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Hi All, I'm ready to take the plunge. I have decided that a mid-sized van is perfect for me. The city vans are too small (want to having something big enough for 2 people on occasion) and a full-sized cargo is too big (with poor fuel economy which is important to me and not stealthy enough for me). Problem is, there are only two vans in the US that fit my size preference: the 15+ year old chevy astro (170 cubic feet) and the brand new mercedes metris (183 cubic feet) color copies online near me.
I want to spend 15k on my new home (van). The astros can be had for well under 5k, but the metris is over 25k. I wish there was some middle road. I am hesitant to go with the astro because I am not very mechanically inclined and do not want to be spending time and money having maintenance done on a 20 year old car. I like the metris, and could buy one cash, but then I'd have no money leftover for adventuring.
Aside from waiting a few years until a used metris can be found, any thoughts or ideas? Thanks!
 

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On second thought scratch the lease idea. After checking pricing over on MBVans.com. The monthly payments seem to have increased substantially from a few yrs past. Anyways I would hold off until this virus thing plays out. Who knows maybe MB will start giving the vans away for 8-10000 off msrp like they did before.
 

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Ever looked at a crash test of an Astro van? Any significant accident is almost certain horrific death.


 

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I hate to say it but the astro will cost less to operate with some of the garbage I'm seeing how Mercedes is operating. You can buy a astro for what a service cost on the MB. Lol.
 

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We came from a VW vanagon and went with the Metris mostly because of safety. With a family of 4, we swapped out the old seats for the ones that fold forward. Behind that we have a 5' bed with storage below that has a leaf and makes a 6' bed and we don't have to take the seat out anymore to sleep. So far it's been a great van with no problems. 2 long road trips and fun to drive. Cost us $16,500 a year ago with 45,000 miles on it.
 

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Not to change the subject, but have you looked at a 99'-03' Eurovan in addition to the TR7 garage? Seriously, I understand the attraction of the RWD Astro, but the EV has 4,400# towing capacity, about 1,000# cargo. Definitely not a Metris Cargo, but the naturally-aspirated VR6 engine is a honey if cared for. It's FWD and drives "heavier" than the Metris, surefooted with reinforced sidewall tires, but nowhere as agile as Metris on the twisties. It's Metris-like as well in that it has the "easy-to-remove-my-*ss" seat setup (bolts and wrenches and for me nowadays two people to remove seats) and the option of moving the three seat rear bench to the middle. Did I say the benches and passenger seat fold flat? They do, which made my EV an A-Numba-1 kayak hauler. Even with the 135 wheelbase Metris Cargo, I have to rotate the passenger seat rearward and jab the 'yak into the heated seat in a way I don't like.

Good luck!
 

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That’s because nobody ever drives the infernal things. I never understood why GM included radios in them; you couldn’t hear Rammstein doing Mahler at top volume.
 

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Yet, I still see them on the road everyday, and they haven't made them since 2005. Conservatively, my wife and I have put at least 350,000 miles on our 3 different Astro vans since 1995. We still have two. Undoubtedly the Metris is a better and safer vehicle. I don't think I'll buy another Metris, even though my wife and I both love it.
 

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Ever looked at a crash test of an Astro van? Any significant accident is almost certain horrific death.


I'm not sure an almost 20yr difference is a fair comparison.
But I do think my 2018 Metris would hold up better in a similar front-end crash.
Jim
 

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I have had 3 Chevy Astros in a row and my last one was a 2005, the last year they were made. They are great vehicles and in a size class that only the Metris can compare to. I kept that 2005 until this year, when I purchased a new Metris. If Chevy would have kept on making the Astro, I would have owned a 4th one, but they didn’t. The only reason I didn’t replace the 2005 Astro sooner was because I couldn’t find a mid size van of similar size, until I discovered the Metris last year. I have only driven a Metris now for less than 2 months and don’t think you can compare a 15 year vehicle with one that is either new or just a few years old. The price is steeper, but I find the Metris to actually be a good value for what you get and it does drive much better. The Metris has a bunch of airbags, so should be safer than the single front airbag of the Astro. I really get a kick at the tight radius turns it can make, as the Astro needed 3 lanes to make a U-turn or I would have needed to back up to straighten out, in order to complete the turn. I am enjoying about an extra foot of cargo length, while still feeling like a compact van that fits in parking garages and love the fact that there are side doors on both sides, which makes it more convenient. Also like the several floor mounted d-rings to be able to tie cargo down. A full tank of gas does last me a lot more than with the Astro, for a similar size gas tank than I used to have, so some savings there, even though the Metris takes Premium gas. I was also using premium gas on the Astro to keep the 15 year old engine from shaking as much, mainly cause the motor mounts were shot and so was a few other things. I am very happy to have made the switch after owning 3 Astros.
 

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Hi All, I'm ready to take the plunge. I have decided that a mid-sized van is perfect for me. The city vans are too small (want to having something big enough for 2 people on occasion) and a full-sized cargo is too big (with poor fuel economy which is important to me and not stealthy enough for me). Problem is, there are only two vans in the US that fit my size preference: the 15+ year old chevy astro (170 cubic feet) and the brand new mercedes metris (183 cubic feet) color copies online near me.
I want to spend 15k on my new home (van). The astros can be had for well under 5k, but the metris is over 25k. I wish there was some middle road. I am hesitant to go with the astro because I am not very mechanically inclined and do not want to be spending time and money having maintenance done on a 20 year old car. I like the metris, and could buy one cash, but then I'd have no money leftover for adventuring.
Aside from waiting a few years until a used metris can be found, any thoughts or ideas? Thanks!
 

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Hi, I have a Metris now. I had a 2004 Astro. The last 2 and half years of Astro/Safari production had much better brakes. Half ton pickup brakes vs. Chevy Caprice station wagon brakes.
 
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