What Is Subaru StarTex Upholstery?

Subaru's alternative to traditional leather or vinyl upholstery lines up with the brand and its outdoorsy drivers.

Andy Stonehouse | 
Jul 5, 2023 | 2 min read

2024 Subaru Crosstrek Wilderness Startex upholsterySubaru

Before Subaru grew into a popular, nearly mainstream national brand, its vehicles were more closely associated with bikers in mountainous regions, skiers, kayakers, and hikers. These groups often carry along loads of wet and dirty gear and clothing, as well as their ever-present pets.

Subaru responded in kind with StarTex upholstery, a simple-to-clean and eco-friendly vinyl substitute that uses recycled materials to add a durable and water-repellent option for its owners. StarTex-branded upholstery is currently available in five rugged editions of Subaru SUVs and crossovers as well as the new Solterra EV.

What Is Subaru StarTex, and What Is It Made of?

As an alternative to leather and more traditional vinyl upholstery, Subaru's StarTex upholstery is made out of synthetic polyurethane. It's designed to be breathable and water repellent, allowing it to be exposed to water and dirt but easily washed with mild soap. It's also made without the more toxic chlorine and PVC materials found in other vinyl seating.

The backing of StarTex upholstery is also made with 25% recycled polyethylene terephthalate, the PET plastic in recyclable water bottles which may appeal to more of Subaru's traditional buyers.

The Benefits of StarTex Upholstery

StarTex materials are vegan and animal-product free, another positive for vehicle owners who are concerned about the production of leather.

The result is a hide-textured product that emulates leather. You'll find a honeycomb pattern on the outer edges of StarTex upholstery in vehicles such as the 2024 Outback Wilderness. StarTex upholstery can feel comfortable to the touch and more pleasant than the other upholstery alternatives. It's also likely to be cooler in summer and warmer in winter than leather.

In addition to helping drivers embrace a greener lifestyle, StarTex upholstery goes along with the hiking, biking, snowboarding, surfing, and kayaking its owners love. StarTex seating is more durable and water repellant than other materials, allowing it to accommodate freshly soaked drivers straight from the slopes or streams.

If you bring your dog along on your outdoor adventure, StarTex upholstery can make it simple to clean up muddy paw prints. The same goes for families with kids or otherwise clumsy passengers and the inevitable spills.

These Subaru Vehicles Feature StarTex Upholstery

Subaru StarTex upholstery was first offered in the 2020 Outback Onyx XT edition but is available for a wider variety of Subaru vehicles. It's now offered in the new 2024 Outback and 2023 Ascent Onyx editions, the 2024 Crosstrek Sport, the 2023 Forester and 2024 Outback Wilderness editions, as well as the 2023 Solterra EV in its Limited and Touring trims.

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