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Talk to me about MB-Tex

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Talk to me about MB-Tex

 
Old 11-25-2011, 08:19 PM
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Talk to me about MB-Tex

A bit of background. I spent many years in Europe where all "good" cars either came with some sort of premium cloth or leather. The only cars that came with vinyl (leatherette, naugahyde, plastic, man made leather etc) were really cheap cars (Trabant) or taxis (that's the MB connection - the Germans call the material MB Taxi.)

While I can logically tell myself that MB-tex has advantages, deep down inside it still bothers me.

Accordingly, since y'all say that it wears better, please answer a few questions

  • How do things like bolsters wear?
  • What do you use for cleaning MB-tex?
  • When leather starts to get "shiny," a good cleaning with a product like Leatherique or LeatherMasters will restore the surface to the dull luster of a new seat. Does MB-tex get shiny with age? If so, how does one "unshine" it?
  • Does MB-tex discolor from jeans and the like?

Thanks
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Old 11-25-2011, 10:01 PM
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Old 11-25-2011, 10:04 PM
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I think it's because people have heard this argument a thousand times here.

1: Perfectly. Unlike Leather cars which usually will look 10 years old after bolster wear shows up prematurely.

2: Damp cloth.

3: I haven't seen M-B Tex really wear at all, and I don't think that oily/shiny look applies like it does Leather.

4: Not sure, but I think it has more to do with how light the color of the seats are rather than the materials. Even so, I'd put my bet on M-B Tex being much easier to get any possible color off, over Leather.

M-B Tex is the only vinyl that I would really consider, as it's so vastly superior to other vinyle that scream "cheap" (i.e BMW). I've never had one person, even those who drive very expensive cars, get into any of my M-B Tex cars and assume that it wasn't "leather", nor assume that the seats were of any cheap material.

As a material, M-B Tex is more impressive than Leather, due to its increased functionality and strength/durability. A 10 year old car with leather will usually look worn and old, if not maintained well, while an M-B Tex car will go 20+ years and look the way it did when new, with only care being wiping it down with nothing more than water as a lubrication.

Those are the benefits to M-B Tex. Obviously, Leather has its own benefits as well. I actually prefer M-B Tex over the E's crude/cheap-ish Leather Option (especially factoring in price savings), but Nappa (which wears terribly) and the like are a much much more enticing Leather options, and instantly give you that noticeable richness.

Last edited by K-A; 11-25-2011 at 10:06 PM.
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Old 11-25-2011, 10:21 PM
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Originally Posted by K-A View Post
I think it's because people have heard this argument a thousand times here.

1: Perfectly. Unlike Leather cars which usually will look 10 years old after bolster wear shows up prematurely.

2: Damp cloth.

3: I haven't seen M-B Tex really wear at all, and I don't think that oily/shiny look applies like it does Leather.

4: Not sure, but I think it has more to do with how light the color of the seats are rather than the materials. Even so, I'd put my bet on M-B Tex being much easier to get any possible color off, over Leather.

M-B Tex is the only vinyl that I would really consider, as it's so vastly superior to other vinyle that scream "cheap" (i.e BMW). I've never had one person, even those who drive very expensive cars, get into any of my M-B Tex cars and assume that it wasn't "leather", nor assume that the seats were of any cheap material.

As a material, M-B Tex is more impressive than Leather, due to its increased functionality and strength/durability. A 10 year old car with leather will usually look worn and old, if not maintained well, while an M-B Tex car will go 20+ years and look the way it did when new, with only care being wiping it down with nothing more than water as a lubrication.

Those are the benefits to M-B Tex. Obviously, Leather has its own benefits as well. I actually prefer M-B Tex over the E's crude/cheap-ish Leather Option (especially factoring in price savings), but Nappa (which wears terribly) and the like are a much much more enticing Leather options, and instantly give you that noticeable richness.
So the seats continue to look matte even as the miles pile up? That's certainly an advantage.

If I can get over the MB taxi connotation then my next car may well be a clone of yours, just a year newer.
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Old 11-25-2011, 11:12 PM
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Nice, it's a great look. You'll get the power advantage with a year newer car as well. I don't think that the material would start to look glossy at all. Unless of course someone wouldn't clean off oily substances, etc. off of it. I've seen some olllld M-B Tex seats that look brand new.

I've never ridden in an E Taxi and just been to Europe once (recently), so the Taxi connotation fortunately doesn't exist in my mind.
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Old 11-25-2011, 11:16 PM
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Originally Posted by CEB View Post
While I can logically tell myself that MB-tex has advantages, deep down inside it still bothers me.


Thanks
Not trying to be a smarta$$ but I think that's your answer right there. It's not likely to bother you any less over time so in your position I would buy leather. Why set yourself and your car up for failure? Get what you really want or it will ruin the experience for you.
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Old 11-25-2011, 11:21 PM
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Porsche Macan S SportDesign / Ex M-B's: 11 & 10 & 06 E350's, 02 S500
I do agree with that. If it bugs you, then why do it. You'll probably have yourself constantly trying to convince yourself as to why you like it as much as/more than Leather. I genuinely am fine/happy/content/indifferent toward M-B Tex VS the E's particular Leather option, so it's an easy decision for me. If a Leather car popped up and was a good buy, I'd be fine and dandy with that as well. I don't see one as superior to the other (it's a tradeoff, each having their own perks), is basically what I'm saying.
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Old 11-26-2011, 12:06 AM
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I'm getting my head wrapped around the advantages of M-tex. I've not been too impressed with MB leather as all my old cars required lots of work to bring them back to looking good - a problem I didn't have with older Cadillacs and the like.
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Old 11-26-2011, 01:04 AM
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MB tex > leather. We had 'tex on an 05 C and leather in an 02 E. The leather really started to look like crap, especially the discolored spots we somehow got. The MB tex looked good a the day I bought it when it was 5 years old.

I think the biggest drawback to MB tex (on my C anyway so I'm not sure if it applies to you guys) is that you don't get that nice double stitching around the seats and doors - a detail that I especially like. Also the door handles on my 12 C are made of a cheap 'soft-plastic' material with no seams. I just wish it had the stitching in it - MB tex would be preferable to leather.
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Old 11-26-2011, 05:51 AM
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Porsche Macan S SportDesign / Ex M-B's: 11 & 10 & 06 E350's, 02 S500
The M-B Tex in the E-Class has the same stitching as the Leather! (different patterns on the seats, but both have stitching, and identical door vinyl stitching, etc).
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Old 11-26-2011, 09:38 AM
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I DID NOT WANT MB-TEX!!!

I did not want MB-Tex and would have gladly paid the slight premium for leather had it been available on the lot, any lot, within a reasonable distance or available through a dealer transfer within my needed timeframe. The only leather equipped cars I found, at time of purchase, were on P1 cars and in color combinations I didn't want. I wanted to buy the car that weekend and did not wish to wait for an order. I wouldn't compromise on P2 or exterior color. There were several P2 cars available that met the criteria, but none with leather. I settled for MB-Tex.

For cleaning, very little effort is needed. A damp cloth is all that is needed and that is the method recommended in the manual. I use 100% cotton terrycloth and a small bottle of spring water. Tap water works equally well.

To clean heavily soiled MB-Tex, the manual suggests a very small amount of dish detergent diluted in water. A drop of liquid Joy diluted in an 8 ounce bottle of water works great and lasts a very long time. Just follow up with another cloth with plain water to remove any detergent residue. Occasional cleaning in this manner will keep the MB-Tex looking great and maintains the matte finish as well.

The manual advises against microfiber cloths on the MB-Tex. Vigorous use of microfiber will eventually impart the shiny surface you wish to avoid.

I settled for MB-Tex, but a year later, I'm not unhappy at all. My driver's seat looks just as good as my passenger and back seat (never had passengers in the back seat). My other cars have leather or premium leather upgrades, but the ease of care of the MB-Tex is hard to beat.

Last edited by golfster; 11-26-2011 at 09:41 AM.
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Old 11-26-2011, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by golfster View Post
I DID NOT WANT MB-TEX!!!

I did not want MB-Tex and would have gladly paid the slight premium for leather had it been available on the lot, any lot, within a reasonable distance or available through a dealer transfer within my needed timeframe. The only leather equipped cars I found, at time of purchase, were on P1 cars and in color combinations I didn't want. I wanted to buy the car that weekend and did not wish to wait for an order. I wouldn't compromise on P2 or exterior color. There were several P2 cars available that met the criteria, but none with leather. I settled for MB-Tex.

For cleaning, very little effort is needed. A damp cloth is all that is needed and that is the method recommended in the manual. I use 100% cotton terrycloth and a small bottle of spring water. Tap water works equally well.

To clean heavily soiled MB-Tex, the manual suggests a very small amount of dish detergent diluted in water. A drop of liquid Joy diluted in an 8 ounce bottle of water works great and lasts a very long time. Just follow up with another cloth with plain water to remove any detergent residue. Occasional cleaning in this manner will keep the MB-Tex looking great and maintains the matte finish as well.

The manual advises against microfiber cloths on the MB-Tex. Vigorous use of microfiber will eventually impart the shiny surface you wish to avoid.

I settled for MB-Tex, but a year later, I'm not unhappy at all. My driver's seat looks just as good as my passenger and back seat (never had passengers in the back seat). My other cars have leather or premium leather upgrades, but the ease of care of the MB-Tex is hard to beat.
Thanks. Hopefully I'll be posting the same thing a year from now.
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Old 11-26-2011, 09:49 AM
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Agree with all of the MB-Tex supporters. The only leather I'd have chosen would be nappa, or a dyed straight through. MB leather is coated leather, much like BMW's Dakota, or any of the leathers coming from Japan or Korea. Nappa, as nice as it is, requires care and feeding in the form of leatherique products. These products are fantastic, but very time consuming to do coverage of an E class vehicle. MB-Tex rocks ... I use 1z einszett cockpit premium on a cotton towel, works perfectly and doesn't leave anything but a natural scent.
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Old 11-26-2011, 12:13 PM
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From my experience, in riding in German taxis, the vinyl seats in those MB's use a much harder material than they put in our cars. If you look carefully at a US spec MB Tex car I believe you will see the significance in the materials.

For me, since we no longer get the high quality MB Tex that was used in the W124's, I always order leather. The other reason for leather is that leather seats are much more comfortable in the Arizona heat.
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Old 11-26-2011, 12:34 PM
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I will talk to you about MB-Tex. Just dial 1-900-MB--Tex. $3.99 for the first minute, $1.99 for each additional minute.
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Old 11-26-2011, 12:53 PM
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Had a 2010 E with grey ARTICO.

Replaced with a 2012 E with grey leather.

I expect that the ARTICO will wear better, but it is so abrasive that it scrubbed the blue off of my jeans and looked like crap all the time. You could clean it off, but days later it was back. This is obviously due to the light color; black ARTICO wouldn't have this issue. My only real complaint about ARTICO is the smell. It is nauseating (to me). While the geniune leather in the E doesn't have a strong leather smell, at least it doesn't have the cheap plastic overtones.

I don't keep cars for more than 4 years so leather is the way to go for me. I actually like the "worn" look that leather gets (as long as the bolsters don't get cracked/ruined). I also added the multicontour/dynamic-drive and climate comfort options to the new car (only available with real leather).
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Old 11-26-2011, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by ImInPA View Post
I will talk to you about MB-Tex. Just dial 1-900-MB--Tex. $3.99 for the first minute, $1.99 for each additional minute.
I just tried calling but was disconnected after Peggy heard what I was wearing. I'm not sure why he would be offended by Lederhosen and tassels.

Are you Peggy?
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Old 11-26-2011, 01:39 PM
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If MBTEX is so great, why doesn't it come on the more expensive E550 and S classes and CLS and CL? It only comes standard on C and E class cars. I paid more for leather and couldn't be happier. Don't like sitting on plastic. Do any of you have plastic seats in your offices? Nope, leather.
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Old 11-26-2011, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by MCF View Post
If MBTEX is so great, why doesn't it come on the more expensive E550 and S classes and CLS and CL? It only comes standard on C and E class cars. I paid more for leather and couldn't be happier. Don't like sitting on plastic. Do any of you have plastic seats in your offices? Nope, leather.
Seats in your office aren't subject to UV, and wide temp changes.

Leather is on the more expensive models because folks who spend the money for them most likely have someone take care of the car for them and like many Americans who won't spend $50k or a 4-banger, $100k better come with leather ... FWIW, S class in Italy I've rented, had MB-Tex.

After years of maintaining and keeping automotive leather looking new, it's a relief to not have to worry about it.
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Old 11-26-2011, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by MCF View Post
If MBTEX is so great, why doesn't it come on the more expensive E550 and S classes and CLS and CL? It only comes standard on C and E class cars. I paid more for leather and couldn't be happier. Don't like sitting on plastic. Do any of you have plastic seats in your offices? Nope, leather.
Actually MBTex type materials are becoming more and more popular on office chairs and (on a good chair) you wouldn't even know it.

I think the reason those higher end models come with leather is mostly due to 'status'. The buyer doesn't understand or want to have this whole MBTex vs leather thing explained - they just want what is more expensive and associated with higher quality. On the other hand, if you have that kind of money and dont plan on keeping the car for very long I suppose leather might be better initially - certainly adds to the new car smell.
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Old 11-26-2011, 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by MCF View Post
If MBTEX is so great, why doesn't it come on the more expensive E550 and S classes and CLS and CL? It only comes standard on C and E class cars. I paid more for leather and couldn't be happier. Don't like sitting on plastic. Do any of you have plastic seats in your offices? Nope, leather.
Actually M-B Tex (even cloth, in some cases) does come on all those cars, just not in the U.S.

And I actually have some super nice vinyl/faux Leather jackets that could fool anybody, in fact, I actually think the material is richer than lots of real Leather jackets.

If I can get away with not having skinned cow hide on or around me, without sacrificing too much in the quality department, then I'll always pick that.
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Old 11-26-2011, 10:09 PM
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I agree that between MBTEX and the stock optional leather, there is not a HUGE difference, but having a MB with plastic seats just seems 'wrong', but that is just me.
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Old 11-27-2011, 12:57 AM
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CEB, Peggy will transfer you now. transfer, transfer, transfer. The MB-Tex is great. don't sweat it. Get the leather if you prefer it. Not an expensive option if it will make you sleep better.
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Old 11-27-2011, 07:54 AM
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leather!! not an option.......
I'll take those cloth seats mr.dealer!!
LOL......

just my worthless......
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Old 11-27-2011, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by MCF View Post
I agree that between MBTEX and the stock optional leather, there is not a HUGE difference, but having a MB with plastic seats just seems 'wrong', but that is just me.
That was Lisa's reasoning as well. On the other hand, friends of ours have a GL with MB-Tex for kids, dogs and other assorted critter hauling duties. Right tool for the job.
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