I have heard that the BMW leatherette is the best in the biz. Their leather is not, but it's still very nice. Have ridden in a leatherette bimmer hundreds of times and it has stood up well for years. Friends of mine swear by it. That said, you're paying 35-40 grand for this car. The leather adds a whole new level of luxury that you will never get in leatherette IMO. Durability, practicality=leatherette. But if you were interested in those things you probably would buy an Audi. I think you'll love leather way better, but many would disagree with me. If it's about the money and you're OK with no leather, I have a feeling you'll be very happy with the leatherette. I would sit in it, compare it to leather before you buy just to be sure. Odds are you're dealer will have a 5 series with leatherette that will compare to the e90's stuff.