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Discussion Starter #1
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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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[:I]
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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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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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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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.

Mike
 

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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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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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Discussion Starter #9
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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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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Good for you 007! Apparently you've got some good credit history out there. I just noticed that you're my neighbour -- which one of the fabulous dealerships around here is treating you so well? I'll bet that it's not Arlington's Don Davis where I had a misfortune to buy mine (since it was the only one available in the metroplex at that moment, - with the features I wanted).
Let us know how it goes.
 

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Yeah, leather has a rather smooth surface compared to the cloth. a smooth surface would absorb more heat, thereby making them scorching hot in hot weather. A rougher surface like the cloth, will dissipate heat more easily, so that the seats don't feel as hot as hell. If you like the luxurious look of leather and don't mind a scorched butt, then go for it. but if you can't stand the temperatures of the leather seats, then get cloth seats. Racing seats aren't made of leather, if they were those fireproof suits would be useless, it's already too hot inside the suit.
 

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Also, my dad's Supra had white cracks on black leather, this occurred as the leather aged. beware of sharp objects, too.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Ma-fia said:
Good for you 007! Apparently you've got some good credit history out there. I just noticed that you're my neighbour -- which one of the fabulous dealerships around here is treating you so well? I'll bet that it's not Arlington's Don Davis where I had a misfortune to buy mine (since it was the only one available in the metroplex at that moment, - with the features I wanted).
Let us know how it goes.
Actually, my credit is awful. I'm getting help with a co-signer, namely my significant other, who has amazing credit. That is one of the reasons for moving into the Focus. My car payments currently are $404 a month, that's too much money for me. Plus my insurance is expensive, and my car requires premium gas only, so the Focus represents an enormous savings all the way around. I'm working this deal at North Central Ford. They've been taking very good care of me. The car I want is not in the state, so I'm going to special order it from the factory. You can't find a car with ABS and side airbags for some reason. I don't know why, but I guess Ford thinks people aren't willing to pay a little extra for piece of mind and safety. Plus it's impossible to find a ZX5 in a manual transmission. They are all automatic. I don't want this car in an auto, especially because the 5 speed shifts so smoothly.

Well guys, I picked up the demo car today at 4:00pm, and what a blast! The 2.3L is so strong it's deceptive. It pulls hard in all gears, I really like that, yet, it's only turning 3000rpm at 80mph. I can't believe how much I like the car and the way it drives. The Focus is a perfect balance between sport and comfort. The stereo kicks ass, and the leather seats are so comfy. I have no idea what that reviewer was talking about. I'm definitly getting the leather with the heated seat option. They might get a little hot in the summer, but that is why they invented sun shades. Plus, they are much easier to keep clean. Cloth is a bitch when you spill stuff on the seats.

The car just rocks, what can I say, it's the best thing in its class by far. I'm gonna order the car tomorrow. Thanks again for all your feedback.
 

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I got the cloth seats, and I think mine have some kind of scotch guard on em, because this one time I dropped some grape slurpee on em, dabbed it with a kleenex and there was absolutely no stain at all, and no moisture left on the seat either. Is this a normal thing?
 

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so I'm going to special order it from the factory. You can't find a car with ABS and side airbags for some reason. I don't know why, but I guess Ford thinks people aren't willing to pay a little extra for piece of mind and safety. Plus it's impossible to find a ZX5 in a manual transmission. They are all automatic. I don't want this car in an auto, especially because the 5 speed shifts so smoothly.


It is the dealers that order the cars from ford. Ford doesn't just give any car to the dealer. most dealers have there heads up there butt when they order stock for the dealer, and don't option them properly. If it was a really good dealer, you wouldn't need any deposit to order a car. They order cars almost weekly, and would have no problem selling one you ordered if you decided not to buy.
 

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FYI,

I have cloth seats and they are heated. Heated mirrors too.

You know, it's funny how many people I tell I have cloth heated seats that tell me I'm mistaken. "Only leather is availible heated!" They take it all back when I show them. Invariably they tell me they were sure that was not offered. In fact, the salesman at the dealership said the same thing until I showed him the one car on his lot with cloth heated seats.

Gotta tell ya, I live in Detroit and they sure are a luxury on the many cold, cold days we have here. Get'em if you can.

Glenn
 

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007 said:
The car just rocks, what can I say, it's the best thing in its class by far.
This is a bit off topic, but since you kinda brought up the subject.
I'm impressed with my Focus everytime I drive it-so I agree with you. You may not be aware that the platform that the Focus is built on is the basis for three cars. The Volvo 40 series, the Mazada 3 series, and of course the Focus. (One slight bummer is that the '04 Volvo and Mazda, plus Euro Foci get an upgraded version of the platform while N. American Foci keep the original) That said, I test drove a Mazda 3 yesterday and was.....well, underwelmed. Nice car but not as nice as I expected and I still liked driveing the Focus more.
As far as being best in class, Consumer Reports Magazine agrees with you. For '04 the Foci Z series is rated 1st.
Enjoy your car!
Foci rock![8D]

BTW, no one who likes the cloth over the leather must have a dog that sheds! If they did they would know how those dog hairs weave themselve into the fabric and take forever to remove. Another niceity of the leather.
 

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FocusGlennFocus said:
FYI,

I have cloth seats and they are heated. Heated mirrors too.

You know, it's funny how many people I tell I have cloth heated seats that tell me I'm mistaken. "Only leather is availible heated!" They take it all back when I show them. Invariably they tell me they were sure that was not offered. In fact, the salesman at the dealership said the same thing until I showed him the one car on his lot with cloth heated seats.

Gotta tell ya, I live in Detroit and they sure are a luxury on the many cold, cold days we have here. Get'em if you can.

Glenn
What? Heated CLOTH seats? Never heard if it till now.
But I do prefer cloth over leather any day.
 
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