Sneak Preview: 2016 Mercedes Metris

June 8, 2015 -  By

MercedesMetris1At press events in Dunton and Telluride, Colo., last week, Mercedes-Benz US gave a group of reporters test drives of the company’s pre-production 2016 Metris. Targeted at commercial buyers, the mid-size van comes in cargo or passenger versions. Mercedes’ second van to hit US markets is slated for an October 2015 release.

Touted as the company’s smaller option to the Sprinter model, the Metris’ height of 74.8 inches gives the vehicle “garagability,” said Head of Mercedes-Benz US Van Division Bernie Glaser. Unlike other tall Euro-style vans, including the Sprinter, the van can easily be parked in a metropolitan-area parking garage or a home garage.

“This is for the plumber that is going to drive this thing at home at night,” Glaser said. “There are some residential area codes where you’re not allowed to park a commercial vehicle overnight.”

Many in the green industry may find the dimensions—202.4 inches long, 75.9 inches wide and 74.8 inches tall—too small for application. However, the vehicle has a towing capacity of 5,000 lbs, more than enough to tow a mower. Plus, as PR Manager Christian Bokich pointed out, “The cargo model is still wide enough to fit a full-size wood pallet.”

The Metris drives more like a minivan than a cargo van, but it still offers similar durability to the Sprinter model. It also comes with sleek features like the standard dual climate control and a blinker-style gear shifter.

A fuel-efficient, 4-cylinder gasoline engine, along with a 7-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive, powers the mid-size van. The engine provides 208 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. The Metris also comes with a service interval of up to 15,000 miles.

The company recorded the Metris, which is still a pre-production vehicle, at 31.6 and 25.6 miles per gallon on two separate test drives. An optional ECO Start/Stop, which shuts the engine down at red lights or when it is not in use, will also be available for increased efficiency.

The vehicle is built with a heavy focus on safety and includes these standard features:

Optional safety features will include active parking assist, lane keeping assist, collision prevention assist, blind spot assist and a rearview camera.

The Metris will be sold at around 200 dealers across the U.S. and Canada. Authorized dealers will have a staff capable of servicing the vehicle and salespeople dedicated to commercial vehicles.

The Metris Cargo Van starts at $28,950, plus a $995 delivery charge. Preordering will start June 2015.

Photo: Mercedes-Benz US

About the Author:

Dillon Stewart graduated from Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, earning a Bachelor of Science in Online Journalism with specializations in business and political science. Stewart is a former associate editor of LM.

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