Exterior:Obsidian Black Metallic
Interior:Tunja Black Upholstery
Smaller than the mighty Sprinter, the 2019 Mercedes-Benz Metris is better described as a midsize utility van. Larger and more capable than the pint-sized Ram ProMaster City, Ford Transit Connect and Nissan NV200, the Metris reminds us of a taller, more modern version of the old short-wheelbase Ford and Chevy full-size vans. Starting just below $34,800, the Metris comes in a number of configurations, including a basic work truck, standard cargo van, and upscale passenger van. To make the Metris more appealing to small businesses, Mercedes-Benz has partnered with a number of specialty upfitters including Gruau, Knapheide, and Smartliner. Through the company’s Master Solutions program, customers can work with highly trained experts to add shelving, racks, refrigeration and anything else a rolling workshop might need.
Driven by its rear wheels, the 2019 Mercedes-Benz Metris can haul and tow more weight than its front-drive rivals. Yet, despite its larger size and abilities, the Metris is miserly with fuel. It also offers crucial driver aids that fill in blind spots and can even assist with parallel parking.
One might expect a vehicle, even a boxy work van, carrying the Mercedes-Benz name to be of quality design and sterling ability. In the case of the 2018 Mercedes-Benz Metris van, one would be correct. Easily superior to the mini work vans from Ram, Ford and Nissan, the Metris offers a nice blend of power, acceleration, fuel economy and maneuverability. In fact, unlike the larger Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana, the Metris is almost fun to drive. For such a tall vehicle, the Metris shows amazing balance, and the turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, while no rocket, delivers lots of low-end torque generously doled out by a 7-speed automatic transmission complete with paddle shifters. As one would expect, the lightly insulated cargo van feels like driving around in a bass drum, but the passenger van is impressively quiet, with large comfortable seating for up to eight people.
As a utility van, the biggest asset the Metris offers is interior space. This, it has in spades. There are 186 cubic feet in which you can cram boxes, barrels, flowers, plants, short trees…you get the point. Plus, the Master Solutions program lets you customize the interior with rows of locking boxes for tools, racks for hardware and replacement parts, or even replace the entire back of the van with a giant refrigerator. Passenger vans offer three rows of seats for up to eight passengers. The control layout is simple, lacking the more advanced features from the luxury division, but still unmistakably Mercedes.
The passenger and cargo Metris models come with the same 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine and 7-speed automatic transmission driving the rear wheels. The tilt steering wheel also features shift paddles to manually control the transmission. There are standard 17-inch steel wheels, air conditioning, power accessories, and an audio unit with Bluetooth, USB, and auxiliary inputs and a 3.5-inch monochrome screen. In the cargo area, there’s a wood floor with six D-rings for securing cargo, or five additional seats for passenger models. Safety is a primary concern, with systems to aid with crosswinds and driver drowsiness, plus a bevy of airbags.