A grey interior of a car shows the back row of seats at a used Nissan dealer near you.

Are Leather Seats Worth It? Not Exactly

What is luxury? The multi-faceted answer to this question means that there isn’t one discreet definition of “luxury” in the automotive industry. Even if you purchase a vehicle that includes an array of features that are considered luxurious, there’s one that often gets noticed first: leather seats. Many of us have become so used to leather seats in our vehicles, but of course, this comes at a cost. We’re here to tell you today that leather seats aren’t everything they’re cracked up to be (no pun intended). Including various flaws in leather seats such as costly maintenance, cloth seats are more worth your time than you may have considered. Remember this when you’re looking for the best used Nissan dealer near you.

There are a few categories that we’ll discuss on how cloth seats are the better choice over leather seats. The first is a simple one, and that’s the cost. Next, we’ll discuss the cleaning process, including maintenance. Lastly, we’ll discuss a few nitpicks that leather seats bring forth. The focus of today’s topic is to ease the minds of shoppers and give a better understanding as to why you shouldn’t feel negative about your cloth seats. So without further adieu, let’s begin by discussing the first topic today, the cost.

That Sweet Cash

We’re not going to beat around the bush here. The reason why you would want leather seats is because of their perceived luxuriousness. You take one hard look at the interior of a vehicle such as the Nissan Kicks, and if you see leather, you’ll immediately know this isn’t a base-level trim. On the other hand, investing in a vehicle such as the Nissan Maxima will include leather seats at no extra charge. The leather seats that come with the Maxima can either be typical leather or premium Ascot leather.

Spending more money and swapping cloth out for leather go hand-in-hand. Something that you’re likely to encounter, especially with vehicles such as the Nissan Kicks, you’ll be getting a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob with cloth seats if you purchase the SR trim. At this point, it makes sense to invest in the leather seats for a more unified look to the interior. One caveat, however, and it’s that vehicles such as the Kicks utilize a form of synthetic leather, so don’t expect to get the real deal unless you purchase a pricier vehicle, such as the Maxima, for example.

With vehicles such as the Nissan Kicks, where leatherette seats are optional and not guaranteed, should you immediately jump for their inclusion? If you have the means to, then, by all means, invest in the leatherette seats or premium leather if the vehicle allows for it. This is not the case for every shopper, and in more cases than not, everybody wants a costly vehicle, but this isn’t always feasible.

This one is rather rudimentary; the answer to this problem is not to invest in leather or leatherette seats. When the cost is a factor, there’s no better reason than to save money. The money that you will save can be put towards other upgrades that you may find essential to the overall experience. If you’ll be saving a significant amount of money by keeping the cloth seats, then you should use that extra money for vehicle enhancements or put it back in the bank account. Everybody wants to save money in any way possible, and this is one of the most noteworthy drawbacks that won’t affect much of the vehicle’s experience. Next, we’re going to talk about the cleaning process; and the pros and cons of each material.

A leather car seat is shown in close up.

Staying Clean

Here’s one area where leather seats have a noticeable advantage over cloth seats, and that’s cleaning. There’s no denying that cloth seats are also prone to staining, which is why it’s important to be mindful of open beverages in your vehicle. Leather seats can stain too, of course, but the cleaning process can sometimes be simpler. Simple clear liquids such as water should be cleaned with little to no effort, whereas these liquids will seep in cloth instead.

With that said, scrubbing cloth seats is the best way to clean them. Many times, cleaning a stain off a cloth seat will include basic household materials such as warm water, soap, lemon juice, or bleach. Cleaning leather can also be achieved with warm water, soap, lemon juice, but bleach should be avoided at all costs. Leaving any spills unattended will be worse in the long run, and this is especially true for cloth. This is because of the ability for mold to grow within the damp cloth. Not to say that your seats will inevitably get mold, but they will if you don’t take proper care of them. At that point, it’s important for the health of your car, and of course, yourself and the vehicle’s occupants.

This brings us to the main issue with leather seats, this being tearing and scratches. Cloth seats aren’t exempt from this either, but leather seats can be easier to tear or scratch, especially if they haven’t been kept clean over time. With that said, various materials that you may use when cleaning cloth seats are best not used with leather ones. For example, the cleaning cloth that you may be using on your cloth seats could be nothing but beneficial. But they will scrape and inevitably tear your leather seats if you don’t purchase the right wiping cloth. Microfiber cloths are great for leather, but paper towels might be perfect for your cloth seats.

If the leather tears, expect to pay a decent sum to the mechanic for the interior work. Worst of all, worn leather gives a distinctive look and is something that can’t be remedied without swapping out the entire seat. At that point, the vehicle looks noticeably less luxurious, yet you still have paid the premium cost to acquire these leather seats.

A Cold Winter’s Day

Heated seats, and ventilated seats by extension, have made the argument between cloth and leather seats rather dull in this regard. If anything, this is likely a mere nitpick; but certainly worth mentioning to aspiring shoppers who live in cold areas during the winter. Why do we mention this? Let me paint a mental picture for you.

If you have ever found yourself in a hurry, such as being late for work, then sometimes you don’t have the chance to start your vehicle up beforehand. A cold winter’s morning is the perfect time to use a heated seat, so drivers will often apply them at least a few minutes before entering the vehicle. However, in those times when you don’t have that brief moment to activate the heated seats before getting in, you have to grit your teeth and sit on the cold seat. We mention this because leather can get far colder than cloth. It’s something that you’re unlikely to think about in the here and now, but if saving money means that you won’t be freezing in the morning, this sure sounds like a win-win.

A person is shown cleaning a cloth seat at a used Nissan dealer near you.

Cut from the Same Cloth

Based on what we have discussed, we hope that you have better insight as to why cloth seats aren’t as negative or cheap as you may be inclined to believe. Leather is a luxury for a reason and is regularly priced accordingly. With luxury comes more responsibility, and protecting your investment becomes a far greater task. Best of all, cloth seats don’t take away from the other luxurious components of a vehicle. But since cloth seats are cheaper to implement, clean, and replace, the fear of wear and tear over time is not as valid because of their longevity and cheaper maintenance.

The market is currently situated in such a way that promotes leather seats in pricier vehicles. Based on the aforementioned cost, this does make sense. With leather seats, the resale of your vehicle is highly dependant on the interior’s pristineness, and leather can show minor flaws far easier. Ultimately, we want to calm your worries if you’re spending a costly sum on a used Nissan vehicle, but you feel as if you’ll be missing out on leather seats. News flash; you aren’t.