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I suppose I could make this a poll, but it is just a trend I thought I'd seek comment on.

I'm not a huge fan of the seat fabric on the 4.2, and when I was shopping around for the car, if I *ever* saw the word leather mentioned, it was an extremely rare case indeed. But, the idea of having leather instead of the fabric seats was planted and it has germinated (maybe I should go for a "wound" metaphor instead of a plant and say "festered" ;-}).

Still, rare though leather may have been on the 4.2 series, it WAS an option. I've surfed the 4.3 section lo these recent months and noticed that a fairly high percentage of buyers are getting theirs outfitted with leather. Is this a case of first-year model buyers tending toward the expensive options or Toyota's regional demographic modelling indicating that more would want leather as an option?

I've considered trying to find 4.2 RAV leather seats at a junk yard or the Katzkin option (blame Becky) at some point. Due to leather seeming to be an ultra-rare option I wouldn't expect to ever find what I want at a junk yard.

Hmm. What was my question again? Oh, yeah. 8-}

Why are leather seats in the 4.3 series so popular right now, and why does it seem like they were almost non-existent in the 4.2 series?

Thanks for any input,
-Brian
 

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Good point, and while you are at it try to find them in a 4.1! I know they were made available in the L series around 1998 but I have never seen such a rarity. Truely an endangered species.
 

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bloorav said:
Why are leather seats in the 4.3 series so popular right now, and why does it seem like they were almost non-existent in the 4.2 series?
I think they target slightly different markets.

I'd compare the 4.3 leather sales rate to that of the Highlander rather than the 4.2

Definitely recommend aftermarket over looking for that needle in a haystack in a junkyard. You can get better quality aftermarket anyway.
 

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We have had fabric seats in all previous cars.

I did intend to get the leather option before purchasing my 02 RAV.

The second RAV I test-drove was an L with leather standard, and all the specs I wanted.
I felt better in it than the fabric and it seemed more deluxe, so I haggled and bought it.

I now like the leather much better than fabric.


Walt
 

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We also put leather seats in our 4.2. I don't think in our country, that the factory spec leather was available, so the dealership must have sent them to an outside upholsterer(we were aware of this). I can't complain, they did a good job. The leather does add a little to the interior, as well as the comfort.
 

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I don't see the attraction to leather in the RAV...I want something I can get dirty and wash out if I get the vehicle in a place where it might get dirty (snow in winter, back roads in summer, for example) and not worry about staining the leather. Leather with heated seats belongs in the Avalon or Camry.
 

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I have leather. I really didn't think it was that uncommon?
Then again, I let the Regional Fleet Manager do all the work finding my car with all the right options. :mrgreen:

I hear where your coming from Seabreeze, but I think you would be surprised how durable leather seats are. :D

-Brian, I know there are a few 4.2 owners here that installed after-market leather seats and sound pleased with them.

RAVON 8)
 
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My 4.2 has factory leather. It was by accident that I found one right at the end of the model year last December. I realized from my searches that finding a new 4.2 in my color with leather would be virtually impossible. And, I wanted all the other options, auto, moon roof, larger tires, spoiler, tinted glass, etc. Dealer wound up finding me my loaded Spectra blue with leather and I snagged it up even though I had to settle for AWD, which is killing me on gas. Got a smokin' deal on it though. Sticker was $27,750 and I paid, before taxes and rebates, $24,350. Then subtract the $750 incentive and also the additional $500 that Toyota sent to me when I called their main customer service number and whined that I couldn't decide between the CRV and the RAV. They said they would send me an additional $250 if I decided in Toyota's favor, just FAX them a copy of the purchase order. They ended up sending me $500 instead, and I didn't question it.

As for leather seats, this option was only offered in the 'Gulf State Region' (i.e., the Southeast), hence its scarcity. And IMO, the seats are comfortable, attractive, durable and the heaters kick ass once the weather is cold. The only option I didn't get was the factory alarm - it just has keyless entry. Go figure, a loaded vehicle and no alarm added at the port. Duh.
 

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Seabreeze said:
I don't see the attraction to leather in the RAV...I want something I can get dirty and wash out if I get the vehicle in a place where it might get dirty (snow in winter, back roads in summer, for example) and not worry about staining the leather. Leather with heated seats belongs in the Avalon or Camry.
Leather is actually much easier to care for.

Most stuff simply wipes right off. It's the cloth that stains easily, soaks up moisture, collects dirt, etc.
 

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heated seats are exclusive only to leather seats. You can pop 'em in cloth seats too. it's no biggy.

Reasons why there was no leather on the 4.2's:

- yes, entirely different market. Rav4's taking over the highlander and i foresee a new model to replace where the rav4 once stood. somethign smaller than the 4.3 and something matching the price range of what we had been familiar with with the older rav4's prior to 4.3.

- leather on an suv? i guess it depends on the type, size and what you use the car for. But i'm very very glad i got the cloth seats. they dont' burn in the sun, i don't have to worry about it cracking, and it weathers much better with the ruggedness of ski trips and getting dirt on it.
 

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Leather seats as well as leather fitted door sidings was part of some limited edition 4.2s sold here at 2001. We particularly wanted and got these, versus the blue fabric versions that came with the standard models. The leather gives the ride a "luxury" feel, vs a somewhat "sporty" feel for the standard model's blue fabric then.
 

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Leather is actually easier to clean and is more hygienic.

I have no problems in the winter or summer with heat or cold.
There is nothing wrong with fabric but If you want the best, and are willing to pay, than it's the way to go.


Cheers, :D

Walt
 
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waltrav said:
Leather is actually easier to clean and is more hygienic.

I have no problems in the winter or summer with heat or cold.
There is nothing wrong with fabric but If you want the best, and are willing to pay, than it's the way to go.


Cheers, :D

Walt
It's just a matter of preference. I've had four vehicles now with leather and the myth of them being cold in the winter and really hot in the summer is horse pucky. I use one of those windshield thingies in the summer anyway, along with my pimp-like aftermarket window tint, so the car stays as cool as possible in the heat. Makes a big difference.
 

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JohnnyG ya i did not go into detail, but when parking in a lot with direct sunshine (summer) i always keep the tinted rear facing the sun. Keeps the car cool and protects the interior.
Around the home i am fortunate to have tree shade, well that is until the cherry season comes by. The birds tend to leave me the left overs. :roll:
 

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I bought my platinum silver 2002L automatic from the dealer with factory leather seats and trim package (in March 2002). I do have Toyota seat covers on the driver and front passenger seats - always have - which I know contradicts the luxury aspect - but they do protect the seats while driving 80+ mph with one hand and downing a double-double and fries with the other - only in California.

I highly recommend Carfinders.com. They did all the leg work finding the vehicle I wanted at a competitive price. All I had to do was choose what color from what they found with my options -power everything.
 
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