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I'm considering the Metris Cargo for my work as a handyman in the city. I can't decide between the two side-hinged rear doors, and the single top-hinged liftgate. Can anybody chime in with pros and cons?

My current setup is a Chrysler T&C with custom home-built drawers in the back. The liftgate is great because opening a single "door" allows me access to all of the drawers. Plus it offers some protection from the rain when I'm standing there. The down side is that the gate's a little heavy to open manually (the power-open feature is too slow) and I've already had to replace the supports once because I open and close it so much that they wore out.

For some reason the double-doors appeal to me, though. Maybe I think they'll be easier to open and close than a single heavy gate. And I feel like it will seem like less of a "minivan" if it had van-style doors.

Anybody using their Metris for work like that? Any experience to share?
 

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Barn doors:

Can be opened in tighter quarters
Allow loading with a forklift
Less likely to interfere with long items on roof
Practical to open from inside
Can stand on rear sill to access roof
Easier to close

Lift gate:

Much better rear visibility
Large, high door panel makes effective rain/sun shade
Better weather sealing, quieter
Rear camera retracts and is centered

Visibility trumps everything for me, so I got a lift gate. If you can live with the smaller glass area and center obstruction (or if you're not considering windows at all) you might prefer the barn doors.
 

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I have the 270 barn doors. I had a Eurovan for 13 years with a lift gate. I prefer the barn doors for several of the reasons Gottlieb mentions. I am using my Metris for sport/recreation/camping. While I agree the lift gate makes a handy rain cover, the ability to open the doors 270, and to access the cargo bay and roof easily won me over. My experience with the EV was such that I often do not open both doors, say I need to grab a shovel or axe when camping. Opening one barn door is light, easy, fast and doesn't let all the nice warm indoor air out.

I do not have the same visibility issue G mentions. I have the tinted rear glass and wipers. I have great rear visibility, meaning I do not find the center pillars to be much of an obstruction. The "new" convex mirrors post 2016 or 2017 took care of side blind spots, but as I have installed the CRL FW142 windows on either side, I can always do the over the shoulder check. Rydeen side view cams in possession but not yet installed pending choice of head unit.

Lastly, the barn doors will take more use and abuse. Four beefy hinges instead of two and no weak-spot extending lift struts.

YMMV
 

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The reasons outlined above are all accurate and give a fairly good perspective on the pros and cons.

The Metris’s rear lift gate is not heavy to open; pull the handle towards you a bit and it practically opens itself- just remember to move out of the way- the Metris is about ten inches taller than the T&C and also the door opens lower to the ground so i’d Guess the liftgate is a foot longer, the back has almost no tumble home, and it opens slightly above the roof so it opens too high for some garage doors. The “patio space” (area covered behind the van when open) is considerably bigger than the T&C.

It is a tad heavy to close, and it must be done in two steps- you pull it down from the strap part way, then put your hands on the outside of the door and push it closed- and unless you have orangutan arms, you will need to move yourself with it.

If you leave it open for extended periods the struts get stiff and it takes more effort to close it. The only thing I would say against the comments above is that the solidity of attachment is equal to that of the side opening doors; I sincerely doubt you will have any issues with the hinge hardware over the life of the van- either kind of door.

I presume the struts will wear out over time; I am at 104k miles and mine are just fine, no apparent indications of any wear. I’m sure I don’t use the door as much as you would. The quality of Chrysler products is, shall we say, suboptimal. (Translation: the engineering quality of the Chrysler Sebring sedan was so low that Gorky Automobile Factory (GAZ) rejected it as a replacement for their long running Volga ... even after they bought and transported the assembly line.)

Ultimately it really is a matter of which advantages matter to you. Obviously the struts will never wear out on the barn doors.
 

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I have the 270 degree barn doors and use them at least 10 times a day. Have no problem with them and they are easy to open and close. For me, there is no way I would want to open and close a lift gate 10 times a day. I live in sunny SoCal, so rain is not a factor and for the time it took me to get my tools and parts, the I don't mis the "sun shade" part of the lift gate.
 

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I'm going to be the outlier. Hatch

The barn doors suck. If you have a rear view mirror, they block whatever’s behind you. But the biggest issue, is that they won’t stay open unless you full open them against the stop. The van's rear is not vertical, and the doors sing closed under their own weight. Every access requires fully opening the door against the catch.

I don’t use a forklift to load the van nor back it up against a loading dock/curb and use the 270 doors. (That feature is great if you need it)

I'd actually prefer the unobstructed rear view and the rain protection even if I had to replace the struts every few years.
 

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I'll chime in here.. First: the Metris is awesome and will blow your T&C out of the water. You'll wonder how you worked out of it for so long! I have the barn doors and have it down to where I can flip the latch forward and wing them both open to where they just barely catch on the magnet...fast & oiled just right. Why? For loading and because it's also handy (quicker) than walking around the open door - I realize overhead door would do similar, but my concern too is with speed. I've often thought of an EZ up for loading purposes Anyway, great machines, and I rarely visit this forum so.. Buy One!!
 

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270 barn doors

Love my Metris. 21,000 miles in 2 years with no problems. I have the 270 doors and really like them, mainly for ease of walking around when fully opened. Two things I don’t like are the reduced visibility when using the rear view mirror due to the width of the center pillars, though have gotten used to this issue by using a combination of side and rear mirrors. Second issue is the doors are not secure in the 90 degree position. If the wind blows, even lightly, there is a good chance the doors will swing shut on their own. I use my van for windsurfing and always open the doors to the full 270 so they don’t move. Really was surprised at the lack of engineering on the 90 degree position. I had a Nissan 1500 cargo van, with 270 doors, and when they were used in the 90 position, they were rock solid. That being said, in every other aspect, the Metris is a far superior van.
 

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I too have the Cargo with 270 doors, plus glass sliding side doors with tinted glass. Also tinted on the rear with wipers. Downside is I needed the partition to the cargo area because of the glass behind the driver. I love being able to open the doors all the way or just half way depending on my deliveries and loading. I have an orchid nursery. The added 10 inch height was what is really nice for my plants (I had a Honda Odyssey before that which was ok but the Merc gets better MPG) I also had a Ram cargo van (converted Dodges) but it was a terrible vehicle mechanically). Yes not having the liftgate in the rain is a downside but almost the only one. Get a raincoat from Costco and keep in behind your seat!
 

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Barn Doors. Use mine for my Cargo/Freight business and the key issue for me was Forklift access which is huge. After 1.5 years the doors work great and without issue. Had a lift gate on my Honda Odyssey which I used for jobs and there were times I was lucky some companies had the forklift extension arms. The only thing that is a slight PIA is the windows are split so seeing out the back (i.e., for Cops lol!) is tough. You have to either tilt your head or use the side mirrors of course. But yes, Barn Doors all the way for any sort of business.
 

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Barn Doors. . . . .The only thing that is a slight PIA is the windows are split so seeing out the back (i.e., for Cops lol!) is tough. You have to either tilt your head or use the side mirrors of course. But yes, Barn Doors all the way for any sort of business.
As to barn door visibility, the center pillars block only about 20-25% of the view, but as it is in the center many people are disconcerted. The trick is to use the side view mirrors as complementary tools. When doing so, you'll "see" the whole picture behind you, albeit stitched together and separated by a few hundredths of a second, just like your phone panoramas. This is a variant on the old driver's ed adage to "scan the scene" upon the approach to intersections. Same thing while driving straight -- scan your mirrors continuously and you won't have a problem. And, as an added benefit, I've NEVER been ticketed as a result of being bumper clocked.
 

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Additionally, when clear/safe all around of course, you can move the wheel (very slightly) real quick left or right just a pinch. That "moves" that pillar with the movement of the wheel thus allowing you to get that view. Learned that from years of driving a truck and not being able to see directly behind you. Again, when your clear all around you.
 

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I love the hatch for reasons already mentioned, but i do wish i had barn doors when i have it loaded with lumber sticking out the back. I thought the comments about it as a rain cover were kinda silly before i owned it, but now after ownership understand. We use it a lot for that, really helpful for loading and unloading, and organizing in the back etc...

When we bought our boat, i could not open the hatch with it hitched, but i have since modified the trailer. I have been boxed in in parking and not been able to open it.

Did anyone mention the hatch has a covered back up cam, which is nice.

Both have enough advantages in their own catagory that most would probably be happy with either, I would buy whatever metris you can get cheapest regardless of doors. I would have been happy with both. Mine is a passenger though...
I actually wanted the bay doors, and silver paint, but oh well, the hatch and black are nice too.
 
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