Behind the Scenes at Katzkin Automotive Leather

By Janis Hirsch

Before, After and Everything In Between

I often drive with my two dogs. I used to lug around my mother’s walker. I still lug around various iterations of shopping carts I take to the farmer’s market. So here’s what my 2010 Prius interior looked like:

The leather was cracking and in several places it was ripped. The padding was shot. It was so badly discolored that the Car Wash Guys, who’ll say anything to get you spent money flat-out refused to detail the interior.

I was seriously contemplating trading in my car. Oh, it ran like a dream. The mileage was great. But when you’d rather put your purse on the muddy floor of your car because your seat is too gross, you’re in trouble.

And that’s when I discovered Katzkin Automotive Leather. Quite frankly, I never knew a new interior was an option. Until I went to, I thought new seat covers were those creepy sheepskin things or those giant t-shirt slipcovers.

First, I logged on to their website,

I typed in my make and model.

Bingo! I was shown several options: Factory Design, Katzkin Design or I had the option of coming up with my own design from dozens of dreamy leathers and piping. Seriously, their palette is extensive and luxe: when Katzkin designs purses, put me down for 3.

In addition to their top quality Premium leather, you can select from Tuscany by Katzkin, the finest, softest most luxurious leather available for automotive use; Suedekin by Katzkin, a durable synthetic suede that’s available in 14 colors; Barracuda Square Perforated Duo-Tone leather that’ll add a sporty look AND is available in 8 view-thru colors; Auto Exotics by Katzkin where you can chose from ostrich or alligator embossed on genuine cow hide or create a more contemporary look with any of 8 Carbon Fiber synthetics; or their Outlaw Tooled Leather for the city slicker in us all.

After that, you type in your zip code and Katzkin will find you the closest certified installer. Then you make an appointment, drop off your car in the morning and pick it up within 24 hours.

Your work is done. Katzkin’s is just beginning.

As promised, 24 hours later I was reunited with what they swear is my five year-old car. This can’t possibly be my car.

How could I keep something this gorgeous clean? Were there special and expensive leather cleaners I needed to buy?

Nope. The seats clean with a soft cloth and mild soap and water.

Oh and did I mention they come with a 3 year/36,000 warranty?

So if you want to replace your interior or if you’re buying a new or used car and would rather not pay for the Leather package, go to or Katzkin at CarMax; Katzkin is CarMax’s exclusive supplier of leather interiors.

Express. Transform. Drive. (Katzkin’s motto)

I did. And I’ve never looked back, expect to parallel park.

photos courtesy of Larry Shulman

Share This:

Leave a Comment