Here's my recollection.
'91-93 heat stamps left vinyl vulnerable to cracking and discoloration, thread wasn't UV coated and would pull apart at seams
'94-'97 vinyl was great, quite durable
'98 first year of some visible cost cutting (ahh the dot-com bubble) vinyl went to only one accent color in the prostar line and design was simplified, Maristar went 2-tone beige/lux some had one accent color, and interior grab handles went to plastic (MS basically stayed that way till 01)
'99 seemed to be moderately durable but had little foam padding and looked cheaper (uber cost cutting)
'00 stepped up the luxury level, vinyl seems a little thicker than '99 but pin-stripe stitching left vulnerable perforations
'01-04 vinyl was rather thin, pin-stripe stitching left vulnerable perforations, but the design was sweet at the time and still looks good IMO. From here on, Maristar was virtually the same as ProStar and X, just different monograming. A few of those years had some challenge with a cyanobacteria or fungus turning seats pink.
'05 was substantially thicker and from then on has been more durable. Had a new texture. (cost cutting never to be heard from again)
'06 more new textures
'10 brown vinyl became an option. A Quilted pattern was started and looks great but could be vulnerable down the road.
'11+ a cool neoprene material was added in sections. The stretchy nature of it should help reduce stress on the rest of the vinyl and stitching.
Let me know if I missed a step change.
I only know this for two reasons. I was seriously shopping vinyl styles to borrow design themes for my PS190. And... I seem to retain otherwise completely useless information.
Last edited by Ryan; 05-09-2013 at 10:00 PM.