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Tesla Model 3, The Advantages of Cloth Seats vs Leather Seats

Tesla uses both cloth seats and leather seats in its Model S, but some people suggest Tesla should only use leather seats in Model 3. Do you think Tesla should do away with cloth seats?

There is an active discussion going on in Tesla's forum where members discuss leather seats vs cloth seats in Model 3.

Leather Seats in Model 3

People who don't like cloth seats say cloth seats sounds like the 20th century and make a comparison to Honda Civic and Toyota Corola era, to which I disagree. They even recommend to increase the price of Model 3 or reduce the range, or even invent more efficient manufacturing process so that cloth seats can be eliminated for good.

Now what do you do for the people who follow the vegan lifestyle and are against the leather seats. For them, the proponents of leather seats propose the "synthetic leather seats." They say leather seats don't have to made of real leather.

Cloth Seats in Model 3

Yet, cloth seats are more preferred by people who live in a hot climate environment. Let's say your car is parked out in the sun for a certain length of time, when you get back to your car you can really appreciate the benefit of having cloth seats. In fact some Tesla owners already report issues and solutions with hot door handles when parking their Model S cars in the sun. Leather seats are either too hot, too cold or slick.

I personally have leather seats in our Honda Odyssey and when the car is parked out in the sun for a certain period of time, people can have serious burns when getting into the car in shorts. You just have to be careful with leather seats in hot climate areas. Or, at least tint some windows if the local law allows is.

My personal preference now is cloth seats. They are low cost and usually leather is available as a premium item. Tesla Model 3 being a mas market mid size sedan would do really well with cloth or textile seats. They need entry level seats to keep the price of Model 3 low and affordable for more consumers.

Just like Apple constantly searching for new materials and ways to differentiate its iPhone (high resolution screen, finger print, one piece aluminum casing, long lasting battery etc), Tesla has been doing some too - large glass roofs, long EV range, awesome SW to operate, wireless upgrade, etc. Cloth seats may be the next with whatever new material, suggested one of the members in Tesla's forum page.

"I would prefer to have cloth, or textile seats in tan, assuming I couldn't get them entirely covered in Alcantara instead. I'd prefer tan carpet and headliner, tan trunk/frunk liner as well. I'd rather not have an entirely/mostly black/anthracite/grey/gray interior. Leather belongs on a saddle, in a stage coach, or in a Rolls-Royce. Make mine a futuristic, horseless, gasless, smokeless, noiseless carriage, please," comments a user named Red Sage in the same forum.

When I look at some Model S cloth seats they look really nice, look close to leather and pretty futuristic. Take a look at the seats in the picture accompanying this story. What do you think, do you prefer leather or cloth seats in your car?


James Panes (not verified)    May 27, 2021 - 11:04PM

I realize that this article is five years old now. Tesla made the decision to go with "vegan leather" seats. They are nothing but clorified plastic. YUCK! I have a 2013 VW Golf. I am very happy with the cloth seats. Even after eight years, they still look great.
I sincerely hope that Tesla will offer cloth seats as an option. It would definitely be my pick.