Mercedes-Benz Metris: Cargo vans are cool!

The Mercedes-Benz Metris leaves me wanting a cargo van. The Metris starts at $32,585 and makes for a great #VanLife platform. Sure, it doesn’t seem like a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine would be enough for adventure, but 258 lb-ft of torque available down low is nice and punchy.

A Metris would be an awesome weekend-warrior camping and mountain bike hauler rig. If you have the dough, don’t need a full-size van, and want to build something cool – the Metris cargo van should be on your list of potential starting points.

[Disclaimer: Mercedes-Benz tossed us the keys to the Metris and included a tank of fuel.]

18 Comments

        1. Pronunciation pro tip: the collar must bob up on each syllable.
          Cultural pro tip: the concept of writing “free candy” on a van (as it is a wide-spread practice in the USA, obviously) is uncommon, and rather frowned upon in Deutschland, you’re supposed to abuse your own family members.

  1. I’ve configurated a Transit Connect or two on the internet, so there’s something there that makes them interesting. They enable non-automotive interesting things to be sure.

    1. I used to have these for work. They are great little cargo vans with one big caveat; the brake pedal is unbelievably touchy. I would take me about 5 minutes to get used to the pedal upon first driving it.

  2. The Vito has such a horrible reputation in Europe because the first generation was fault-ridden beyond belief, and would rust to dust if you looked away for a second or two. Anyway, funny coincidence that I came home with a the “international van of the year 2019” today, if only for a few days – an Opel Combo with only 3400kms on the clock (it’s in the PSA family, aka Peugeot Partner, Citroën Berlingo and Toyota ProAce City are the same car). It’s got a five speed manual (5! Not 7 and certainly not 9 gears. No joke.) and a tiny diesel engine, and it is such a huge contrast to the Centennial that I was supposed to pick up from the shop today. The thing is so loud inside, of course, because it is a metal box that is not insulated and especially the wheel noise gets magnified beyond belief. I am honestly considering putting on ear protection next time, even if I may look like a massive fool for it.

    Anyway, it drives just fine, has cheap surfaces everywhere that ooze durability under stress, and most controls are quite intuitive.

    https://i.ibb.co/9HmYjC7/IMG-20200825-202129.jpg

    There’s a screen inside that raises two big questions:

    https://i.ibb.co/0nqr85F/IMG-20200825-201759.jpg

    Which member of the sprawling PSA family tree comes with the classic mid-console mini-screen of the 90s and beyond:

    https://i.ibb.co/6r67vR1/IMG-20200825-201825.jpg

    And how did they manage to create two spots that make the screen look like an afterthought?:

    https://i.ibb.co/GdJBcfd/IMG-20200825-201900.jpg

    A tiny little annoyance to me were fabrication spots on the back side of the steering wheel, that had me fiddling with those knobs constantly. I haven’t experienced that before, not in a loaner, not in a rental, not in a tired, old, used car that I could call my own:

    https://i.ibb.co/J7X4tCL/IMG-20200825-201949.jpg

    P.S.: Is that black-on-black license plate on your loaner Metro for real? Seems like a very weird way to display a car’s registration.

    1. As owner of a 6yo Opel/Renault/Nissan product I can assure you that components are always supplied by the corporation that has the highest impact on cost: shipping from Japan already provides a good offset, but don’t underestimate the impact of French electrics and pointless German over-engineering. (On the other hand, the car was built more than. million. times in Luton alone, so there usually is an aftermarket alternative).

    2. The front plate holder? Or the rear? The rear plate is dark blue letters on a white plate. The front is just an empty plate holder location.

      1. Good question. I think this was also the radio volume button, and since I drive in silence, I may just have turned it over. But there’s no reason for it to turn with the outer ring…sorry, no good answer.

  3. My take on the Metris for personal use is that it’s only worth it if you need the RWD for towing or if you have to have a 3 pointed star. Otherwise a Transit Connect does all the van things for less and can be set up as a Mazda5 equivalent.

  4. The Metris is cool in that it’s a legitimate RWD van, but comes with MB parts pricing and maintenance, which I don’t care for.

    From the driver’s seat, I actually like the Ford Transit, but the exterior styling is a dealbreaker for me. That front end is hideous. If Ford would redesign it in the likeness of the Expedition, I might be game.

  5. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/94e1491f769e9beb18e198c0ed9ebc52904bd33cae0b4898422a4715640b73d9.jpg
    Are cargo vans cool? I guess if they sway back and forth in a small breeze and are based on a seventies design. Oh and if you paint in a way that looks like a Mennonite Dexter might be on the loose sure. That’s kind of cool as well. I could tow a giant trailer with this thing and it wouldn’t even notice. Heck sit this in the direct sunlight and this much black paint would make it so that you could use the inside as a nice oven for when you are camping. All things that make cargo vans cool.
    That and there is so much cargo room in here that it is classified as an RV.

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