It is van time, pals.
Mercedes’ little Metris holds a particular place within the hearts of many Roadshow editors. We had one in our long-term fleet for a yr — which we inexplicably/lovingly named the Wu-Tang Van — and it was a trusty companion for a yr’s value of video manufacturing work.
The Metris hasn’t modified all that a lot since we mentioned goodbye to the Wu-Tang Van, however I feel it is necessary that we revisit our outdated long-termers every so often, simply to ensure we aren’t simply wanting again at them with rose-colored glasses. After a number of days of hauling issues and operating errands round Los Angeles, I am reminded of all of the the explanation why we favored our long-term Metris as a piece car. However I am reminded of its tech-related weaknesses, too.
LikePowerful 2.0-liter engineMore cargo and payload than different small vansComfortable seatsLots of driver-assistance options
Do not LikeMore costly than different small vansNo adaptive cruise controlLaughably outdated infotainment tech
You higher work
The Metris is compact as vans go, nevertheless it’s not precisely small. It is obtainable with 126-inch and 135-inch wheelbases, the longer of which is what I’ve acquired right here. Stem to stern, this Metris measures 211.four inches, which is about 5 inches longer than an S-Class sedan. It is barely wider than an S-Class and clearly taller, too, so diminutive because it could be in contrast with one thing like a Sprinter, the Metris is hardly tiny.
However on the identical time, the Metris is straightforward to maneuver. Its turning circle is about 2 ft smaller than that of an S-Class, so you’ll be able to simply whip it round tight metropolis streets and it is a cinch to park in crowded tons. The excessive seating place provides you an awesome view down the brief hood, and the low beltline means facet visibility is ample, too. You should definitely order your Metris with rear home windows for the most effective expertise.
You should buy the Metris with facet home windows and some rows of seats, however this one’s the Cargo Van spec, so there’s nothing behind the entrance chairs. It is a clean canvas for employee bees: Mount cabinets or storage compartments, tie issues down to varied elements of the physique. Just like the again web page of a standardized check, this area is deliberately left clean so you can also make the Metris your individual.
There’s 199 cubic ft of area within the longer-wheelbase Metris, and with a payload capability of two,370 kilos, there is not a lot this van cannot haul. Even the shorter Metris is fairly stout: 183 cubic ft and a pair of,425 kilos of payload. Each vans may even tow 5,000 kilos. The Ford Transit Join is the Metris’ closest competitor, however even the short-wheelbase Mercedes bests the long-wheelbase TC in all of the aforementioned areas. The Mercedes is dearer, sure, however you get what you pay for.
Loading the Metris is a breeze because of the low flooring and 270-degree swing-out rear doorways. You may get the Metris with an enormous hatchback, should you desire, however I feel most industrial patrons will respect the double-door versatility. Two issues to notice, although: You may’t open the precise door all the best way when you’ve got the facet sliding door open. You additionally do not get a driver’s-side sliding door customary, so be sure so as to add that on if you would like entry to the cargo maintain from each side.
Regardless of the configuration, Mercedes affords the Metris with a 2.0-liter turbo I4 engine, producing 208 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. That is loads of energy — far more than Ford affords within the Transit Join, I ought to add — and the Metris is surprisingly sprightly round city, particularly unloaded. The van makes use of rear-wheel drive, and I will admit it is fairly simple to get the again finish to step out round a nook should you goose the throttle, not that I would ever do such a factor.
Typically talking, the Metris drives… like a van. The steering is mild, the brakes are tremendous. The suspension is properly tuned to maintain the Metris snug once you’re driving round with nothing within the again, so it isn’t crashy like a Transit Join or, worse, a Ram ProMaster Metropolis.
Extra importantly, the engine’s torque comes on robust at 1,250 rpm, that means the seven-speed automated transmission would not must rev too excessive to maintain the Metris buzzing round city. That helps with general gasoline effectivity, too; the EPA says the 2020 Metris ought to return 21 miles per gallon within the metropolis, 24 mpg freeway and 22 mpg mixed. The Transit Join is a little more environment friendly, however bear in mind, it is also smaller.
Fabric seat design? Rad. Tiny infotainment display screen and outdated tech? Not rad.
Good tech, unhealthy tech
The Metris has a fairly good roster of driver-assistance tech. You get a trailer brake controller, load-adaptive stability management, hill-start help and a rearview digicam customary. (I point out the rearview digicam as a result of, whereas this characteristic is federally mandated for all passenger vehicles, industrial autos are exempt.) Blind-spot monitoring, automated emergency braking, lane-keeping help and energetic parking help are all obtainable. Solely factor lacking is adaptive cruise management, actually.
Sadly, the Metris’ cabin tech is fairly unhealthy. There is a tiny, 5.8-inch display screen operating a stripped-down model of Mercedes’ decade-old COMAND system, with solely a rudimentary navigation interface in-built. Apple CarPlay or Android Auto? Nope. Wi-Fi? Nah.
This infotainment challenge is especially offensive contemplating Mercedes-Benz affords a few of the greatest multimedia tech on this planet with its new MBUX interface. The Sprinter van will get this sturdy tech suite, and it is a rattling disgrace the Metris would not provide one thing higher. The brand new V-Class offered in Europe appears to have a giant tech improve, so I am hopeful this’ll trickle over to the US within the type of an up to date Metris.
There’s 199 cubic ft of area again right here. Deliver all the things!
Mercedes high quality, Mercedes pricing
The 2020 Metris begins at $28,375 for a base Employee Cargo Van, together with $1,195 for supply, and stretches as excessive as $36,775 for the Passenger Van. Within the case of this Metris Cargo Van, it begins at $32,585 together with vacation spot, and including issues like 17-inch wheels, tinted rear home windows, heated seats and roof rails brings the ultimate value to a cool $39,000. Mercedes-Benz has loads of upfitting companions that may assist you make your work van the exact device for the job, and should you’re all about play as a substitute of labor, the brand new Metris Weekender appears like a pleasant companion for tenting journeys.
Business patrons on a finances will doubtless need to try the Ford Transit Join or Ram ProMaster Metropolis, as each are inexpensive. However bear in mind, they’re smaller and slower and may’t haul as a lot, and there is one thing to be mentioned in your staff exhibiting as much as job websites in a Mercedes-Benz as a substitute of a Ford or Ram. The added price of the Metris is basically value it in contrast with different small vans, and as we famous in our long-term wrap-up, this Mercedes is one infotainment improve from being an ideal work van.