Aftermarket Leather vs Factory Leather



Leather in a car's interior indicates style and luxury, but not everyone realizes that aftermarket products offer a customized option. Outfitting a car with a unique interior transforms the driving experience and makes your car unique. Leather elevates the interior of a car, even if that car originally came with cloth seats. The best aftermarket leather car seats are a wonderful option for new vehicles and those with a few miles on them.

Upgrade While Saving Money

New car buyers often want leather seats for the comfort and style they offer, but they may not realize that aftermarket leather offers a better option. Car manufacturers usually bundle leather seats into luxury upgrade packages containing other features that buyers may not want or need. To get a vehicle with the desired leather seats, you may need to opt for the upgraded package even though you might not want the extra features.

At Crush Customs, we understand being willing to pay top dollar for the perfect car. However, if you primarily want leather seats without the extras, we have a solution that could save money without requiring the addition of unnecessary features. When considering aftermarket leather vs. factory leather, choosing the aftermarket product can be the superior option in many ways.

Take the 2022 Mazda 3 Sedan. The lowest trim level is the 2.0 Sedan, which starts at $22,165 MSRP, according to Edmunds. If you want leather seats in a 2022 Mazda 3, you will need to upgrade the trim level. To get red leather as an option, you must upgrade to the Carbon Edition, which costs $27,765 MSRP. To get white or black leather, you need to upgrade to Premium, which is $28,715 MSRP. Other features come with these trim levels, like an upgraded sound system, blind-spot monitoring, and paddle shifting on the Premium.

Even the base trim level for the Mazda 3 has great features, like push-button start, steering wheel buttons for audio and cruise control, an 8.8-inch infotainment display, lane-keep assist, driver attention alert, and more. Many buyers are satisfied with this already robust trim level.

If you're content with a lower trim level but want leather seating, the difference in cost between the 2.0 and the Premium is $6,550. We can outfit the base model of the 2022 Mazda 3 with aftermarket leather starting at $1,495, which includes the option to color match the interior of the vehicle, installation, and shipping. Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) products are another option, but aftermarket products offer far more customization options at a better price. Going for aftermarket leather just saved you $5,055.

Get Custom Detail

Another reason to opt for an aftermarket leather interior is customization. Auto manufacturers offer only a few choices when it comes to leather interiors. Colors are typically muted, and details like stitching tend to match the factory leather. Think about the example from the previous section. You saved $5,055 by opting to have Crush Customs install color-matched aftermarket leather in your new Mazda 3. At Crush Customs, we install Katzkin Leather, which means color-matching is just the beginning.

You now have over $5,000 in savings to work with if you want to enjoy a customized leather interior. For this particular make and model, Katzkin offers attractive options like burgundy and black two-tone seats, leather wrap with suede, black contrast TekStitch Diamond Inserts, and the option to mix and match these features to design the exact custom fit seat covers you want. Katzkin is designed to be the best aftermarket solution, with high-quality leather and seat covers that fit a wide range of makes and models.

Even if you're interested in the luxury trim levels for a new vehicle, professionally installed leather seat covers offer so many more color, texture, and stitching choices. Customization turns a new vehicle from a nice but ordinary ride into a luxury space that reflects your personality and style.

Add Leather to Older Vehicles

For others, the perfect car isn't a new model, it's the one they already have. You may want to repair the leather seats in an old Mustang, while others might want to spruce up a perfectly serviceable SUV's interior instead of splurging on a new one. For both of these cases, car owners should think about opting for replacement seat covers. OEM leather vs. aftermarket is what to consider in these scenarios, and we think the case for aftermarket products is clear.

Some damaged leather seats look fine after being repaired, but if the damage is too extensive the repair job will show, no matter how well it's done. Patching leather may cause color match problems, and a tear may still be visible even after it's been fixed. Depending on the age of the vehicle in question, OEM products may no longer be available. You can take advantage of needing a seat repair job to fully customize that interior. Try adding some decorative stitching, including an accent color, or opting for suede to create an especially soft feel.

When a vehicle has seen a few years and the interior is starting to look a little worn, the best way to spruce it up is to start with the seats. Cloth seats are fine, but they don't match the luxurious feeling of leather. Cloth seats tend to absorb stains and odors, which can cause the interior of a vehicle to stop feeling new very quickly. While leather seats do require some at-home maintenance, they're easier to clean if something gets spilled in the car, and they won't hold onto the odor of whatever was spilled.

At Crush Customs, we have 41 years of experience in the automotive industry and we specialize in aftermarket solutions. We serve retail customers and dealers, and we love outfitting vehicles with extras to make driving not just a necessity, but an enjoyable experience. Feel the difference a family-owned business can offer with automobile customization, from leather seats and rear entertainment systems to keyless entry and vinyl graphics. Contact us today to get a quote and start the journey towards a customized vehicle.


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