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The Limited with the Special Appearance Package has leather (like a Limited, only brown). Looking at the material covering the seats, I see perforated panels in the middle of the seat and back areas. The salesperson said those are the only leather areas, the thigh and back bolsters flanking those middle leather areas are vinyl.

Is that true, or if not, where is the leather? I overhang those perforated panels a bit, I hope it wouldn't be onto vinyl.

Thanks!
 

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2015 Twilight Blue Legacy Premium
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466 Posts
Many cars are coming like that now. The center portions are usually leather and the sides are vinyl. The OB's leather/vinyl is probably one of the best I've seen in non-luxury cars.
 

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2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited
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The Limited with the Special Appearance Package has leather (like a Limited, only brown). Looking at the material covering the seats, I see perforated panels in the middle of the seat and back areas. The salesperson said those are the only leather areas, the thigh and back bolsters flanking those middle leather areas are vinyl.
That is true...and consistent with other cars in its price range.
 

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2012 Indigo Pearl Outback, with factory-installed Flux Capacitor
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We just bought a Focus with similar treatment. Areas likely to dry out and crack (or worst, break open) seem to be in vinyl these days. I like this because you get ok looks for less maintenance. Of course, I think vinyl seats are my preferred option. Pleather for me I suppose.
 

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2012 2.5i Premium CVT
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921 Posts
FWIW, I just installed aftermarket leather (Katzkin). The front seats have full leather seating surfaces with vinyl sides and backs. The rear seats have a 50/50 mix. The left and right seat inserts are leather, as is the seat back of the middle seat. When you fold it down to expose the cupholders, that surface is vinyl. See my picture. All areas with a red dot are actual leather. Out of curiosity, how does this compare to OEM? Curious to see the answer to the OP's question.

 

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2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited
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Vinyl may not be bad at all. High-end vinyl, such as found in Mercedes, lasts forever and does not show signs of wear & tear. So, for me, as long as Subaru uses decent quality vinyl, i am very happy. One thing that i hate most about leather in "rub places" (e.g. side bolster) is the crease and cracks that develop. My old BMW M3 had soft high end Nappa leather all around...and after 6 months, the side bolster and edge of seat were showing creasing like crazy!
 

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2012 Outback 2.5 Premium - Former: Golf TDI
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457 Posts
We just bought a Focus with similar treatment. Areas likely to dry out and crack (or worst, break open) seem to be in vinyl these days. I like this because you get ok looks for less maintenance. Of course, I think vinyl seats are my preferred option. Pleather for me I suppose.
QFT.

Our 06 Jetta's (sold last year) "vtex leatherette" looked as good as day 1 when we sold it nearly 6 years later, and that's with my wife as primary driver (doesn't take particularly great care of cars like I do) and my dog in it constantly. Can't say the same for nearly any real leather no matter how great of quality it is. Leatherette deffinently puts some people off as it can be a bit "shinier", however I'll take it any day
 

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'15 STi and '13 GTI
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The Limited with the Special Appearance Package has leather (like a Limited, only brown). Looking at the material covering the seats, I see perforated panels in the middle of the seat and back areas. The salesperson said those are the only leather areas, the thigh and back bolsters flanking those middle leather areas are vinyl.

Is that true, or if not, where is the leather? I overhang those perforated panels a bit, I hope it wouldn't be onto vinyl.

Thanks!
Perish the thought that you may come into contact with vinyl seating surfaces!! :eek: :p

As has been mentioned, only the perforated portions of the seats are real leather and it's probably better that way. The leather seat bolsters in my parent's '02 4Runner look like complete ass, they are cracked and dingy looking.

By comparison the leather seats in their '99 Mercedes E-class look 100x better.

I doubt the leather that Subaru uses would be high enough quality to not go to crap within 10 years.
 

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QFT.

Our 06 Jetta's (sold last year) "vtex leatherette" looked as good as day 1 when we sold it nearly 6 years later, and that's with my wife as primary driver (doesn't take particularly great care of cars like I do) and my dog in it constantly. Can't say the same for nearly any real leather no matter how great of quality it is. Leatherette deffinently puts some people off as it can be a bit "shinier", however I'll take it any day
The 79 non turbo Diesel Dasher we had in the family had vtex or what Mercedes sells as Mtex. It is a cool material high density foam backed vinyl with holes in it to breath. Even after 12yrs of kids - back road camping adventures etc they looked brand new. Very good stuff!

Before we bought our 2010 OB we considered the idea of replacing two cars with one - meaning our old Subaru and our old Landcruiser with a Mercedes GL CDI with the Mtex interior. You could say that our budget was flexible we were paying cash either way be it the GL in the 60K range or the new subaru OB in the 28K range.

In the end due to one neighbor having a new MB catch fire and nearly burn his house down the day after he brought it home from the dealer brand new! - and several other neighbors dumping their GL's for either a suburban, honda product ie pilot or Toyota Minivan due to the major quality issues with the MB product and tired of spending weeks at the shop.

We bought the OB limited 2.5 with the light cream interior. We have two kids - a dog - go camping and do lots of stuff that is not kind to seats. 40,000 miles so far the seats are holding up fine and with some basic wipe up cleaning they look as good as new. They also seem to soften up a little with some use which is nice. Our Land cruiser had full leather sides - top - back etc - the edges of the seats were cracking and wearing vinyl on the side bolsters is actually a good thing given it wears better and looks better than cracked and failing leather.
 

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2017 Outback, 14 Jeep Grand Cherokee, 07 BMW E-93
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I would happily trade my seats both front and back on my Limited coming in for cloth. Cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. I don't know if I would give up the power seat function to do that however but if the cloth seats had power like the leather I would trade them in a heart beat. I dislike leather a great deal even though I have 3 vehicles that are equiped with leather...
 
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