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Leatherette seats

We are looking at a Volkswagen Jetta with leatherette seats. Just what is a leatherette seat, and will they be uncomfortable when the weather gets hot (we live in Texas)?

Leatherette, naugahyde, Morrokhide, and other trademarks are all just different names for vinyl upholstery. Yes, this type of upholstery can be a bit uncomfortable in very hot weather.

And brutally cold in the winter.

VDC, don’t forget “Coreeeenthian Leather” as promoted by Ricardo Montalban for the Chrysler Cordoba!

P.S. Sheepskins are great in summer or winter. Airline pilots love them, and they have to sit still for a long time.

Put sheepskin seat covers on the front seats. They are warm in the winter and cool in the summer as they wick away moisture. I’ve had sheepskins on all my cars for years.


Leatherette = vinyl. I have unheated leather seats in one of my cars. They look nice, but they are hot in summer and COLD in winter. I prefer cloth.

I also prefer cloth…But leather is far better then vinyl.

Leather also gets hot in the summer. We keep sheets or towels in the van so that legs don’t get uncomfortable when wearing shorts or skirts.

If this car gets parked outside in July, watch out! You WILL be punished for wearing shorts! One advantage of vinyl and leather is kid-spill resistance. If you’re carting kids around vinyl is the easiest to clean when (not if) they spill stuff. That said, our cloth Suburban survived 12 years of scout trips, etc, without major problems.

Real leather breaths better, but both real leather and leatherette can get hot in summer and cold in winter. Both transmit heat too well.

Back in '93 my local Mazda dealer let me take a Mazda 929 home for the weekend. Yeah, he knew me well, and times were different then. Anyway, it got NH cold overnight and when my fanny hit that cold leather I almost shot through the roof! Loved the car, but not the leather.

The word vinyl brings back memories of careening around corners in my '64 Fairlane.

And in the 64 Fairlane careening around corners you’d go sliiiiiding across the vinyl bench seat for lack of seat belts too.

btw, I have cloth seat covers over my leather seats.

Ah, sweet memories!

Yeah, lots of people get tired of putting their rear on hot leather and put on cloth covers. My Scion tC has some kind of wierd engineered fabric that has a feel all its own. Not like leather, vinyl, of fabric.

I wouldn’t look at anything VW till they get the engine seal problem fixed.BTW, I have black leather seats and they are comfortable in all weather conditions. I guess they can be uncomfortable to all those folks who insist on driving naked, though

My secret is out.

We own a Passat with the VTek (that’s VW’s name for “leatherette”) seats. They are just fine (live in Colorado). You might consider getting window tinting (good idea for all the “sun” states).

I’m not sure what engine seal problem galaxybeing is referring to though. Not much discussion of this in the Jetta/Golf/Rabbit newsgroups. No problem with my son’s Rabbit and the 2.5l engine. Could have been a problem with the older engines.

Agree; during the mini-skirt era I dated a girl who hated my leatherette seats and I had to install seat covers.

The hard sell is on for “leatherette” at VW. Gotta be the money. Interesting selling point–no animals were harmed… Well, if you’re really concerned, you’re not buying a car! You’re biking, walking, or taking the bus! It’s all a balancing act, I think. We purchased a new VW today and opted for leather, walking in with leather footwear. Seems they’re clearly making a move away from leather. As for “leatherette” … I’m old enough to remember “Genuine Naugahyde” (sp.?) sign me VWleatherlady.

Back the the 1940’s and 1950’s, my Dad put fiber seat covers on his cars. They were cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter than other materials. The fiber covers didn’t last a long time, but they were inexpensive. These covered the mohair seats in the cars he owned.

I’m old enough to remember “Genuine Naugahyde” (sp.?)

I’ve got you beat–I’m old enough to remember new cars with mohair seats.

It’s not just VW that is big on vinyl seats. So are BMW, Mercedes, and Cadillac in the case of the CTS. I don’s understand why these makers of expensive cars are so averse to cloth, which lasts as long as a car, and is more comfortable than either leather or “leatherette.”

Impression. Just as a $40 Timex keeps time as well as a $26,000 yellow gold Rolex Yatchmaster, cloth is just as good as leather for the application. But people buying luxury cars would feel shortchanged if they came with cloth seats.