Press Release

Automotive Seat Manufacturers Find Sweet Spot with Synthetic Leather, J.D. Power Finds

Although overall seat satisfaction among owners of vehicles with synthetic leather seating may be marginally lower than those with genuine leather, the benefits of using synthetic materials to replicate real leather go beyond that of feel, according to the J.D. Power 2021 U.S. Seat Quality and Satisfaction Study,SM released today. The durability of synthetic leather is on par with genuine leather yet offers the added benefits of optimal cleanability while reducing costs for car manufacturers and consumers alike. 

“This year’s study shows that leather alternatives have evolved to a point where they can be used without sacrificing the consumer experience, and actually offer some unique benefits” said Brent Gruber, senior director of global automotive quality at J.D. Power. “With a heightened sense of awareness to surface cleanliness due to COVID-19, synthetic leather seats lend themselves well to cleanability, but it is ultimately about providing benefits which address notable industry challenges such as providing durability, soil resistance and, most importantly, cost-effectiveness. Our study shows that synthetic leather out-performs cloth seating in select areas while offering benefits similar to those of leather.”

Seat quality is measured by the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles (PP 100) during the first 90 days of ownership, with a lower score reflecting higher quality.

The 2021 U.S. Seat Quality and Satisfaction Study is based on responses from 110,827 purchasers and lessees of new 2021 model-year vehicles who were surveyed after 90 days of ownership. The study was fielded from February through July 2021.

For more information about the U.S. Seat Quality Satisfaction Study, visit

About J.D. Power
J.D. Power
 is a global leader in consumer insights, advisory services and data and analytics. A pioneer in the use of big data, artificial intelligence (AI) and algorithmic modeling capabilities to understand consumer behavior, J.D. Power has been delivering incisive industry intelligence on customer interactions with brands and products for more than 50 years. The world's leading businesses across major industries rely on J.D. Power to guide their customer-facing strategies.

J.D. Power has offices in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. To learn more about the company’s business offerings, visit The J.D. Power auto shopping tool can be found at

Media Relations Contacts
Geno Effler, J.D. Power; West Coast; 714-621-6224; [email protected]
Shane Smith; East Coast; 424-903-3665; [email protected]

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2021 U.S. Seat Quality and Satisfaction Study
2021 U.S. Seat Quality and Satisfaction Study
2021 U.S. Seat Quality and Satisfaction Study
Media Contacts