Mercedes-Benz is not a brand on most consumers’ lists when they go shopping for a van for cargo or clan, but the success of its full-size Sprinter line compelled the company to bring its aptly-termed “midivan,” the Metris, to America’s shores last year. Smaller than the average airport shuttle bus but larger and more capacious than any minivan, it comes in two flavors: the amenity-equipped Metris and more spartan Metris Worker. Both are available in passenger- and cargo-toting forms or combinations thereof.
What's New for 2018
The Metris hauls on through 2018 unchanged.
Choosing Your Mercedes-Benz Metris
Though known elsewhere as the Vito, Viano, Valente, Marco Polo (for camper versions), or V-Class – each available with a choice of drivetrains – Mercedes’ North American Metris duo must make do with a 2.0-liter turbocharged direct-injection four-cylinder with 208 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque that puts its power to the rear wheels via a paddle-shifted seven-speed automatic transmission.
Despite the modest output, the Metris isn't terribly fuel-efficient, as according to the EPA, the well-equipped eight-seat Metris Passenger Van gets 19 mpg city, 23 highway, and 21 combined, while the stripped-out two-seat Metris Worker Cargo Van bests those numbers by just two, one, and one mpg, respectively.
That’s usually not the reason folks look at a vehicle like the Metris, so for them, here are a few more numbers: The Metris can carry over 2,500 pounds of stuff – counting the seats and those that sit in them where applicable – while towing another 5,000 pounds of most anything (even additional passengers, though that’s usually illegal).
Speaking of – carrying, not breaking the law – the Metris has internal cargo volumes ranging from 38 cubic feet with all three seat rows installed to 183 cu ft without. Provided said cargo isn’t messy (so as to avoid ruining the Passenger version’s carpet versus the Cargo’s rubber mat) drivers can remove rows of seats as necessary (although it's not easy – Mercedes’ own how-to video shows the oldest-school mounting system extant, while the seats weigh a ton and have to be removed entirely as even when folded they remain in the way).
Regardless of seat count, rear door options are a lift-up rear hatch or vertically-split barn doors that can open 180 degrees as standard, or a full 240 degrees on some cargo applications. Sliding side doors on both sides are standard, though power operation is optional on every Metris.
The Metris might only be a van, but it's still a Mercedes-Benz. While it might seem like an extravagance, the reality is that, along with the Sprinter, Mercedes-Benz builds some of the best, smartest commercial vehicles around. You'll pay for the privilege, but when you rely on your vehicle for your paycheck, dealing with a higher upfront cost of a Metris might not be that bad.