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Uncomfortable leather seats

Old 07-04-2017, 11:52 PM
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Uncomfortable leather seats

I am disappointed in the comfort of the leather seats in our 2017 GLC 300, leased earlier this month. I am wondering if anyone else in this forum has experienced the same problem. (I have read only one short thread about uncomfortable seats in the GLC)

I am comparing the current seats to the leather seats that we had in our leased 2014 GLK. The GLK leather seats were so comfortable, plenty of cushioning. Great for long rides.

In contrast, the seats in our GLC, even though also leather, are very stiff. I am not sure if it is due to poor quality leather or the lack of adequate cushioning. What is really uncomfortable is that I can feel at the outer edges of the outside seat bolsters on both sides a thin hard rim (made of metal or plastic) beneath the leather. I can feel the hard rims under my legs while riding.

Our car was assembled in Finland. They forgot to include some of the components in our Premium 2 package. I wondering if they also forgot to include all of the cushioning that they were supposed to install.
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Old 07-05-2017, 01:00 AM
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Originally Posted by BlueRidge View Post
I am disappointed in the comfort of the leather seats in our 2017 GLC 300, leased earlier this month. I am wondering if anyone else in this forum has experienced the same problem. (I have read only one short thread about uncomfortable seats in the GLC)

I am comparing the current seats to the leather seats that we had in our leased 2014 GLK. The GLK leather seats were so comfortable, plenty of cushioning. Great for long rides.

In contrast, the seats in our GLC, even though also leather, are very stiff. I am not sure if it is due to poor quality leather or the lack of adequate cushioning. What is really uncomfortable is that I can feel at the outer edges of the outside seat bolsters on both sides a thin hard rim (made of metal or plastic) beneath the leather. I can feel the hard rims under my legs while riding.

Our car was assembled in Finland. They forgot to include some of the components in our Premium 2 package. I wondering if they also forgot to include all of the cushioning that they were supposed to install.
I also have a Finnish GLC and while I do not feel any fun, the seats do seem to be very firm. They seem to have plenty of cushion, it's just firm material

I have the mbtex
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Old 07-05-2017, 10:59 AM
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I have a Bremen built GLC with leather. Seats are firm like every Mercedes I have owned. I find them comfortable. My wife likes them better than the seats on her previous GL.
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Old 07-05-2017, 04:54 PM
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Leather seats

Not trying to be stuck up or sound arrogant, the standard leather seats for most Mercedes nowadays are really "Fakeather" unless you have an S class or up. I was glad I ordered mine with Designo nappa leather. They are soft, smooth and comfortable to sit on.
Attached Thumbnails Uncomfortable leather seats-img_0762.jpg   Uncomfortable leather seats-img_0764.jpg  
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Old 07-05-2017, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by blueC230K
Not trying to be stuck up or sound arrogant, the standard leather seats for most Mercedes nowadays are really "Fakeather" unless you have an S class or up. I was glad I ordered mine with Designo nappa leather. They are soft, smooth and comfortable to sit on.
I beg to differ with you. Standard seats are MBtex/fake leather/vinyl/artico . On the GLC, you can order real leather as an option and if you want to spend more money you can buy designo.
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Old 07-05-2017, 05:29 PM
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Originally Posted by dieseldoc View Post
I beg to differ with you. Standard seats are MBtex/fake leather/vinyl/artico . On the GLC, you can order real leather as an option and if you want to spend more money you can buy designo.

Whatever flows your boat. I sat on the "real leather" and was quite disappointed on how hard the seats were. They felt rough like vinyl. The nappa leather on the other hand....
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Old 07-05-2017, 06:51 PM
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There are different types of leather. Nappa is obviously nicer. Two different issues in this thread, the texture of the surface and the cushioning/underpinnings of the seats themselves.
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Old 07-05-2017, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by blueC230K View Post
Whatever flows your boat. I sat on the "real leather" and was quite disappointed on how hard the seats were. They felt rough like vinyl. The nappa leather on the other hand....
I doesn't mean they are NOT leather.
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Old 07-05-2017, 09:08 PM
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Thank you all for the informative responses. The leather on my GLK 350 was much softer. I am not sure if MB switched to inferior standard leather now. I know the feel of leather for the GLK seats was much softer than for MBTex at the time.

Has anyone noticed a hard rim around the edges of the outside bolsters under the leather under the legs on both sides.

I did have a very comfortable 3 hour ride today. But that required sitting on a soft cushion and placing an old piece of 1/2 inch foam carpet padding between my back and the seat.
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Old 07-05-2017, 10:29 PM
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Having driven a couple thousand miles in our '17 GLC (P3, MB-Tex seats) over the past three weeks, I can say that it definitely has the most comfortable seats of any vehicle I've ever owned. At the end of a day of driving, I'd emerge without that fatigued feeling I've often felt after logging several hundred miles in other vehicles. The only time I've felt a hard rim under the padding is when exiting the vehicle.
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Old 07-06-2017, 04:47 AM
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I think you should probably think about having a seat made up for you like the seats racing car drivers use...
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Old 07-06-2017, 03:41 PM
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I think it might be worth it to go to a dealer and sit in another GLC and see if there's a difference. If it is a manufacturing defect, I think it's unlikely you'll sit in another one that also has it. If you still notice it in the dealer inventory, then it's probably just the way it is.

Unfortunately, I don't think any of us will be able to determine if there's something odd with your specific setup without actually sitting in it.
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Old 07-07-2017, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by dieseldoc View Post
I beg to differ with you. Standard seats are MBtex/fake leather/vinyl/artico . On the GLC, you can order real leather as an option and if you want to spend more money you can buy designo.
Absolutely! Just for clarification, standard seats are not "fake" leather, but MB-TEX that is about the highest quality of composite vinyl you can find. It wears like iron and has been in MB vehicles for decades. It is stiffer that leather, but the main thing that defines how a seat feels to your keester is the underlying seat construction.
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Old 07-07-2017, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Flubadub View Post
Absolutely! Just for clarification, standard seats are not "fake" leather, but MB-TEX that is about the highest quality of composite vinyl you can find. It wears like iron and has been in MB vehicles for decades. It is stiffer that leather, but the main thing that defines how a seat feels to your keester is the underlying seat construction.
Totally agree. We don't want to discourage anyone from considering M-B Tex. I've owned several Mercedes-Benz vehicles since the 1960s, some with leather some with M-B Tex. My first M-B Tex was a 1971 280S, which was disappointing. But, in the 1980s Mercedes perfected M-B Tex. My brother-in-law bought my 1982 240D after my owning it for 10 years and drove it for another 10 years after which the M-B Tex still looked exceptional. Since then, 5 out of my last 6 Benzes had M-B Tex. For the GLC, M-B Tex was a must for me not only because it wears so well but also because it looks and feels good.
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Old 07-07-2017, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by guido3
Totally agree. We don't want to discourage anyone from considering M-B Tex. I've owned several Mercedes-Benz vehicles since the 1960s, some with leather some with M-B Tex. My first M-B Tex was a 1971 280S, which was disappointing. But, in the 1980s Mercedes perfected M-B Tex. My brother-in-law bought my 1982 240D after my owning it for 10 years and drove it for another 10 years after which the M-B Tex still looked exceptional. Since then, 5 out of my last 6 Benzes had M-B Tex. For the GLC, M-B Tex was a must for me not only because it wears so well but also because it looks and feels good.
Please do not misconstrue my comment about MBTex. (Fake leather) My GLC has leather (wife wanted ventilated seats/interior package) but I have owned multiple Mercedes with MB Tex and so did my Dad. I love it. It holds up extremely well. My current C class has it. I cannot complain. I traded in an 8 year old GL with Macadamia interior for the GLC. The interior looked brand new.
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Old 07-08-2017, 12:18 AM
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guhvies - I cannot modify the seats because this is a lease car. Otherwise I would alter the seats.

shadownddust - Thanks for your helpful suggestion. Yesterday, I was in a city with an MB dealer and brought my car in for some advice. The salesperson I met felt that the seats were overly stiff for leather seats in a GLC. In fact, he thought that I had MB Tex seats, not leather seats (even though the stiching pattern is what is normal for leather seats.) He allowed me to sit in a new GLC 300 with MB-Tex and the seats in that car with MB Tex were much more comfortable and had much more padding compared to the leather seats in my GLC.

The sticker that came with my GLC indicated that I had leather seats. In contrast, the salesperson believed they put in MB Tex.

Is there a way for me to visually inspect the seats to determine whether I have leather or MB-Tex?
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Old 07-08-2017, 01:05 AM
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Originally Posted by BlueRidge View Post
guhvies - I cannot modify the seats because this is a lease car. Otherwise I would alter the seats.

shadownddust - Thanks for your helpful suggestion. Yesterday, I was in a city with an MB dealer and brought my car in for some advice. The salesperson I met felt that the seats were overly stiff for leather seats in a GLC. In fact, he thought that I had MB Tex seats, not leather seats (even though the stiching pattern is what is normal for leather seats.) He allowed me to sit in a new GLC 300 with MB-Tex and the seats in that car with MB Tex were much more comfortable and had much more padding compared to the leather seats in my GLC.

The sticker that came with my GLC indicated that I had leather seats. In contrast, the salesperson believed they put in MB Tex.

Is there a way for me to visually inspect the seats to determine whether I have leather or MB-Tex?
if you look at the dealer ordering guide posted elsewhere in this forum, the leather interior actually looks different from the mbtex - the leather has more slats than the MBTex. not sure if im describing it properly but look at the DOG and flip between the page that shows the leather seats and the one thatsshows the MBtex seats and you will see (I have only seen this in DOG noy in preson)
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Old 07-08-2017, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by BlueRidge View Post
guhvies - I cannot modify the seats because this is a lease car. Otherwise I would alter the seats.

shadownddust - Thanks for your helpful suggestion. Yesterday, I was in a city with an MB dealer and brought my car in for some advice. The salesperson I met felt that the seats were overly stiff for leather seats in a GLC. In fact, he thought that I had MB Tex seats, not leather seats (even though the stiching pattern is what is normal for leather seats.) He allowed me to sit in a new GLC 300 with MB-Tex and the seats in that car with MB Tex were much more comfortable and had much more padding compared to the leather seats in my GLC.

The sticker that came with my GLC indicated that I had leather seats. In contrast, the salesperson believed they put in MB Tex.

Is there a way for me to visually inspect the seats to determine whether I have leather or MB-Tex?
Does your car have mbtex stitched dash and memory for passenger seat? Post your vin and pictures and I can tell you if your car has leather or mbtex.

Last edited by dieseldoc; 07-08-2017 at 02:18 PM.
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Old 07-08-2017, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by BlueRidge View Post
Has anyone noticed a hard rim around the edges of the outside bolsters under the leather under the legs on both sides.
Interesting thread. I don't have my GLC yet....will hopefully take delivery next week. But the first one I sat in at the dealer had a noticeable, uncomfortable rim under the outer bolster that almost was a deal breaker. I liked so much about the car, I decided I could live with it. I found that by setting the steering wheel to move up out of the way (by engaging Easy Entrance/Exit), it made it easier to get in and out.

As far as the MB Tex (which I got, had leather for the last 23 years), I was impressed by the reported durability and comfort reported by so many owners that I decided to take a chance on it. It's so good that when Motor Trend (or a similar tester) went to sell the car they had purchased for testing, the appraiser wrote it up as having leather. The MT guy didn't tell him it did, but apparently didn't tell him it didn't either!

While I agree the leather stitching is different, if by some chance they grabbed MB Tex for some reason, you really wouldn't be able to tell the different by looking at a picture of it, would you? My wife's '17 BMW X3 has leather and it is one of the hardest leathers we've ever owned, but it was on the lot and she liked it.
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Old 07-08-2017, 07:52 PM
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I agree the mbtex seems pretty good. I have definitely seen cars with leather that is not as nice as the mbtex (as noted BMW leather seems very hard). And have seen cars with leather extremely soft and after a few years it's like the mbtex.
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Old 10-24-2017, 05:32 PM
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Hi all - second post - new owner and need your help!! I picked up my new GLC 11 days ago after getting out of my 2016 X3 lease 14 months early due to the extreme pain I was having from the seats. From day 1 I could never get comfortable and had massive left leg pain under my mid thigh on anything more than 30 minutes of driving as well as a very sore rear end from the rock hard seats. I always liked the GLC and heard it had very comfortable seats and a softer better ride. Drove it twice for 30 minutes each and was able to find comfort so I bought it. Now I am having terrible back pain and have spent hours each day trying to find the sweet spot and correct combination of positions. I have put about 700 miles on it already trying to figure this out! The good news is my butt is fine and left leg is a bit better although I feel pressure under my left thigh that feels like a cramp after I get out. But now I have pain in mid/upper back that I have never had before as well as lower back pain. Never had back issues with the X3. So I traded one set of pain for another. I am about to try and return this car and get the GLE. Maybe I just need a bigger car? Any thoughts? I am 6' and 215. I have a bit of OCD and have tried every conceivable position I can think of with the seats and the steering wheel and just can't seem to get it. Thanks for reading.
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Old 10-24-2017, 07:15 PM
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Sorry for the pain that you are experiencing. I am the person who started this thread.
After having to drive with a cushions on the seat to find comfort, I kept playing with the settings. I finally found a relatively comfortable position in which I no longer need cushions. I should note I still think that the leather is too stiff.

But here are some suggestions. 1) Keep adjusting the lumbar support (in both vertical and horizontal dimensions) until you find the right spot and pressure against your lower back. 2) If you have seat extenders, try using them. I found extending mine a few inches made a big difference. 3) In adjusting the bottom seat position, try twisting the seat adjuster (similar to turning a knob) instead of adjusting just one end of the adjuster. 4) The steering wheel position is very critical. I initially had it low, but after raising it, I found it much more comfortable to drive.

Hope this helps.
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Old 10-24-2017, 10:54 PM
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^ Thank you for the suggestions. I just got a wedge type cushion that I will try tomorrow but I will also try the seat extenders again as well as the lumbar tweaking. I am really hoping to not use the cushion as the whole reason I got the car was for the seat comfort. I think they are probably extremely comfortable for most people who don't have back issues to begin with. In my case, I got a new bed and a different car within a few weeks of each other and maybe my body is just having trouble adjusting to the changes. And it's only been 11 days. Any idea how long it could take for the seats to break in and your body to get used to them?
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Old 10-25-2017, 05:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Takehold View Post
^ Thank you for the suggestions. I just got a wedge type cushion that I will try tomorrow but I will also try the seat extenders again as well as the lumbar tweaking. I am really hoping to not use the cushion as the whole reason I got the car was for the seat comfort. I think they are probably extremely comfortable for most people who don't have back issues to begin with. In my case, I got a new bed and a different car within a few weeks of each other and maybe my body is just having trouble adjusting to the changes. And it's only been 11 days. Any idea how long it could take for the seats to break in and your body to get used to them?
Surely in your position you should insist on an extended test drive BEFORE you buy a car, the seats have as much adjustment as any car seats I have had, I wouldn't have thought that the seats will "break in".
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Old 10-25-2017, 06:10 PM
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Espresso MB-Tex here . Front seats seem fine to me. No complaints.

The back seats, however, I didn't care for them. Seems you sink in a hole. The cushion depth seems shallow -- maybe a couple/few inches of padding, then hard surface. Also that's with those cup holders -- total over engineering.
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