There’s just something about a nice leather seat that completely changes a vehicle’s interior. And the great news is, in today’s marketplace, it’s not only offered in sports cars or luxo-cruisers (although it’s likely where you will find the supplest). From the Nappa variety — think high-end horse saddles — available in select Mazda CX-9 models, to the quilted examples found in the high-end Jaguar XJ, here are three noteworthy makes and models in our inventory featuring leather upholstery.
The all-new-for-2016 CX-9 is Mazda’s range-topping model, a mid-size crossover that according to the manufacturer “offers an indulgent experience of quality and comfort,” aimed at more mature families. An example of this is the auburn-coloured Nappa leather seating surfaces found in the highest Signature grade. Helping complement the buttery material are rosewood accents, provided by Japanese guitar specialist Fujigen, and a single strip of aluminum running along the dashboard, evoking fine hand-made Japanese knives.
There are a lot of additional reasons to fall in love with the cabin besides the premium feel. The three rows accommodate up to seven adults, and gaining access to the back is as simple as operating a one-touch lever to move the middle chair. A lack of storage is sometimes an issue for family vehicles, but not here. Besides plentiful pockets and compartments scattered throughout, there are two extra bins hidden underneath the cargo floor.
Debuted in 2015, the TLX combines two outgoing cars: the upscale TL and the sporty RSX. Carrying over some of the luxuriousness of the former, the contemporary Acura four door can be outfitted with what the automaker calls Milano Leather – a perforated leather that’s soft yet durable. Customers can choose from a trio of colors ranging from light to dark such as Parchment, Espresso, and Ebony. Other high-end treatments include a soft-touch one-piece instrument panel upper cover and alloy and wood-grain trim.
The TLX was an early adopter of the company’s Jewel Eye LED headlamps. Visually striking and immediately noticeable, they are comprised of five low-profile LED “cubes” arranged horizontally that produce a whiter and brighter beam than HIDs and halogen bulbs, while using less energy and lasting longer. The focused light emitted also help drivers see colors more vividly and reduce eye fatigue at night time.
When it comes time to go big or go home, look to the flagship Jaguar XJ. From a quality standpoint, the flagship executive sedan is hard to beat, boasting semi-aniline leather (which only contains a thin layer of pigment on top allowing the hide’s natural markings to show through) and optional quilted seat centers. At this tier of the market, customization is key, and Jag offers a multitude of veneer choices to pair with, like Piano Black, Carbon Fibre, Gloss Burr Walnut, Gloss Rich Oak, and Gloss Figured Ebony.
The XJ has hardware to back up the comfort and class. There are two engine choices — a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 generating 340 horsepower and 332 lb-ft of torque, as well as a beefy supercharged 5.0-liter V8 putting down 470 horsepower and 424 lb-ft of torque, both mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission.