Overview

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Overview (Final Score: B-)

The 2017 Mercedes-Benz Metris continues where the Metris was introduced two years ago. It's a North American version of the Spanish Vito, differing from that model mainly in engine and drivetrain. The Metris replaced the Sprinter van formerly sold under the Mercedes-Benz banner.

The 2017 Metris comes in four basic variants, all of which are based on the same midsize commercial van design. The Metris Cargo is focused on - you guessed it - cargo hauling. The Passenger adds two rows of bench seating in the rear. For those focused entirely on utilizing the no-frills get-the-job-done mentality of commercial vehicles, the Metris Worker Cargo and Worker Passenger offer fewer options in exchange for a lower price.

The 2017 Metris is a surprisingly good van, fitting somewhere in between the compact and large vans offered by most competitors. The Metris maximizes interior room and daily workability with excellent feature sets and a solid list of standard features, including a safety feature that aids stability in high winds. That's important in a van this tall.

The 2017 Mercedes-Benz Metris is a good workhorse with a smart package design that allows buyers to customize or strip down the van to their specific needs and budget. The Metris might cost more than the rivals it's usually compared to, but most of them are either smaller or not as feature rich.

What We Love About the 2017 Mercedes-Benz Metris:


  • Great drive with a lot of driver visibility and maneuverability

  • Smart engine with a well-matched transmission

  • Good interior design with lots of useful ergonomics


 

What We Don't Love About the 2017 Mercedes-Benz Metris:


  • Engine can be underpowered with heavier loads

  • Rear doors on passenger models do not hinge all the way back

  • Infotainment is less than stellar, even in the most high-end option


 

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Exterior View (9/10)

As commercial vans go, the 2017 Metris isn't too tough to look at. This class of van is basically a box on wheels, but Mercedes has managed to take that and make something out of it that isn't an eyesore. We applaud them for that as most of the competition in this market doesn't seem to care much about exterior looks.

The 2017 Mercedes-Benz Metris begins with a front fascia that is definitely Mercedes in design. The large Mercedes-Benz emblem at the center of the black grille is topped by the hood, which runs upward to the windscreen fairly quickly. Underneath the grille, a scoop takes in air while optional foglamps flank that and headlamps rake upwards above those. Fenders are short, thanks to the fascia intruding about halfway into them with an aggressive bumper guard. The windscreen on the Metris is raked in a sporty fashion.

The pretty front end gives way to business quickly as the rest of the van is square, with a flat roofline and straight edges along the bottom. The slightest hint of a bow in the body cuts under the door and through the back panels are the only hint at more style than just a panel van would have. It's enough to set the Metris apart.

The rear doors open in a 50-50 split outward. Optional packages can add windows in the rear paneling, a roof rack system, sliding side doors and more. Wheels are limited to steel or alloy.

Interior Comfort, Quality, Ergonomics (8/10)

Interior comfort is a bit subjective when we're talking about commercial vehicles. The Mercedes-Benz Metris is not a luxury van, it's a working van. From that perspective, the interior for the driver and front passenger are well done. Seating is firm, but comfortable and workable with no fuss or added frills.

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Most models of the Metris will be designed as cargo carriers with an open rear area, or a box area designed with racks or shelving for items. The Metris is well designed for this function, with plentiful tie-downs in and around its floor and lower walls (standard D-hooks), as well as an optional rubberized floor.

The Passenger model includes two rows of bench seating, fitting up to six people not including the driver and front passenger. These seats are comfortable and configurable, with easy levers to unhook the seats partially or fully to either fold forward to add cargo space, or be removed from the van entirely. Seatbelts are self-contained with the seats, so everything removes in one piece, leaving a flat floor. The Passenger options also add a rearview mirror to see through the rear door windows and side windows in the sliding doors for passengers to see out of.

A host of upgrades are available in the packages, including a leather-wrapped steering wheel, multi-function controls on the steering wheel, an upgraded driver information display, upgraded infotainment, blind-spot monitoring and more.

We like the standard cubbies integrated into the dashboard, with one in front of the driver and one in front of the front passenger large enough for a clipboard to stay, a center one for large notebooks or other items, and one to either side of the infotainment screen for phones. One of those comes standard with a USB plug and another can be added with some package upgrades.

Cargo space in the 2017 Mercedes-Benz Metris is cavernous. The cargo space in the Cargo models measures 186 cubic feet and the Passenger model 38 cubic feet behind the third row. Those numbers are substantially larger than the segment's best-selling Ford Transit.

The sliding doors open to allow a full 4 feet of space between door and pillar for easy loading while the rear doors open on staged hinges to 180 degrees (maximum on Passenger) and 270 degrees (against the sides of the van). One or both doors can be opened to load and unload.

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Technology (6/10)

The basic technology package in the standard models is a 5.8-inch color screen. Worker models have a similarly sized screen with a monochrome display. Both are controlled by a strange little knob on the bottom-right corner that functions as a sort of joystick. This clunky way of interacting takes some time to learn and is highly distracting when on the road.

The amount of things that this system can do is limited to Bluetooth connections, audio control, some climate controls and optional navigation.

Fuel Economy (9/10)

The Metris is EPA-rated at up to 21 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway. In the real world driving the Passenger model, we achieved 25 mpg on the highway routinely and roughly the expected mileage in the city.  After a week of driving with various loads, our overall average was 23 mpg.

Predicted Reliability, Initial Quality Ratings (7/10)

Because we have no reliability ratings to draw from for this vehicle, we are scoring it based on the average reliability expectation of Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicles.

Safety (8/10)

As of this writing, the Metris has not been crash tested by either the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). So crash test results are not available. Compared to other commercial vans on the market, the 2017 Mercedes-Benz Metris has many more standard and available safety technologies.

Standard driver-assist safety items such as blind-spot assistance and collision alert/prevention are available on the Metris with the Active Safety Plus package. The van also has a "Crosswind Assist" system to avoid blowover in high winds, as part of its standard stability system. Also standard are front airbags. The Passenger model has standard side curtain airbags as well.

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Performance (9/10)

The engine powering the 2017 Metris is a small 2.0-liter four-cylinder that has been turbocharged to produce 208 horsepower and an impressive 258 pound-feet of torque. A seven-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive are standard.

The 2017 Mercedes-Benz Metris drives very well for a commercial van. It's maneuverable, visibility for the driver is good, and the van feels confident in most situations. Acceleration around town is very good. Getting up to speed and holding speed on the freeway is pretty good as well. Under a heavy load, the four-cylinder will sometimes struggle to get and maintain high speeds, but the transmission goes a long way toward maximizing that torque in most driving situations.

Pricing and Value (8/10)

The 2017 Mercedes-Benz Metris is priced a bit higher than most in its segment, but has better driveability and some improved interior elements, including more cargo space, that are not found in the others. Most buyers are likely to add a few amenities for this commercial van, putting the price tag in the $35,000 range at the lower-mid level and closer to $40,000 in the upper level, especially with the Passenger model.

The Metris will pay off well with superior comfort and ergonomics for most needs. Especially in situations where longer distances or passenger hauling are the intended use for this van.

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Total Score and Competitive Comparison (64/80, 80%)

There aren't many rivals in the midsize commercial van segment for the Mercedes-Benz Metris to compete with. Most doing shopping comparisons are more likely to consider a slightly smaller city-style van or a larger full-size van.

The Ram ProMaster Cargo series, both in its smaller City and full-size models, is a close competitor with a lot to offer. The Metris offers a better drive over both Ram models and more interior space than the ProMaster City. The same can be said of the Nissan NV200 and the Ford Transit Connect.

The 2017 Mercedes-Benz Metris is one of the best and likely most overlooked commercial vans on offer today. It checks off a lot of important boxes for commercial buyers, for cargo hauling and passenger carrying.

Trim Style Engine Drive Train MSRP
Cargo Minivan - RWD
Worker Standard Roof 126" Wheelbase Worker 4 Cylinder RWD 25995
Standard Roof 126" Wheelbase 4 Cylinder RWD 28950
Passenger Minivan - RWD
Worker Standard Roof 126" Wheelbase Worker 4 Cylinder RWD 29995
Standard Roof 126" Wheelbase 4 Cylinder RWD 32900

Car Rankings

Interested to see how the 2017 Mercedes-Benz Metris ranks against similar cars in terms of key attributes? Here are the 2017 Mercedes-Benz Metris rankings for MPG, horsepower, torque, leg room, head room, shoulder room, hip room and so forth.

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