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  • Leather upholstery is popular because the material is durable and easy to clean. It’s also a symbol of luxury and comfort.
  • Some disadvantages of upgrading to a leather interior are the high cost and the limited color options.
  • To maintain your leather seats, you need to clean them regularly and apply leather conditioner. Be careful with sharp objects that can damage or tear your seat upholstery.

There are plenty of options to choose from when it comes to your car’s interior upholstery. Among the array of materials available, leather seems to be a perennial favorite.

In a recent survey conducted by Strategic Vision, a market research firm, they revealed that 53 percent of new car buyers opted for leather upholstery, marking a notable increase from the 46 percent reported a decade prior.

But why is leather such a popular choice when it comes to interior upholstery?

Advantages of Leather Vehicle Upholstery

Leather upholstery is popular because of its numerous advantages. Here are some of the reasons why a lot of drivers prefer leather over other materials for their vehicle’s interior:

Durability and Longevity

Leather upholstery is known for its durability and longevity. If you’d like to invest in something more likely to last, go with leather. Fabric and synthetic upholstery can easily wear out as your vehicle ages. Meanwhile, leather ages gracefully. It never goes out of style.

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Supreme Comfort

Leather provides the comfort you need during a long drive. This material is soft to the touch and won’t bother you much during trips.

High-quality leather also has good temperature-regulating properties. For example, leather seats don’t retain much heat during the summer compared to their synthetic and fabric counterparts. This material also adapts to your body heat during the winter, helping you feel warm.

Easy to Clean

Keeping your daily driver’s interior tidy can be challenging. Thankfully, leather interiors aren’t hard to keep spotless.

If you accidentally spill something on your leather seat, it can easily be wiped off with a damp cloth using a commercial leather cleaner. Leather also doesn’t absorb liquid as much as fabric, so you’ll have fewer issues with staining and unpleasant odors.


Dust and pollen can easily settle and accumulate on cloth upholstery. If you or any of your frequent passengers have allergic rhinitis, having leather upholstery can help reduce allergy attacks because it is easier to clean.

Aesthetics and Luxury

Most luxury vehicles come with leather seats as standard. Therefore, switching to leather seat upholstery is an easy way to lend a sophisticated look to a vehicle. Its smooth texture and posh colors can make any interior appear more expensive.

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Positive Effect on Resale Value

Leather seats are often associated with high-end cars. Buyers may perceive leather as a mark of quality and luxury. The material enhances the vehicle’s aesthetics, making it more attractive to potential buyers. The durability and easy maintenance of leather seats help make the high resale value reasonable.

What Are the Disadvantages of Having Leather Upholstery?

car interior with leather upholstery
Like any other material, opting for leather upholstery for your car interior also has its cons.

Like any other material, opting for leather upholstery for your car interior also has its cons. Here are some of them:


Leather upholstery costs significantly more than fabric upholstery. A new car with a leather interior will also cost more than the same model with a fabric interior.

It can typically cost around $1,500 to $2,000 to upgrade your interior to leather.

Limited Options

Leather seats are often available in limited colors like gray, beige, and black. If you’re a person who likes vibrant colors, you may have to settle for leather alternatives.


Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight and UV rays can make leather seats lose their color, giving them a faded appearance.

It’s important to note that most materials used for upholstery, which includes fabric and vinyl, can also fade over time. Proper care and maintenance are necessary to delay fading and preserve the appearance of your upholstery for extended periods.

Maintenance Tips to Keep Your Leather Upholstery In Good Condition

Here are some maintenance tips to keep your leather interior looking new:

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Regular Cleaning

Even if leather is easier to clean, it doesn’t mean you can be complacent. You’ll still have to clean your vehicle’s interior regularly.

Use a portable vacuum cleaner to remove loose dirt and debris. Afterward, wipe the seats using a soft and damp cloth.

Don’t use harmful chemicals on your seats. When using a commercial leather cleaner, always remember to read the instructions before applying it.


You can also apply a leather conditioner to your seats to prevent the material from cracking over time. When applying a leather conditioner, make sure to cover the entire area. One thin layer is usually enough for a seat that’s still in good condition.

Beware of Sharp Objects

Be careful with sharp objects like scissors, keys, or belt buckles. These materials can scratch or tear leather.

Proper maintenance is essential for preserving your interior’s appearance and longevity. Regular cleaning and conditioning can help prevent wear and tear, keeping your leather seats in tip-top shape. Lastly, protecting the upholstery from sunlight, spills, and harsh chemicals can prolong its lifespan and maintain its good looks.

About The Author
Written By Automotive and Tech Writers

The Research Team is composed of experienced automotive and tech writers working with (ASE)-certified automobile technicians and automotive journalists to bring up-to-date, helpful information to car owners in the US. Guided by's thorough editorial process, our team strives to produce guides and resources DIYers and casual car owners can trust.

Any information provided on this Website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace consultation with a professional mechanic. The accuracy and timeliness of the information may change from the time of publication.

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