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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
15,000 miles already? Jeeze. Not even 5 months. Anyway, yeah. First service.

I was a tad surprised by the service I got. Not totally, and in a good way. I was a bit sad that the service advisor I have been using since I was 17 had to hand me off to the Sprinter-certified guy, but he was also good, at least so far. I'll know if he is really good when something actually goes wrong, and I hope I don't know that for a while- but if something breaks under the ELW I'll know it. The old guy was an awesome guy, and one of the reasons for my loyalty to the dealership.

What surprised me? Well, it is obvious that the "Vans" are considered an altogether different product line by Mercedes. The fact that they come with a shorter warranty package and without the lifetime roadside assistance is proof enough of that. So I was expecting a slightly less pampered experience at the dealership.

Not "bad", mind you, but I didn't expect to be treated like somebody who was driving an S-class, E-class, or C-class. I apparently was wrong. First of all, the level of customer courtesy was exactly as I have been experiencing driving other models. It was scheduled for just a standard A-service, which is supposed to take an hour, so I didn't even ask about loaner cars.

However, when I brought it in, I mentioned a few things that had been niggling me (1) Nav system sometimes fails to be recognized for a few minutes, 2) the passenger side door track cover was a tiny might loose, and so it sounded a tiny mite un-Benz-like when it was shut, and 3) at around 10k miles the low coolant warning had come on, the coolant had been low, I had topped it up at a different dealer, and wanted them to make sure it had been filled low, rather than a leak). The advisor advised me that it would take a while to check all three things out, and suggested I might want to take a loaner car.

A friend of mine had bought a Sprinter at another Benz dealership, and when he got a loaner, the only vehicles available for a loaner were basically Sprinter trade ins. Which worked fine for him, since when he got a loaner, he wanted to have something that could carry enough stuff for him to keep on working. I was expecting similar, not that I minded.

What I wasn't expecting was a 2016 E350 4Matic. The nicest loaner I had ever gotten up to that point was a ML350, and other than that they had all been C-classes, and once, a Mercury Sable. (Does that date me???) It wasn't particularly well equipped, just the Premium package from what I could tell, about $61k. But, it wasn't a C-class, either. Or the diminutive A-class, which I don't fit into.

What did I think of it? Does it seem weird that overall I think I prefer my Metris? I mean, the interior plushness of the E350 was far nicer than the Metris (and since it costs $21k more list than my Metris, it damned well better have a nicer interior!). But, and maybe I'm spoiled, it felt cramped as heck. I have back and leg problems, and I like sitting upright and chair height, and the E-class was like sitting on the floor. It felt a lot lower to me than the W124 E-class I had 5 years back (or rather, drove 5 years back- I still own it, even if it isn't roadworthy). In fact my drivers seat is actually set up to favor me having both of my feet flat on the floor rather than on the pedals (mostly highway driving, with the cruise control).

My head brushing the roof of the thing was an unfamiliar sensation, although I remember it from days gone by. I mean, I am not really dissing the E-class. I'm used to driving large vehicles (my daily drivers for the past 5 years have been, in order, a Ford Econoline, an Isuzu FRR (not the more common NPR), and an ML350). I don't really remember or think about what driving a mid-size sedan is like packaging-wise. It had really good pickup, although I don't make a habit of 10/10thing loaner cars, but somehow the handling of my Metris is more pleasing to me- it might be that I'm just used to it. In almost every way, the E-class was insanely refined, Mercedes-solid, and the interior was put together like fine jewelry from beautiful components that reeked both solidity and luxury.

But the thing is, the only thing missing from the Metris in that statement is a tiny bit of the refinement, and the luxury. And I like the Metris's seats better, but thats likely a function of body shape. Because the Metris is beautifully assembled from top-quality components, is Mercedes-solid, is very refined for a work truck with no interior carpeting, and reeks solidity.

The weirdest part is, how in control I feel in the Metris. Don't get me wrong, the E-class handles with the surety that is one of the unique aspects of a Mercedes- not so much sporty and absolute sureness that it will do whatever it suggests it can do. But in the Metris, I feel like the truck is an extension of me. I can maneuver it, at speed, through spaces barely big enough for it, in moving traffic. I not only didn't feel that in the E350 (understandable, its not my car) but have never felt quite so confident in ANY other car I have owned, including a succession of Mercedes-Benzes.

No, wait. That wasn't the weirdest part. The really freaking-weirdest part was that the E350, with a wheelbase 13" shorter, 10" shorter length, and 4" narrower width... had a wider turning circle. I needed a k-turn where my Metris could easily pull a U-turn. WEIRD. It must be a 4Matic thing.

Anyway, back to the service- They did the Service A, and it cost me $215 including tax. They also took all of my complaints completely seriously. They pressurized the cooling system while they were working on it, and are confidant in doesn't leak. They inspected the track, replaced the retaining clips, and put felt tape in just to make sure I am satisfied with the sound it makes when closing (I am). And they replaced the nav system connector and installed buffering tape to insure a better fit for the system, after verifying the problem (amazingly, they found it, since it was an intermittent and unpredictable issue). All under warranty- I didn't expect them to charge me for any fixes, but wasn't expecting them to be so persistant in chasing the problem, or caring that much about my opinion of the auditory quality of a door closing on a work van.

They washed it, were happy to take my credit card over the phone, and left it locked under the service awning for me to pick it up after hours. (I have more than one key, obviously!) My only complaint, really, was their interior vacuuming job could have been a bit more thorough. But if I get a survey about that, I'll probably not mention it, because really, I got about the same treatment as the guy who pulled in after me with a current-model S65 AMG.

What can a guy want, other than to get the same level of service as a guy who drives a $200k model?
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Actually, this is weird. I can't find a Wall-to-wall turning circle for the E350, but its curb to curb is 36.9 ft, and the Metris's wall to wall is 38.7. Thats only a 1.8' difference in turning circle, and the e-class actually has more overhang (202.4-126 =76.4" vs 192.1-113.3 = 80.8", thus 80.8"-76.4" = 4.4" more overhang). So I'm guessing I'm way right here- the Metris has a tighter turning circle than the E-class.

Really weird.
 

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Any comments on suspension and ride quality between the Metris and the E350.
I have a 2001 e320 and I found Metris better but the 2016 e350 might be a different story.
 

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I constantly get a rattling sound in the rear section. Not sure if its the hatch or the 3rd row seat or the spare wheel jack but couldn't trace it. When checked everything seems tight but on a bump or a rough road it starts rattling..any tips on that front would also help.
 

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I found that the 2016 E350, not 4Matic, ride quality is a lot better than the Metris. The seats are more comfortable too, may be I'm not a big guy at around 170 lbs. The two trips to Vegas from Orange County about a month apart prove it. Yes, it's cramped in the E350 vs. spacious in Metris. But I'm fine reaching the pedals with the seat in the Metris all the way back, no way I can drive like that in E350.

I took my Metris to the dealer one time about the rattlle in the back and they found out it's from the license plate. I bought the metal plates at the dealer and it's too heavy hitting the gate even though they put them on for me. I'm not sure how they fixed it but I think they bended it out so it won't touch the door. I believe someone posted about this and corrected by using all four srcews instead of only two. I did take a quick check and not sure how to put four on there. No rattling sound with the front plate though.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The Metris is definitely a rougher ride, but that's natural- it's set up for a nearly 2000 lb payload. (Actually, if you remove the seats it's a more than 2000 lb payload- pick up truck level!) it rides a whole world better than anything else with that kind of weight load.

That being said, my model is not equipped with the "comfort" suspension that comes with the interior appearance package.

As for the seat, I like the Metris's better, but that's because the way the e-class's (I think sport model) front seat cupped my 325lb back just didn't work. There's nothing "wrong" with it- YMMV.

Although my 100-lb wife didn't like the thing much either.
 

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Thanks for your tip. Will check the license plate and thanks for your note on the ride comparison.
I looked at the front seats that are mounted on 4 bolts. If any of you have any details of the swivel adapters that are available on Marco-polo or is $150 option on Vito in Europe. Looking for the part number that i can order and install it myself if you happen to have the link. Thanks again for your feedback.
 

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I have the navigation issue where it pops up on the screen something like "No navigation module installed." It happens practically once a day. I was planning to mention it once I take it in for my first oil change. Which I hit 3K yesterday.
 

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I was planning to mention it once I take it in for my first oil change. Which I hit 3K yesterday.
Which begs the question: When is everyone doing their first oil change? Dealer said anything sooner then 1 year or 15,000 is wasted, even on the first change. OP seems to have gone that route. Old school says you've got to get the piston shavings and ring grindings out of there as the engine breaks in. Are most people comfortable with the recommended service intervals, even though it probably makes us cringe and grind our teeth at night?
 

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The key is the synthetic oil that maintains it's lubrication capability much longer than non-syn. The oil filter catches any debris, but the tolerances and assembly techniques in modern engines are incredible. How much oil does the sump hold? It's like 9 qts in the Sprinter, and a bit less in an older C class. That's a lot of expensive oil, so the extended life is a great trade-off.
Does anyone have any idea what the "comfort suspension" is that comes with the interior package? We're going to test drive the Metris on Saturday, and check out the various options. Just wondering, as I don't want the package or the carpet that comes with it.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
It uses standard springs and softer shocks, as opposed to the barrel springs in the regular passenger and cargo models. It sacrifices some weight capability (real world not rated) and durability for a nicer ride.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Oil change and inspection. It isn't cheap, but to get the 15k interval you need the MB filter and proper high grade synth oil. I did it at jiffy lube on my '79 300SD once and they made me supply the filter- and charged me $52.75 after giving me credit for the filter- $1.00. Admittedly, it was a 12 liter sump.

I think it's worth it. You paid for the best- treat it like it's a valuable investment that will hold its value better than the other small and midsize vans. Look at what a 6-7 year old Sprinter with 200k miles goes for on eBay. Your Metris should go half a million miles.

I guess it depends on whether you plan on taking it that far, or replacing it more rapidly how much sense good dealer service makes for you.
 

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That is crazy high for just a oil change which is about $40 worth of materials. I can't imagine what else they would need to do. I can change oil quicker than I can drive 30 minutes to the dealer. Also, I saturate the oil filter before installation, I don't think they take the to do that. And no its not going to double the life of the van but pressure will build faster than a dry filter.
 
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