Sunday, November 8, 2020



After spending a week in the 2020 Mercedes-Benz Metris van, I have a new respect for drivers of commercial vehicles with enclosed rear cargo areas, and I intend to give them plenty of room when driving.

How they manage with just side mirrors letting them know what is going on behind them is beyond me. I never did get comfortable in the Metris without the typical interior mirror mounted above the windshield.

You might be surprised to learn just how much information you can gather from that little reflecting device that Ray Harroun mounted above his dash to allay fears from his fellw competitors in the 1911 Indianapolis 500 that he would be driving blind without a mechanic at his side as the other 39 drivers had. (Yes, 40 cars ran in the inaugural 500.)

You would think I would have gotten used to it when I owned a full-size conversion van that pretty much blocked my view out the back, but that had been long ago.

At least the Metris has a rearview camera that engages when the vehicle is put in reverse, which my van back in the mid-1980s and ’90s didn’t, so maybe I eventually would have gotten used to being without the interior mirror.

But at least for now I am not comfortable without it.

Mercedes-Benz introduced the Metris to a U.S. audience in October 2015 as a 2016 model with the Germans' marketing side billing it as a right-size mid-sized hauler.

Slightly smaller than the Mercedes full-size Sprinter, the cargo version of the Metris (it also can be had with seats to accommodate up to eight passengers) still offers up to a minimum 183 cubic feet of cargo space for the base Worker model.

The long wheel-base version that served as my test vehicle for the week is 211.4 inches long or 9.0 inches longer than the Metris Worker and offers 199 cubic feet of space in the back for cargo. It also can serve as a changing room for trips to the beach, as I discovered!

Both Metris models come with gasoline engine rather than the diesel version sold in Europe as the Vito with a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that generates 208 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque.

It is mated to a 7-speed automatic transmission with shift paddles for manual gear selection. Equipped with rear-wheel drive, the Metris has a 5,000-pound towing capacity.

Standard features on the long wheelbase Metris include sliding doors on each side in addition to rear doors with a wide, 270-degree opening, adjustable (slightly) driver and front passenger seats, 4 cupholders, a 5-speaker audio system, air-conditioning, wood floor, and safety features that include crosswind and hill-start assist. Halogen headlights have an automatic setting as well.

Starting MSRP is $31,500 for the long wheel-base Metris. The Worker starts at $26,570.

Extras like the Premium Safety Package with Parktronic, a Premium Exterior Package, Driver Efficiency and Comfort packages and more ran the final bottom line for my test Metris to $41,161 including a $1,195 destination and delivery charge.

What I liked about the 2020 Mercedes-Benz Metris Cargo Van:
It is will equipped and not any more difficult to drive than a full-size SUV or a family minivan (though with one caveat noted below). It has a huge cargo area, and it is available in passenger configuration as well. The side doors open and shut effortlessly, gliding open or closed with a gentle tug. There is nothing sluggish about the drive, and the overall ride is comfortable enough. It’s seemed easier to get through urban parking lots easier than many full-size pickup trucks.

What I didn’t like about the 2020 Mercedes-Benz Metris Cargo Van:
I simply could not get used to being without an interior rearview mirror. It was an uncomfortable feeling to look up above the enter of the windshield and see just a blank space. A hi-def camera-based mirror would be a welcome addition. That’s a feature seems to be a coming thing. Premium fuel also is required.

Would I buy the 2020 Mercedes-Benz Metris Cargo Van? Obviously, I personally have no need for a cargo van, but if I were running a business and wanted to impress clientele with the prestige and panache of a luxury vehicle manufacturer with the Mercedes star up front, it certainly is something I would consider.

No comments:

Post a Comment