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Discussion Starter #1
Help! :confused: We originally ordered a Havasu Blue EX with Cloth, but it is going to take a long time before we will see it. Our dealer has one with Leather coming in the next few weeks that is available and may help us close the gap on the price difference. Our original thought was that with a 2 year old that cloth may be more friendly to crumbs, spills, crayons, car seat indents, etc. We have read the posts about the Honda leather being thin, the fuzz coming out of the perforations, and lack of seat heaters. We are also concerned about the grey leather picking up marks and denting from the car seat. We have owned a car before having our daughter that had leather and enjoyed it. For those of you with kids out there, what are your opinions? How durable is the leather? Expect some bias depending upon what you bought - of course. In some ways, the now vs later may help break the tie. Will need to let the dealer know in the morning about my decision.
 

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we considered both. my wife's old car had cloth, my audi has leather. i've found that cleaning things up quickly is easier with leather, and i think it looks and feels more like a luxury car with it, but honestly, i think you can't go wrong either way. we have a two year old son and another one on the way.
 

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leather definitely

Having pulled crumbs, crayon bits and hair ties out of every seat crevice, my firm opinion is that leather wears better than cloth with kids. The other reality is that an older leather interior, if maintained decently, will look lived-in, while an older cloth interior will tend to plain look old. Leather has that character, while cloth looks best in perfect shape.
 

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Leather is much more kid friendly if you keep it clean and conditioned.
 

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leather was a must for us, with a 4-year-old and 10-month-old. we didn't care about the luxury look, we just didn't want spills soaking into cloth. (those sippy cups are really NOT so spillproof.)

and in our case with the SS, the leather is dark gray, the better to hide stains.

it's too early to tell whether this honda's leather is too thin. i do notice it's thinner than the leather in our windstar minivan...nevertheless the pilot's got no less than two car seats locked into place...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Perforations?

Thanks for the inputs, so far. You all may be winning us over. Any word on the perforations? Have seen some posts on boards where people talk about fuzz coming out of the seats. Problem? Unsightly? Easy to trim? Crumbs get in easily? Front seats only or are they on the back seats, too?
 

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If it wasn't for our 70lbs chocolate lab that goes EVERYWHERE with us, we would have gotten leather.

I guess it's just a personal preference on what you want.
 

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This is definitely a personal preference item. I traded a 1995 Orvis Jeep Grand Cherokee (with leather) in on a new Honda Pilot and I specifically chose to avoid leather (I really wanted that DVD Ent System, but not the leather).

I live in South Carolina and it gets pretty hot, and there isn't anything much less comfortable than scorching hot leather. That and it gets sticky under your bottom and legs if you wear shorts in the hot hot summer.

In the winter, without a seat heater, it is cold and uncomfortable for about 5 minutes until it warms up.

As far as cleaning and stains, most cloth is easy to keep clean now days. There are several cloth protectants like Scotchguard and Banoyl which protect cloth from spills, stains, etc.

I personally find cloth more pleasant to sit on. I agree that Leather makes it seem more luxureous. But are you buying your vehicle to put on display or to drive? And don't you want to be as comfortable in it as you can be?

I had my Jeep for 7 years, and let me tell you, there are just as many things that will ruin leather as there are cloth, and the cost to fix them are higher. I had scratches, cracks, and rips in my leather seats. And the leather in my Jeep was a very thick leather.

I strongly recommend that if you get leather and you live in the south (I lived in Atlanta, GA for most of the time that I owned my Jeep) that you condition your leather often. The sun caused my leather to crack.

I do agree that leather is easier to clean, as you can usually just wipe up spills and crumbs. With cloth, you need to vacuum, and if you use a protectant, spills are almost as easy to wipe up as leather, with a little blotting required. Some tougher stains may require a stain remover, but they are usually pretty effective and simple to use.

My vote is cloth, not because I bought cloth, but rather, I bought cloth because I chose cloth to begin with.
 

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Neither is great...

r_hammel said:
This is definitely a personal preference item...

I personally find cloth more pleasant to sit on. ... there are just as many things that will ruin leather as there are cloth, and the cost to fix them are higher. I had scratches, cracks, and rips in my leather seats...My vote is cloth, not because I bought cloth, but rather, I bought cloth because I chose cloth to begin with.
I tend to side with hammel, though in reality NEITHER cloth nor leather is ideal for the seating surfaces. Leather gets the "lived in" long way too fast, even with GREAT CARE given to conditioning and such, and it NEVER will look "like new". AT LEAST with cloth you can RESONANBLY expect ito to be CLEANABLE (and the tips on 'fabric protection' make GREAT SENSE -- just DO IT YOURSELF & DO IT SOON!, the "dealer applied" scotchguard is NO BETTER than what a CAREFUL DIYer can accomplsih in about an hour with a few cans from WalMart[caution, ventilation is important!]).

I am EAGER to see if the CRV-sized Element will indeed use the "Aireon style" open mesh seating surfaces. This stuff ought to be PERFECT for vehicles as: a) never gets hot or cold b) super easy clean-up c) COMPLETELY unaffected by water d) super tough/ alwasy looks new...

If you do get leather, it too needs care. The mats/covers sold for use with carseats really do seem to help. Careful application of Lexol or Zaino protectorant does condition the leather to help resist certain damage. A bit of extra care about what you wear helps, as does making sure not to sit on things that often find there way onto seats (keys, cassette boxes, nail clippers). Our 7 month old has only spit-up once or twice in her car seat. We have friends with as many as four kids and those with leather interior vehicles have taught the kids that stepping on the seats is to be avoided, lest they invoke the "Wrath of Parents". The grit and grime from little shoes is hard on both leather & cloth, but with cloth a good shampoo gets you back to 95% of new, while leather is harder to restore.
 

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We are going for leather and we have two kids, one very messy.
We are trading in an Olds Silhouette for the Pilot, and we
specifically got leather in it because of the "messy one" and have
been very happy with it. No more gum to get out of the fabric!! We have never conditioned it, and it's three years old and still looks good. Don't know how the Honda leather compares to the Olds; this will be our first Honda.

I do not agree that leather is cold
in the winter. I think it warms up VERY fast. Even cloth is sweaty
when you wear shorts and it's hot. And the cloth can absorb odors.
I vote for leather!


03 Pilot EXL RES Havasu Blue --- soon! We hope! "Any day now"
 

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I'm weighing in on this, too, because it was a major decision for our family. We ended up getting leather, and I am SO happy that I did.

I love it! It is so easy to clean -- and you can see in a second exactly where that sticky mark is and whisk it off with a damp paper towel. The cloth interiors in our last two cars did hide dirt to a degree, but, wow, when you looked more closely, it was filthy. Imagine a yogurt smoothie spilled on the backseat and not discovered until the next day? In the leather, I could have simply wiped it up...in the cloth, the smell was in there for good.

A Hershey chocolate bar melted into the cloth ... forever. A piece of Laffy Taffy ... forever just a touch sticky.

And then there's my friend whose 4-year-old threw up -- twice -- within the first week she had her new leather interior. No problem, she said, it was wiped up and out and she didn't cringe at the thought of anyone sitting there again.

Heat was a concern for us, but I have to tell you that it has not been a problem at all. And we do live in the South, and it is humid and sticky outside, but the leather feels smooth and good to these bare legs -- not fuzzy and itchy. My sister told me that the leather seats in her car without tinted glass do get hot, but her van with tinted windows really keeps out the heat. I guess my EX-L is working the same way, because neither child has ever complained of the seats feeling hot -- even after sitting in the parking lot in 96 degree weather at the pool! Any my kids are complainers, so I know they'd let me know...

I also read the posts about fuzz coming thru the perforation holes in the MDX, and saw it myself in a used one on the lot. I now have 3,000 miles on my Pilot, and after nearly 6 weeks, see no sign of fuzz anywhere. The holes are also too small to catch crumbs (tho I personally would have preferred hole-less leather for a family vehicle).

The leather does seem a little thin compared to some other cars, so time will tell how it wears and holds up. But for the moment, I absolutely LOVE it and am 100% pleased that I opted for it rather than cloth. I will never want another car with cloth!

My two cents...

Diane
 

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Leather Was Our Choice

After a six hour trip this weekend, we are happy with our choice of leather. It was 100+ degrees in Nevada and we really didn't see any appreciable difference in the temperature of the seats during various stops. The perf leather have helped.
 

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Leather!

Have it in our Odyssey and neighbor has it in their MDX. Odor from spills never comes out with cloth. We have four kids and we actually covered the rear leather(third row is vinyl BTW) with a cloth seat cover where the car seat goes. This will protect the leathe until they're a little older and you guys get to have the nice leathe up front. Higher resale, too.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks

Thanks all. We will be receiving #2419 with Leather in the next two weeks. They will be trucking it down from Bremerhaven now that it survived its trip over the Atlantic. :p

For those that were wondering what really settled the Cloth vs. Leather debate - it was now vs. much later. Good arguments on both sides. Only time will tell if we made the right choice. Now if it only came with heated seats!
 

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Right decision

You made a good and right decision, congratulation.
I have the Havasu Blue EX-L with grey leather too, with 2 kids.
More easy too clean, but we also have the Scotch Guard protection done by the dealer.
Once again, congratulation.:)
 
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