In this article, we find out what MB-TEX is and answer the following questions: which Mercedes Benz models have MB Tex seats? What are the advantages of MB tex over conventional leather? What are the known issues in MB tex seats?
What are the advantages of MB-Tex over actual leather?
Mb Tex is made from Vinyl and apart from being more durable than leather, the following are a few more advantages:
- Environment friendly
The advantages are explained in detail below:
MB-Tex seats don’t require any maintenance, they will continue to look shiny and new for more than 6 years. MB- Tex also wears better than actual leather that cracks over time and becomes more susceptible to cuts. Actual leather seats need special conditioning otherwise they can look really old and dry in just 12 months after purchasing the car.
Mb-Tex is so much easier to clean than actual leather. A simple wet cloth with mild detergent can remove any stains or spills on the seats. It offers more resistance to stains when compared to actual leather. Cleaning leather seats is a more complex task and if there are ink stains then it is almost impossible to remove them.
- Environment friendly
As MB-tex is manufactured from Vinyl, it is more friendly to the environment. The manufacturing process has also come a long way since its first use in 1950. Mercedes Benz also uses recycled raw materials when making MB-Tex seats. The manufacturing of actual leather seats is not environmentally friendly as they are made from actual cowhide. Few automakers even use bull hide as it is more durable than cowhide. The manufacturing and dyeing process of actual leather is also more harmful to the environment.
What is Mercedes Benz Tex?
Mercedes Benz has been using Mb-Tex since the 1960s, it is a special material designed by Mercedes Benz for the upholstery of seats. The look and feel of MB-Tex are like actual leather but unlike the actual leather or leatherette, it can last very long without any special car.
The interior seat material must be durable and should not show signs of abuse like cracks, discolouration or holes. Therefore Mercedes Benz designed Mb Tex and the main material used in the MB tex upholstery is Vinyl.
Mb tex seats are cheaper to manufacture and offer the same levels of looks and comfort as leather seats which are generally made from cowhide. Any average person won’t even be able to tell the difference between an MB-Tex seat and actual leather seats.
The only way to identify is by smell, actual leather seats give a more premium feel due to the smell and comfort during hot summer days. MB-Tex can get uncomfortable in summer as vinyl is plastic and it does not offer good breathability.
Mercedes Benz cars have ventilated seats so it is not a big issue. MB-tex however has limited colour options in the standard trim and the designo packages which offer more colours are all in leatherette seats. The designo packages are part of special order and it is also known as the Designo Manufaktur program.
It allows the customer to select different exterior paint for the vehicle from the designo catalogue. Customers can also customise the interior colour and select the material and colour of the seats. Mercedes Benz even offers customers opting for special orders to select the colour and type of stitching on the upholstery.
Customers can choose from exclusive Nappa leather, dual-tone leather and special designo Nappa leather from the designo catalogue available at authorised dealerships.
Most Mercedes Benz customers use their car for commuting and the interior seat material must be comfortable for long hours of driving. MB Tex has the same levels of comfort as actual leather seats but at a lower price. It also makes Mercedes Benz more sustainable as manufacturing MB-tex is environmentally friendly.
Many customers are cautious about the environment and don’t want animal leather seats. Mercedes also makes Artico seats, Artico is also man-made leather-like MB-Tex but it has more colour options. Artico is even used on door pads and the dashboard in a few models like the Mercedes Benz C, EQC and E class.
Which models have MB Tex seats?
Mercedes Benz uses the Mb Tex in seat upholstery in all models from A class up to S class. It is only present in the standard trim and customers can choose to upgrade to leatherette seats at the time of purchasing the car.
More than 50 per cent of Mercedes Benz customers opt for the Mb-Tex seats as the quality is really good and the cost for the leatherette seats can add a couple of thousand USD to the overall cost of the vehicle. The delivery period is also longer for vehicles with actual leather seats and it varies in different international markets.
Therefore, actual leather seats are only found in top-end trims of S class, GLS and Maybach models which are special versions focused on luxury. In AMG and AMG line models the seats are mostly covered in a combination of MB Tex and Alcantara or Dinamica.
Dinamica is similar to microfibre and adds an exotic look to the interior of the car. It feels more like suede and the combination with MB-Tex looks more premium and sporty. Alcantara is available in only the performance seats in the AMG and AMG line models.
What are the common problems in the MB Tex?
Mercedes Benz MB Tex is easy to clean and very durable but many customers have reported a few problems:
The discolouration was observed in the seats of the C and GLC models. This issue was more common in cold countries. Mercedes Benz rectified the issue and added a layer under the MB tex that makes it more resistant to cold climates. Most of the cars got replacement of seat cover under standard Mercedes Benz warranty.
- Wear marks and cuts
Wear marks and cuts were observed in the driver seat cushion and cushion cover in C, GLC as well as E classes. The cause for the marks and cuts was a soft cushion in the seat which caused excessive wear on the seat cushion and plastic seat frame. Mercedes Benz updated the seat cushion design and replaced the parts under warranty in affected models.
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Despite a few issues, MB-Tex is still a better option than the actual leather seats. Its ability to resist stains and no maintenance makes it a great choice for interior seats and door trims. Mercedes Benz is continuously improving the manufacturing technology and the Mb- tex will be available in more colour options in the latest models like the recently launched EQE and fifth generation of the C class.