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brittspace's avatar

What is the difference between Alcantara®/leather upholstery and Leather-trimmed upholstery on the Subaru WRX?

Asked by brittspace (45 points ) June 23rd, 2011

My dog sheds a lot. A LOT. I’m picking a leather interior to a car in order to make clean-up easier.

Looking over different models of the Subaru WRX, the WRX Limited has “Leather-trimmed upholstery” while the standard WRX STI has “Alcantara/leather upholstery.”

What’s the difference between these? Which has the best coverage? Which is easiest to clean? The word “trimmed” leads me to believe not all surfaces are covered and some are fabric. Is this true?

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7 Answers

augustlan's avatar

Alcantara is like fake suede. Probably neither of the options you’ve seen are full leather seats. Some kind of fabric or another, with leather welting would be my guess.

Blueroses's avatar

Exactly. The Alcantara is what I have in my Subaru and it is a dog hair magnet but it brushes off easily and doesn’t stain. It’s a pretty decent choice for an interior, really. It doesn’t burn you in the summer and it is warm in the winter. I just put a cover on the rear seat when I carry the dogs and carry a roll of lint tape. The leather trim option is just the trim.

brittspace's avatar

@Blueroses, which part of the seat is covered by the trim?

Blueroses's avatar

I have an Eddie Bauer model that came with leather trim included. It is the sides of the front seats where it wraps around to the bottom – not where you actually sit – and the cording (welting) as @augustlan said. The majority of the seating part of the seats is covered in the Alcantara. Presumably, the leather trim would take the majority of the wear from sliding in and out of the vehicle and mine looks as new as the day I got it, but my friend has just the Alcantara with no leather and her seats look pristine also after 7 years. It’s a durable fabric so the only difference I can see is aesthetics, if you like the look of the leather trim.

Meego's avatar

I don’t have that vehicle but I have 2 huge labs. I have had 3 different cars in the 8 years I’ve had the dogs. 2 of the 3 were leather seating. The first was a a KIA sorrento with grey leather seats I would put the dogs in the very back but one would almost always end up in the back seat they really killed the leather with there nails. The next was a Buick Rainer grey seats also but the back seat laid down flat so I would put an old comforter in the entire area and the two front seats only available. It is a great tip. After my husband passed I bought a small Mazda3 the back seats also go down and I still use the comforter, that has really saved my seats, just a suggestion. If my KIA didn’t get hit head on and was a totally write off it wouldn’t be worth much because of how jacked up the back seat was. Also the seats did not lay flat in the KIA so if I tried that the dogs hated it.

brittspace's avatar

@Blueroses, you have a Subaru? So with the leather trim option the majority of the seating part is still Alcantara, not fabric, correct?

Blueroses's avatar

Yes, leather trim is just the trim but the Alcantara holds up very well to the dogs (who refuse to stay put in the back). When I had an all-leather interior like @Meego, the leather got quite damaged – a lot of scratches and little punctures. The Subaru really is designed for rugged use and the interior holds up nicely. I really prefer the upholstery to all-leather and I won’t even go for the leather trim on my next one.

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