Factory Fresh- Mercedes Benz Metris
Truckin tests a mini van?!
What are we doing testing a minivan, you ask? And a Mercedes Benz, no less? We haven’t gone all hoity toity on you, and we didn’t adopt a gaggle of kids since last month, either. The truth is we thought the size and shape was a nice mix of the minivan style and new transit van craze, so we wanted to give it a shot! So, we loaded one up and headed up to the mountains for a few for some real world testing.
Smaller and lighter-duty than the commercial-sized Sprinter, the Metris is designed to fill the needs of businesses that don’t need something as large as a Sprinter, ProMaster, or Transit, but do need something larger than a NV200, Transit Connect, or ProMaster City. Compared with those models, the Metris has a 73-percent higher payload rating than the NV200 and 50-percent more cargo volume. Compared to the Ford Transit Connect, the Metris has a 54-percent higher payload capacity and 45-percent larger cargo volume.
The rear-wheel-drive Metris will be offered initially in North America only with Mercedes’ 2.0L GDI turbocharged I-4 that produces 208hp and 258lb-ft, mated exclusively to a seven-speed automatic transmission. Both passenger and cargo versions will be offered, with surprisingly affordable (for a Mercedes) starting prices of $29,945 for the cargo version and $33,495 for the passenger version. This gives the cargo van the distinction of being Mercedes’ lowest-priced model in the United States. Obviously, being a Mercedes, safety features get top billing, the cargo version has six airbags, and the passenger version has eight, along with standard attention assist, crosswind assist, and load-adaptive stability control. Optional safety and convenience features include parking assist, lane-keeping assist, blind-spot monitoring, and a rearview camera. Mercedes also notes the addition of larger cupholders to better meet the preferences of North American customers.
Our Brilliant Silver Metallic passenger van with Black Leatherette interior came fully loaded at just over 44k. While it was clean and comfortable and fairly stylish, don’t expect extreme plushness—it’s still a mini cargo van at heart. We let the van park for us a few times with impressive results, but when the wind gusts hit as we were speeding down the highway, the crosswind assist failed to show the wind who was boss. We got good use out of those cupholders, too. We think the way to best sum it up is: It’s an all around nice ride, but you won’t forget that you’re driving a transit, cargo, midsize van.
Like we said, we liked the lines right off the bat compared to most other offerings, so we had our friend David Engle from Engle Bros. Fabrication work some Photoshop magic adding some air ride and 21-inch wheels. Because you know—Euro! We think it looks pretty cool, and hope to see one like it on the road soon!