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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all! I've been lurking on this page for quite a while but I finally had to create an account (commence chants of "one of us!") in order to see if anyone might have guidance on this question.

I'm planning to purchase a 2021 Outback, either the Onyx XT or Limited XT. I have driven both and I am leaning somewhat towards the Limited. I have done some digging online (with mixed results) and also posed the question at the dealership about whether the seats in the Limited are real leather or a synthetic (or protein based) leather. I was mostly only considering the Onyx because I'm interested in the 2.4L would prefer to not have real animal hide leather, if I can avoid it.

The sales manager and the sales person told me they didn't know at first but after I had shared that I was interested in synthetic leather, they said that Subaru tells them it is synthetic. Everyone in the room seemed fairly unsure, though.

This forum is awesome so I figured this might be the place to come and ask. Does anyone happen know a definitive answer on this?
 

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2020 Onyx
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I'm sure the Limited is real plastic coated leather in the seating surfaces not vegan leather. Only the Onyx has plastic seats (urethane)
 
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Owner’s manual confirms the leather parts are real leather.

“The leather used by SUBARU is a high quality natural product which will retain its distinctive appearance and feel for many years with proper care.”
 

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2010/2016 outback
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Owner’s manual confirms the leather parts are real leather.

“The leather used by SUBARU is a high quality natural product which will retain its distinctive appearance and feel for many years with proper care.”
Perhaps it is real but not high quality. Severals people on this site had had tears in the seat bottoms and my passenger side bottom cover is being replaced for the second time for poor fit
 

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The tearing seats go back a ways and there are more than a few. Buy an outback with leather, budget for seat repair/replacement.
 

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2020 Onyx
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What's funny is that top tier luxury vehicles are moving away from leather and towards cloth. Cloth is totally under-rated. It's the best upholstery it it weren't for liquid intrusion.


 
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2017 Toyota Tacoma
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Personally I think it isn’t “genuine” leather but I can’t confirm. However I am getting a limited because I like the leather and find it easier to keep clean. Just wipe it off occasionally, there’s nothing to it.
 

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2020 Outback Limited XT Black on Ivory
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I've had my 2020 Limited XT Outback going on 15 months now. The ( Ivory) leather seats have held up fine. No tears, wrinkles, stains etc. despite me being increasingly careless on how I treat the car these last 6 months. ( i.e It's seen it's share of tools sticking out of my pockets for sure.) IMHO, It's as good as any leather I've had in any car. That said, the dealer did offer a "insurance plan" for tears/damage to the seats if your worried about them. I forget what it cost though..
 

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2020 Outback Premier 2.5i
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On this side of the border the Limited spec says the seats are leather. Why not do a build and price and look at the specs? Seems to me that sales is telling you want they think you want to hear.
 

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2020 Legacy Premier GT & 2007 3.0R Outback LLBean
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Bonded leather qualifies as real leather. My dealer told me the Napa leather is real but couldn't confirm if the other leather seats were bonded. Typically only the seat rests are leather. The bolsters and sides are usually vinyl with a leatherette finish.. My Napa sides are clearly not leather.
 

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2020 Onyx
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Congrats!
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Congrats!
Thanks! Oh, and I did confirm with the dealer that we ended up purchasing from that the seating surfaces are real leather and the bolstering is synthetic. (Which is definitely what we thought was the case) That seems to confirm that I came across a dealer that was unfortunately just telling me what they thought I wanted to hear. Glad to have had this forum. 🙂
 

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2020 Onyx
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Now that you're an owner, you need to be aware that service advisors are also salesmen and some get a commission when you get extra services performed that are NOT a part of normal maintenance and they may attempt to upsell you with unnecessary work. If your driving is severe service there's a service schedule for that, and if you're not severe service then it's in there too.

My dealer offers Krex additive which is bogus, others may offer other "extras" for extra profit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Now that you're an owner, you need to be aware that service advisors are also salesmen and some get a commission when you get extra services performed that are NOT a part of normal maintenance and they may attempt to upsell you with unnecessary work. If your driving is severe service there's a service schedule for that, and if you're not severe service then it's in there too.

My dealer offers Krex additive which is bogus, others may offer other "extras" for extra profit.
Thanks for the tip!

Thankfully, we definitely don't plan on falling under the severe service schedule. The roughest roads our Outback will see on a regular basis is probably the terribly potholed roads in our city. Light off roading will only be an occasional thing.

The next big thing for me is that I'm currently going through pages and pages of the MSRP/Purchase Price/Warranty thread trying to figure out what a fair price for a 8/80k/$0 Gold Plus Warranty would be...
 
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