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I've read this claim about nearly equal front/rear axle weight split here repeatedly. Went to track it down, but couldn't find an original source. Not implying it's bad information, only that I'd like to corroborate beyond hearsay and can't find the information. I know the Sprinter isn't close to that, scroll down to bottom of chart: Van Dedicated WebSite - Mercedes Sprinter

If you can Greenmanedlion, or anyone else, I'd appreciate a link to where you found the facts. Thanks very much.

I'm still a huge fan of my Metris, except for its performance in snow. Having always lived in or near big mountains out west, I've driven in snow thousands of times in my life, in at least a dozen vehicles. My favorite in snow was an Acura MDX - it usually just drove like it was the middle of summer. Probably all out best in snow 2000 Isuzu Trooper - I dragged several 4runners out of trouble in the snow that was no problem for that Trooper. My favorite fwd was a 1990's Honda Prelude of all things. Best RWD was a 1981 Merc 300SD. The 300SD was an absolutely superior snow car for a RWD.

Everything tells me my Metris should be fine in snow: killer traction systems, alleged favorable weight distribution, etc. It has good tires - Vredestein Quatrac 5's, which carry the "mountain and snowflake" winter tire imprint that allows them to bypass chain up orders. The Quatracs aren't winter tires, but they are about as close as an all season tire can get.

But the Metris is a dog when it comes to driving in the mountains in snow and ice. The back end feels light and loose, loosing grip and breaking loose well before even 2wd pick ups I've driven in snow. Downhill is downhill like in anything else; flat is not good but livable; but uphill is hot garbage. It seems the worst off in Cascade Concrete snow conditions - warm heavy snow with a bit of ice underneath, even on adequately plowed roads. In those conditions I'm generally better off driving w/o the traction control.

I'm not talking about the most horror show PNW mountain winter snow nightmares. I get that the Metris isn't an FJ Cruiser. Even a couple inches of the wrong density snow in the hills and the Metris says when.

Maybe it's me? I really have driven in mountain snow 1000's of times over 35 years. I don't drive fast. Never a crash or dumb slide out. I'm the guy who gets stuck cars unstuck, the guy who gets asked to drive when the snow gets gnarly. More than once I've crossed fresh avalanche debris in non-awd cars. Worked several seasons at the snowiest ski area in the world, driving in and out every day in all sorts of inadequate cars.

I really want the Metris to be, if not good, then workable in the mountains in winter, but I can't wish it that way.

It's been 4 winters now with the Metris, and I've about had it. I tend to default to driving my wife's BMW X3 nowadays in he mountains in wintertime. But when we want to saddle up the whole family with dogs etc for a trip to the BC interior for instance to ski for a week, we can't just do it. We have to think about taking two cars, or board the dogs, or I drive the X3 and wife and kid fly, or etc, etc. As much as I'd hate to lose much of the utility and cargo space the Metris provides, I started shopping for a 3 row AWD SUV -- VW Atlas and the Merc GLS are leading the hunt, which one depending on my financial pain tolerance I guess. I'd really miss the Metris' unique interior space.

As a last ditch stop-gap I just ordered a REALLY good set of true winter tires - Continental VikingContact 7's. I'm also going to direct that man woman beast and sundry possessions all sit on top of the rear axle. As usual, will have my Thule chains in case of problems, and traction aides for getting unstuck. If that doesn't do it then sadly I'm out of the Metris.

I won't even broach the "when's the AWD Metris coming" subject - if you've seen Beckett's waiting for Godot then you already know the answer :)

Will report back on the snow tires in a bout a month.
 
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