it, you would assume it was a factory install. ':D'
 

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Im confused when I ordered off the internet on my Pri was leather and when i recieved the car there they were. This was before I picked out a dealer. The optiuon cost me $1500 but for wear and comfort they are well worth it. I was told they were part of the standard options and as we were watching the timing very closely I find it hard to believe they were added at port of entry as the car only had one mile on the speedo when i recieved it unless they took it off the ship and had someone on the ramp to install the seats there and not have to drive the car somewhere to get the seats installed
 

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It's such a matter of personal preferance. I would pay extra to NOT have leather. Leather is cold in the winter and hot in the summer (to me). The cloth on the Prius is very comfortable and so far (from all reports) is extremely durable and easy to clean. Some folks like the feel of leather and others , like me, hate it. Neither is "best" except in the eyes of the owner.
 

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We much prefer leather. Our dealer had the car sent to an after-market interior place in Virginia Beach. They replaced all the cloth surfaces, except for the narrow strip by the battery compartment vent. An advantage was that they put in some extra foam padding, making the seat a little softer. The total cost was $1100.00. Well worth the price. DOD
 

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When people talk about "hot in summer, cold in winter" there is sometimes confusion between leather and vinyl. I'd like to clarify that vinyl absorbs solar energy just like any other surface, which makes it hot in the summer, however it holds its heat. Vinyl is not a natural surface and as such the other layers in the vinyl and overall thickness of the vinyl tend to assist it in holding heat or cold. Meaning that the surface stays abnormally hot or cold long after you sit on it.

On the other hand leather, being a natural material tends to want to attain the temperature of whatever is sitting on it. Although leather is hot in the summer if solar energy has been warming it, leather tends to cool down to your body temperature much faster than vinyl. The same applies in the winter. Cold leather attains your body temperature faster than vinyl.

So, from my perspective you cannot compare vinyl to leather in terms of its heat/cold properties because after sitting down the two materials change temperature very differently.

In general leather wears better than fabric or vinyl and it tends to have less retention of its environmental temperature as soon as it is sat on by an occupant.

If you have a 2005 model year vehicle the leather seating surface you have was not installed in Japan at manufacture, but installed some time after it arrived in port, either by the importer or by the dealer, whether by your request or because the car had it when you purchased it.
 

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sunshine, if your dog sheds, get leather. much easier to wipe hair off leather than try to vacuum/pick it off off cloth.

however, you'll have to keep your dog's nails well-trimmed to avoid scratches or punctures.

to keep leather nice for a decade, you'll want to regularly condition it so it doesn't get brittle.

rpm
 

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Not to mention vinyl sticks to you like glue and feels icky. Real leather is soft and supple (or grainy depending on the type of leather). Sit in a German car with "leatherette" then sit in a car equipped with their "premium leather" option. Feel the difference between vinyl and real leather.
 

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I've decided on going with sheepskin for the front and the center console cover. They tend to cost more for the Prius as they are custom made for the side-seat airbags ($450).

Regardless if I have leather, vinyl, or cloth, I end up covering it just for the protection it offers. The cheaper acrylic fur covers shed and I end up looking like bigfoot on days where static-cling is high. I've had vinyl and leather covers in the past, however, I end up sweating profusly on the backside and need to walk around backwards just to dry off. No fun. Didn't seem to happen with cloth seats. I'm hoping the sheepskin will offer some air circulation.
 
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