Mercedes-Benz Metris Forum banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
160 Posts
Car like driving sure makes it easy to adapt to for those that come from a history of mostly driving cars and not cargo vans.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
94 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Car like driving sure makes it easy to adapt to for those that come from a history of mostly driving cars and not cargo vans.


It's amazing how long the ancient big three vans persisted in North America, with their awful driving dynamics and horrendous fuel "efficiency". It's about time that we have modern choices to choose from. I think comments like the one above demonstrate the low standards drivers had of cargo vans, and I think that's a direct result from the market stagnation that persisted for so long. It's no wonder that a modern design will drive significantly better.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,196 Posts
Its not amazing how long the Eonoline, Express, and Ram Van survived. When you think about American tendencies in cost cutting, they make perfect sense. Do you realize that the Ford Econolines body panels were exchangeable from 1992 or so until 2008? Do you realize they used the modular engines from 1997 or so until, uh, well the cutaway chassis still does. American van users liked the idea of being able to canabalize a retired fleet vehicle for parts.

I remember looking at one in the early 2000s for my business. Yeah, the Sprinter was here for $27k or so... but you could get an Econoline 250 with a 5.4 V8 off the dealer lot for $16k if you knew how to haggle. I didn't buy it then... I got out of the business I was in at that time not long after.

But I did buy one. I bought a MY 2000 Econoline 250, in 2010, to do flea markets and the like. It had 176k miles on it, some significant body dents, and cost me $1600 OTR. After removing and scrapping the plumbing shelving and the roof rack, I got, hehe, $400 for the scrapped material- I'm not sure what idiot thought it prudent to leave aluminum shelving in the van when they sold it, but hey! So $1200. I charged the A/C ($150) and fixed the front brakes, ($300), and changed the oil once every 5000 miles (7 times, $300). I drove it to markets, I think overloaded (cotton and poly fabrics are insanely heavy) over the mountains of eastern PA for that entire time, before the transmission blew a gear, and the engine seized trying to limp home without that gear (I shoulda had the oil changed before I tried to get home!). I think it was the cheapest per mile I've ever owned a vehicle. I got $300 for the scrap metal. $1650 for 35,000 miles ain't bad.

Yeah, it was crude. It rattled. It banged. It wandered over the road like a lost puppy. But I also didn't care when it got into fender benders in tight markets, nor did the owners of similar products. If I was driving a new Sprinter, I'd probably have a coronary.

They were decent products, very well attuned to the financial ideas of middle Americans (which admittedly have made my near CPA mind do back flips, but we don't worry about imaginary customers, merely the ones we actually have) durable and generally reliable. Their refinement was nonexistent, but that is true of every under 10,000 gvw vehicle on the market until the Sprinter landed here. They existed sensibly in a market where the customer wanted certain things.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
94 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Yes, the Econoline fit a need. And I'm glad that you found one that enabled you to benefit from a low cost of ownership, which fit your needs at the time.


I meant to convey disappointment in the American automakers for allowing products to languish without meaningful updates. Even if the body panels needed to stay the same to keep body repair costs low, couldn't they have updated the motors to be more fuel efficient? I just think of all of the millions of gallons of fuel that have been wasted unnecessarily on needlessly inefficient vans...


I'm hopeful Mercedes will bring the more fuel-efficient diesel Metris in due time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
160 Posts
I'm most surprised at how long the Savana/Express has lasted with minimal changes, out of all in its segment, it has to be the one with the least updates... but keeps going strong, aside from 1500 getting chopped.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
94 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Please. GM has sold non-competitive products in much more competitive segments than this. GM A-Body, anyone?
And the key people at GM should be ashamed of that history.

Mercedes has put out some woeful products too, like the first-generation M-Class. But certainly not as many as GM.
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top