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I recently bought a used 2016 Metris Passenger loaded with most options except power doors and rear hatch. I thought I’d share some first impressions as someone considering Metris.

First I’ll cover my needs and reasons why I went with this van. My wife and I do a fair amount of travelling to events with 3 dogs. I needed something with room for 3 medium sized kennels minimum, with the ability to add at least one more preferred. We also need room for all the assorted travel items: dog equipement, food, pop-up shelter, folding chairs and more. I also have a small part-time business selling dog food, so I need to be able to pick up close to a ton at a time from my supplier and also for transporting smaller amounts to deliver to customers. Additionally, we have a small toy-hauler camper/cargo trailer that we take anytime we need to stay overnight. I wanted something that could tow a larger camper if we decide to upgrade in the future. I also really wanted the van to fit in a standard size garage if possible.

I looked at mini-vans, such as the Odyssey, and small commercial vans such as the Transit or Connect. But it quickly became apparent that for my needs, the Metris was really the best combination of overall footprint vs cargo and towing capacity. It’s really in a unique class. Since I have a older dog, a lower entry height was a factor as well. The fold-down seats of mini-vans are handy, but they raise the floor height and sacrifice cargo room.

I settled on the passenger version so that the kennel area would have heating and cooling. The bench seats would see occasional use but would be stored most of the time. The tow package and rear-view camera were must-haves. The cold weather package was high on my list as well as blind spot monitoring and the comfort package. Other safety features would be a plus, and I figured the Parktronic would be helpful but not required.

It turned out finding a Metris with a factory installed hitch was a bigger challenge than I thought it would be. I considered ordering exactly what I wanted, but after reading about other buyer’s experiences, I decided that would be a last-ditch option. This was mainly due to people reporting that the vans they received were frequently not exactly what they ordered, which makes that option of limited use. Why wait for months only to find out the van you get might be missing a key feature you want? Another problem was the way dealers list these vans online. They list off all of the standard features, but often have poor descriptions of options or inaccurate listings. They tend to cut and paste a lot. Even the pictures were often not of the actual vehicle. I found the most reliable way to see what was on each van was to look up the VIN on a decoder site. A pain in the rear end to be sure, but the only way to be sure what options each van had. Again, the trailer hitch was most often the deal killer.

I ended up buying a used 2016 with 11K miles and a lot of options I didn’t really need. I had to drive 4 hours to pick it up. I’ve had it for a bit over a month as of this writing and driven it around 1500 miles. Overall I really like the van so far. The cargo space is indeed huge. I’ve got 3 kennels on the floor with lots of space left over for cargo. The roof is plenty tall enough that I can stack the kennels two high if I need more floor space. The tie-downs are in good locations and I can use the seat tracks as additional tie down points. Removing the seats wasn’t as bad as I’d feared it would be. They’re heavy, so two people are needed. This van has the optional flip forward 7th passenger seat which I didn’t need, but you can install the 2nd row bench without it if you want to.

The Metris handles better than I expected. It turns tight for a vehicle its size so maneuvering has been easy. I’ve barely used the Park Assist feature. I don’t do a lot of parallel parking and the 90-degree parking is really only helpful in very crowded lots. With the tight turning and the reverse camera it’s pretty easy to back into spots anyway. Many of the parking lots here have angled places so Park Assist can’t be used. I know others have wished that rearview camera was a wider angle, but it works for me. Once you learn (and trust) the guide markers it makes backing up pretty painless. I do wish that the camera on the 180-degree doors had a flap like the lift hatch version, as the camera gets dirty pretty frequently.

The 7 speed transmission has been smooth and responsive. The acceleration has been more than good enough for me. It gets up to highway speeds quicker than I expected. I almost never have to “gun it” to merge into traffic. But we also rarely have bumper to bumper traffic here. The gas mileage has also been on par with what others have reported, between 22-24 MPG for me so far.

Here’s my thoughts on some of the options and how useful they’ve been for me. I already mentioned Parktronic/Park Assist. One thing I didn’t mention is that the sensors are easily confused by snow or ice on the bumpers. Mine tends to go nuts when parking in these conditions. The audible alarm and indicator lights go off when there’s no obstacle nearby, and it gets annoying fast. I don’t feel it’s worth the cost unless you do a lot of city parking, and even then the van is not hard to park without it. The Lane Assist has been more of an annoyance than useful. The blind spot monitoring works well. The detection/warning zone matches up nicely with my actual blind spot. I’ve driven other vehicles where they are lighting the indicator when cars are 50 yards or more behind. I think you’d start ignoring those after time which defeats the purpose.

As others have pointed out, the radio and electronics are pretty antiquated. They work OK, but lacking in convenience. The Becker mapping is a waste of money in my opinion. My 2016 came with maps last updated in 2013. I looked into updating it, but they want $100. For the cost of this system they should give at least annual updates for free and it should have been up to date when shipped. I have a Garmin GPS with lifetime updates that cost around $250 five plus years ago. These days I find Google Maps on my phone much easier to use than the dedicated unit, and the maps and points of interest are continuously updated automatically. The radio controls in particular are a PITA. I can barely reach the number pad for channel presets, and I have to take my eyes off the road far longer I’d like to do anything with the controls. Having some controls on the steering wheel is helpful, but that’s common on modern cars without having to pay for another upgrade package.

One thing really missing from this van is some sort of console or storage option between the front seats. I have too many assorted small items I need to keep handy and not enough space in front tray for much of it. This is compounded by the tiny glove compartment. It’s barely big enough to contain the manuals much less anything else! Also as others have pointed out repeatedly, the side mirrors are on the small side for a bigger vehicle. For me it hasn’t been a big headache yet, but I imagine that when I need to back up the trailer I’m not going to be happy. It’s pretty small and hard enough to see with good mirrors. But my other car, a RAV4, also has small mirrors so I’m probably more used to it than others are.

That's it for now. I'll add to this if I feel the need to.
 

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A nice honest review, I'm glad you mostly like your van. I'm surprised your MP was last updated in 2013- I was #3 in the country to take retail delivery in the country and my map pilot came with the Q1/2016 update (which is odd, since I took delivery on 10/28/2015) that is still current. That being said, I'm not overall defending the rather mediocre system- although I am still confused why I seem to be the only one on the forum who can get voice control to work 95% of the time.

An idea for a center console nobody seems to have mentioned: have you considered a double-zipper wide-opening gym bag? I personally like the idea of being able to step into the front of the van from the back, which makes me reluctant to install something. Gosh, I can't find an example: I had one, it had a flap that was attached at one end of the bag, had two parallel zippers attached by a sort of handle, and open on the other end, so that if you had it sitting between your front seats, you could pull the handle rearwards and open a wide rectangular opening, read inside, and close it again. Anyway, I think such a thing might work. I also keep my manual in the folder in the drivers side lower door bin, all the way back, so half of it is covered by the door plastic. Not disagreeing the glovebox is smaller than one would think.

As for mirrors, I really do suggest mounting a pair of circular blind spot mirrors on the inner, lower, edge of the mirrors. They cost about $5 for a stick on set of adjustables at Pepboys/NAPA/Advanced Auto Parts. They definitely help.
 

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According to the dealer I bought the Metris from, the warranty start date on my van was 10/7/15, so it was also one of the first sold here. I haven't played with the voice control for the GPS unit so I can't say how well it works. Can it do location searches by voice like Google? Most of the time I don't know the address, just the business name and a general idea of where it's at.

For now I've gone with one of the collapsible seat organizers like someone posted on the console discussion thread. It's OK for now but I wish it had a few more dividers.

I'll look into the blind spot mirrors you suggested. As I said, I find the mirrors adequate for my needs right now along with the Blind Spot Assist.

And as chance would have it, I did get to use the Park Assist yesterday to get into a tight 90 degree parking spot. I wasn't sure if the space would be wide enough but the van said it could do it, and it executed flawlessly. My passenger was blown away.
 

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The voice navigation feature is only capable of inputing an address. You push the button, wait for it to beep, and then speak the number, street, and town of the location (but NOT the state which you select separately). Its not the most versatile of things- the best way to enter a destination with an idea of location and no address is to select the location on the map. The POI look up is not very extensive, and must be done manually. As I agreed above, its not the best nav system on earth. I plan on replacing the head unit eventually, I'm waiting to see how the system on the 2019 Sprinter works. Either that, or one of the Android OEM look alike systems.

I suspect yours was a fleet delivery of some sort, came pre-wired, and had an eBay module added later from an earlier car. Anyway, the "current" update is already WAY out of date, so its not worth a wooden nickel, let alone $100.

Be careful about the mirrors; the blind spot is truly massive unless your vehicle was retrofitted with the aspherical unit that numerous people got added free. I am pretty old school. I like the BSA, and it has helped me a few times with a jerk that is shot-passing me on the right, my instinct is not to trust it entirely (I tend to trust a car is there when it is lit, but not that one isn't there when it isn't- born out to sometimes be true from observation). So a blind spot mirror really is a wise decision, especially if you know how to use a two-mirror system.
 

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Sounds exactly why I chose a Metris. I often want to carry 5+ dogs in vari kennel 300's and the Escape only holds 3. While the Econoline 350 does the job, it's thirsty and not a lot of fun. With the Metris I should be able to replace both of those and still pull the trailer to shows. I checked out the other "small" vans and the Metris was the only one I could stack crates in.
I like the way you have secured the crates together. What make and size are they? In the E350 I had "partitions" bolted together and to the floor but I may do something different in the Metris. Puppies right now, but I'll get busy by the summer (when the snow goes).
 

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They're Rough Tough Kennels. They come with mount points, you just add which hardware you need for your setup. I went with their Intermediate size for my dogs. They are not cheap (especially if you need them shipped to you), but still a about half the cost of metal crates such as the ones by Impact.
 

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And as chance would have it, I did get to use the Park Assist yesterday to get into a tight 90 degree parking spot. I wasn't sure if the space would be wide enough but the van said it could do it, and it executed flawlessly. My passenger was blown away.
How did you activate it? I have been lazy enough to read about it. with my BMW I simply go slow and it shows a P with an arrow and then if I engage Reverse it starts from there. While on My van I have noticed something similar the one time I tried to used it it didn't engage and I just parked myself. I'm sure I'm missing something stupid but haven't go back and read about it and put it to test...
 

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The Metris works similarly. You drive slowly (20 MPH or less) past a spot. The sensors measure the space and the P symbol will display an arrow to one side or the other indicating a viable space. Then you just stop and put the van in reverse. The display will ask if you want to activate park assist. Hit OK and it starts maneuvering. For left hand spaces it will only look for spaces if you have the left turn signal activated.
 

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I'm excited to find another dog fancier having purchased a Metris Passenger. Your review contains many elements that are focused on my needs.

I'm vehicle shopping, now, and the Metris is at the top of the list. My dogs are large, necessitating ~40x24 crates. My biggest hangup is the non-operable side windows behind the front row. I have concerns about ventilation when parked (I'm in Central Cal) while also keeping the vehicle secure. Also, I would like to be able to have 3 crates plus the second row, but that may not be feasible.
 

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I'm excited to find another dog fancier having purchased a Metris Passenger. Your review contains many elements that are focused on my needs.

I'm vehicle shopping, now, and the Metris is at the top of the list. My dogs are large, necessitating ~40x24 crates. My biggest hangup is the non-operable side windows behind the front row. I have concerns about ventilation when parked (I'm in Central Cal) while also keeping the vehicle secure. Also, I would like to be able to have 3 crates plus the second row, but that may not be feasible.
http://www.crlaurence.com/crlapps/s...5&History=30587:21889:16124:66312:16124&pom=0

https://sprinterglass.com/products/...-side-across-from-sliding-door-opening-window
 

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I've ordered the additional battery so I can run fans without running down the starter battery. There's a relay that connects it to the main battery when the van is running to charge it. I'm also thinking of having a roof fan put in (e.g., attached picture). Maybe add solar panels to charge the battery when it's most needed, as it's often hard to find shade at dog shows! Something like a car window pet gate (but sturdier) would help security. There are lots of ideas out there.
Last summer for the Greyslake shows in Chicago I carried a small generator (Honda 1000i) to run a small fan to pull air in one front window, had the other window open enough to let air out, and ran a second big fan on the crates. Not self-contained or elegant, but it worked well.
If you need the full 48 inches for 2 crates the passenger van might be a bitnarrow. The cargo van has the width and also comes in a 9" longer version, but only has the front seats.
 

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I've ordered the additional battery so I can run fans without running down the starter battery. There's a relay that connects it to the main battery when the van is running to charge it. I'm also thinking of having a roof fan put in (e.g., attached picture). Maybe add solar panels to charge the battery when it's most needed, as it's often hard to find shade at dog shows! Something like a car window pet gate (but sturdier) would help security. There are lots of ideas out there.
Last summer for the Greyslake shows in Chicago I carried a small generator (Honda 1000i) to run a small fan to pull air in one front window, had the other window open enough to let air out, and ran a second big fan on the crates. Not self-contained or elegant, but it worked well.
If you need the full 48 inches for 2 crates the passenger van might be a bitnarrow. The cargo van has the width and also comes in a 9" longer version, but only has the front seats.
The roof fan has been something I've considered. I may well go with the window grids, but those windows are pretty far forward of the crating area. Combined with rear/roof fan, it may work okay. I will see if the ventlocks work, also. I'm really not as concerned about keeping the vehicle open while at events and training: It's more of a concern when making stops during travel. Eating lunch, etc, would keep the vehicle closed up for entirely too long.

I have heard from other Metris owners that if the crates are elevated, the full 48" can be achieved. If not, I would need to get custom crates that will fit.
 

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Elevated over the wheel wells? In a passenger van that is true. The rear hvac interferes. You can find some threads about doing the standard sheet of plywood test (fail). Elevating the deck to a point where you can get the 48 seems reasonable since you can make use of that space with sliding drawers and such if needed.

I like the aftermarket tip out windows. Good when stopped and for rain. Not as good if venting is needed when in motion.
 

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I'm really not as concerned about keeping the vehicle open while at events and training: It's more of a concern when making stops during travel. Eating lunch, etc, would keep the vehicle closed up for entirely too long.
This is usually my situation too. When I have the dogs in the crates in the van I'm not too far away so can keep an eye on things. I also have an aluminet shade that reflects 70% of sunlight yet let's air through. It's big enough to drape over the whole vehicle. One of the reasons I wanted the air conditioning upgrade was for when we have to park to go into a restaurant etc.

Out little camper/toyhauler trailer goes with us for overnight trips and even day trips if it's going to be really hot. Then I can run the AC in it with a small generator. Yes, my dogs are spoiled!
 

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Elevated over the wheel wells? In a passenger van that is true. The rear hvac interferes. You can find some threads about doing the standard sheet of plywood test (fail). Elevating the deck to a point where you can get the 48 seems reasonable since you can make use of that space with sliding drawers and such if needed.

I like the aftermarket tip out windows. Good when stopped and for rain. Not as good if venting is needed when in motion.
Yes, elevating the crates gives the added benefit of being able to use the floor space for other cargo (equipment boxes, most times, hardware/lumber purchases now and again). As it is, if we purchase building materials for a project, I need to remove the crates from our truck, which can be slightly cumbersome since they are large, metal, and somewhat unwieldy.

I'm van shopping because I want to switch to having my dogs inside the climate controlled area during travel. I feel the summertime temperatures have gotten to the point that I'm uncomfortable taking the dogs places in the middle of the day. The venting concerns I have are primarily for when stationary and I cannot allow the vehicle to be fully opened for security reasons. I was just thinking on the issue a bit and realized that the Fantastic Fan, as has been suggested, would be a very good addition because it creates active airflow rather than a passive system of opening windows and hoping for a breeze.
 

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Yes, elevating the crates gives the added benefit of being able to use the floor space for other cargo (equipment boxes, most times, hardware/lumber purchases now and again). As it is, if we purchase building materials for a project, I need to remove the crates from our truck, which can be slightly cumbersome since they are large, metal, and somewhat unwieldy.

I'm van shopping because I want to switch to having my dogs inside the climate controlled area during travel. I feel the summertime temperatures have gotten to the point that I'm uncomfortable taking the dogs places in the middle of the day. The venting concerns I have are primarily for when stationary and I cannot allow the vehicle to be fully opened for security reasons. I was just thinking on the issue a bit and realized that the Fantastic Fan, as has been suggested, would be a very good addition because it creates active airflow rather than a passive system of opening windows and hoping for a breeze.
You will still want a window open to allow the air to flow. If you crack a front window and have a roof vent the flow of that air would not be the same as a lower and rear air inflow that mixes with the rear cabin air. That is where vents in the rear glass would be helpful.
 

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Another dog person! I’m also looking at the Metris and your insights have been very helpful. Thank you! Maybe find you at Grayslake!
 
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