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Discussion Starter #1
So, I've been researching the Metris for the possible purpose of an executive class livery service. One of my concerns is the fact that the Metris does not offer genuine leather, and although I haven't been able to do a side by side comparison between the Metris leatherette and lower-end Mercedes cars, I'm guessing that it's not even the same thing as "MB tex." Is that correct?

There are a number of aftermarket leather kits available, including Katzkin, Roadwire, and LeatherSeats.com (most others I've seen turn out to be using one of these three). Katzkin looks pretty good, but at this point it doesn't look like they offer their leather for any Mercedes product whatsoever. Roadwire does have a Metris kit, but so far as I can tell, only offer it with vinyl for the third row (which quite mystifies me). LeatherSeats looks like it has excellent quality leather available, and will do it throughout, but their cost without installation is roughly the same or higher as the other companies' prices with installation included. I'm guessing that getting what I want would probably run around $3500, which is a pretty big ticket just for a leather upgrade.

Just wondered if anyone here has installed aftermarket leather, and can provide any details. E.g. whose kit did you use, did they do all three rows in leather, are you happy with the quality etc?
 

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I know you can get the Roadwire line through Costco for some discount off the price you see at their website. I've been considering their leather for a Honda we have, but have not decided. Not sure I totally trust the installers in the area. I need to go by and visit before purchasing.

I've done some seat reskin in the past. It's not all that hard. It would depend on the kit and if you need to hog ring them etc. Having good equipment makes a huge difference.

I'd call up Roadwire and see if they can do a leather 3rd seat for you.

I'm guessing since you intend to use the van for livery you want nice looking seats, but also want them to be durable. You may want to wait until you get the van and then decide. They aren't all that bad. The seats don't recline. You can get a face to face seat option that could offer some interesting advantages depending on the service you intend. If you intend to go high end you might want to have a look at Explorer Vans. They have captains chairs and do a lot of Metris vans. You don't have to do full conversions with them. You can just do what you need. If you haven't bought a van yet look at some of the Explorer vans for sale at dealers. I priced some and they can get reasonable/discounted. One local was about 15k less than the typical price.
 

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It really is not all that different from any other MBTex. My mother thought I had ordered leather seats. Several passengers and I have gotten in to discussions about the Metris being a luxury van (it aint, and I’m not sure how anyone riding in my van, not equipped with carpet, climate control, or the comfort suspension could ever confuse it with one) and it’s leather interior is one of the things they cite.

A much more efficient way to give a more “executive limo” look, besides ordering the three things I neglected (or rather, choose not) to, is a wood trim kit.
 

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I have letaher seats in my van but I have seen the leatherette in the Metris and it's not that different. I'm pretty sure that a casual passenger won't really notice. The leather on my V is not as smooth as an S class, maybe looking for more durability tthan appereance. You'll be fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the comments, guys.

Nashville's only Metris dealer is very recent (and is also located way south in Franklin) and there are none on the streets here. The only one I've actually seen "live" was a dealership van apparently out on an errand. I didn't get to look inside, just spotted it across the street.

From the many photos I've seen, the leatherette honestly looks more like vinyl than leather, but I'm glad to hear that you guys who are actually familiar have a lot higher opinion.

I'll be most interested to see what actual limo companies think. One of the key ways for small livery services to make money is to "associate" with larger limo companies that require additional vehicles and drivers when big events hit (which happens with regularity in Nashville).
 

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Thanks for the comments, guys.

Nashville's only Metris dealer is very recent (and is also located way south in Franklin) and there are none on the streets here. The only one I've actually seen "live" was a dealership van apparently out on an errand. I didn't get to look inside, just spotted it across the street.

From the many photos I've seen, the leatherette honestly looks more like vinyl than leather, but I'm glad to hear that you guys who are actually familiar have a lot higher opinion.

I'll be most interested to see what actual limo companies think. One of the key ways for small livery services to make money is to "associate" with larger limo companies that require additional vehicles and drivers when big events hit (which happens with regularity in Nashville).
The Alpharetta GA MB dealer does a lot of van business. Its really not that far for you to drive it back and forth in a day. You could check their current stock of Explorer vans so you could see them in person for comparison.
 
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