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Factory Installed Leather Package Vs. Leather Interior Upgrade @ dealership

Discussion in 'Gen II Prius Accessories & Modifications' started by llyons, Jun 5, 2007.

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  1. llyons

    llyons New Member

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    Having a hard time finding the exact package/color I'm looking for with a leather interior. One dealership offered the option to install a leather interior. What I'm wondering is if there would be a difference in quality/style from the factory installed package and what they would be installing. Any information would be much appreciated. TIA! ;)
  2. vdubstress

    vdubstress Junior Member

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    I've had both factory leather and 'aftermarket' leather on various cars. My best comparison point in from two identical cars. One Jetta came from the factory with leather, the other with cloth. The factory leather was nice, but did not hold a candle to the leather (in wear and comfort) to the leather I had put in after purchase.

    In my experience I've always found factory leather to be sub par. From what I recall it, gets pretty hot in Texas in the summer, the installer can add inserts and different foams that might make the car more comfortable overall.

    If you're going to be using a car seat I would say go dealer installed, it always holds up better to the wrath that little people and their car seats subject to a cars interior. :D
  3. llyons

    llyons New Member

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    Awesome! Thanks so much for getting back to me so quickly. The salesman actually told me the same. But, with all the bad experiences I've had with car dealerships I end up feeling like they are telling me whatever they can think of to make a sale. :( I wish I could just buy a car online!!!!

    Thanks again!!!
  4. jeromep

    jeromep New Member

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    I wish I could agree with the way this thread is unfolding. However, there are many factors which would lead aftermarket leather to be "better" than factory leather. THe major factor that seems to have been missed here is the technial capibilities of the aftermarket installer. The variety and additional features available with aftermarket leather can be quite substantial, compared to factory leather; but the key issue is finding a place that will send the vehicle out to an apholestry shop that will do a top notch job.

    In general factory leather is consistant. I have not seen a poor install of factory leather. Aftermarket leather is sometimes superior because of advanced cushioning which is installed with an aftermarket leather package, however if the installer is not skilled or takes shortcuts, it doesn't matter how nice the leather it will be worse than factory if it starts falling apart due to poor installation.
  5. priusenvy

    priusenvy Senior Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(jeromep @ Jun 5 2007, 04:45 PM) [snapback]456100[/snapback]</div>

    You're absolutely correct. Most installers use the Katzkin interior kits, so they're all starting with the same materials. However, I have seen a lot of variability in the quality of the installs, based on by the number of wrinkles I see in the finished job. I paid through the nose for my install but the install is OEM quality and I've never regretted spending the extra money. On the other hand, I've seen installs where the labor was half of what I paid and the install looks like it was performed by a <strike>blind </strike> unsighted person.

    "The bitter taste of low quality lingers long after the sweetness of a low price is forgotten".
  6. vdubstress

    vdubstress Junior Member

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    I've always worked with reputable installers. It is always a good idea to ask to see samples of the shops work. Possibly they might have a car on the lot (say someones financing fell through) that can serve as a sample.
  7. Paul R. Haller

    Paul R. Haller Member

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    I have a 2005 with after market leather and an 06 with factory leather. The 05 after market leather is more comfortable and way more durable. Its thicker by about a factor of 2. If I had to do it over I would have bought the highest package without leather and sent it out and had it done after market.

    P.S. My leather was installed by coach industries in Dublin Ca.
    -Paul R. Haller-
  8. llyons

    llyons New Member

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    Sorry I didn't get to post sooner. But I did see the responses and I was able to stay on top of things. I have to say - I was VERY impressed with the leather job. My past 2 cars have also had leather but it was factory installed and the quality of this leather is by far superior. As far as the workmanship goes, I couldn't have been more satisfied. I LOVE how it looks and feels. Thanks again for all the help and I again apologize for not thanking everyone sooner. Just too busy enjoying my car!!! :)
  9. apriusfan

    apriusfan New Member

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    One additional consideration in going with after-market leather seats is the seat mounted side impact air bags. They need to be able to deploy through the seat covering. The factory seats are certified to not interfere with air bag deployment. Are the after-market seat covers similarly certified? And who is giving the certification - the installer? What proof do you have regarding the veracity of the installer's claim that the seat covers they installed will not interfere with the operation of the seat-mounted side impact airbags?
  10. tnthub

    tnthub Member

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    I know a little bit about dealer installed options, in general, and have firsthand experience with the Toyota dealer where my wife works in regards to the quality of the work.

    What I have seen, in general, is dealers do not like problems. Yea they make some money on the leather upgrades but if a call back is needed it is a real pain for the dealer to take care of it quickly and efficiently so they generally have a pretty good relationship with the installer performing the work.

    I do not understand how leater would bother an airbag deployment realistically and if it were an issue I cannot picture a dealer even offering the service as the liability would more than offset the profit. There isn't much that an airbag won't blast through when it is activated.

    I have done vehicle interiors myself from carpet to seats, dash trims and covering, stereo and elctronics installations, pedals and even shifter relocations. The work is always installer dependant and if a dealer were to get complaints they would either stop offering the upgrades or contract with a different installer.

    If Toyota were to hear about sub-par dealer installed accessories they would severely investigate the matter and possibly place the dealers status in jeopardy. A dealer is under far tighter constraints than an automotive aftermarket shop. And any shop performing work as a sub-contractor for a dealership has to comply with all dealership requirements (and by reference with Toyota).
  11. priusenvy

    priusenvy Senior Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(apriusfan @ Jun 13 2007, 10:43 PM) [snapback]461414[/snapback]</div>

    Well, Katzkin covers are used by just about everybody to put leather in a Prius, and they claim to make theirs with the breakaway seams. When ordering, you do have to specify whether you have airbags or not, and the ones for airbags have a little tag on them that says "SRS Restraint" or something like that. Also, off the Katzkin web site:



  12. 007Prius

    007Prius New Member

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    I've installed Katzkin Liquicell leather in my Tundra and and looks great compare to the cheap and thin factory cloth but the leather smells funny, I have the factory leather in the Prius which is perforated leather, both are comfortable and enjoy the truck and car with leather seating
  13. apriusfan

    apriusfan New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(priusenvy @ Jun 14 2007, 03:57 PM) [snapback]461933[/snapback]</div>

    Then it would seem that one should be sure to get a Katzkin seat cover. But what about the "properly installed" disclaimer? Specifically: "Those tests demonstrated that Katzkin Leather Interiors, when properly installed, DID NOT interfere with the performance of the Occupant Classification Safety Systems...."

    My understanding is that the primary factor in whether the seat cover hinders the operation of the side impact airbag is the stitching on the seam that covers the airbag deployment module. To date, there is no way to identify which stitching is compliant and which is not (it is not as if compliant stitching has a florescent thread running through it or some other readily apparent indicator). So, back to my original point - the factory seats are certified to not hinder the proper deployment of the side impact airbag. Anything else, and the factory's liability for proper operation of the side impact safety system just got released. Caveat emptor.
  14. amylow

    amylow New Member

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    I am having a similar issue, but instead of just leather, the dealer wants to modify a package #2 to a Package #6. Something makes me uneasy about this. Should I wait until the factory #6 comes in, or is this major overhaul a viable option?
  15. apriusfan

    apriusfan New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(juslookin @ Aug 10 2007, 10:43 AM) [snapback]493631[/snapback]</div>

    How long of a wait are you looking at? Going to Package #6 from #2 involves things other than leather seats. How does the dealer propose to handle any warranty considerations? I doubt you will get Toyota to cover any warranty issues on the items that are dealer-added.
  16. phansson

    phansson New Member

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    I just had the Katzkin kit with Gel inserts installed in my 07. I went with factory gray with perforated inserts.

    I am very impressed with the fit, quality, look, feel and price. $900 installed.
  17. geodosch

    geodosch Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(juslookin @ Aug 10 2007, 01:43 PM) [snapback]493631[/snapback]</div>

    I would be extremely leery of this, considering the differences between a 2007 package #2 & #6:

    ● Anti-theft
    ● JBL audio w/ 6-disc changer
    ● Bluetooth
    ● auto-dim mirror w/ Homelink
    ● HID headlamps
    ● NAV system
    ● Leather

    The mirror & leather are no-brainers. They could probably install some sort of alarm system, though I'd wonder exactly what. For the audio, maybe a trunk-mounted changer? HID lamps would be a big expense for them. Maybe they'll slap a Garmin on the dash for a NAV system. And I'm not sure how they'd manage the Bluetooth.

    Personally, I would not only pass on the offer, but I'd probably be looking for another dealer. Though I'd be interested to hear how they would intend to give you all of the above.
  18. prius2go

    prius2go Member

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    tried checking the katzkin site
    found the part number BTO36
    but couldnt locate images :rolleyes:
  19. Katebell1977

    Katebell1977 New Member

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    I ordered Leather for my package 2 07 prius. What got me to go with the installer the dealer uses, was the leather was better quality and I thought the cars on the lot that had it came like that. I am very picky myself about after market stuff because i have a platinum package for an extended warranty so I am all about keeping that thing. My husband works for a higher end dealer that has quality leather in their vehicles so when he saw the leather in the toyota prius package 1, he thought wow that leather is nice quality. the kits they used i dotn know the name but i am dropping it off on tuesday to have the leather installed. They had a thing of swatches to check out. I picked a color called "willow" which is gray. i wanted to get sage or jade but my husband said it would not match and if I ever wanted to sell it no one would want it because of the leather. basically he said it would kill my resale value :(. My prius is green so I thought it would be so nice but the dash and stuff match the gray interior. I was going to have my husbands work dye the carpet since i have kiddos and they are messy but he wants to wait until they make the dark gray carpet dirty so he can see if we can just shampoo it.

    As far as child seats, if anyone here has leather and is worried about it, i picked up a seat protector at target and one step ahead has one that is thicker to protect the seats from the heavy seat. My kids are small and tend to sit in a seat forever so that is something i had to put into my durango since i thought the seat would ruin the leather i have in it and the target one does the job its by eddie bauer. And my husband sees a lot of people putting child seats in the cars he works on and the cars are from 100k to 1.5million depending on which of the two makes the people have, they use the protector or a towel under the seats and they work fine. When i get my car back i will take pics and show you guys :) But i got my prius from toyota of huntington beach.
  20. Dan.

    Dan. MPG Centurion

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    There may be a bit on context to share here.

    There seems to be three places to get leather before the car is purchased:
    1) Factory (ie Japan).
    2) Port (this is usually a state, or multi-state Toyota distributor).
    3) Dealer (the guy on the lot trying to sell you the car).

    I couldn't afford #1 since I had to get gobs of other options I wasn't as interested in. Also in my region, #1 was very rare, and hard to get (ie way, way, way over MSRP). Since the distributor dictates what dealers get to stock their lots with, our the distributor for my region was likely trying to get more business for #2.

    #2 Is done by the distributor. It's a very high volume and consistent install. They also install Liquicell packs which does seem to help driver seat comfort. For my region, #2 was only available with SRS airbags. Also, no waiver of liability was required on #2 stating that "Airbags may be impeded"

    #3 Is done by the local dealer, and usually outsourced to a local shop. You can usually get a better deal on #3 if you can find the shop they do it at and do it yourself. I've never seen Toyota do it, but on a Honda we wanted with #3 leather, the dealer wanted us to sign a SRS waiver so we wouldn't sue if airbags didn't deploy. That turned into THE deal buster, since we were never gonna sign away airbag functionality.

    Back on topic, I think the OP was talking about #2 since there are gobs of them here in our region.

    11011011
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