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Old 02-15-2004, 07:07 PM   #1
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leather vs cloth seats

I'm really curious, as to those who purchased the optional leather on their non SVT Focus what they think of it. I read a comparison test on Edmunds where they had a 2002 ZX5 with the leather seat option, and this is what they had to say about it:

Our test car also had the optional leather package, and it was the only car besides the PT Cruiser to have leather. The leather is tough and rough feeling, however, and one editor remarked that it felt more like it was "from an elephant than a cow."
That is not good. I'm wondering if anyone here with leather seats can confirm that. Cloth seats are just a bitch to keep clean, and they stain so easily if you spill anything on them. Plus, dog hair and crap sticks to them, and my dog sheds like crazy. But, I don't want to sit in cheap leather either. I wonder if Ford changed the leather for the 2004 model?

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Old 02-15-2004, 08:48 PM   #2
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It's true

That assessment is probably true, however they are satisfactory and the leather, though not as supple, softens and feels good. I also have the heated seat option which is nice (although if you are not used to it you may think you crapped your pants when is comes on
My main complaint is the cost compared to the amount of leather you actually get.
The front seats are leather on all the surfaces. Sides and headrest are vinyl. The back bench is leather on the main surfaces but the seat wings ( part which cups the butt at the edge) is vinyl. Also, the backrest wings are vinyl.
I would not have ordered them but they were on the car I purchased. I was getting such a discount I figured why not. So....I like haveing them (I have a dog too) but wish they were nicer for the money.
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Old 02-16-2004, 05:46 AM   #3
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they are ok.. they soften up with time. I wish they were like a freinds mustang's leather seats. much nicer. but I didn't have a choice anyways as leather was standard in the centenial edition
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Old 02-16-2004, 07:26 AM   #4
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It's just my personal (usually unlike everyone else's opinion): heated seats are great (I'd love to have that option), but I'd rather have unheated seats than a wet bum in summer!.. My focus has simple and humble cloth in it, but I've drivern enough cars (none of them were mine) with vynil or leather seats, and I didn't appreciate the experience.
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Old 02-16-2004, 10:09 AM   #5
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well, keep one thing in mind: this is an econo car. i'm just surprised it's leather and not vinyl. that being said, the leather is pretty tough when new, but give it a little time and it'll break in nicely. i used a lot of meguiar's leather conditioner early on, and it really seems to help soften up the leather without letting it crack.

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Old 02-16-2004, 10:19 AM   #6
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As long as you're in a warmer climate I like leather seats. I've had them on my BMW and Eddie Bauer Expedition. Only complaint is in the winter, if you live in a true winter area, they are hard and cold even with the heated seats.
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Old 02-16-2004, 10:31 AM   #7
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Old 02-16-2004, 11:49 AM   #8
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like jake, i have leather w/ heated seat option and after riding so much in my dad's focus (cloth) i really prefer my leather seats. i don't find 'em rough and i like them more than the leather in my mom's taurus
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Old 02-16-2004, 12:47 PM   #9
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Well, I really appreciate everyone taking the time to reply and give great feedback. So guess what, in about an hour, I'm going to the dealership to test drive a 5 speed 2004 premium style ZX3 with 2.3L engine, sport package, leather seats (no weather package though), and moonroof. The cool thing is, the Ford dealership is going to let me have the car overnight, so I can really get a good feel for it. Then, if I like it, I'm going to place a special factory order for the car tomorrow, and they told me they only need a $100 deposit to make the order. Man, I'm so happy right now. The Focus is so much car for the money, and I estimated between a lower car payment, lower fuel costs per month, and lower insurance rate, I'll be saving a $120 a month over my current car.

I'll let you guys know how everything goes tonight. Again, thanks for the replies. Unless the leather is absolutely terrible, I'm definitely going to get it with the weather package.
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Old 02-16-2004, 01:00 PM   #10
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cloth all the way. It gets hot as hell in FL in the summer, so I opted for the cloth seats.
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