You hit the nail on the head - coatings. REAL leather that we know from old cars wears well and gains character. Today's leathers are mostly vat dyed (that is spray painted and coated) and the wear awful. And you are right, you can't treat the leather because it's coated and won't absorb the treatment. I'll be the first to say it but GM has some of the worse leather I've ever witnessed. It cracks,flakes off and discolors.
Originally Posted By: ET16
This doesn't surprise me. I'm growing less fond of leather in cars. It doesn't really hold up as well as it should, and with the coatings they use now, it's also difficult to treat.
Originally Posted By: GMBoy
MB tex is still availabe and is actually in more new E350's than leather!
Originally Posted By: eljefino
Back in 1980 most mercedes cars came with this synthetic stuff called MB-Tex that everyone just assumed was leather-- it was that good. Hopefully the upholsterers have a sample you could sit on.