Help me choose a car seat colour
March 20, 2017 7:02 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking at buying a new VW. The particular model I want has two interior options: black leatherette and beige leatherette. Please help me decide. Does anyone have a VW with leatherette seats that you either love or hate?

So I get that not everyone loves leatherette aka vinyl but cloth is not an option in this model for whatever reason. And neither is leather. I like the look of the black better but I worry it will be too hot in the summer and show dust more easily. The beige would be less hot but I worry it will scuff more easily and not wear as well. This is probably the least important part of the whole car buying process but I'm stuck.
posted by GuyZero to Shopping (22 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I would go with black, in some part with the expectation that should I ever need to have the upholstery repaired/patched (I have children and pets), black is easier to match than exactly-the-right-tone-of-beige.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 7:04 PM on March 20, 2017

Depends on where you live. I live in North Carolina and the idea of black leatherette is horrible and I would choose a new car because of it. However, if really depends on whether heat is a factor.
posted by raccoon409 at 7:11 PM on March 20, 2017 [4 favorites]

I agree with the black seats adding to the heat factor. I'm in Virginia, and they got toasty! That said, they did hold up very well, and the color didn't show fading or hard wear after 7 years of average use.

Also, if heat is an issue, know that there are airbags in the side of the seat's back, so you can't really use a cover on the back of the seat without interferring with the airbags. (I used a lighter color cotton material to cover the bottom of the seats in my car, though.)
posted by shortyJBot at 7:29 PM on March 20, 2017

I'd get black and use a window shade if you live in a climate where it gets hot. I wear dark jeans and have a beige interior and the color transfer from my jeans alone would push me to black. It hides sins.
posted by quince at 7:30 PM on March 20, 2017 [3 favorites]

I've got black leatherette in my Mazda and vastly prefer dark seats to light ones. But I like the interior of the car to be dark and cavelike, not light and airy, so YMMV. It's my retreat. I like it to feel contemplative on long drives. My model is also available with off white leatherette that looks gorgeous when new, and so it is very popular. And a year into ownership everyone on the model forums who has it says it's a beast to keep looking good. My black looks almost new at 3 years old.
posted by spitbull at 7:57 PM on March 20, 2017 [2 favorites]

Also, modern leatherette is a great material. It looks good longer than leather, doesn't get nearly as hot or cold, doesn't stretch out, and doesn't get sticky when hot. I had my doubts but it was the only option at the trim level I chose. And I have been super pleased with it.
posted by spitbull at 8:01 PM on March 20, 2017

I have a vw with leatherette seats that are black. They don't serm too hot, but the car itself is white. I've had black cars with black seats before and I wouldn't do that again. The car is six years old, lots of miles. Some wear on the drivers side, but it is soooooo much easier to clean than cloth.
posted by aetg at 8:15 PM on March 20, 2017

I live in Southern California, and I have a car with black leather and one with brown (not beige, but much lighter than black) leather (not leatherette, but I think for the factors I'm discussing it's close enough). If I were doing it over again, I'd go with the black every time. Maybe it's slightly hotter, but it's not a drastic difference. And the lighter color seats show dirt much more easily. Just from wearing dark jeans over a few weeks, I can see them starting to get dingier. I can clean it, but it's a hassle. The car with black leather has almost twice as many miles on it, and those seats look way better.
posted by primethyme at 8:24 PM on March 20, 2017

I have a Jetta with beige leatherette. They've worn quite well - when the seats have gotten dirty (back in my softball playing days), I was able to easily clean them with a magic eraser. They do get really hot, and I can only imagine black is worse.
posted by chestnut-haired-sunfish at 8:32 PM on March 20, 2017

I thought I was so slick with my beige leatherette and carpet in my Jetta - it looked good for about 5 min and now 6 years later it's basically ruined. It shows every mark and dog hair (in my case.) never again!
posted by tatiana wishbone at 8:35 PM on March 20, 2017

Not VW, but BMW vinyl -- black Sensatec (lol, vinyl!) FTW.

German manufacturers tend to have very light beige interiors. I personally wouldn't enjoy cleaning every scuff and mark off of them with my Magic Eraser (tm).

Modern cars are surprisingly well insulated (ask me about a black on black Nissan Maxima rental in the middle of Palm Springs summer!) and I really wouldn't worry about it being too hot in summer. As for dust, the dust is very visible on the +*%#ing gloss black plastic trim on the dash and door panels, but not on the seats.

Get black. You have AC; you can tolerate a sweaty seat until your HVAC catches up.

Also, if you live anywhere with damp or dusty or snowy weather, the best purchase you can make is all-weather floor mats. The beige carpet mats in my previous Acura drove me nuts. One dirty footprint and - aaaargh. Once you have all weather mats, it's a breeze to hose 'em off and pop them back in.
posted by ortoLANparty at 8:56 PM on March 20, 2017

Kid + dog + outdoor gear made the beige grubby in my experience, even with moderate (albeit occasional) effort to keep it clean. Black just sounds easier if the heat won't be an issue for you.
posted by bighappyhairydog at 9:32 PM on March 20, 2017

Something that hasn't been mentioned is that the interior color choice would depend a lot on the exterior color for me.
A dark exterior color with beige might look great, or medium blue also looks nice on beige.
And there are more...
Have you picked the exterior?
posted by artdrectr at 11:03 PM on March 20, 2017

I have beige leather, and a kid, and loosey-goosey rules about the mess you are allowed to make in the car -- I plan on driving it into the ground so don't care about the back seats having pencil crayons and candy -- and it still looks surprisingly good -- and it is SUCH a huge difference in summer that I am a permanent convert to beige. (At least until they stop being so boring and start offering periwinkle.)
posted by kmennie at 11:54 PM on March 20, 2017

Beige will look better with a dark exterior BUT I had beige once and I wear a lot of dark denim. Eventually there was some color transfer to the seats. I was able to clean it off though. The beige was also prone to showing black marks from boots/rough winters in the footwell.
posted by Polychrome at 3:44 AM on March 21, 2017

Have had both. Had black Subaru with black interior, pretty matchy but never ever looked dirty. You've got air and heat so the idea that 'of it's hot in the summer' is true for like five seconds. Now blue BMW with tan. Blue/tan and green/tan are classic combos. The tan is fine, I keep after it but it sure seems to need more ongoing care or at least my eyes are registering that it's dirty. Temperature wise it's a wash. Get the black.
posted by fixedgear at 5:55 AM on March 21, 2017

We have a 2015 vw with beige leatherette. We also have a dog. Her muddy paws after hikes have stained the back seats. I don't know if black would be better, but I'm definitely regretting the choice.
posted by dbx at 5:59 AM on March 21, 2017

I have a 2012 Jetta GLI with black leatherette and my wife has a plain-jane Jetta with black leatherette -- if at all possible, I would recommend the beige, for the simple reason that the black seats retain heat like you wouldn't believe. They continue to radiate into you for ages, even in the winter, and it can be pretty uncomfortable.
posted by jpolchlopek at 6:44 AM on March 21, 2017

Comparison for mid California - My wife's car is silver with a black interior. My car is black with a beige interior (makes aren't that relevant). My wife's car is much hotter inside, and much quicker after being parked, than mine is. It is a significant difference, despite the exterior colours supposedly making the opposite more likely.

However, if you *do* decide to go to a black interior, there is a ceramic window tint you can get that is pricey but does a really good job of stopping the inside getting quite so much heat from the sun. I have it planned for both cars when time and finances allow.
posted by Brockles at 7:55 AM on March 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

White Mazda with black leatherette in SoCal. I have a one year old and have recently been thanking my stars that I didn't have lighter color seats because maintaining them would be painful. My previous car had beige leather seats but I don't find the heat factor hugely significant between the two (both cars were white.)
posted by Everydayville at 2:27 PM on March 21, 2017

Why not both?
posted by spitbull at 5:21 PM on March 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

So for all those future mefites looking for answers to this pressing question, I went with black an d it seems fine so far. The dash does indeed show ever speck of dust but the seats don't show much. We will see how it holds up over time. Thanks for all the input!
posted by GuyZero at 1:17 PM on April 20, 2017

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