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Hagerty Employee

Auto leather isn't all it's cracked up to be

When you're the car guy, you are often relied upon to counsel other folks on the subject of buying or fixing cars. And you should give your knowledge freely, because the rules of the advice bartering system mean that someday, when you need an asparagus steamer or an automatic tennis-ball launcher, you will have questions.
213 REPLIES 213
New Driver

Eat less meat? What kind of car guy is he? He probably wears crocs too!

Crocs eat meat.  Gators do too.


An interesting article, but like Mr. Baruth, your manner of expressing your opinion seems to generate controversy. Or maybe it's just that everything is political and everyone is "offendable" these days.
Intermediate Driver

"I like what they've done to my car!, corinthian leather!"........

Ricardo Montalban
Intermediate Driver

Damn. Can't even read a half joking op ed without people picking a political side...
I'm not a fan of having to hold on to the steering wheel for dear life a round the corner, but the smell of leather and oil mixed in a parked car is intoxicating for me. Makes me feel like the car is saying "Come on! Let's go!".
Intermediate Driver

I happen to enjoy your writing and sense of humor, Aaron Robinson.
New Driver

Isn't this supposed to be a refuge from the worldly divisions and just talk cars? The only differences we should have is Ford vs Chevy (or substitute your own preferences), voice your political and philosophical views elsewhere please.

Holy Cow! (pun intended) The comment section has turned into a Youtube comment forum, so here is my 2 cents. I will never own a vehicle with leather again! Try living in Phoenix with leather seats. Expect 3rd degree burns on your bottom and legs. expect major cracks where sunlight hits it. Leather's only redeeming feature is the aroma. I don't like vinyl, either. All the disadvantages of leather without the nice smell. Give me cloth any day. As a few commenters pointed out, it really sux to have to forgo other useful features just to avoid leather, since options come as "packages" now. Luckily, I don't think I have to worry about it, as I'm retired and do not plan to buy any more new cars, and what I might buy will be a 65 or 66 Corvair, which probably will have reupholstered cloth seats anyway. End of rant.
New Driver

I’ve never been a fan of leather. I much prefer higher grade cloth. It’s cooler on hot days, warmer on cold days.
In 1997 I special ordered a Buick Park Avenue with all the comforts of home minus leather. The cloth seats were marvelous.
Look at the 1970s high end land yacht. The 1974-76 Fleetwood Talisman topped them all. Velour interior. Buick Park Ave, same thing, less plush. Marvelously comfortable cars. Not a piece of leather needed.

nothing like sitting in a '60 area Ferrari.
the smell of Leather & Oil

There's Nothing.....
New Driver

You forgot to mention “Vegan Leather” which is all the rage with eco-marketing now a days...
Pit Crew

I can understand where the author is coming from. My daily driver (actually I don't actually drive everyday. I've worked from home for years now) is a 2002 Honda Accord with cloth seats. They are in great shape and super comfortable and other than vacuuming them every so often I don't have to take care of them. Partly because they are cloth and made by honda and partly because I inherited the car from my father 7 years ago and it still only has 58k miles on it and has always been garaged. All that said, I also own a 72 Dodge Tradesman van. Seats aside (cheap vinyl that's falling apart) everything about that van requires maintenance on a regular basis. That's just part of owning a 50 year old vehicle. If it was a "nice" vehicle that had leather seats I'd just add them to the list of stuff that has to be attended to on a regular basis.
New Driver

Funny article but whenever someone says "hot in summer, cold in winter" I think "arent you talking about vinyl?" Leather is natural and breathes and is nice to the touch in all weather. Cloth can be nice but harder to keep clean I think. And as for longevity leather might crack easily in the olden days but modern cars' leather seats have been bulletproof in my experience. Still, fun read.