Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Mercedes-Benz's New Mid-Sized Van the Metris

Vans, who drives a van anymore?  Those relics of the late 20th Century, like blue jeans, both were first designed for work, then morphed into a cultural icon.

Meet the new Mercedes-Benz Metris, a mid-sized van, not as large as the Sprinter, and not as small as the competition, the City Express, NV200 or Transit Connect.  Euro style with American functionality. Combine that with a low price and great handling, and you might be behind the wheel yourself!

While it is hard to think of this as a hard working van, that is what it is, and why it is sold by Sprinter dealers, so don’t look for it in the luxury car Mercedes-Benz showroom. Though it is hard to not think of it like any other Mercedes-Benz vehicle, as the Metris combines plenty of standard features, passenger comfort, and Mercedes-Benz handling and ride, ant this will become the best van in its class. Called the V-Class in Europe, here in the US, the name Metris fits its use as a Metropolitan vehicle, with a small foot print, and plenty of interior space, both appreciated by urban users.

The Metris is very much like the C-Class with plenty of standard features and Mercedes-Benz handling and ride, there is no doubt this will become the best-selling vehicle in its class. Any M-B driver will feel comfortable with design of the interior, the switches, radio, and other operational aspects of the vehicle. The turn signal, and electronic 7-speed transmission selector stalk are right where they are in a passenger car, and for those vans equipped with cruise control, that is right where you would expect it to be. Even the familiar Mercedes-Benz smart key, while not adorned with chrome, it operates the central locking as any M-B key would.

Like the C-Class, it is powered by the same 2.0 liter 4 cylinder direct injection turbo gasoline engine and 7-speed electronic transmission, with paddle shifters. Handling and ride are also similar, with its front engine, rear drive power train. The wide doors and comfortable seats make this a very easy vehicle to get in and out of, no climbing up and into this van, just step in and sit down. Seat coverings, are either cloth or M-B Tex like leatherette. Good visibility with large outboard mirrors and plenty of window glass, even in the cargo models, and option rear view camera that displays on the 5.8” radio screen, just like a Mercedes-Benz passenger car.

Though the engine is noisy, it has no problem quickly getting up to well past the speed limit and keeping ahead in the left lane. It is designed to run on regular, it will perform better on 91 octane, with an estimated combined 23mpg. Service intervals of 15K miles will keep it economical to operate.

Park Assist, where the Van will park itself with some help
from the driver. An option found on expensive luxury cars.
The two places where this van will beat the competition, is the amount of interior space and the fact that the cargo model will now become the lowest price Mercedes-Benz model sold in the USA. The passenger version is only $32,500 all with standard blind spot, collision and lane keeping assist and electronic stability program. You can add Parking Assist, for $740 as an individual option. Like on the S-Class the vehicle will park itself, with a little help from you. Plenty of optional packages and equipment to customize this van, including a number of no-cost colors, other than just white and black.

This will be an economical, comfortable and very functional little hauler, be it for cargo or passengers, and at the under $30K price point for a base cargo model, the most inexpensive vehicle sold in the USA Mercedes-Benz line up. Take a test drive and experience it for yourself. 

Plenty of interior room in the Cargo Model for hauling!

Lots of tie down hooks and an innovative floor and wall track system to attach various items to.

Between the tie down hooks and the track, you can secure just about any load.

The Metris has a the Mercedes-Benz Star front and Center.

The Mercedes-Benz Metris has a classic van look and timeless profile that will look good for years to come.  Just like other M-B models had done for decades.