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Sure you can haul beer in a Sprinter, but it may be overkill whereas the Metris was a perfect size for the day-to-day operations of a small business. Brendan McAleer from The Globe And Mail, puts the Mercedes-Benz Metris to the test for a day, hauling around kegs and boxes of beer from a nano-brewery.

Demand for craft beer is ever increasing and the logistics of delivering a large amount of product daily can be challenging. That’s where small cargo vans like the Metris comes in, an answer for independent business owners who need to make deliveries around the city.

For a day, McAleer was the delivery driver for Bridge Brewing, Vancouver’s first nano-brewery. Driving around in the cargo version which starts at $33,900, he has 5,300 litres of cargo capacity and a payload of 1,135 kilograms to work with. That’s more than enough to carry around kegs, bombers, six-packs and cans of beer.

When the van was completely empty, the 208 horsepower 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 258 lb-ft of torque makes for a quick ride, but he does note that it’s really secondary compared to how the cargo van performs on the job. At 1.89-metres high, the Metris is underground parking friendly and a low windowsill helps with parking visibility. Those winding parking lot ramps won’t be a problem because of the van’s 11.8 metre turning radius.

On one delivery, he managed to grab a nice parking spot because the Metris fits perfectly between a tractor-trailer and a Ford crossover. At another stop, a government liquor store employee who used to configure cargo vans for a Ford dealership liked “the predrilled holes in the side here. A low-loading floor is good. Plenty of tie-downs, too.”

Overall, the Metris has proven itself to be a great cargo hauler for small businesses be they breweries or the neighbourhood bakery.
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