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2018 Mercedes-Benz Metris-Class Overview

Andrew Davis
Automotive Editor - March 6, 2018

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.

Mercedes-Benz Metris

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.

Passenger Van

For many, carrying guys and gals takes precedence over goods and gear, but Mercedes has engineered the Metris to do varying amounts of both. Choose the standard seven-passenger model ($34,895) and access to the third row is made easier by a two-seat second row that leaves a seat-sized space beside the right-side sliding door. Adding that seat to tote eight is an additional $380, while keeping three middle-row seats and ditching the three-place third row bench entirely saves $780. Also standard are split horizontally-opening rear doors that open 180 degrees, while a rear liftgate adds $465.

Optional highlights (most of which contain individually-priced features or less expensive de-contented packages) include the Premium Safety with Parktronic Package ($2,365). Look for proximity sensors with active parking, lane keeping, and collision prevention assist, a rain sensor, the leather multifunction steering wheel, power and heated exterior mirrors, blind-spot monitoring, and the upgraded instrument cluster found in the $1,010 Blind Spot Assist Package. Adding collision assist to that last package makes it the $275-pricier Safety Package.

The $1,230 Driver Efficiency Package adds a Becker Map Pilot navigation system, fog lights, a console storage tray, and cruise control, plus the heated front seats, heated windshield washer fluid tank, and electric booster for heating that can be had on its own as the $765 Cold Weather Package.

Perhaps the most shocking option on this near-$35,000 van is power-sliding side doors – a standard feature on most minivans – but an additional $1,265 package here. Similarly, while they craftily advertise the Metris Passenger Van with body-colored fascias, they’re optional as well. Getting them instead of the matte gray plastic ones usually associated with cargo vans only requires the $1,270 Premium Exterior Package and the chrome-trimmed grille, 20-inch light alloy wheels, and black roof rails that come with.

Worker Passanger Van

As its name implies, the $30,990 Metris Worker is the go-to if the occupants are more likely to be wearing work boots than wingtips. It’s also the van of choice for people who don’t like having choices.

Mercedes will paint this vehicle any color a customer wants for free – so long as that color is refrigerator white – with black and silver $990 each. Either upholstery option is fee-free, but both come with strings. The Convenience Package – $1,699 for power and heated exterior mirrors, heated rear door windows with wiper/washers, a rain sensor, and cruise control – requires fabric. Adding either of the following mega-cost packages, on the other hand, requires leatherette.

Like the upholstery, Mercedes lists both the 180-degree split door and lift-up tailgate as no-cost options. The latter’s string,”however, is more like a massive cable as it requires the $3,999 Appearance Package. In addition to also being the only way to get body-colored bumpers, it includes the Convenience Package items and adds black roof rails, a tailgate surrounding light, and full wheel covers.

The third and final package is the seven-seater-specific Comfort Package. Weighing in at $6,499, the Comfort Package not only contains all of the aforementioned gear but adds power sliding side doors, a leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel, blind-spot monitoring, 17-inch five-spoke light alloy wheels, and that upgraded instrument cluster.

Worker Cargo Van

Hard as it may be to believe, the base MSRP of the Metris Cargo Van is just $55 shy of the Metris Worker Passenger Van’s, but that’s because – unlike its de-contented sibling, the $26,990 Metris Worker Cargo Van – it isn’t devoid of major options.

Want to carry something inside the van longer than 105.4 inches? On the Metris one can pay $500 and swap the standard 126-inch wheelbase van for the 135-incher and an interior cargo length of 114.5 inches. Need to unload in tight quarters? Unlike the Worker – which comes solely with width-doubling 180-degree rear doors, the Metris gets 270-degree doors that fold flat against its sides as standard, with the liftgate a no-strings $465.

Options-wise the Metris Cargo offers almost the same packages as the multi-rowed Metris – sans the creature comforts for nonexistent seats. The $855 Cargo Protection Package is straightforward, with floor and waistline tie-down rails, full hardboard side wall paneling, a tie down strap for D-rings, and rear cargo LED strip light. The $1,745 Refrigeration Prep Package, on the other hand, adds some expected features – like the leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel, audible backup alarm, and blind spot monitoring – but then “demotes” one’s choice of rear doors to the 180-degree style and requires the Smoker Package (a $37 value!).

The Worker Cargo offers only the Worker Passenger’s Convenience Package and the $4,499 Utility Package. Made up of bits and bobs from the Worker Passenger’s packages and a modified Metris Cargo Protection Package, it includes the tie-down rails and strap but switches to waist-level composite paneling, a wooden cargo floor, and two additional master keys.

One more thing for buyers of either cargo van: Mercedes is in the upfitting business via its MasterSolutions program. Rather than leaving it to third-party vendors to add all of the shelves or racks or whatever the buyer wants, Metris cargo buyers can select those things just like any other official option, meaning their Mercedes dealer can deliver either cargo-toting Metris outfitted – or upfitted – to the customer’s exact specifications.

That customer will need some extraordinarily deep pockets, as will the buyer of any Metris. After adding every available bit of kit to a Metris Passenger Van – already the priciest starting point – the online configurator spat out an MSRP of $52,616, due in no small part to its $15,686 Packages & Accessories subtotal. That’s not a lot to spend on a Mercedes-Benz, but it’s a huge amount to spend on a van, regardless of its number of seats or logo on the nose.

CarsDirect Tip

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.

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