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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’ve been talking to a few people on a detailing form I’m a member of about the leather in my 9-3.

I’ve been trying to find a nice conditioner to apply as I find the leather on the seats is quite hard and plasticy feeling and shiny, rather than soft and supple like on other cars (such as the lovely soft, grippy leather in my dad's '02 9-5)


Can anyone confirm if the leather in the 9-3SS is

a) Real?
b) Low grade?
c) Covered in a ‘protective’ film that gives it this plasticy feel?
d) Vinyl?


I've tried Gliptone cleaner and conditioner but apart from smelling pretty bad, it doesn't seem to do anything.
 

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I’ve been talking to a few people on a detailing form I’m a member of about the leather in my 9-3.

I’ve been trying to find a nice conditioner to apply as I find the leather on the seats is quite hard and plasticy feeling and shiny, rather than soft and supple like on other cars (such as the lovely soft, grippy leather in my dad's '02 9-5)


Can anyone confirm if the leather in the 9-3SS is

a)Real?
b)Low grade?
c)Covered in a ‘protective’ film that gives it this plasticy feel?
d)Vinyl?

I've tried Gliptone cleaner and conditioner but apart from smelling pretty bad, it doesn't seem to do anything.
I think the leather that touches your butt and back is real, the rest is vinyl. Here's a way to test: If you push down on the "leather" with your finger, real leather will show little wrinkles while vinyl will just stretch.
 

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Its real, but has been given a very Japanese (think mid 90s Camry leather) treatment to likely reduce costs and improve consistency.

As a result, customer demand lead Saab to introducing an "upgrade leather" option on more recent 9-3s. I wish mine had it, its a heavier grain, a more supple feel and a better aroma leather - and probably ages nicer.

My parchment standard leather has blueing from the previous owner's jeans. I bought the Saab leather cleaner and conditioner for use when it gets warmer to hopefully clean it up and give it some life. People seem to like the Saab product and Lexol products for this leather.

That said, I'll still miss the premium leather option.
 

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I think that they do get a coat of polyurethane (like most cars and sofa's) to keep them newish looking. This makes it an open question whether any leather cleaner/protector can sink in.

I've used stuff from Zaino that I like. http://www.zainostore.com/ Decent stuff, but shippings a killer.
 

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It's real (at least the parts that you touch), it's relatively low-grade, and it is essentially "painted" with color and protectant. Which is why it basically feels like plastic. I am not sure that traditional leather treatments do a bit of good, but I use Lexol on mine. After 1 year and 15K miles, mine still look like new.

The upgrade leather is much nicer, but I would just as soon have had a really good grade vinyl like the Germans use for the base material. Or better yet, cloth.
 

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Judging by this pic doesn't look like leather at all. Real leather never flakes like that.

That's the "paint coating" flaking off. You can see the difference between the leather facings and the vinyl sides on my car, and with the cover off you can see that the facings are real by the difference in the back sides.

But for the amount of difference, I would just as soon have vinyl on the real thing. Coated leather doesn't breath any better than vinyl does. It does add a small amount of "leather smell", but not anything like in the old days. Saabs and Volvos in the '80s had particularly fragrant leather, but unless impecably maintained that stuff did not last well at all. This modern stuff will probably last a LOT longer, even if it is not as nice in other ways.
 
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whatever it is, its cheap! but comfy:D
I always got a sweaty and sticky back in the 9-3 seats. Couldn't stand hat feeling and was one of the reasons I got rid of my 9-3. :(

The 9-5 used to be good but also got cheaper leather over the years. Some parts where I folded down the backseat in my 2006, some parts of the leather started flaking as well.

I wish they would offer a nice cloth/alcantara standard and premium leather as an upgrade.
 

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I think than the leather seats only come with Aero series, with "leather sports seats".
optional: "Premium Natural Leather seats", includes door inserts

for others model: "Sports seats upholstered in leather / textile" (imitation leather, vinyl)
 

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From what i can tell, my vector seats seem to be the same as the aeros?
 

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I do believe the non sport seats are a pleather vinyl that has a clear coating on it. It's easier to clean and maintain than real leather and is cheaper to replace. Plus your car isn't fill with dead cows :).
 

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Sorry, could have said this in my previous post: The original window sticker on my 2008 Aero says it has "Leather Appointed Sport Seats". I take that to mean that the main surfaces are leather, the balance are the dreaded "man-made materials."
 

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My C900's had a much richer and quality of leather. I used Lexol on them, the SS does not seem to have that quality and doesn't clean up the same.
 

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Does the owner's manual advise on how to maintain the leather ? I'll check once I get a chance. I'll also ask my dealer, you don't want to damage the coating/patina either.
 

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My C900's had a much richer and quality of leather. I used Lexol on them, the SS does not seem to have that quality and doesn't clean up the same.
pretty sure everything before the NG 9-3 had better feeling, and smelling leather.
 

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Sorry, could have said this in my previous post: The original window sticker on my 2008 Aero says it has "Leather Appointed Sport Seats". I take that to mean that the main surfaces are leather, the balance are the dreaded "man-made materials."
I just checked, it says the exact same thing on the window sticker for my 2006 Aero.
 
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