Hooniverse Asks: Would You Buy a Mercedes Minivan?

The other day while I was out and about a particular vehicle on the road caught my eye. It was a Mercedes Metris passenger van, a new model that the marque has just this year introduced here in the U.S.. While similar in size to the Honda Odysseys, Toyota Siennas and Chrysler Pacificas with which we’re all familiar, the Metris is in fact RWD and is targeted toward commercial use, even in its passenger form.
That’s not to say it can’t do the same family hauling duties of those more traditional competitors, it’s just not going to be as fully equipped as, at the top end, they might be. No built-in vacuums or folding into the floor seating here. What you do get is a 208-bhp turbo four and four-wheel independent suspension. Both of those features make the 4,800-lb van a surprisingly competent handler, and allow for a decent ton and a quarter carrying capacity. Along with those attribute comes another. At an MSRP of $32,500, the Metris is currently the cheapest passenger vehicle Mercedes Benz sells in the U.S.. The Cargo edition is an even cheaper $28,950.
Consider for a moment you have a family and need the utility and convenience of a minivan, which let me tell you, they have in spades. Now think of all the Siennas and Odysseys you see in car line everyday at the kids’ school. Wouldn’t you like something a little different? Maybe even a little classier? What do you think, would a passenger Metris make a livable minivan for a family? If so, would you buy one?
Image: MBUSA

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37 responses to “Hooniverse Asks: Would You Buy a Mercedes Minivan?”

  1. Jeff Glucker Avatar
    Jeff Glucker

    I still lust after an R63 AMG. Not quite a minivan but certainly minivan-esque.
    Debadge, keep it fairly stock looking, and smoke everyone…

  2. GTXcellent Avatar

    The closest MB dealer is 200 miles away. I’m not buying a new Mercedes Benz anything.

    1. Rob Emslie Avatar
      Rob Emslie

      Sounds like a franchising opportunity to me.

  3. Maymar Avatar

    Hypothetically, sure, why not? I’m on board with a mini-Sprinter provided they don’t rust the same (also, I would absolutely embrace a Westfalia-style camper conversion).
    Realistically, I’m 30 and childless, the odds of me ever needing a minivan are growing increasingly slim, and I don’t know if I could be tempted away from the forthcoming W205 wagon sitting on the other side of the showroom.

  4. crank_case Avatar

    This is basically a Vito right? Unless they’ve made major improvements over the last one, I would be inclined to say no, well based on the van version anyway. Still felt very much like a van and not a particularly comfy one with crap seats and a lot of vibration.

    1. Sjalabais Avatar

      I think they had to do away with the Vito name because it basically managed to let 100+ years of Mercedes-pride implode into a ball of sh*t. That’s unusual language for square me, but everyone I know who has leased or even bought a Mercedes of that flavour is so burned, they get instant bloodpressure issues if you mention the V-word.

      1. Hubba Avatar

        “Vito” is a no-go in the States because of the Godfather movies.

        1. Sjalabais Avatar

          An unreliable qork vehicle can be just as ball-clenching…

          1. Top-dead-centre Avatar

            I usually avoid qorking in my vehicles. Much more healthy that way.

    2. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

      I think the Vito name is continuing. The Viano name has gone, thankfully because it was stupid, and they’ve returned to the old V-Class name in Europe.
      They’re pretty popular over here, and expensive. It’s worth remembering that the interior fit is way better quality than the externally similar Vito. MB Europe are deliberately keeping their car and van divisions separate, and the price gap reflects this.

  5. Stu_Rock Avatar

    This might be the only Mercedes I’d consider purchasing. I don’t view the Metris as being a member of the Odyssey/Sienna/Pacifica class–I’d instead call it the successor to the Chevrolet Astro.

  6. Fred Talmadge Avatar
    Fred Talmadge

    My minivan days are behind me.

    1. Sjalabais Avatar

      I imagine you saying that while adjusting your sunglasses, ready to disappear into the sunset with a burbly sound coming out of your exhaust.

    2. Alff Avatar

      Most of my minivan is behind me.

  7. smalleyxb122 Avatar

    If I were looking for a minivan, and looking to buy new, the Metris would definitely be near the top of my list, because if I’m looking for a minivan, I want it van first, mini second.
    If the purpose is “minivan duty” (hauling around the spawn and their accouterments) something like the new Pacifica would do it better, but dammit, I’d still prefer the more truck-like Metris.

  8. Alff Avatar

    Our minivan does double duty as family truckster and commercial delivery vehicle. I like that this leans more toward the latter than our Grand Caravan. I will consider one when the time comes.

    1. Vairship Avatar

      Yup, I’m enjoying the Transit Connect Wagon LWB. Finally a vehicle that you can see out of again! (In fact, the first thing I said when sitting in it was: “Holy god, that’s a huge windshield!”).

  9. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

    This is what Tetris would be called if more in touch with its feminine side.
    I’ll bet that fitting awkward L shaped blocks in the back is a cinch.

  10. Ryan Huelsemann Avatar
    Ryan Huelsemann

    as the former owner of a 2004 Mazda MPV, and the current owner of a 2004 Sienna, the only issue i see with this vehicle is a lack of fold-able/ easy to remove seating.
    Our vans have been routinely used to haul 7 kids, remove/fold seats, haul a load of cargo, re-install/fold up seats, haul 7 kids, all in one day. wrestling a single removable 2nd row seat is bad enough. a full bench would be a deal killer. i love having a fully fold-able 3rd row as well, but i couldn’t bear to buy a Chrysler product even if they do have the folding 2nd row.
    if they could find a way to make the transition between family hauler and drywall carrier more seamless, i’d be all in.

  11. Inliner Avatar

    I might buy a minivan, and I might buy a Mercedes-Benz, but I wouldn’t buy a Mercedes-Benz minivan.

  12. Scoutdude Avatar

    No way in hell, I spent too much time working on Sprinters to ever trust a Mercedes Van to be reliable and durable.

  13. theskitter Avatar

    With knobby tires and a brush guard.

  14. dukeisduke Avatar

    I went on their site awhile back to configure one of these, just for grins. The optioning is very weird (it’s an extra $990 if you want metallic paint, $1,000 for high-performance a/c, and there’s no such thing as “trim levels”). And if you want a leather steering wheel with audio controls on it, you have to take off the active safety package w/ park assist (WTH?). I like it because it’s RWD – my Sienna needs drive axles (though the boots aren’t split, and it hasn’t even hit 150k). But, the only engine is a 2.0 DI turbo four.
    I don’t think this is a van that would be targeted at families, but at hotels and other businesses. From the brochure: “… you have the perfect van for your shuttle, chauffeur, or taxi business in the garageable size you want.” And the seats don’t fold down or flat, so forget about hauling sheets of plywood or stuff like that.

  15. Le Dominus Avatar
    Le Dominus

    This minivan is brilliant !!. I have driven about a dozen or so, and they go like stink !. Faster then many cars round a corner, if you know how they roll. I did Granada(Spain)-Lisbon(Portugal)-Granada in 22 hours in one (around 1000 miles+), and still felt like a human. I would buy a new one, just for the pleasure to drive one, with the big V6 engine, and autobox (and as a personal car, i only need a 2 door hatchback). They are smooth,look great in black, are fairly economical to drive, and really comfortable. I am sure that they have a sub 10 seconds to 62 Miles/hour.
    You do not know what you are missing !!!

  16. Professor Lavahot Avatar
    Professor Lavahot

    No marque has fallen more squarely into my “Oh, well that’s not gonna be reliable” category than Mercedes (well…maybe Audi). I base this only on the vibes I get from online commenters, though. Is that justified, or do some of the truckier Mercedes models warrant a second look?
    I want a minivan (seriously) and very few of them have the sort of globally-engineered utilitarian approach that I think makes them more appealing and durable than a Mom-mobile with an onboard vacuum. Nissan’s offering is so dorky and FCA’s van doesn’t come with seats, so it’s down to either this or a Ford Transit Connect, which probably has issues of its own (I don’t trust that transmission).

    1. Le Dominus Avatar
      Le Dominus

      This sexy beast will be reliable for at least 500.000 km-300.000 miles plus. I drive several MB over 1.000.000 km-600.000 miles.No real problem, just check the oil, etc !!. Go for the MB !! On original engines !! (Diesel).

  17. SlowJoeCrow Avatar

    Definitely maybe. I saw a commercial model at a show and it looked useful for towing as an alternative to a small crew cab, but not big enough to fit bikes in the rear like a Sprinter or Transit. Since we have a small minivan (Mazda5) a Tacoma double cab or possibly F150 is far more likely.

  18. Harry Callahan Avatar
    Harry Callahan

    Odyssey and Sienna are damn good products. They are very comfortable, reliable, well made, and have the nice flat floor enabled by its fwd layout. Why on earth would I buy a MB product…long known for high maintenance and repair costs, likely delays in getting repair parts, and a Chevy Astro inspired RWD layout? Rest assured, the mom driving this minivan is all about looking the snob…or her husband is.

  19. salguod Avatar

    I’m a huge fan of minivans for their unparalleled versatility, but my minivan days are in the past. If I were looking, I’d be looking at Odysseys. I don’t think anyone does the minivan better.
    That said, one number makes this MB appealing – 5,000 lbs towing. In our camping days, we had to move from a minivan to a large CUV (Saturn Outlook) to better tote our large-ish pop up camper. Though the Outlook was stylish, I missed the space, MPG and more nimble handling of our old Odyssey. Having a van that could confidently tow would be quite appealing.

    1. Guest Avatar

      My parents made the same switch (minivan to large CUV) when they went from a Honda Odyssey to a Mazda CX-9 do to better roadholding on gravel roads, and I agree completely on the space thing.

      In the Odyssey, you can fold down the center console/tray/thingie and fit a relatively large bag there. In the CX-9, you’re basically forced to put your sunglasses in a cupholder.

      And don’t even get me started on the visibility differences…

      1. salguod Avatar

        I really wanted a CX-9 when we went CUV, but it had the same tow rating as the Odyssey – 3,500 lbs. The Outlook was 5,200lbs and that made a big difference compared to the Ody.
        Plus, the interior space behind the 3rd row was even less than the Outlook which was half what the Odyssey was. I would have went with a Pilot, but it was 4,500 lbs towing and even less space than the CCX-9.
        As it was, when traveling with the 5 of us without the camper, we had to buy a hitch mounted cargo rack because there wasn’t enough room inside, even with half the 3rd row folded. Never had that problem with the Odyssey.

        1. Guest Avatar

          Exactly. The Odyssey was, and is (we still have it as a backup vehicle) brilliant interior wise, with plenty of space, and lots of little compartments.

          The one I really wanted my parents to look at was the Dodge Durango, as they have a good amount of power, and looked to have a good amount of interior space.

          The Pilot was also considered, but was eventually vetoed by my mother, who said it was “too boxy”.

          1. salguod Avatar

            The Durango was either not yet out or brand new in 2010 when we bought the Outlook. That and the new CUV Explorer were out of our price range, though. The Durango can be optioned to tow 7K or so. None come close to the space of the Odyssey (or Sienna or Grand Caravan the etc.)

  20. Krautwursten Avatar

    5.14 meters long, 1.93 meters wide plus mirrors.

  21. boxdin Avatar

    If its like the sprinter its too many sensors driving you nuts.

  22. are vee Avatar
    are vee

    Not if it looks like the photo. A Mercedes star on a Chrysler-like minivan is no more appealing than a VW ‘Routan’. Too bad Chrysler, originator of the concept, has become synonymous with cheap looking vans that fall apart in a couple of years.