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      08-01-2009, 04:40 PM   #1
Hyperspaced
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What's the difference between Novilla and other BMW leather?

It seems to be the cheapest leather option of all for BMW. Is it less nice than Dakota or Boston or Merino?

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      08-01-2009, 04:46 PM   #2
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Boston leather is in my 335 and it's not nearly as nice as Novillo.
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      08-01-2009, 06:53 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hyperspaced View Post
It seems to be the cheapest leather option of all for BMW. Is it less nice than Dakota or Boston or Merino?

Thanks
Order of leather quality and price: Merino > Nappa/Novillo > Dakota > Boston
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      08-01-2009, 07:09 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hyperspaced View Post
It seems to be the cheapest leather option of all for BMW. Is it less nice than Dakota or Boston or Merino?

Thanks
Leather hides are sold in different grades. Some 'leather' interiors are not actually real (natural) leather at all. They are made from a cheaper synthetic vinyl material called Leatherette. These are processed in a way that gives them more of a stiff rubbery texture, instead of soft texture of real leather.

The most expensive grades are top-grain leather hides that are carefully vat dried. Natural leather hides are of course harder to cure and dye in the various interior colors available. That drives up the cost per running meter. The finest leathers are very soft, have excellent breath-ability, and are extremely comfortable to sit on for hours. The closer you get to genuine 'glove leather' quality, the higher the price tag.

The finest top-grain leather grade that BMW currently sells is Merino.

This is the grade of leather that BMW allows as an optional upgrade in the 6-series & 7-series cars. It's also available as standard equipment on the M5 and M6. In Europe, Merino is an option in the BMW Individual cars. (regardless of series)

Here are my own "unofficial" quality rankings of BMW OE Leathers:

1) Merino
2) Novillo
3) Nappa (different names but seem to be the same quality as Novillo)
4) Dakota

Nevada, Boston, and Kansas leathers all seem to be about the same quality.

The next time you go to the dealership, see if there is a M5 or M6 on the showroom floor. Sit in the Merino leather seats and feel the texture of the real leather hides. Compare that to the Novillo in the M3. There is a big difference in the overall quality IMO.
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      08-01-2009, 08:56 PM   #5
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Excellent post..thanks!
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      08-01-2009, 11:10 PM   #6
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I just want to make a comment. One thing that sold me on the M3 was the leather quality, when I first sat on the first local M3 to hit the dealership. It had a silver interior. The leather was glove soft. I've never seen anything like that on a BMW, and not remotely close to my E46 optional Dakota leather.

Well, I was expecting the same leather on my (extended) black, and to my dismay, it was NOTHING like that car. My car had the 'leather protection' applied to it, which I still don't know what the hell that was, but doubt it makes the leather hard. I've conditioned my car several times with top conditioners, and leather is great, but much thicker and nowhere near as supple as that first car. By the way, a local guy with an '09 also in black feels better, but another local guy with silver (possibly the car I first drove; need to ask him if his dad is a Doctor, since I was told that car belonged to a doctor) is MUCH better, just like I remembered. Problem is it already had signs of wear. That's the drawback of thin, supple leather. I know mine is going to look great for years to come (especially since I'm pretty light at 155# and it's always conditioned), but wish it was a bit more supple. Wonder how the leather feels on other colors. Or if BMW put special leather on 'launch' cars . Good evening gang.
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      08-04-2009, 01:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elp_jc View Post
I just want to make a comment. One thing that sold me on the M3 was the leather quality, when I first sat on the first local M3 to hit the dealership. It had a silver interior. The leather was glove soft. I've never seen anything like that on a BMW, and not remotely close to my E46 optional Dakota leather.

Well, I was expecting the same leather on my (extended) black, and to my dismay, it was NOTHING like that car. My car had the 'leather protection' applied to it, which I still don't know what the hell that was, but doubt it makes the leather hard. I've conditioned my car several times with top conditioners, and leather is great, but much thicker and nowhere near as supple as that first car. By the way, a local guy with an '09 also in black feels better, but another local guy with silver (possibly the car I first drove; need to ask him if his dad is a Doctor, since I was told that car belonged to a doctor) is MUCH better, just like I remembered. Problem is it already had signs of wear. That's the drawback of thin, supple leather. I know mine is going to look great for years to come (especially since I'm pretty light at 155# and it's always conditioned), but wish it was a bit more supple. Wonder how the leather feels on other colors. Or if BMW put special leather on 'launch' cars . Good evening gang.
I'm beginning to think that color has something to do with it. The silver Novillo that I sat in seemed to be nicer than the black. I thought it was just me, but maybe there is something to this theory. Anyone else notice this?
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      08-10-2009, 03:51 PM   #8
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yup my silver novillo leather is still very supple... :-) after 10k
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