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Discussion Starter #1
Shall I make a decision now, or shall I just wait for
1.Maybe the Metris (Vito) Tourer AWD 9 passenger version will be released in North America 2018/2019? or
2.Wait for Metris AWD version maybe in 2017 and do some aftermarket 9 seats conversion?

My priority list:
1. AWD (live in Toronto - safety a must in snow weather; top priority)
2. Fit in my garage space (height and length a major concern)
3. 8+ passenger seats (big family: 9 seats with front bench seat option would be a big bonus)
4. Cargo space (at least folding and reclining seats - stow n go would be ideal)

Minivans:
*Toyota Sienna: meet 2 ,3, 4 ; but AWD only with 7 passengers (seats conversion possible to 9?)
Honda Odeysse: meet 2, 3. 4; but no AWD
Chrysler Pacifica: meet 2,3,4; but no AWD
other brand: no AWD

SUVs:
*Chevrolet Traverse: meet 1,2,3,4 ; but very dated interior/no 9 seats option/cargo space is much less than minivans
Chevrolet Tahoe: meet 1,2,3,4; have 9 seats option - but the foot room of third row seats is a joke
Chevrolet Suburban: too long for my garage

2016 Metris:
only meet 2,3
but best looking exterior, cargo space still large, very high rating in crash test and
the European Vito version: "Metris (Vito) Tourer AWD 9 passenger" is the perfect match to my needs

Conclusion:
Why????????????? Metris (passenger) in North America is so..........user-unfriendly?
 

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Check the Canadian site. Diesel is available. No gas engine anymore.
 

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The Metris is a commercial van, and has about 50% more interior volume than a Sienna. The Traverse is puny in interior size comparatively. But the Metris is designed with commercial intent so the seats are designed in an uncompromized comfort and maximum space way, eschewing the space and comfort compromises of folding seats. Depending on what you are doing with it, the Metris is either wrong for you or you are comparing it to inferior products. Sit in the third row of all three vehicles and decide what compromises you are willing to make. The Metris's rear seats are identical in leg, head, and seat room, and not much smaller than the front seat.

As for all wheel drive- you really only need that on front drive based vehicles. The Metris is rear drive, so with the right tires, AWD is not needed.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Well, I am actually buying two cars:
First one is already decided: Volvo XC90 for my wife's daily drive ! - safe, elegant and expensive!
The second car don't need to be luxurious or high class, I just want more seats and cargo space to accommodate my entire family members for holiday trips like camping and skiing. Metris is my top choice because of its sharp looking exterior design and its safety features, but I am just kind of hesitated by it not having AWD in winter and the non-reclining seats in long distance drive.
 

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Good snow tires and skilled driving will get you through any winter with rear wheel drive. My first vehicle was a '89 Nissan King Cab pick up with open diff. I'm an ice fisherman and got through many bad conditions going to Orillia (Hwy400/11 being bad for whiteouts). Not always fun, but with patience you'd be fine.

There is always the Sprinter to consider.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
One curious question:
Unlike the European Vito version, the max. capacity of Metris is only 8 passengers -
just want to know if it is legal to replace a front bench seat so to have 9 passengers in Metris?
I mean, do I get pulled over by police officer for careless driving if he sees 3 people sitting in first row?
or is it against any insurance policy or violating any traffic law if I have passengers exceed the vehicle's official maximum capacity?
 

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One curious question:
Unlike the European Vito version, the max. capacity of Metris is only 8 passengers -
just want to know if it is legal to replace a front bench seat so to have 9 passengers in Metris?
I mean, do I get pulled over by police officer for careless driving if he sees 3 people sitting in first row?
or is it against any insurance policy or violating any traffic law if I have passengers exceed the vehicle's official maximum capacity?

You're better off going to a full sized van if your minimum requirement is to carry nine people. Front bench seat it may be in a Suburban/Yukon X base model.
I believe the Ram Promaster has one when I peaked inside one.

A front bench seat isn't illegal, its just not available on the Metris.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
{A front bench seat isn't illegal, its just not available on the Metris.}

Thanks,

The legal issue is quite important to me, because if I decided to buy a Metris,
I am sure I will replace a front bench seat and do some 2nd & 3rd row passenger seat conversions.


The dimension of Metris is the limit, my garage door is low and not very spacious,
a Sprinter or even a Suburban will be too big, I really don't want my new car buried in snow on a cold winter morning.
 

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I'm not aware of any of those vehicles you mentioned being available as 9 passenger from the factory. As far as interior room is concerned, no comparison, the Metris wins hands down. Don't think a 9 passenger, aftermarket, conversion is worth the trouble it would cause (airbag, seatbelt anchoring, etc). Look at the Ford transit, if you really need more than 8 seats.
 

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Living in Quebec and BC ( interior BC ), and owning the following; Metris Cargo, Metris 8 pass, and Sprinter 144' 4 x4 crew with extra bench ( so 8 seats total ). I can honestly say the Sprinter sits most of the winter idle, the Metris with good winter tires is unstoppable, we used it for skiing trips around Quebec, cross country trips to BC in the winter, never let us down. As for stow and go, it defeats the purpose, smallish uncomfortable seats, and the once the seats are folded away, you loose the passenger capacity. The Metris takes us on our family trips, often with full 8 passengers, 2 hockey bags, etc with no issues, up any snow covered road. I purchased the Sprinter 4 x 4 believing it to become our primary snow machine, nope, while its a great vehicle, we found the Metris to be wonderful in snow. Now I will point out that the Metris 8 pass, with a full load is of course a much better vehicle in the snow, compared to our Cargo version ( for obvious reasons ).


After owing T3 VW vans, and many T4 ( Eurovans ) in all various formats ( TDI, TDI syncro, etc. all euro imports ), I was thrilled to see the Metris ( Vito - had also a 2000 Vito Westfalia version ) being offered here in North American ( or TDI 2.5 Multivan was pushing 300.000 km ), it cannot really be compared to a minivan, a modern minivan with all the nice "fluff options" is a great choice for most families, but if you are looking for a very EURO, no nonsense, comfortable people mover ( and yes, the seats don't fold down, in our 8 pass the middle seat is hard to access from the drivers side to open, middle seat has no cup holders, mirror is useless on the passenger side, etc. ) that will carry your family in safety, the Metris is a wonderful vehicle, just maybe misunderstood by many. Its very, very German in design, but for this European, its perfect.


If you are in Ontario and need advice from a worthy source, I found Karl at Cornwall Freightliner- Mercedes very helpful, no fancy Cappuccino's, but pure old fashioned family run dealership, where the owner sells the vehicle and delivers it.


Best of luck in our search, and you can purchas a double bench for the Metris for the front, only concern is the lack of a airbag for the middle occupant, as for 3 seats up front, 2 of our Euro VW vans have this configuration, never had any issues from the Police. But its a personal choice as for safety.
 

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That's part of the draw on a Metris: Garagability.

I suggest staying away from the Traverse. The new Sienna is sharp.

My vote: (obviously) The Metris
 

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The Siennas rear seats are much less spacious.

As for the 9 passenger- a front two seat bench can replace the pax bucket, but it doesn't work well with the stupid cupholders which are not standard on Euro models- they eliminate the legroom, as does the storage tray.

I don't know the legality of installing that. I believe a vehicle has to be certified to carry the number of passengers. But like a lot of other things, cops don't know this. They don't get a sheet when they pull up your car telling them things like that. Few traffic cops are idiot savants on the law- they only keep at hand the information needed to do their primary jobs- writing tickets, appropriate arrest procedures, and protecting public safety.

Whether you can retrofit it in a manner that preserves the level of safety you are paying for when you buy a car with the three pointed star, I don't know. But the two piece bench is basically similar to the two place bench in the second row.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Regarding the safety issue, I don't remember where I saw the video or picture, but I have an image that
when Metris's front passenger airbag pops out, it not only covers the passenger side but also the center console area. So I think the person sitting in the middle of front bench seat can be fully protected with proper seat belt.
 

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When it comes to "modding" you mamy affect the integrity of the vehicle. Mercedes will not cover you unkess they approved it or did the work. I'm sure auto insurance and such would abandon you if the mod was not reported and approved if an accident occured.

Something to think about.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
When it comes to "modding" you mamy affect the integrity of the vehicle. Mercedes will not cover you unkess they approved it or did the work. I'm sure auto insurance and such would abandon you if the mod was not reported and approved if an accident occured.

Something to think about.
I found this page on Mercedes-Benz Canada Website:
"Master Fitters"
http://www.mercedes-benz-vans.ca/en/upfitters

So if I go to one of these upfitters, I will get approved from Mercedes-Benz?
 

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Definitely something worth looking into. If thet customize something to your liking and within MB's expectations, I'm sure it can work.
 
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