Leather vs. Softex

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by Bucco, Dec 18, 2013.

  1. cycledrum

    cycledrum PSOCSOASP

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    I use the separate Lexol cleaner and conditioner. Maybe not the boutique leather stuff, but it is a very good leather cleaner and conditoner.
     
  2. dbcassidy

    dbcassidy Toyota Hybrid Nation, 8 Million Strong

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    Feel sorry for all the Naugas!

    DBCassidy
     
  3. fumbling

    fumbling Junior Member

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    What is softex made of? I thought it was just vinyl like BMW or MINI leatherette? I love the real leather in my Prius IV, never felt hot or cold unlike the vinyl in my parent's old cars.
     
  4. David Beale

    David Beale Senior Member

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    If you found out you would be shot! I believe it's made by Mercedes. They now make more on this material than they do selling cars!
     
  5. ggood

    ggood Senior Member

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    New artificial leather gains increasing Toyota acceptance - SAE International

    "Softex is a thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU). What makes Softex unique is its high breathability and thermal quality. It actually runs cooler because it reflects infrared rays, which is a primary reason for seat-cover heat absorption. In testing, Softex can run up to 10°C (18°F) cooler than other seating materials. The thermal effect is from within the polyurethane layer itself, not a surface treatment."

    "Softex, for example, absorbs moisture about 15% more slowly than natural leather but releases it more quickly, which is a plus, as in high humidity the passenger's back will feel more comfortable. Although Softex releases moisture more quickly, so that in effect it dries faster, the material's characteristics are such that, unlike vinyl, it is highly resistant to dry-cracking, according to Toyota. Softex also reportedly has good strength-to-weight and surpasses natural leather in seam fatigue, abrasion, and scratching tests."

    "Softex, like other artificial leathers, is more resistant to absorbing dirt than natural leather and can more readily be cleaned."
     
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  6. frodoz737

    frodoz737 Top Wrench

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    For some of us, a HD "fleet" type interior would be very advantageous. Rubber flooring, vinyl or plastic seat coverings and door inserts. You know something for industrial environments, kids and pets. After-market seat heater and lumbar add-ons are always available.
     
  7. Active Transportation

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    Good thread. So far SofTex looks really attractive -- an upscale look like my old car's leather, but smoother, and thus probably easier to clean. SofTex is a little more flexible, so should last longer without cracking at the seams. The sweaty-back factor seems equivalent... I think either material is less breathable than cloth, but easier to clean, and nicer-looking.

    The biggest difference I've noticed is the smell. SofTex definitely does not have the distinct, classy smell of leather. It smells clean, but more synthetic, which makes sense since it is polyurethane. Plus my animal-loving wife approves, haha.
     
  8. cycledrum

    cycledrum PSOCSOASP

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    Edit - First said softex felt cool even in direct sunlight. Not true.

    I was just feeling the black softex on the bolsters of my Camry Hybrid SE rental: It felt like it might be cooler to the touch than leather would be.

    I don't find anything luxurious about hot leather.
     
    #28 cycledrum, May 6, 2015
    Last edited: May 6, 2015
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  9. WE0H

    WE0H Senior Member

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    What'cha doing in a rental? Prius in the shop?
     
  10. cycledrum

    cycledrum PSOCSOASP

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    Just checking out HyCam. Prius is fine at home.
     
  11. WE0H

    WE0H Senior Member

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    That is one car I never drove I only have 1,700 miles on my Prius
     
  12. Rhinoruns

    Rhinoruns Member

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    Is it possible to get Softex in seat covers? Looking for options for my 2010 Prius II
     
  13. Active Transportation

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    The closest thing I see is India-based "Art Skin Comforts" offering covers that they call SofTex, but which have different grain that suggests it is really an inferior type of leatherette... Haha, so maybe not yet.

    The SofTex looks cool and is soft to the touch, but a mesh or cloth cover might be a better bet. A mild case of sweat-back during our first long drive in the Pri has tempted me to cover the SofTex seats, even with something cheap-yet-breathable like these $16-for-a-pair jobbies. They reportedly fit a Prius V.

    I'm too new here to be allowed to post a link or URL, so, for this low-cost example, just search
    FH-FB102102 Classic Bucket Cloth Car Seat Covers Grey / Black color
     
  14. WE0H

    WE0H Senior Member

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    #34 WE0H, May 20, 2015
    Last edited: May 20, 2015
  15. DoubleDAZ

    DoubleDAZ Senior Member

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    Can I assume you traveled with the windows down or the A/C off? I'm 3/4 through our 2nd trip to Georgia with over 5,000 miles under our belt so far this time. I wear sweats and a long-sleeve Levi denim shirt and have yet to sweat even a little on the Softex seats. I keep the A/C on 72-74, though I do turn it down to 66-68 in the mornings to keep the heater from coming on. It's been 50's in the morning and the 80's during the day in the humidity of Georgia, Maryland, Virginia and New Jersey the past 2 weeks. Even when I'm sweating getting in/out during the day, I cool down quickly and the Softex is so much better than the cloth was in our Montana van. I guess different strokes for different folks. :)
     
  16. JoySS

    JoySS Junior Member

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    What's the best way to clean the softex?
     
  17. Johnny Cakes

    Johnny Cakes Senior Member

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  18. mediahound

    mediahound Active Member

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    I use Meguiar's interior detailer cleaner which seems to work well.
     
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  19. Bay Stater

    Bay Stater Senior Member

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    I use any vinyl/leather cleaner on the softex surfaces with good results.
     
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