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Put my name down for an allocation for a SE, is it worth getting the power leather seats?
Part of me feels that if I’m forking that money over, I might as well start considering the Autobahn trim, which adds the adaptive suspension (and again, not sure the adaptive is a huge improvement over the stock suspension).
 

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LOVE my leather seats in my SE. The plaid are cool but the leather looks more sporty IMO and are easier to clean. Also the memory seat for when my wife drives is a win. I think the leather package also adds cooled seats which is something I didn't know I loved until now.
 

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22 GTI Autobahn Pomelo Yellow
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Put my name down for an allocation for a SE, is it worth getting the power leather seats?
Part of me feels that if I’m forking that money over, I might as well start considering the Autobahn trim, which adds the adaptive suspension (and again, not sure the adaptive is a huge improvement over the stock suspension).
I love the leather seats. The pattern looks great. They are really comfortable and grip you well. The added ventilation as well is nice in warm weather. The Memory is great touch as well. Yes they are a little pricy, but I really think they are worth the value
 

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2018 GTI SE 3 Pedals
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I had leather in my Mk7 GTI SE and plaid in my Mk7.5 SE. I greatly prefer the cloth seats. It's actually one of the things that keeps me hesitant about the Mk8R I have on order. I'd pay a premium for the blue cloth seats if they'd offer them here. I have a dog and a kid and live in a hot climate. Cloth is easier to clean, cooler and doesn't deform to car seats or scratch with dog claws.
 

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mk8 GTI 6MT, 997.1 6MT
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I like cloth seats but the lack of seatbottom tilt always bothered me in my 2015 GTI SE. In the 2022 when you pick leather, it brings with it seatbottom tilt along with the other power controls and I find it much more comfortable. Definitely sit in both if you can.
 

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Put my name down for an allocation for a SE, is it worth getting the power leather seats?
Part of me feels that if I’m forking that money over, I might as well start considering the Autobahn trim, which adds the adaptive suspension (and again, not sure the adaptive is a huge improvement over the stock suspension).
Plaid is CLASSIC. I wanted leather initially, but once I saw the plaid I was swayed.
 

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Generally, I'll always take leather over cloth just for the simple fact that they're easier to clean and keep clean, but plaid in a GTI is simply what should be in a GTI 😁
 

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I HATE ALL LEATHER seats.

I likely wouldn't buy a gti with leather, (I perspire too much and even with ventilated acura seats, was not good enuf to keep shirt dry even in cool weather). With cloth, even in hot weather, back stays dry.

I like the gti cloth seats, and the power tilt is enuf for me. How often do I move the seat up and down, or forward and back is not very often.

If u want the VW leather seats, go for it. It's your car, doesn't really matter what others think. :)
 

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2022 Mk8 Golf GTI S 6MT - Atlantic Blue
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Put my name down for an allocation for a SE, is it worth getting the power leather seats?
Part of me feels that if I’m forking that money over, I might as well start considering the Autobahn trim, which adds the adaptive suspension (and again, not sure the adaptive is a huge improvement over the stock suspension).
I was in a sort of different conundrum than you. The only reason I wanted to get the Autobahn was because of the DCC/adaptive dampers. I wanted the leather seats only for the additional adjustability. Not sure it's worth the extra $1500 if it's not that important. The standard seats are very adjustable and also very comfortable, although I wish they were a little more aggressively bolstered for my modest frame (5'8"/155lbs)

My personal take is that the DCC is awesome, but not worth the $8-9 uptick over the S because a 10% improvement in the experience is not worth 30% more cost to me. The standard S/SE suspension is fine, but not special--I would have loved the toggle for more aggressive suspension settings, but again, not worth the huge upcost, to me.
 

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Put my name down for an allocation for a SE, is it worth getting the power leather seats?
Part of me feels that if I’m forking that money over, I might as well start considering the Autobahn trim, which adds the adaptive suspension (and again, not sure the adaptive is a huge improvement over the stock suspension).
I've had a Mk6 and Mk7 GTI, and I thought the cloth seats were great, comfortable and supportive, and it was only me driving them so power control didn't matter to me. I recently bought a GLI - don't know how similar the seats are but I can't imagine they're too different - and because I got an Autobahn it came with the power leather seats, even though I wasn't really looking for them. They are comfortable, the leather is not exactly luxurious, kinda stiff, but it's not a luxury car.

The one thing I really do like is that the leather seats are ventilated, which comes in handy on warm days. (Both leather and cloth seats are heated.) The one thing I don't like seems to be endemic to VW power seats - had this same problem on my old B5 Passat - the seat will not stay all the way down! I like the seat all the way down, and every time I get in the car, the seat has move upward on its own, a little bit, and needs to be moved back down to the bottom position. I have no idea why,

HTH.
 

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2018 GTI SE 3 Pedals
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The one thing I really do like is that the leather seats are ventilated, which comes in handy on warm days. (Both leather and cloth seats are heated.) The one thing I don't like seems to be endemic to VW power seats - had this same problem on my old B5 Passat - the seat will not stay all the way down! I like the seat all the way down, and every time I get in the car, the seat has move upward on its own, a little bit, and needs to be moved back down to the bottom position. I have no idea why,

HTH.
Weird, our Q5 did that too, I never realized it was endemic to VW/Audi. I've only had the power seat back on my two Mk7's, now I'm worried about my incoming Mk8 R. I always leave my seats in their lowest setting.
 

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Put my name down for an allocation for a SE, is it worth getting the power leather seats?
Part of me feels that if I’m forking that money over, I might as well start considering the Autobahn trim, which adds the adaptive suspension (and again, not sure the adaptive is a huge improvement over the stock suspension).
Cloth seats are much more comfortable in both the Winter and Summer and the best choice. They also keep you in place better during sporty driving. VWs vtex fabric (vinyl) is superior to leather in comfort and they don't age. When we did the buyback on our Jetta Sportwagen with 140k miles the vtex interior was still like new. So vtex is the second best choice, but not an option with GTIs. Leather dries out and cracks and if it isn't black gets stained. By ten years the leather interior has deteriorated significantly making it the worst interior fabric choice.
 

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I have the leather seats in my car but I really wish I had the plaid. They look cool, and with Seattle's heatwave, it would be nice to stay cool too 😬

The ventilation feature just isn't as strong as it is in some other cars, even with the climate controls set to LO
 
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