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2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250 Long-Term Road Test Posts: 10,059
edited September 2014 in Mercedes-Benz

image2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250 Long-Term Road Test

Most Mercedes, including the 2014 CLA250, come standard with a vinyl upholstery called MBTex. You shouldn't feel cheated, though, as it's better than leather in many ways.

Read the full story here


  • mercedesfanmercedesfan Posts: 365
    The fact that MB Tex wears so much better than leather has always been the big bonus in my eyes. My wife and eye were in total agreement that her E350 wagon had to have MB Tex because small children and real leather rarely mix.
  • bc1960bc1960 Pittsburgh, PAPosts: 171
    Until about 10 years years ago, you could still buy luxury cars with nice fabric upholstery. Why can't we have that? The requirement for leather or more recently, something that vaguely looks like it seems to have become a US-market thing, and like other luxury trends, has unfortunately trickled downmarket as well. In some other parts of the world you can still get some of these cars with attractive and durable fabrics.

    The problem I have with MBTex in particular is that while it may satisfy the eyeball, it doesn't feel that great, although it may beat the stuff BMW uses. And Mercedes is going to use MBTex, then the cars should be priced lower than they are. The A3 has leather, HID headlamps, and a moonroof; the CLA has more horsepower and more gears, and what else to make up for those lacks at the same price.
  • kirkhilles_kirkhilles_ Posts: 151
    Interesting. The problem, for the rest of us non-luxury-car-buyers is that the non-Leather materials seem to be of poor quality. Our our 13 Pilot, we went with Leather and I'm glad we did. The cloth seemed cheap and poor quality. I read reviews where people had problems cleaning up even WATER. I've love to have a high tech material that's superior to leather in every way.
  • i can see not wanting to pay extra for leather however i believe that you have to look at the extra price for the leather compared to a similar car equipped with leather and see what the difference is to get the whole story. Secondly the GLK although expensive is not really in the meat of the "luxury" segment despite it's badge. (chevy tahoe is more expensive for example) So although her reasoning for why the GLK is not a true luxury car her conclusion is correct. (although you can load on the extras and make it a luxury car)

    Personally i'm not all that crazy about leather other than it is easyer to keep clean than cloth and also it smells much better after years/miles piles on. However i am of the enthusiest veriety who apretiates minimalist tech/luxury features and just want to be comfertable while driving with an auxiliary audio input and a good driving car chassis.
  • vvkvvk Posts: 193
    Oh, how I hate leather seats in cars. The nauseating smell, the sickening feel, the slippery sliding around, the heating and cooling needed to stay remotely comfortable, the fragility, the cracking, the horrible look after just a few years, the constant need for maintenance. When I look at beautiful cloth seats in euro market BMWs and Mercedes' on and compare them to ugly cracked and ripped seats in american market models, it makes me so angry.
  • rxsfrxsf Posts: 3
    I have MB Tex in my C class and agree that it is a very good alternative to leather. In fact, i prefer it. The seats in my 5 year old car looks as if they came off the factory floor yesterday. I can scrub it, I don't have to care for it, and not a single crease or crinkle.

    The only downside to MB Tex is that most leather packages in the mercedes line up is more than just leather seats. They usually add some sort of door trim stitching or dash stitching. Even the CLA gets door and dash mb tex stitching if you opt for leather. IMO, that changes the whole cabin ambiance. I guess you can't have everything.
  • jaguar36jaguar36 Posts: 15
    I've never tried the MB Tex, but I've preferred the leatherette in my old BMW to the real leather in my current one. It was warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. It did not however wear better, much worse in fact. After about three years it had a large crack in the side bolster. The leather looks great after 4 years.
  • seppoboyseppoboy Posts: 93
    I have had cloth, vinyl, leather, and Volkswagen's V-Tex leatherette in various cars of my own, and have had friends with various Benz models with leather and others with MB-Tex from 1980's model years to the current decade.

    There are pros and cons to each type, and on the cars I owned with leather (one new, one quite used), I was lucky that they held up well with proper maintenance, except for the outside shoulder bolster on the driver's seat... makers should always use a heavier grade of leather in that area, function over looks.

    That said, everyone I knew with MB-Tex loved it. Eight hard years and 210,000 miles later my V-Tex Jetta looked absolutely like new, no visible wear, and it breathed about as well as leather, just slightly clammier in the hottest weather. People who know materials are fine with MB-Tex in a luxury car, but probably the association they had with lesser vinyl materials in cheap cars results in the irrational insistence on leather. There are some wretched leather interiors I have been in that are worse than even cheap vinyl or inferior cloth.
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