Ford’s seat maker, Adient, has fared rather well financially in spite of the many supply issues stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, as Ford Authority reported earlier this year. At the same time, Ford has been fitting a number of its vehicles with Adient seats wearing ActiveX, a high-end synthetic material that retains a premium look and feel with more durability and stain resistance than traditional leather. That includes the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E, which has just been recognized by J.D. Power’s 2021 Seat Quality Study.
The Ford Mustang Mach-E ranked second in the 2021 Seat Quality Study in the mass-market compact SUV category thanks to its standard Adient ActiveX seats with a score of 7.0 problems per 100 vehicles (PP100) in the first 90 days of ownership, placing it behind the Nissan Rogue and its score of 4.2, as well as ahead of the Honda CR-V, which scored a 7.1.
J.D. Power’s 2021 U.S. Seat Quality and Satisfaction Study is based on the responses of a total of 110,827 buyers and lessees of new 2021 model-year vehicles who were surveyed after their first 90 days of ownership. One interesting tidbit from this year’s study is that while traditional leather seating has a higher overall seat satisfaction score, owners and automakers have found that synthetic leather seating offers similar durability and is less expensive and easier to clean.
“This year’s study shows that leather alternatives have evolved to a point where they can be used without sacrificing the consumer experience, and actually offer some unique benefits,” said Brent Gruber, senior director of global automotive quality at J.D. Power. “With a heightened sense of awareness to surface cleanliness due to COVID-19, synthetic leather seats lend themselves well to cleanability, but it is ultimately about providing benefits which address notable industry challenges such as providing durability, soil resistance, and, most importantly, cost-effectiveness. Our study shows that synthetic leather out-performs cloth seating in select areas while offering benefits similar to those of leather.”