Nissan World of Red Bank

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Alcantara vs. Nappa Leather: Which is the Best Material for Car Cabins?


No, it’s not a green, leafy vegetable commonly used in Asian cuisine; Nappa is a distinct type of leather that is usually softened and dyed during the “crusting” process. Exquisitely soft and supple, it’s a common material in cars because, well, it feels like heaven and is incredibly resistant to normal wear and tear.

Similarly blissful, Alcantara® is a suede-like microfiber material that has been put inside luxury cars since the 1970s. Made in Italy, the land of exquisite taste, Alcantara is composed of polyester and polyurethane to produce a soft-feeling fabric that is also highly resistant to stains.

But aside from feel, what are the other big differences between Nappa leather and Alcantara when it comes to your vehicle?

Alcantara vs. Nappa Leather_ Which is the Best Material for Car Cabins

Points for Nappa Leather

Nappa leather is usually considered the filet mignon of the automotive world. It’s soft and pliable yet highly durable and easy to clean, making it the ideal material to use inside luxury car cabins. A pure and full-grain leather, Nappa rarely mixes with lesser-than materials inside a car; typically, if the vehicle features Nappa seats, Nappa seats are all you’ll find.

Better yet, Nappa is extremely breathable and resistant to moisture. Remember those old cars in the 1980s whose interior smelled like moldy rubber and feet? Those cars didn’t have Nappa leather (or its owner had a worrying case of an unknown stinky-foot malady). On those warm summer days in Red Bank, Nappa leather car seats may help keep your back and backside sweat-free—at least, somewhat.

If you opt for Nappa seats in a new car, you’re telling everyone in the passenger seat that you that you mean business.

Benefits of Alcantara in a Car

A common application in furniture and clothing, Alcantara has found its rightful place in the automotive industry. You’ll find many modern cars—including most 2018 Nissan models—have employed Alcantara on seats, dashboards, headliners, and even doors.

But why? Is Alcantara really a better choice than Nappa? Here’s how they compare:

  • Alcantara car seats and steering wheels are extremely flame retardant; for that obvious reason, Alcantara is the material of choice for Formula One race cars.
  • In the cold winters here in Red Bank, Alcantara is a much better material. Alcantara-lined steering wheels and heated car seats keep your palms and buns warm.
  • On the other hand, Alcantara isn’t held captive by sunlight. Unlike Nappa, which can feel like the surface of the sun after just a few minutes underneath UV rays, Alcantara won’t torch your skin.
  • If you drive a sportier car, like the Nissan GT-R, you’ll appreciate a seat with “holdability.” Alcantara seats will grip your booty, ensuring it doesn’t slide to and fro with every twist and every turn.
  • Child safety seats are less likely to shift around on Alcantara material.
  • Alcantara steering wheels, in addition to being better for cold weather, offer a smoother grip—a big plus for those who drive with clenched fists in the 10-and-2 position.
  • Depending on the manufacturer, Alcantara may also be a more affordable material inside a vehicle’s cockpit.

Which Nissan Models Have Alcantara

Which Nissan Models Have Alcantara?

At Nissan World of Red Bank, we don’t often get asked this question by customers. But we’re happy to help you, Internet stranger. The following 2018 Nissan models come with the option of Alcantara seats, inserts, and/or steering wheels:

  • GT-R (NISMO)
  • 370Z (NISMO)
  • Maxima

That’s right—the 2018 Nissan Maxima now includes optional luxury Alcantara seats! If you’d like to feel the suede-like texture for yourself, venture into our Red Bank Nissan dealership to test drive the Maxima today. We have incredible Nissan deals available, too, so getting those premium updates on your new Maxima won’t cost an arm or a leg. Contact your Red Bank Nissan dealer at (732) 704-7860 to schedule an appointment, or simply stop by our dealership at 120 Newman Springs Rd in Red Bank, NJ.

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