Mercedes-Benz has just announced it will be launching its midsize van into the U.S. and Canadian markets come October 2015. Meet the 2016 Metris. For those outside North America, this van should look familiar, as it’s basically the Vito. The Vito turned Metris packs a big punch in terms of its large interior volume relative to its compact exterior dimensions. Available in both cargo and passenger versions, the Metris offers room for eight or two full-size pallets.

The van made its grand debut at the 2015 NTEA Work Truck Show in Indianapolis to a crowd of fleet companies, aftermarket upfitters, and business owners. Designed to fit beneath the Mercedes Sprinter in terms of size and capability, the Metris directly competes against the Ford Transit Connect, Nissan NV200, and Ram C/V Tradesman – the latter of which is the cargo version of the Dodge Caravan.

The Metris is full of surprises, including its longitudinally oriented, rear-wheel drive architecture, its host of electronic safety systems, and relatively low starting price. Turns out Mercedes has a new ‘least-expensive’ vehicle in showrooms.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Mercedes-Benz Metris.

  • Year:
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  • Transmission:
    seven-speed automatic
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
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  • Displacement:
    2.0 L
  • 0-60 time:
    12 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    100 mph (Est.)
  • Layout:
    Front Engine; Rear Drive
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:


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The Metris might not win a design award, but in the van market, it’s a downright looker. That’s especially true for the passenger model with its body-colored bumpers and alloy wheels. The van matches up very closely to the Ram C/T Tradesman’s length, but is narrower and much taller. It’s also nearly a foot longer than both the Transit Connect and NV200. This gives the Merc a good advantage over pack in terms of extra cargo capacity yet still tidy dimensions for inner city commuting.

The van features dual sliding doors and the option of barn doors or a single clamshell hatch at the business end. A two-inch receiver hitch is also optional and is incorporated behind the rear bumper when ordered, keeping the departure angle nearly the same. On vans with the barn doors, each door is double hinged so they can fold flat against the quarter panels.

Vehicle Length Width Height Advantage Metris
Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 233.3 in 79.7 in 96.3 in
Mercedes-Benz Metris 202.4 in 75.9 in 74.8 in
Ford Transit Connect 189.7 in 72.2 in 72.6 in Metris: 880+ lbs (+54%) more payload and 45% more cargo volume
Nissan NV200 SV 186.3 in 68.1 in 73.7 in Metris: 1000+ lbs (+73%) more payload and over 50% more cargo volume
RAM C/V Tradesman 202.8 in 78.7 in 69.0 in Metris: 700+ lbs (+39%) more payload and 29% more cargo volume


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As mentioned before, the Metris is offered in both a cargo and passenger version. Starting with the cargo version, the interior is fitted with a clever tie-down system that is reminiscent of truck bed cargo rails. This gives customers almost limitless options when it comes to adjusting tie-down points. There are four strips in total, one on each wall and two on the floor. Panels are inserted into the wall voids to both strengthen the sides and prevent damage from shifting cargo. Loading full-sized pallets can be done at both the rear doors and both side doors.

The passenger version comes with two rows of bench seats with three chairs per row. This gives the Metris the ability to carry eight people, counting the front two occupants. Seat-mounted safety belts keep walkways free of the dreaded ‘seatbelt jungle’ that some American vans offer up while giving each passenger a full three-point harness. Entry into the third row is easy thanks to the forward-folding outboard seats on the second row. Mercedes hasn’t published numbers yet, but personal space in these two rows looks to be more than adequate.

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Both vans share the same dashboard, though different trim levels offer different standard equipment. While this is a Mercedes, this isn’t a luxury-lined E-Class. The dash looks to be molded from hard plastic and features a tidy, but somewhat dull design. Classy accents like the optional multifunction steering wheel, chrome trim, and plaid seats bring a touch of refinement. Front occupants enjoy two main cup holders in the center console with a storage bin down below. The front passenger gets an odd dash-mounted cut holder just forward of the airbag.

Amazingly, despite the Mertis’ rear-drive architecture, the floor remains flat once past the front row. Even still, the transmission tunnel is mostly unnoticeable. It’s amazing how Mercedes is able to package this van. Also noteworthy is the number of airbags. Cargo models get six while the passenger version gets eight – including full side curtain protection for all three rows.


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Under the Mertis’ sloping hood lies a 2.0-liter gasoline four-cylinder complete with a turbocharger. The powerplant is good for 208 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. An optional ECO start/stop system keeps fuel economy in check while service intervals are set at an insane 15,000 miles. Behind that, Mercedes’ seven-speed automatic transmission does the shifting.

Both cargo and passenger versions offer generous cargo capacity, with the passenger version capable of hauling 1,874 pounds of stuff while the cargo hauls an impressive 2,502 pounds. For those with a trailer, the Metris will lug just less than 5,000 pounds on its hitch.


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The Metris is a surprising bargain for a mid size van with the three-point star on its hood. The cargo version starts at $28,950 while the passenger version starts at $32,500. Both are subject to the $995 destination charge, however. That’s not a bad deal considering the size, quality, capability, and electronic aides built into the Metris. Those aides include Attention Assist, Crosswind Assist, and load-adaptive ESP. Optional equipment includes Active Parking Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, Parktronic, Collision Prevention Assist, Blind Spot Assist, and a review camera.


Ford Transit Connect

2014 Ford Transit Connect Cargo
- image 518559

The Ford Transit Connect offers plenty of capability in a handsome package. Both cargo and passenger versions are available and EcoBoost power keeps things moving. The downside to this Ford, at least compared to the Metris, is its limited cargo room and towing abilities. Ford loyalists will have to step into the larger Transit in order to haul more substantial loads, but at the cost of a larger, more ungainly footprint.

Pricing for the Transit Connect starts at $22,900.

Nissan NV200

2015 Nissan NV200 - Driven - image 613895

The Nissan NV200 and its Chevrolet City Express twin offer a smaller, less capable van that is more suited to inner city driving. That doesn’t mean the NV200 isn’t a solid choice for businesses, as it does offer plenty of cargo space, but it won’t carry the same as the competition.

The NV200 is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder that makes 131 horsepower and 139 pound-feet of torque.

Pricing for the Nissan starts low at $20,720 and rises into the mid $20,000 range.


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Mercedes’ newest van offers tons of versatility and capability, all wrapped in a handsome package. Its price point will also give fleet managers and small business owners reason for excitement as it offers more cargo room than the smaller vans with a more nimble footprint over the larger Sprinter and full size Transit, all at an affordable price.

It will be interesting to see how well the North American market accepts the Metris, but if I had to guess, I’d say Ford, Chevrolet, Nissan, and Ram had better look out.

  • Leave it
    • No diesel option
    • No higher trim levels (yet)
    • Only van-certified MB dealers can sell it

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Press Release

Mercedes-Benz Vans USA is introducing the “Mercedes-Benz Metris” at the NTEA Work Truck Show in Indianapolis on Wednesday, March 4, 2015 at 10:00 am. This follows the “Mission: Metris” teaser campaign at SEMA in Las Vegas in November 2014, which featured four custom upfitted Metris concept vans. The Metris, which launches at U.S. dealers in October 2015, is the U.S. and Canadian sibling to the “Vito,” which remains the midsize commercial van nameplate for all other global markets.

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“We are pleased to debut the Mercedes-Benz Metris at NTEA, which is a major step in launching our midsize commercial van in the U.S. market in October 2015,” said Bernie Glaser, Vice President and Managing Director of Daimler Vans USA, LLC. “It is only logical that we adopt the global approach and also expand our successful vans business in the USA. Our SEMA ‘Mission: Metris’ presence with four distinctive van concepts was an effective way for us to hit the ground running to announce the nameplate ‘Mercedes-Benz Metris’ and to show off its unmatched versatility, size, and safety. And now, we can’t wait to offer our customers and upfitters both the Sprinter and Metris Vans as a full-line vans brand: Mercedes-Benz Vans.”

The Metris is a right-sized vehicle: It is larger than the small vans and smaller than the large vans. Its value proposition includes superior craftsmanship, high cargo/towing capacity, and an attractive price. It is designed to thrive in large metropolitan areas with an agile yet spacious presence. The Cargo Van starts at $28,950, and the Passenger Van starts at $32,500 (excluding $995 destination/delivery charge for both vans). Because all Mercedes-Benz Vans feature the advantages of top service at dealerships, top levels of safety and ergonomics, and exemplary Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), the Metris shines in all areas. It can easily fit into a parking garage in a large metropolitan area, and can also meet the needs of those who work out of their homes. In addition, it carries many of the rugged characteristics of the Sprinter.

Upon launching in October 2015 at the 200+ Mercedes-Benz U.S. dealers authorized to sell Vans, the Metris will be available with a powerful and highly efficient 4-cylinder gasoline engine that has 208 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque, mated to a refined, efficient, and robust 7-speed automatic transmission with rear-wheel drive. This powertrain application, with optional ECO start/stop, was developed specifically for the U.S. and Canadian markets to meet the needs of the Mid-Size Commercial Van Segment, and also comes with a service interval of up to 15,000 miles.

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Advanced safety features are a hallmark for any Mercedes-Benz vehicle, and the Metris will feature 6 airbags for the Cargo Van variant and 8 airbags for the Passenger Van variant. All models will feature standard ATTENTION ASSIST, standard Crosswind Assist, and standard load-adaptive ESP. Optional safety features will include Active Parking Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, PARKTRONIC, Collision Prevention Assist, Blind Spot Assist, and a rearview camera. Many of the interior features are taken from other recent automotive entrants into the Mercedes-Benz lineup, such as premium touches and overall fit-and-finish. Large cupholders have also been added to the center console on the dashboard to meet North American customer needs of long-haul or local driving.

In the U.S. full-size commercial van segment, sales of the Sprinter continue to be brisk, up 17.4% YTD. Model year 2014 brought new major enhancements such as a fresh and confident new front end exterior design, 4-cylinder BlueTEC clean diesel powertrain that already plays a similar role as its big brother, the V6, and upgrades of safety and infotainment.

Model year 2015 saw many additional enhancements for the Sprinter including:

Addition of standard Crosswind Assist on all 2500 models.
Increased service intervals of up to 20,000 miles (MY 2014 service intervals were up to 15,000 miles).
Optional Sprinter 4x4 version of both Cargo Van and Passenger Van versions will also be added in Q1/2015, which will be the only ex-factory four-wheel drive system on the market for a commercial van in the USA.
Addition of a third roof option. The new super high roof underlines the benchmark position concerning interior heights by offering an interior roof height of up to 7 feet.
SULEV option for our standard 4-cylinder BlueTEC engine is the first SULEV diesel engine worldwide and underlines our ‘Green Leadership.’
A Super Single heavy duty package variant is being introduced in early 2015, which is an alternative to the 3500 dually rear wheel setup that allows for a 48.3 in. loading width between wheels.

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All of these features highlight the position of the Sprinter as the most innovative large van in the segment. Independent from the model year, over 75% of all Sprinters have upfitter treatment on them, regardless of extra shelving or extensive Recreational Vehicle modifications.

To coincide with the launch of the new Metris midsize commercial van, this year the Daimler Vans USA team is pleased to announce that they will be rolling out a new and improved Upfitter Program in the coming months. Upfitters play a crucial role in meeting the vast array of customer requirements, and the planned enhancements to this already highly successful initiative will help maximize the full potential in the U.S. market.

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