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Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Sedan, Wagon
#1524 of 2215 Re: leather...or not [abacomike]
Jan 18, 2012 (9:05 am)
I don't think the specification of US cars is limited by the desires of the Asian cab driver. The reason Mercedes does not include leather as a standard feature in the US is "decontenting" and the desire to meet a price point. Leather was standard on my 2000 E320. They started charging extra for it two or three years later.
Do most of those cabs in Europe and Asia diesel or four cylinder gas engines along with thier MB Tex? If they can put the new engine in US cars they could put leather in US cars.
#1525 of 2215 Re: leather...or not [kevinc5]
Jan 18, 2012 (9:36 am)
I had a 1987 300E, a 1991 300E and a 1993 300E, all of which had MBTex standard with leather optional at additional cost. My 1987 420 SEL had standard leather. The S Class cars came standard with leather while my E Class vehicles always came standard with MBTex. It is quite possible your E came standard with leather, but none of mine ever did.
As for the American market, one would think they would come with leather over European models without much difficulty. If US cars all came standard with leather, the per vehicle cost factor for that feature, one would logically think, would be a lot less than $1670.
The rationale of "...keeping the per vehicle cost more competitive in price" just doesn't sound logical or realistic. The pricing on E Class sedan has gone up about $1000 each year since 2010. If leather was made standard, the per vehicle cost would be about $1000 or less. Don't you think most E Class buyers would be willing to pay $1000 more for their cars? Do you think $1000 more in price would dissuade prospective buyers from purchasing an E Class sedan? Doubtful! So there obviously is another reason!
Jan 18, 2012 (1:40 pm)
A movie by Albert Brooks, circa 1985
He is on the phone with his Mercedes salesman, finalizing the option list, and starts asking him about MB-Tex.. "What is that? It's not leather? $40,000, and I don't get leather? It's better than leather? What's wrong with leather?"
It's hilarious.... and, 27 years old... to give you an idea of how long Mercedes has been putting vinyl in their high-end cars...
#1527 of 2215 Re: "Lost in America" [kyfdx]
Jan 18, 2012 (2:23 pm)
Stupendous post! I just posted in the luxury forum that they should make sunroofs optional and leather standard. How about that? Although the MB Tex happens to look, feel and wear as well, is not better than their leather - which I had to get because I wanted ventilated seats. What can I say?
Jan 20, 2012 (2:52 pm)
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#1529 of 2215 Re: "Lost in America" [abacomike]
Jan 21, 2012 (7:06 pm)
I've had both leather and MB Tex in my E's and I have to say I was surprised at how the leather wore in just two years. The MB Tex stays new looking BUT!!!! How I miss that wonderful leather smell....
#1530 of 2215 Re: "Lost in America" [bevbran]
Jan 22, 2012 (8:28 am)
My wife insisted on MB Tex in our recent Benz purchase. I wanted leather but it was her car so went with MB Tex. I'm pleasantly surprised at how not bad it is. It is not a leather smell but not a Japanese car chemical smell either. Again not bad. And most importantly after owning the car a couple months the MB Tex has softened up and is almost identical to leather in feeling. My wife wanted to be able to '409' it and there you have it.
#1531 of 2215 Re: "Lost in America" [wireless]
Jan 22, 2012 (9:03 am)
This new 2012 E350 is the first one i've had out of at least 10 I've owned over the past 30 years that has leather because I HAD TO ORDER THE CAR WITH LEATHER because I ordered ventilated seats. I actually PREFER the MBtex over leather for all the reasons you all mentioned AND the leather "aroma" is no longer noticeable after the 3 months since I took delivery. Also, remember, leather is on seating surfaces only! It is not on the door panels, armrests or anywhere else. That 1690 bucks sure doesn't get you much in the way of leather, that's for sure!
MBtex happens to wear better and cleans up much better. But...let's face it - when you spend $57,000+++ for a car, leather should be a standard feature. That is all we are trying to communicate.
Amen to MBtex!!!
#1532 of 2215 Re: Leather
Jan 23, 2012 (1:39 pm)
All things being equal, I would just prefer all leather for my car at this price point. I could see the C-series and the BMW 3-series with vinyl standard and leather as an option (I'm not disparaging either car, just referring to the fact that they are more entry level cars and a couple of thousand dollars for leather may be a consideration for a prospective buyer), but agree with Mike and Albert Brooks that it should be standard. I'll let you know in a few years how my experience with MbTex compares with Mike's.
#1533 of 2215 Re: Leather [lawcar]
Jan 23, 2012 (1:58 pm)
David, honestly, I cannot tell the difference between leather and MBtex. I've had both now that this one has it. Quite frankly, I prefer the MBtex because it cleans up better, wears better, and feels and looks just like optional leather. Sure, it has a little leather aroma, but having the leather seating surfaces covered in leather and nothing else, it is not worth the $1600+ additional. Not even the seat backs have leather nor do the side armrests, center console armrests, nor anything else.
But certainly, leather should be standard in a luxury sedan that MSRP's for $64,000 like mine did!
I know you will enjoy the MBtex. I sure did!