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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,

My wife, myself, and our 5-month-old daughter are close a decision on our first Subaru. We're choosing between the OB Premium and Limited, with the main question being whether we want cloth or leather. We're planning to keep this car for the long haul and suspect the leather will hold up better and clean more easily, but one of us (me) is a bit prone to sweating and wondering how these particular leather seats perform.

So, for those who have Gen 6 Limited models:

-Do you find that the leather runs cooler or hotter than your average leather seats? Are the perforations effective?

-If you happen to have experience with both the black and ivory leathers, do you think there's a significant difference in heat retention between them? (We'd prefer black, both for the look and the reduced susceptibility to staining.)

-Do the perforations detract from ease-of-cleaning? I imagine they must, somewhat, but also imagine that perforated leather is still more resilient than cloth when it comes to spills. (Please correct me if I'm wrong.)

We're not considering the Touring, so unfortunately vented leather won't be a solution here.

Thanks a ton!
 

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Hi everyone,

My wife, myself, and our 5-month-old daughter are close a decision on our first Subaru. We're choosing between the OB Premium and Limited, with the main question being whether we want cloth or leather. We're planning to keep this car for the long haul and suspect the leather will hold up better and clean more easily, but one of us (me) is a bit prone to sweating and wondering how these particular leather seats perform.

So, for those who have Gen 6 Limited models:

-Do you find that the leather runs cooler or hotter than your average leather seats? Are the perforations effective?

-If you happen to have experience with both the black and ivory leathers, do you think there's a significant difference in heat retention between them? (We'd prefer black, both for the look and the reduced susceptibility to staining.)

-Do the perforations detract from ease-of-cleaning? I imagine they must, somewhat, but also imagine that perforated leather is still more resilient than cloth when it comes to spills. (Please correct me if I'm wrong.)

We're not considering the Touring, so unfortunately vented leather won't be a solution here.

Thanks a ton!
My 2 cents.

By the premium model and get Katzkin leather cover installed locally. It will be a better quality leather seat and you will save money

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk
 

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2021 Outback Limited XT, Bright Bronze
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27 Posts
Hi everyone,

My wife, myself, and our 5-month-old daughter are close a decision on our first Subaru. We're choosing between the OB Premium and Limited, with the main question being whether we want cloth or leather. We're planning to keep this car for the long haul and suspect the leather will hold up better and clean more easily, but one of us (me) is a bit prone to sweating and wondering how these particular leather seats perform.

So, for those who have Gen 6 Limited models:

-Do you find that the leather runs cooler or hotter than your average leather seats? Are the perforations effective?

-If you happen to have experience with both the black and ivory leathers, do you think there's a significant difference in heat retention between them? (We'd prefer black, both for the look and the reduced susceptibility to staining.)

-Do the perforations detract from ease-of-cleaning? I imagine they must, somewhat, but also imagine that perforated leather is still more resilient than cloth when it comes to spills. (Please correct me if I'm wrong.)

We're not considering the Touring, so unfortunately vented leather won't be a solution here.

Thanks a ton!
I have the ivory leather in my 2021 limited xt. Much more comfortable in the heat. Dont need vented. Most of my cars in the past were black leather. Always to dang hot. I would need windows tinted, and if venting was available on that car, it was used constantly. Then a few years back I got a 2017 ford fusion Platinum, it came with ivory leather and vented, in the 3 years I owned that car, I can count the numbers of times i used the vent option on 1 hand andthat was only because was on a very long car trip and my back was getting warm. So the answer i can give is rarely need vents.

So when I was looking to replace that car, ivory seats was a must. Love these seats. I can get in and not burn my backside or legs, plus I love the multi tone interior....all black gets to be blah after awhile
 

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20 Outback Premium
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From sitting in cars including Subarus with leather in the AZ summer, cloth is always cooler, and ivory leather is cooler than black leather. We had one car with ivory leather and said never again, so we are proponents of cloth because we live in AZ. That being said, the Premium doesn't have rear a/c vents, hasn't been a problem for us, but something you should be aware of. Forester or Ascent with cloth and rear a/c vents might be the best choice.
 

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Fwiw, I have the gray interior. Not quite as light as the ivory but as a generally hot-and- sweaty person myself, no heat-related issues with it.

I also echo the idea above that the all-black interior in the outback is too all-black for me. It gets too monotone and actually feels cheaper to me. I intended to get black but quickly changed my.mind after sitting in it for just a.few minutes.
 

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If I had a child at home, the Onyx XT would absolutely be my choice. The added power makes it more enjoyable to drive, plus it’ll better haul all the stuff you’ll be toting around. The StarTex upholstery will be more durable and easier to clean, making it the perfect kid-friendly vehicle.

Had the Onyx been equipped with the thigh extension on the drivers seat, I’d have chosen it over the Touring XT I have now.
 

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2021 Outback Limited
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1,533 Posts
I'm in hot humid Florida. I had a 2016 premium with cloth seats and now have a 2021 limited with leather. Both ivory.

I find the leather to be at least as cool, if not cooler due to the ventilation. I had my detailer put on a coating to prevent stains, which is probably unnecessary, but gives me peace of mind. Long term is anybody's guess, but I'm very happy with the seats so far.

I also put a clear window film on the driver's and passenger side front window to block UV heat. This also helped tremendously.
 

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2020 Outback Limited
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196 Posts
New York State here. Charcoal Leather in mine. Garage kept so heat is not really an issue. We carry a couple of Booster seats to carry the grandkids, we use a Seat protector on the back seat because kids always make a mess.

One thing I do use is Griots Leather Wipes for cleaning the leather. They also protect too. I am amazed about the amount of Jean Dye I still get when I clean my seats. If needed, I start with a quick vacuum of the interior. I then use one wipe for the bottom section, then a Terry cloth towel to wipe the seat dry. Then another wipe for the upper section and the towel again. No problem with the perforated leather at all. Using this, the seats and interior look just like the day I picked up this Outback. The secret to leather is keep it clean, get the dirt out of any creases and use a good product.
 

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For an alternate idea:
In the past I have installed sheepskin seat covers and found them comfortable year round. They are not hot in the summertime, and can be removed when you want and put in the washer, gentle/cold.
But you need to get good quality ones, I suggest looking at the Rocky Mt. Sheepskin Co. catalog.
 

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Thigh extension for me would warrant the jump to Limited. But, the Onyx does have a section that protrudes out compared to the cloth seats. It does the job for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks, all! I really appreciate the input. Leaning ivory after hearing all this, but it might come down to finding the right unit at the right price.
 

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2020 Limted XT Black/Ivory
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976 Posts
My ivory seats are fine and look fine. That’s with two kids and a dog, plus raw denim, grease from working on other projects, camping grossness, you name it. Use a quality leather cleaner and it all washes right off. My wrx also had ivory leather and looked great when I traded it in.
 

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2011 OB, Limited...before had 2010 OB, Premium, 6MT, HK
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I have a 2011 2.5 Limited, dark grey with black leather. We bought it a couple of years before our son was born. It turned over 200k miles last month. I can't get over how great the leather has held up, especially with 3 different sets of kid seats over the years. The leather has zero cracks and has been very easy to clean up.

As someone mentioned above, get one with rear vents if you can. Mine does not have the rear vents. We bought a noggle, which actually helped keep my son cool in the summer. It's ugly, but hey, it worked. Good luck figuring it out!
 

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2019 Outback 2.5i Limited Ice Silver exterior/Black interior
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I would also vote FOR leather seats. Having gone my life with cloth seats, I finally got leather seats on my last 2 vehicles. With cloth seats, anything that gets spilled from human, or tracked in from a dog, etc., soaks into the cloth and becomes a permanent stain in many cases. Cleaning fabric is a pain. OTOH, cleaning leather is a snap. Use any quality leather cleaner and everything wipes right off. I'll never have cloth interiors again!

In terms of comfort, the leather is equally as comfortable for me. In the winter, it's OK (but on super cold days I use heated seats anyway), in the summer it's cool. My Subaru interior is black. No issues with it getting too hot either.

So, go ahead and get leather in whatever color you like.
 

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2020 Limited XT Autumn Green Metallic/Warm Ivory, Falken WIldpeak A/T Trail, OEM Skid Plates etc
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412 Posts
Living in AZ - the perforation certainly helps, my previous vehicle had the vented seats and were nice to have ... so far the perforations do seem to help (ivory 2 tone seats)
 

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The leather in the Gen6 seems about the same as in my Gen5 (with the loaners I’ve had anyway). The seats in the Gen6 are a little more contoured so depending on what you’re wearing you might sweat a little more, but they really are note that bad.

I DO like the cloth in the Gen6. improvement over the vw I had. About the same as the ford trucks I used to own - seems like a durable fabric, but I didn’t have the loaner long term.

My only complaint with subaru leather is the not so fantastic side bolster and other vinyl surfaces, they are a little thin compared to other cars I’ve had with very durable vinyl in them. I’d prefer something a little thicker and without the numerous complaints about them cracking over time (none of mine ever did so far though).

Cleanup is very easy - I use a leather cleaner because it will remove the sunblock residue off the vinyl very quickly and it’s not a harsh cleaner. Cloth can be cleaned, but with the leather/vinyl I don’t have to break out the fancy gadgets to get the coffee/soda spills and stains out of any cloth.

I don’t think you can go wrong either way - I just prefer the lower maintenance, ease of cleaning, and how the leather / vinyl feels when seated.
 
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