Mercedes minivans

Drives Like a Huge C-class

Although we only were able to drive Metris cargo and passenger models a few dozen miles each, it took only a few hundred yards to gather some impressions. The driving position feels rather more like that of a C-class than a Sprinter, with the steering wheel dropping low into one’s lap rather than high and flat, à la buslike wheels found in larger vans. And outward visibility is superb.

The 2.0-liter four-cylinder produces a modest 208 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, yet it does a remarkably good job getting the roughly 4850-pound Metris passenger model moving, even with five grown men aboard while trekking through the 8000-to-10, 000-foot elevations in Colorado where our preview drive was held.

Even better, with rear-wheel drive and a fully independent suspension—uniquely tuned for cargo and passenger applications—the Metris exhibits surprisingly lively dynamics, offering a taut ride, level cornering, and crisp feel through the steering wheel and the brake pedal, attributes we haven’t felt in a van this size, well, maybe ever. And despite our test vehicles being preproduction models, the Metris is remarkably quiet. This is a stunning achievement, particularly for a cargo van.

Baby Sprinter Packaging

Like the Sprinter, the Metris has a T-square profile that allows the windowless cargo version to be upfitted in almost infinite ways, and its 202.4-inch length and 75.2-inch roof height make it about as capacious as a van can get while still being able to fit in a standard garage. (The length is within half an inch of the Odyssey and the Town & Country, about a foot longer than a long-wheelbase Ford Transit Connect. The Benz towers over those vans by three to seven inches.) Loading bulky and/or heavy stuff is facilitated by available 270-degree-opening, barn-style doors at the back and a flat load floor that is barely higher than one’s knees while also being wide enough to accommodate a pallet. The Metris cargo van can carry up to 2502 pounds, and all Metrises are rated to tow a 4960-pound trailer.

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