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Road and Track Reviews the Mercedes-Benz Metris

2248 Views 0 Replies 1 Participant Last post by  Colin
Road and Track has taken the time to give us a first drive review of the 2016 Mercedes-Benz Metris. Here are some nice nuggets from the article, and then I'll post a link to the full review at the end of this post.

Below the Sprinter-sized vans, there are the small European stuff-haulers: the Ford Transit Connect, the Ram ProMaster City, and the Nissan NV200. In between? There's not much at all, if you discount the traditional minivans, which tend to make poor commercial haulers (the miserable Ram C/V Tradesman, for example).
But the Vito is ready to roll, with a few changes. First is the name. Mercedes tells us that "Vito" tested poorly with focus groups, which were quick to associate the name with a certain famous movie about mafioso. So Metris it is. The second is the powertrain. In Europe, the Vito is sold only with diesel engines, but that won't cut it here. Mercedes's research shows that the U.S.-market Metris will mainly be used for short urban routes, with plenty of start-stopping. Hence, the M274 2.0-liter inline-four engine, complete with direct injection and turbocharging, has been adapted from other passenger vehicles like the C-Class. In the Metris, though, it makes a little less power: 208 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque compared to 241 hp and 273 lb-ft in the 2015 C300 sedan. In the Metris, the M274 is exclusively backed up by the 7G-tronic seven-speed automatic gearbox.
It helps that the Metris is alone in its segment, slightly larger than the NV200, ProMaster City, and the Transit Connect, and offers 186 cubic feet of cargo capacity (versus 122.7, 131.7, and 128.6 cubic feet, respectively). Moreover, it can tow nearly 5000 pounds, compared to 2000 for both the Transit Connect and ProMaster City, and zero for the NV200.
The Metris is a sophisticated, comfortable hauler, unperturbed by crosswinds or curves or rough pavement, surprisingly quiet inside, and seemingly a good deal, starting at $28,950. Mercedes may indeed have found their mid-size-van niche.
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