2019 Mercedes-Benz Metris new car reviews

A brand-new Mercedes-Benz for less than $30,000? Yes, it’s possible–assuming you check out the Metris, a smaller van wearing the three-pointed star. It’s kinda like a Sprinter that got left in the dryer. 

The Metris Worker Cargo Van starts at $28,180 and is the kind of thing you’d see driven by someone wearing a safety vest: black bumpers, white paint and a panel van configuration. (Seriously, the sole color choice is Artic White.)

We spent time with the Passenger Van version. It starts at $35,580, but options boosted ours to $44,425. What kind of options? Stuff like the Driver Comfort Package ($750 for a nicer seat and Comfort Suspension), Electric Sliding Door Package ($1290) and Premium Exterior Package ($1300 for a chrome grille, black roof rails and a body-color bumpers). Another $1250 went to a Driver Efficiency Package that includes fog lamps, cruise control and a navigation system. Mercedes-Benz offers more than a dozen hues for this one as well. 

Was this the Mercedes-Benz of minivans? Read the rest of the article for the impressions.

Other staff views

David S. Wallens David S. Wallens
Editorial Director

No, sadly, this isn’t some kind of luxury, fully decked-out minivan. It’s not something for those wishing that Lexus or Audi entered this market. At the end of the day, it still feels like an airport shuttle vehicle–but one that costs about the same as the second-from-the-top Honda Odyssey.

How’s that? Well, with just 208 horsepower, the Benz van doesn’t accelerate quickly–yet, oddly, sports paddle shifters.

And despite the star on the grille, it’s not very luxurious. A third-row seat that folds into the floor? Nope. Power seat adjustments for the driver? Nope. Power lift gate? That would be another no. On-board Wi-Fi or entertainment systems for the rear seat passengers? Don’t ask.

What else do you get for nearly $45k? A navigation system that features a tiny screen and archaic controls as well headrests that block rearward visibility. (The windshield offers a nice view of the road, however.)

Some pluses: Solid steering feel, big gauges, easy driver ingress and handsome looks.

A lesson learned while gassing up: The fuel filler door can’t be opened until the same is done with the driver door, so watch how closely you park to the pump.

Our take: If someone brought an East German minivan into modern times, this would be it. Yes, there’s a funkiness that some will enjoy. Plus, there is something cool about rolling up in a Mercedes-Benz minivan. Despite the lack of poke, it does go down the road nicely.

But at this price–and especially considering the bar constantly set by the brand–there are other options that offer better power along with the bells and whistles expected by most minivan consumers.

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HFmaxi
HFmaxi Reader
10/25/19 7:51 a.m.

The Metris is mostly a utilitarian vehicle best for folks that are looking to replace an old Astro, Vanagon or who want a VW Transporter. It's not really a minivan but MB should have done a bit more to stave off reviews like the above by offering folding seats and modern infotainment. It does sit 7 or 8 adults comfortably (all real seats) and tows 5000lbs. It has a GCWR of 11684 lbs (nearly double the Odyssey) so you don't have to leave your other stuff at home or be forced into an SUV or truck just cause you have a trailer. 

Fueled by Caffeine
Fueled by Caffeine MegaDork
10/25/19 8:20 a.m.

I've only every been around them when they are configured for delivery vehciles.  They are bigger than a transit connect but smaller than a fullsize.  Gas mileage is good too when used as a stop and go delivery vehicle.  

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 MegaDork
10/25/19 9:01 a.m.

I saw one of these at the International Auto Show last year, I think, and I was impressed.  Of course, the one on display had a full luxury conversion treatment and it was friggin' sweet!  I wanna say it was a diesel too.

Of course, the pricing info on display was for the base model.  I think the conversion to make it a live-able family hauler was an extra $30k or so.

Edit:  Apparently only available with the 2.0 Turbo four.

nderwater
nderwater UltimaDork
10/25/19 10:33 a.m.

Interesting that it's RWD, unlike most vans that size. Is this considered a Commercial vehicle? Curious to know if parts and service expenses are more in line with luxury vehicles or fleet vehicles.

HFmaxi
HFmaxi Reader
10/25/19 10:46 a.m.
nderwater said:

Interesting that it's RWD, unlike most vans that size. Is this considered a Commercial vehicle? Curious to know if parts and service expenses are more in line with luxury vehicles or fleet vehicles.

Yes it is commercial according to MB and only serviced at sprinter dealers. Shares a good number of parts with other MB cars and vans.

pinchvalve
pinchvalve MegaDork
10/25/19 11:35 a.m.

I checked them out at the local CarMax-type place. They were just like the cool shuttles I have ridden in Germany so many times, much nicer than a 15-passenger vans in the US.  But as a minivan alternative, they fall short. The ones on the lot sat a lot of people, but were very spartan and utilitarian inside. The Pacificas right next to them were packed with tech and leather and power everything, but undercut the price by almost $10k.

_
_ Dork
10/25/19 12:00 p.m.

"Nice caravan", said Dodge. 

stuart in mn
stuart in mn MegaDork
10/25/19 3:34 p.m.

Speaking of Mercedes vans, Edd China has a recent YouTube video reviewing the commercial Mercedes vans that are available in the UK.  They have an astounding variety of sizes and options, including manual transmissions.

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
10/25/19 4:06 p.m.

In reply to stuart in mn :

All of the vans sold in the UK have manual transmissions as standard.

Mercedes doesn't really seem to market the Metris as a minivan here.  I almost always see ads for the oriented towards businesses. 

Ransom
Ransom UltimaDork
10/25/19 5:39 p.m.

The can't-open-the-fuel-door-'til-you-open-the-driver's-door thing is weird here in Oregon, where you don't pump your own gas and normally have no reason to open the door. In fact, it would make it more awkward to have the usual through-the-window transaction.

Mndsm
Mndsm MegaDork
10/25/19 5:44 p.m.

I like those. Probably more than reasonable. 

miatafan
miatafan New Reader
10/25/19 6:17 p.m.
Ransom said:

The can't-open-the-fuel-door-'til-you-open-the-driver's-door thing is weird here in Oregon, where you don't pump your own gas and normally have no reason to open the door. In fact, it would make it more awkward to have the usual through-the-window transaction.

Full-size Ford Transit vans are the same way.

Vigo
Vigo MegaDork
10/26/19 9:04 a.m.

The can't-open-the-fuel-door-'til-you-open-the-driver's-door thing is weird here in Oregon, where you don't pump your own gas and normally have no reason to open the door.

My brother is thinking about moving to Oregon or Washington. Can your state legislate a job into existence for him too? That would be super convenient. cheeky 

My opinion of Metris vans is anyone looking for a minivan won't like them. They are definitely converted commercial vans and not even a thorough effort. I see their main upside as being if you wanted to carry not just 7 or 8 people but 7 or 8 ADULTS and a pile of gear, or wanted to tow as well. 

Fueled by Caffeine
Fueled by Caffeine MegaDork
10/26/19 9:10 a.m.

In reply to Vigo :

New Jersey has the cant pump your own rule.  I always was told it was why their gas prices were lower than PA's.   Lack of drive offs.  I could be completely wrong. 

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
10/26/19 9:36 a.m.

It's a small work van. I look at it like the Ranger or Colorado. Why buy a mid size when you could buy a full size? Because sometimes it makes sense. I'd like one to haul tiny motorcycles. 

_
_ Dork
10/26/19 10:08 a.m.
 

My brother is thinking about moving to Oregon or Washington. Can your state legislate a job into existence for him too? That would be super convenient

This state is full. California packed up and moved here, Ruining our state. 

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
10/26/19 10:43 a.m.
Fueled by Caffeine said:

In reply to Vigo :

New Jersey has the cant pump your own rule.  I always was told it was why their gas prices were lower than PA's.   Lack of drive offs.  I could be completely wrong. 

In theory, the insurance is less, although my understanding is it has more to do with taxes, both state and local.  Gas is cheaper in southern NJ than in the northern areas - likely due to taxes (more farming in southern NJ, where fuel is more of a "need").  Oddly, the "no pump" rule is a little vague when it comes to diesel.  I often pumped diesel myself at a few stations, and apparently some Wawa stations specifically call out diesel pumps as self-serve.  Most attendants will also be flexible with classic cars where they can't set the nozzle and walk away - my GT6 and the Volvo 1800ES were specifically notorious for needing the pump to be held in place. This led to a few amusing conversations when filling the ex's nice ES, "I know I'm not supposed to pump it, but if you spill gas on her car, she WILL kill you. Do you feel lucky today, or would you rather let me take that chance?" 

It seems most (all?) of the European based vans have the fuel door "blocked" by the left/driver's side door.

Yeah... the 5000 lb towing capacity of the Metris is one reason I considered one when they were first introduced, but other attributes don't really serve my needs for the price.

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