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If you’re checking out a new vehicle, namely a Toyota, you might see the term “SofTex leather” on the window sticker. When you sit inside the car, you may notice that this leather looks and feels like the normal stuff. But what is SofTex leather, and is it as good as the real deal?

Is SofTex leather like real leather?

SofTex leather is a synthetic leather that’s easier to clean up and far more affordable than the real material. If you have children who like to bring juices and food items into the car, SofTex leather could be the way to go. Check out the other advantages it has:

  • SofTex is more affordable than leather
  • SofTex is made in a more environmentally friendly way
  • It generates 85% less carbon dioxide emissions and 99% fewer volatile compounds
  • Vegan lovers rejoice: SofTex doesn’t contain any animal-based material in the fabric

Is SofTex as durable as leather?

2023 Toyota Crown front interior view
2023 Toyota Crown | Joe Santos, MotorBiscuit

Since SofTex is made of synthetic material, it’s more durable than leather. It’s also very resistant to cracking and fading due to sun exposure. According to Toyota of North Charlotte, “One of the main drawbacks of leather is that it absorbs UV rays, which makes it a super-hot surface that can burn your thighs” However, SofTex leather reportedly stays around 10 degrees cooler (on average) than leather on a hot day.

Additionally, SofTex can last up to 10 years if you keep it maintained properly. Maintaining SofTex leather is as easy as wiping the seat surfaces with a combination of water and soap. However, alcohol-based upholstery, vinyl, and leather cleaners also work.

Are any Toyota vehicles available with leather seats?

2023 Toyota Venza front interior
2023 Toyota Venza | Joe Santos, MotorBiscuit

Although most Toyota vehicles are available with cloth or SofTex seats, some higher-end models are available with real leather. For example, the Tundra Platinum, Sequoia Capstone, and Sienna Limited all come with real leather seats. However, the middle trims for these models come with SofTex seats since it is more affordable.

Ultimately, Toyota’s use of SofTex seats is a cost-saving measure that benefits buyers as it gives them the benefits of real leather without some of the inherent downsides. That said, real leather still has a richer feel to it and brings its own benefits. But for those that want something that’s close to leather and environmentally friendly, SofTex leather is the way to go. The next time you’re shopping for a new Toyota, at least you’ll know what you’re getting.


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