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Kids and cloth seats

13557 Views 16 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  jrabdawg
I am shopping for a Premium, but I'm concerned with the cloth seats. How do they hold up to food, juice, pee-pee and etc. ? Easy clean up? Current car is leather, which has been a breeze cleaning up. I don't want to get a limited, due to higher cost and other items we don't need. Thanks.
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I am shopping for a Premium, but I'm concerned with the cloth seats. How do they hold up to food, juice, pee-pee and etc. ? Easy clean up? Current car is leather, which has been a breeze cleaning up. I don't want to get a limited, due to higher cost and other items we don't need. Thanks.
LOl Cloth and kids do not mix regardless of car or brand.

Finding some type of seat cover for the rear seat is the #1 thing you should do before you pack the kids. We have a limited OB the kids ride in and a Premium Legacy the kids never see the inside of primarily due to the cloth seats not working with kids.
By the way putting aftermarket leather high quality leather in the premium can be done for around $1200 ish.
I cant say I have ever pee'd on my cloth seats in my '12 Premium, but many here have complained about the way the cloth wears in these cars. I can attest that it does not appear to be as rugged and durable as the cloth in my '06 Forester, but so far, with 10,000 miles on the odometer in 6 months, I have no issues. However, I do not have kids. I Scotchguarded the heck out of all the cloth surfaces on the interior, including the rear cargo area, headliner, carpets and seats, and have had a few spills of coffee, and a buddy of mine got guacamole all over one of my seats recently on a road trip, and i was able to wipe it out with a washcloth and water, but again, I Scotchguarded them the day after I bought the car, then did it last week right before the road trip. With that said, if I had kids, and they had a habit of peeing all over everything, grinding their feet into the seats, etc, I may go the route of neoprene seat covers. If you're not keen to the idea of a seat cover I'd do leather over bare factory cloth.
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I cant say I have ever pee'd on my cloth seats in my '12 Premium, but many here have complained about the way the cloth wears in these cars. I can attest that it does not appear to be as rugged and durable as the cloth in my '06 Forester, but so far, with 10,000 miles on the odometer in 6 months, I have no issues. However, I do not have kids. I Scotchguarded the heck out of all the cloth surfaces on the interior, including the rear cargo area, headliner, carpets and seats, and have had a few spills of coffee, and a buddy of mine got guacamole all over one of my seats recently on a road trip, and i was able to wipe it out with a washcloth and water, but again, I Scotchguarded them the day after I bought the car, then did it last week right before the road trip. With that said, if I had kids, and they had a habit of peeing all over everything, grinding their feet into the seats, etc, I may go the route of neoprene seat covers. If you're not keen to the idea of a seat cover I'd do leather over bare factory cloth.
The after market leather is installed over the seat not over the top of the cloth factory seat covers. They remove the cloth seat cover and install the leather cover - the aftermarket leather is generally much better quality than the leather or fake leather seat covers you get with the limited.
I have a set of rules for kids and cars.
1. No juice. Water only.
2. Dry snacks if you must. Cheerios vacuum out pretty easily.

That's pretty much it. I recommend potty training to keep the wee off your seats. If you've got a habitual pants wetter you can always take the wife's car.

I have a Bissel SpotBot that does a pretty good job on upholstery.
i hate leather, i couldn't stand cleaning the "warm ivory" cloth seats every other day. i got neoprene seatcovers, also cause i grew to hate the overall look of such a dumb seat color. they're kinda expensive, but only about 60% the price of leather seatcovers and i think a much much better option. dog hair and mud and kid stuff cleans up pretty easily.
I can tell you just with my nephews in every other weekend or so, a dog in there 2-4 times per week, and just general other crap I would go with leather- I religiously clean my interior a few times per week and it's showing a bit of age already (only 7 months and 14,000 miles old). However, as mentioned, don't waste $$ on the limited if you don't want everything that comes with it. My dealer does Katzkin for $1,200, which I'll be doing in saddle brown color at the end of this year :29:
i hate leather, i couldn't stand cleaning the "warm ivory" cloth seats every other day. i got neoprene seatcovers, also cause i grew to hate the overall look of such a dumb seat color. they're kinda expensive, but only about 60% the price of leather seatcovers and i think a much much better option. dog hair and mud and kid stuff cleans up pretty easily.
Can you post a link...I'd be interested since my front seats are starting to wear.

Thanks
Not sure if people are aware of this but Subaru changed the Outback fabric for 2013.

I don't know if this helps with stains but I can tell you I wiped off some chocolate that my kids got on it without any problems at all. It surprised me how well it wiped off with just a wet sponge. I do have the black fabric though.
Thanks for all the advice. I'll check with the dealer to see what an upgrade to leather would be. Or maybe go for another test drive with the kids holding ice cream cones and no diapers.
Thanks for all the advice. I'll check with the dealer to see what an upgrade to leather would be. Or maybe go for another test drive with the kids holding ice cream cones and no diapers.
just another suggestion....
you can go with the cloth seat now and switch to after market leather after a few years when the kids are no longer in pee-pee, puking age....

one thing great abt Subaru is that their cloth seat trim also come with seat heater... some (maybe majority of) automaker only provide heat seat on their leather trim.
Leather

While you might be ok with the 2013 cloth, having raised 3 boys and one stinky muddy dog, I'd go for leather. Not sure what you are looking at, but you might want to find a limited on the lot and maybe you'll get a better deal. I found the gauges easier to read and like the auto temp/rear vents. Otherwise aftermarket. I ended up adding moonroof as I liked the backup camera. It's saved me from a recycling bin once already. Came from a much smaller car so I'm learning to drive a tank again LOL. Good luck with your decision, you'll love the car in any case!
Personally I'd wait till the kids grow up to install leather. Lets face it no matter what you have in the car they will destroy it. Why not bring in the good stuff once they have gotten older?

Of course if you don't plan to keep the car that long then get a cover!
I have a set of rules for kids and cars.
1. No juice. Water only.
2. Dry snacks if you must. Cheerios vacuum out pretty easily.

That's pretty much it. I recommend potty training to keep the wee off your seats. If you've got a habitual pants wetter you can always take the wife's car.

I have a Bissel SpotBot that does a pretty good job on upholstery.

I have a set of rules also.

#1 no kids
#2 no kids
#3 no kids

;-) LOL
I have a set of rules also.

#1 no kids
#2 no kids
#3 no kids

;-) LOL
LOL you either have kids and have someone else do the kid hauling - are over 50yrs old or not married yet ha ha.

Even when we didn't have kids the 75lb Red Doberman - OUR first kid made good use of the leather seat covers in our old legacy - he rode in his bed any time he was in the car but he still tracked in dirt. Easy wipe down and the seats were fine.
Actually: Married with two dogs. Own an Odyssey too, but pulled out the seats and put in two crates. Kids are allowed in the crates, te he he he.
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