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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > BMW E90/E92/E93 3-series General Forums > Regional Forums > UK > UK Technical Forum > Replacing cloth trim - alcantara or leather?



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      01-13-2012, 05:07 PM   #1
jester77
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Replacing cloth trim - alcantara or leather?

Looking for some opinions. I have a 330i SE Touring with black cloth sports seats. I would quite like to upgrade to either leather or alcantara/cloth but not sure which - anyone have any opinions?

Leather interiors seem to be more expensive but then I am thinking that they would be more appropriate for an SE spec rather than Sport...
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      01-14-2012, 01:23 PM   #2
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If your going to go to the hassle of changing them, go for leather.

In my opinion and I will probably get shot down for this, but no BMW should come without leather...first thing I would pick if buying a new and first on the wishlist if buying 2nd hand!
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      01-14-2012, 01:30 PM   #3
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I loved the alcantara in my e91, far better than the leather, but agree with above.
Leather you will see your money back, alcantara I am not sure.


I would get it in a nice colour.
What colour is the exterior.
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      01-14-2012, 01:50 PM   #4
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Just spec'd Leather seats with Alcantara inserts in the A7 and must say they feel great to sit on and seem more grippy.

I have had all leather in the last 2 BMW's so fancied a change.

Slightly worried about it getting marked though, leather is easier to keep clean.
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      01-14-2012, 02:46 PM   #5
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Agree with most of the above.

My company E90 had msport alcantara and I prefered it - not as hot in summer or as cold in winter and more grippy.

All that said, most people prefer leather and you are more likely to make some of the cost back on leather.

Last edited by edowen; 01-14-2012 at 05:32 PM.
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      01-14-2012, 04:12 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edowen View Post
Agree with most of the above.

My company E90 has msport alcantara and I prefer it - not as hot in summer or as cold in winter and more grippy.

All that said, most people prefer leather and you are more likely to make some of the cost back on leather.
I agree with edowen.

If you go leather, you should get heated leather IMO (more expense!)

Have you thought about getting your current seats recovered, rather than buying (presumably) secondhand??

Mike
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      01-15-2012, 08:42 AM   #7
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I've had both alcantara and leather seats and much as I liked the alcantara it's a nightmare if you get a dirty mark on it and it doesn't wear as well as leather, so given the choice I'd go for the leather every time!

This is the first car I've had with heated seats & previously I'd discounted them as a completely unnecessary extra but now I think they're great. Get in the car on a cold day, put the seats on and they make the car feel like it's already warmed up - highly recommended
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      01-15-2012, 10:23 AM   #8
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Thanks for the opinions.

The car is silver so black leather is the obvious choice. Have considered re-covering - it's a close call cost wise. Decent upholsterers seem to charge around 1,200 (a lot on a car worth 8-9k), whereas can buy good condition second-hand for around 700 and pay someone 150 to fit.

The latter option also keeps the standard look I guess.
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      01-15-2012, 12:01 PM   #9
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I had my A3 re-upholstered with leather/alcantara and was really pleased with the result. Do like alcantara, it's a nicer feel than leather especially on cold or hot days... You don't get the sweaty arse as with leather.
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      01-15-2012, 03:42 PM   #10
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I had my last car retrimmed in leather & it was a much better job than OE using superior leather on full seat covers & all side panels and you will also get a choice of colour, stitching & style so if your current seats are ok I wouldn't discount it as an option
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      01-15-2012, 03:56 PM   #11
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I agree a retrimmer will be better, but I bet you can get a complete sports interior set for 700 or less and then get 150 back on yours, so far cheaper.
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      01-15-2012, 05:05 PM   #12
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Anyone with any recommendations for leather re-trimmers in the London area, I'd be interested to hear.

Here are a few I have heard some good things about on various forums:

www.trim-star.co.uk
www.dclass.co.uk
www.bespokeleathering.com
www.autotrim.co.uk

Anyone any experience of any of them?
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      01-15-2012, 05:07 PM   #13
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Plus I should say, if anyone knows of an E91 black leather interior in good condition up for sale then do let me know!
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      01-19-2012, 09:39 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jester77 View Post
Looking for some opinions. I have a 330i SE Touring with black cloth sports seats. I would quite like to upgrade to either leather or alcantara/cloth but not sure which - anyone have any opinions?

Leather interiors seem to be more expensive but then I am thinking that they would be more appropriate for an SE spec rather than Sport...
When pressing on, I much prefer alcantara as it helps keep the body in the correct seating position. It feels much colder in winter though than leather as it doesn't reflect heat back to the body. It also looks more sporty than leather. It does go a little fluffy after a few years but a defuzzing brush (shoe repairers usually sell them) brings it up like new.

Leather (when clean and conditioned) smells nicer and feels more luxurious. Gets warmer quicker in winter and is easy to clean. Is less durable than alcantara and one should avoid wearing any jeans with rivets as it's easy to damage.
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      01-19-2012, 11:47 AM   #15
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Alcantara is just the same as leather or any other material in that there are different qualities. The standard leather in the e90 is pretty horrible plasticy stuff to be honest. If you get leather SE seats I'd imagine you would end up sliding around a fair bit. The standard alcantara/cloth Msport interior is far more comfortable and functional but as others have said, isn't as desireable come resale time.

I always hated how BMW never offered a leather/alcantara interior on the e90. It looks like it won't be an option on the F30 either which is a shame. This is what i've got in my current Audi and it's the best combination IMO.
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      01-19-2012, 12:23 PM   #16
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Alacantara! With leather bolsters please. Stop your bum slipping about on the twisties ;D
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      01-21-2012, 04:19 AM   #17
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I've found a nice leather interior but I would have to collect it - so here's the question:

Would I be able to fit an entire E91 interior (2 x front seats, 1 x back seat, 4 x door cards) inside an E91 with the existing interior still in place?

Anyone ever done it?

Personally I think it would be a bit tight and obviously would not want to damage the interior in the process.
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      01-21-2012, 04:41 AM   #18
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Of course not, putting the new seats on top of your old ones would be dangerous, surely you would just wobble around??!!

Plus it isn't going to leave you much headroom!

You'd be better to take out the cloth interior and fit the leather one properly.







Seriously though, I think you'd just about do it.
Seats down you should get it all in.
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      01-21-2012, 11:45 AM   #19
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Takes all of about 30 seconds to remove rear seat bottom and maybe 5 minutes for the rear seat backs. Fit the new ones on and fold them down flat and the fronts will fit ok.

I wouldnt remove the front seat as the airbag light will cone up.
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      01-21-2012, 11:51 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jester77 View Post
Anyone with any recommendations for leather re-trimmers in the London area, I'd be interested to hear.

Here are a few I have heard some good things about on various forums:

www.trim-star.co.uk
www.dclass.co.uk
www.bespokeleathering.com
www.autotrim.co.uk

Anyone any experience of any of them?
try this bloke Chequers in maidstone 01622 739182 hes top hole
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