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2015 Outback 3.6R Limited (1st Subaru!!)
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Discussion Starter #1
2015 OB 3.6R Limited purchased late October - the previous owner's...or maybe it was the used car lot's cover-up job - has given way and there are now two long tears in the driver seat left side bolster area.....in what appears to be vinyl. Cover-up work missed during pre-inspection, it's my problem now. The tears run vertical from the outer stitch towards the center cushion and stop at the seam.

I'm apprehensive to spend money on cheap seat covers that will need replacing in 2 months, and those Katzkins look real nice...but it'll need to be in a lot worse condition to justify cough $2,000. Looks like I'm stuck searching online for a wrecked OB to replace it.
 

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Yep. There are a few threads about that on the Gen5 cars.
. The only portion of that seat which is leather is the perforated center panels.





 

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2019 Outback Limited 3.6R; Magnetite on Gray Leather, Package 24, Bone Stock for Now
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115 Posts
2015 OB 3.6R Limited purchased late October - the previous owner's...or maybe it was the used car lot's cover-up job - has given way and there are now two long tears in the driver seat left side bolster area.....in what appears to be vinyl. Cover-up work missed during pre-inspection, it's my problem now. The tears run vertical from the outer stitch towards the center cushion and stop at the seam.

I'm apprehensive to spend money on cheap seat covers that will need replacing in 2 months, and those Katzkins look real nice...but it'll need to be in a lot worse condition to justify cough $2,000. Looks like I'm stuck searching online for a wrecked OB to replace it.
Find yourself a local auto/boat upholstery shop. They can sew in a new panel and it's very cost effective and likely better materials. I had this done on an older SUV for a driver seat bottom that split and the foam was broken down. Replaced the panel and foam for $220.
 

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2015 Outback 3.6R Limited
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In one of the linked threads above I state, dealership replaced mine at no cost under the extended warranty.
 

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2015 3.6R Limited w/ES
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Yeah, unless it's under warranty, not sure I'd waste my time replacing with another stock seat cover given how cheap the material obviously is.
 

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2018 Outback 2.5i Limited, No Eyesight, No Navigation
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2,595 Posts
2015 OB 3.6R Limited purchased late October - the previous owner's...or maybe it was the used car lot's cover-up job - has given way and there are now two long tears in the driver seat left side bolster area.....in what appears to be vinyl. Cover-up work missed during pre-inspection, it's my problem now. The tears run vertical from the outer stitch towards the center cushion and stop at the seam.

I'm apprehensive to spend money on cheap seat covers that will need replacing in 2 months, and those Katzkins look real nice...but it'll need to be in a lot worse condition to justify cough $2,000. Looks like I'm stuck searching online for a wrecked OB to replace it.
Katzkin should NOT be $2k. It is just the front seats that are problematic. Just replace the front. If you use a wrecked Outback, then you will be spending MORE money by being cheap. The wrecked Outback’s seat will eventually tear. Then, you will get pissed and drop the money on Katzkin.

I like the idea of using a boat upholstery shop. I will probably go that route when my seats tear.
 

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2015 Outback 3.6R Limited (1st Subaru!!)
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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Spoiler Alert - I have decided to go with Option #2 below when ready.

Awesome. Thank you, Everyone! I really appreciate all the excellent input and links. I've read through all referred posts then did some checking around. I don't have dealer warranty so that wasn't an option. It was mentioned by several that buying a new OEM seat bottom cover would buying back into poor design resulting in a repeat issue later on. That is correct though it would be very helpful to hear from anyone who has had theirs dealer-replaced after 2017 or 2017-2019 owners to hear if they are having issues after being on their seats 3+ years. Fingers crossed Subaru has heard enough complaints to make a quality change, even if silently, to address concerns and minimize warranty claims.

One idea considered based on suggestions here was to buy a new or used seat bottom cover then have a local upholstery shop sew in some marine grade vinyl panels for repair. Vinyl wears better than leather in that area where weight and wear from a leg swinging across it occurs quite regularly. This would be fairly inexpensive and allow use of the vehicle until ready to install. I found a used LH seat bottom cove on eBay for $170 + $40 shipping (it was the entire seat bottom with cushion, heater, frame, wiring, controls, etc.)
Note: I will not be buying this so if anyone is interested at (or save that Seller if needing a resource for junkyard takeoff parts)
2015-2019 SUBARU OUTBACK LEFT FRONT SEAT BOTTOM LEATHER HEATED OEM | eBay

Alternative Katzkin dealers:
AutoSeatSkins.com is selling a full Katzkin cover for the 2015-2019 driver seat for $800 which is on par with my local installer's 388 for half a seat.

Before calling around with intent of having a local upholstery shop to the repair, I contacted Katzkin out of curiosity which is what ended up providing the answer to my problem. Now, Katzkin itself only does full interior installs ($1,500+), but they also shared that local installers can offer more options and provided me with a direct number to who does it locally for Raleigh, NC. Tops & Trends in Raleigh, NC offered the following options:

#1 - They buy and install a OEM seat cover. This would be more expensive than #2 and be, as we know, a gamble regarding quality.

#2 - They install a only Katzkin seat bottom cover for $388 which includes cover + labor (taxes not included) I didn't expect to find an option that provides higher quality construction at this price point. Using your supplied VIN, their Katzkin cover n this case would include leather down the center with vinyl sides same as OEM in a way that closely matches current design and cut. Your local Katzkin installer should offer close to the same.
 

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2019 Outback Limited 3.6R; Magnetite on Gray Leather, Package 24, Bone Stock for Now
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Spoiler Alert - I have decided to go with Option #2 below when ready.

Awesome. Thank you, Everyone! I really appreciate all the excellent input and links. I've read through all referred posts then did some checking around. I don't have dealer warranty so that wasn't an option. It was mentioned by several that buying a new OEM seat bottom cover would buying back into poor design resulting in a repeat issue later on. That is correct though it would be very helpful to hear from anyone who has had theirs dealer-replaced after 2017 or 2017-2019 owners to hear if they are having issues after being on their seats 3+ years. Fingers crossed Subaru has heard enough complaints to make a quality change, even if silently, to address concerns and minimize warranty claims.

One idea considered based on suggestions here was to buy a new or used seat bottom cover then have a local upholstery shop sew in some marine grade vinyl panels for repair. Vinyl wears better than leather in that area where weight and wear from a leg swinging across it occurs quite regularly. This would be fairly inexpensive and allow use of the vehicle until ready to install. I found a used LH seat bottom cove on eBay for $170 + $40 shipping (it was the entire seat bottom with cushion, heater, frame, wiring, controls, etc.)
Note: I will not be buying this so if anyone is interested at (or save that Seller if needing a resource for junkyard takeoff parts)
2015-2019 SUBARU OUTBACK LEFT FRONT SEAT BOTTOM LEATHER HEATED OEM | eBay

Before calling around with intent of having a local upholstery shop to the repair, I contacted Katzkin out of curiosity which is what ended up providing the answer to my problem. Now, Katzkin itself only does full interior installs ($1,500+), but they also shared that local installers can offer more options and provided me with a direct number to who does it locally for Raleigh, NC. Tops & Trends in Raleigh, NC offered the following options:

#1 - They buy and install a OEM seat cover. This would be more expensive than #2 and be, as we know, a gamble regarding quality.

#2 - They install a only Katzkin seat bottom cover for $388 which includes cover + labor (taxes not included) I didn't expect to find an option that provides higher quality construction at this price point. Using your supplied VIN, their Katzkin cover n this case would include leather down the center with vinyl sides same as OEM in a way that closely matches current design and cut. Your local Katzkin installer should offer close to the same.
I would love to hear your thoughts on Katzkin, color match, etc. when installed. That seems to be a decent route to take.
 
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