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Old 16th April 2019, 17:30   #1
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Default Want to buy a luxury sedan / SUV with no leather used in it

A cousin wants to buy a luxury sedan/SUV but is a strict no-leather-use guy and hence finding it hard to buy a decent luxury car.

He has spoken to quite a few dealers but none seems to be interested in getting one for him.

So far he has spoken with Audi for Q8 and with Merc for S class but with no success. S class had a trim which had leatherette in it but they discontinued it. They offered him AMG GLE 43 coupe instead but the interiors were too boring for the price.

BMW also sounded disinterested in offering 7 series with no leather. He is waiting for the new X5 to see if they can do something then.

He is willing to pay a little extra to get the car (CBU/CKD) ordered from EU but none seems to be eager to do that.

Volvo is out question as their cars are loaded with leather so its unlikely that they will sell one without it.

Any thoughts on how to go about it?
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Old 16th April 2019, 17:36   #2
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Default re: Want to buy a luxury sedan / SUV with no leather used in it

There is a similar thread already
https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/luxur...her-seats.html (20+ Lakh car without leather seats?)
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Old 16th April 2019, 17:42   #3
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Default re: Want to buy a luxury sedan / SUV with no leather used in it

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Originally Posted by the_skyliner View Post
A cousin wants to buy a luxury sedan/SUV but is a strict no-leather-use guy and hence finding it hard to buy a decent luxury car.

He has spoken to quite a few dealers but none seems to be interested in getting one for him.

So far he has spoken with Audi for Q8 and with Merc for S class but with no success. S class had a trim which had leatherette in it but they discontinued it. They offered him AMG GLE 43 coupe instead but the interiors were too boring for the price.
Honestly, he should just pick up an E350 with the leatherette and call it a day. It won't have the class of an S Class, but with the LWB, air suspension, and 6 cylinder - it is probably the best bet for him.

Another option is the V Class, but I personally prefer the E350 over that unless he needs the space and practicality. He could also wait for the new GLE350.

I don't understand why manufacturers - Mercedes especially - cannot provide more customization options for those buyers who are willing to pay for it. How much additional trouble would it be for them given this is a relatively common problem for some of our population.
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Old 16th April 2019, 17:59   #4
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Default re: Want to buy a luxury sedan / SUV with no leather used in it

Difficult. From your post, it looks like your cousin wants NO leather to have been used in the making - so it would mean that he will not consider taking a car and changing the leather in the seats to standard fabric. But even if he were to, it could mess up the side Air-bags in the front seats.
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Old 16th April 2019, 18:10   #5
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Default re: Want to buy a luxury sedan / SUV with no leather used in it

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Originally Posted by Guna View Post
Thanks! I wasn't aware of it. However, I think here the requirement different in terms of car segment.

Mods: please merge the threads if required.

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Originally Posted by lamborghini View Post
Honestly, he should just pick up an E350 with the leatherette and call it a day. It won't have the class of an S Class, but with the LWB, air suspension, and 6 cylinder - it is probably the best bet for him.

Another option is the V Class, but I personally prefer the E350 over that unless he needs the space and practicality. He could also wait for the new GLE350.
Thanks for the suggestions. I will ask him to check the E350 for leatherette option. However, he is looking at something from higher segment. Nonetheless, the LWB might tick all the boxes.
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Old 16th April 2019, 18:38   #6
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Default re: Want to buy a luxury sedan / SUV with no leather used in it

Well, if your cousin is open to importing, there is the stately Toyota Century with it's super premium wool interiors. It is the official car of the Emperor of Japan.
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Old 16th April 2019, 18:56   #7
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Default re: Want to buy a luxury sedan / SUV with no leather used in it

If cost is not a concern, why not look at the Porsche Panamera models.
I believe they have an option of alcantara interior (again cost no bar).
My favourite pass time recently has been spending hours on car configurators of such marques.
Porsche Car Configurator

Last edited by Gannu_1 : 17th April 2019 at 09:54. Reason: Typo.
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Old 16th April 2019, 19:08   #8
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Default re: Want to buy a luxury sedan / SUV with no leather used in it

Interesting conundrum.

I believe the only car that is advertised (from what I've read) by its manufacturer as a "vegan friendly" interior is the Range Rover Velar.

Do get in touch with JLR and see if the Velar in India comes sans leather upholstery.
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Old 16th April 2019, 23:41   #9
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Default re: Want to buy a luxury sedan / SUV with no leather used in it

The Velar seems to be the only real option in the luxury car segment. You would think they might have more vegan options in a country like ours but unfortunately, the luxury market seems to lap up the leather interiors.
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Old 17th April 2019, 07:54   #10
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Default Re: Want to buy a luxury sedan / SUV with no leather used in it

E-Class Leatherette, Porsche, Range Rover or any CBU. CBU you can import through a manufacturer, or then do it yourself. Because homologation isn't required for imports costing over $40,000, it's not that difficult a process either. Build one to your spec from UK / Japan and bring it here as your cousin clearly has the means.

- PETA has an article on this - link

- Out of the box, super cool suggestion. Tell your cousin to import a Tesla Model S! Tesla has vegan interiors - link

- A workaround (if your cousin is okay with it) - Buy the model you like and then have an after-market upholstery specialist redo the interiors with any fabric of your choice.

Last edited by GTO : 17th April 2019 at 07:56.
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Old 17th April 2019, 08:07   #11
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Default Re: Need help in purchasing a luxury sedan/SUV with no leather used in it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shreyans_Jain View Post
there is the stately Toyota Century with it's super premium wool interiors.
Pointless when it comes to the purpose of this thread.. wool is as anti-vegan as leather is, even if the method of acquiring it so to speak, is slightly "less" cruel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HKap View Post
You would think they might have more vegan options in a country like ours but unfortunately, the luxury market seems to lap up the leather interiors.
The natural leather industry is highly arbitrary, and is existing just for the sake of existing, due to the acid-wash they go through, stripping all hair and "natural" elements, and in many cases, a layer of synthetic material stitched as their lining, they aren't biodegradable at all. In reality, synthetic fabrics and nano-construction engineering can replicate the vast grade of softness, porosity and textures of any natural leather using heat stamping, abrading, needle-pricking etc.. and at the same time they will be much more long-lasting and hydro-resistant than natural leather. Alcantara, Nomex (by DuPont), hybrid vermiculite coated silica fabrics can easily be made available if not standard in luxury vehicles.. but hey I guess a 1000 year old leather technology goes well with Apple CarPlay, autonomous driving and other space-age tech.

Last edited by dark.knight : 17th April 2019 at 08:09.
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Old 17th April 2019, 08:59   #12
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Default Re: Want to buy a luxury sedan / SUV with no leather used in it

Quote:
Originally Posted by the_skyliner View Post
A cousin wants to buy a luxury sedan/SUV but is a strict no-leather-use guy and hence finding it hard to buy a decent luxury
As you are aware, almost all luxury cars will come with leather seats and leather upholstery. To avoid that there is a way, but this is actually downgrading the material and the looks of the car.

You can take the delivery of your luxury car in stock and immediately take it to a car seat maker for change of seat. Here in Mumbai we have Orchis in Vikhroli (http://www.orchis.in). They can change your seats for you. Mind you this is not seat cover. They take out the seats from the car, remove the old leather and restitch the new leather / fabric that you have chosen. Besides the seats, they can also change the leather from the other areas like dash, steering wheel etc. Normally this is done the other way round, where people upgrade their seats. In your case as I mentioned earlier, it is downgrading, however at least it will solve your problem.

Orchis is not a regular car seat maker. It is a reputed place and many car manufacturers send their cars here for leather stitching before delivery.

Since you are based outside Mumbai, you can search for a similar car seat maker.

Last edited by ruzbehxyz : 17th April 2019 at 09:01.
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Old 17th April 2019, 09:42   #13
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Default Want to buy a luxury sedan / SUV with no leather used in it

Quote:
Originally Posted by ruzbehxyz View Post
You can take the delivery of your luxury car in stock and immediately take it to a car seat maker for change of seat.
I'm not OP, but going this route defeats the purpose of choosing vegan options in my opinion. The leather has already been used for the seats, by removing it you're doing nothing more than wasting it (I'm not aware about recycling in this space). So might as well get a car that doesn't have leather right from the factory so you aren't wasting leather either.

Side note: wouldn't re-upholstering fiddle with the side airbags?

Last edited by suhaas307 : 23rd June 2019 at 17:01. Reason: Minor spacing
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Old 17th April 2019, 09:45   #14
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Default Re: Want to buy a luxury sedan / SUV with no leather used in it

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I'm not OP, but going this route defeats the purpose of choosing vegan options in my opinion.
True, yet it could be applicable if the buyer is okay with leather, but the family isn't. As an example, I pretty much eat anywhere I want, although my Mum eats only at pure-veg restaurants. Considering how a car is such a "family thing" in India, Ruzbehxyz's idea could work very well if it is the family that is insistent on not having leather. Simply take it all out before showing the car to them!

Last edited by GTO : 17th April 2019 at 10:35.
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Old 17th April 2019, 10:53   #15
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Default Re: Want to buy a luxury sedan / SUV with no leather used in it

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shreyans_Jain View Post
Well, if your cousin is open to importing, there is the stately Toyota Century with it's super premium wool interiors. It is the official car of the Emperor of Japan.
Thanks but he is not keen on buying a Japanese car.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GrandTourer View Post
If cost is not a concern, why not look at the Porsche Panamera models.
I believe they have an option of alcantara interior (again cost no bar).
My favourite pass time recently has been spending hours on car configurators of such marques.
Porsche Car Configurator
Thanks! Panamera is one of the shortlisted cars. He had spoken to the dealer a couple of years ago but it didn't work out for some other reason. But this is a good option to consider.

Quote:
Originally Posted by suhaas307 View Post
Interesting conundrum.

I believe the only car that is advertised (from what I've read) by its manufacturer as a "vegan friendly" interior is the Range Rover Velar.

Do get in touch with JLR and see if the Velar in India comes sans leather upholstery.
He likes RR Sports but not the Velar as it is a little over the top from all angles. And Sports do not have this configuration. Thanks for the advice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HKap View Post
The Velar seems to be the only real option in the luxury car segment. You would think they might have more vegan options in a country like ours but unfortunately, the luxury market seems to lap up the leather interiors.
True that. We were discussing on the same topic last week that how come car companies are not keen on providing such flexibility to customers in our country.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
E-Class Leatherette, Porsche, Range Rover or any CBU. CBU you can import through a manufacturer, or then do it yourself. Because homologation isn't required for imports costing over $40,000, it's not that difficult a process either. Build one to your spec from UK / Japan and bring it here as your cousin clearly has the means.

- PETA has an article on this - link

- Out of the box, super cool suggestion. Tell your cousin to import a Tesla Model S! Tesla has vegan interiors - link

- A workaround (if your cousin is okay with it) - Buy the model you like and then have an after-market upholstery specialist redo the interiors with any fabric of your choice.
Thanks, GTO.

Car dealers are not willing to get CBUs imported with desired configuration. He drives a decade old Q5 which was ordered by Audi from Germany with no leather option. But they are not willing to do it this time around.

Importing on own is the last resort.

He is not keen on modifications post purchase so changing the upholstery is not an option. Also, he is against using leather so want to buy something which do not use leather to being with.

Tesla Model S is an interesting option. Any thoughts on after sales support? Not sure if there is any in India.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dark.knight View Post
Pointless when it comes to the purpose of this thread.. wool is as anti-vegan as leather is, even if the method of acquiring it so to speak, is slightly "less" cruel.
True that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by condor View Post
Difficult. From your post, it looks like your cousin wants NO leather to have been used in the making - so it would mean that he will not consider taking a car and changing the leather in the seats to standard fabric. But even if he were to, it could mess up the side Air-bags in the front seats.
Buying a car with leather and taking it out is not an option as he wants to buy something which does not use leather altogether.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ruzbehxyz View Post
You can take the delivery of your luxury car in stock and immediately take it to a car seat maker for change of seat. Here in Mumbai we have Orchis in Vikhroli (http://www.orchis.in). They can change your seats for you. Mind you this is not seat cover. They take out the seats from the car, remove the old leather and restitch the new leather / fabric that you have chosen. Besides the seats, they can also change the leather from the other areas like dash, steering wheel etc. Normally this is done the other way round, where people upgrade their seats. In your case as I mentioned earlier, it is downgrading, however at least it will solve your problem.

Since you are based outside Mumbai, you can search for a similar car seat maker.
Thanks for the help. However, as mentioned above the objective is to buy a car which doesn't use leather to being with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnInternetUser View Post
I'm not OP, but going this route defeats the purpose of choosing vegan options in my opinion. The leather has already been used for the seats, by removing it you're doing nothing more than wasting it (I'm not aware about recycling in this space). So might as well get a car that doesn't have leather right from the factory so you aren't wasting leather either.


Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
True, yet it could be applicable if the buyer is okay with leather, but the family isn't. As an example, I pretty much eat anywhere I want, although my Mum eats only at pure-veg restaurants. Considering how a car is such a "family thing" in India, Ruzbehxyz's idea could work very well if it is the family that is insistent on not having leather. Simply take it all out before showing the car to them!
In this case it is the other way round, GTO. The cousin is vegan but the family not.
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