Swapping leather for cloth

Hi All,

I have an NC1 with heated leather seats. While these are great in the winter, I find them uncomfortably hot in the summer.

I’m looking to buy some cloth seats and swap them in but have a couple questions.

Is this just a case of taking the old ones out, unplugging the wiring for the heat and chucking a cloth pair in? Can anyone tell me if seats from all MK3 models will fit?

Many thanks

Yes it’s just a matter of literally swapping them over. The bits that are wired into the white plug under seat will be different but just plug in and what’s there should work, with a but…
You won’t have side airbags, don’t think the earlier cloth NC1 (maybe later too) had them in the side bolsters. Just think about that, you have removed a safety feature… insurance? unless your leather seats didn’t have them either.

Mick is right, there are no airbags in the NC1 cloth seats… I didn’t know the leather ones had airbags either as it happens.

Incidentally, I’ve been considering swapping my NC1 cloth seats for leather for some time now, so if you fancy a swap let me know.

Although, I need to have a very hard think about leather in summer.

I absolutely agree that leather in summer isn’t pleasant, but equally I really want the upmarket look and more hard-wearing nature of leather.

Can anyone else give an opinion of leather heats in proper summer weather? I understand they get hot, but surely it can’t be that bad once you’re moving along and have a breeze with the roof off?

On a hot day, even with roof off, you can end up with a very wet back…

Hmm… Could a cloth seat cover for those ridiculously hot days be the answer, at least then all of the other benefits of leather can be realised?

Chris Mk3,
l can confirm that the later nc1 cloth seats have side airbags and the drivers seat is height adjustable

Ahh, mine is an early NC1 so I have neither of those I don’t think!

Probably NC2 then.

No Mick, an NC1.

Strange but my 06 reg NC1 Option pack has cloth seats and side airbags.
Did consider leather heated seats but most of the ones on sale don’t have airbags and I could never find NC1 cloth heated airbag seats.

My previous 2006 MK3 had leather seats, cold in winter, hot & sweaty in summer even
with the top down. My 2014 MK3.75 Sport Tech Recaro has alcantara seats, comfortable
winter & summer, the best of both worlds.
Maybe the answer is to get the centre sections of your leather seats fitted with alcantara?

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Well, personally I think the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages in the UK.
Have also been on several European tours in the heat (leather NC2). TBH we didn’t find it that bad. You can always lay a towel (or something else) over the back and seat. Never bothered with that though.
Leather is always easier to keep clean too.
Cloth when very hot can also be uncomfortable too.
Just my opinion. :+1:

Some have then as you say. Guess it’s model related for the NC1 which gets the side airbags.

Actually, despite my wet back comment, I wouldn’t dream of switching my leather seats.

99.9% of the time they are just what I want.

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In my BMW, I have a pair of seat covers held on with elastic bands that I bought primarily to stop sliding about in the seat on track days, but also has the benefit of being cloth not leather against the shirt. Cost about £15 from Lidl if I remember correctly.

Would be a lot cheaper and less hassle than swapping seats out.

Yeah I don’t think any of the niggles are enough to put me off the overall appeal of leather really…

@Kingcivic not sure where in the country you are, but if you do decide you want to go fabric, give me a shout, we might be able to work something out :+1:

They are heated for the winter, and the Climate Control stops it getting too hot in the summer, even with the lid hid.

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I think it was the 1.8 that didn’t have side airbags and the 2.0 that did.

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Some of the later 2.0 NC2 or 3 had cloth seats and airbags. But these are comparatively rare compared to vast majority of leather+airbags or fabric+no airbag
Pretty sure the nc2 1.8 didn’t have cloth & airbags but to be honest with all the special editions flying around it got a bit confusing. Some 1.8 NC2 special editions had leather but no airbags or heated seats, but when people have opened the seats up the heating elements and wiring was all there, but just not plugged in and the car didn’t have the switches.

confused yet?

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As well as appearance, summer heat is the reason I went for the sand leather seats in my car rather than black. The light sand colour does not absorb (or emit) as much heat as black leather therefore don’t get quite as hot. Can still get a bit sweaty though, but in really bad cases don’t stain like cloth may as a result :sweat_smile: