In Reply to: BMW's only reason for offering leatherette is... posted by DrBimmer on November 23, 1999 at 22:11:23:
I would have gotten cloth instead of leatherette but having gotten leatherette, I must say that I'm rather pleased with it. It wasn't an issue of a budget or my worry of what will others think. In fact, I've told everyone that they are "leatherette" because I'm impressed with its quality. I've owned other cars with leather (and several with vinyl). To be candid I had a very difficult time telling BMW's leather from their leatherette (BTW, so far no one has guessed that the leatherette was leatherette. I prefer cloth because it is cooler in summer and warmer in winter than either leather or leatherette. Aside from not being able to tell the BMW leatherette (the best that I've ever seen) from leather, the leatherette will likely hold up much better than leather and then there's the price. While I would have paid the $1500 for the leather if I could really see the difference but I didn't see it. As for what there is and isn't in Europe and in the US, there's a 316 and 318 in Europe and most of the world as well as a 323 and 328, all wonderful driving cars but because most Americans appreciate raw power far more than sophisticated handling, BMW doesn't/can't sell the lesser 3ers in the US. As it being only American, I've owned or driven French, German, English and Italian cars as well as American with one form or another of leatherette upholstery.
: that there are alot of people who either have a budget or don't want to spend alot and they don't want people to think "Oh my God!!! His/Her BMW doesn't have Leather?!?!?!" In Europe there is NO such thing as leatherette... This is something they created to make the US market happy. Its as American as the Taurus, Pickup Trucks and 8000 lb. SUVs.
: I can understand alot of you are going to flame me. Oh well. Here I am a firm believer in my opinion. Everyone buys what they want, right?? Its their money.
: I think if I didn't want leather, I would have gotten cloth. I don't have to "prove" something to anyone. I drive this car because I love driving. Not to appear to be rich. I wouldn't give up the Sport package because I can't get power seats (you can now, however) or becasue it doesn't have the prettiest wheels.
: I honestly think leatherette is just a gimick to make the Americans happy. Think about it. they don't offer it anywhere else.