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We took our 2016 Metris for a long road trip from Midwest to East coast and in the thousands of miles of travelling with my family of 5 adult-size and 1 non-boostered child, I would like to share my concerns.

First off, the seats in the Metris are hard. The kids have their own cushions made from repurposed tshirts and memory foam coverlays which substantially improved their comfort. I know that changing the interface between passenger and seating surface probably violates or changes the dynamics of the seat restraint system, but probably much less than a regular seat cover since the memory foam is quite grippy and does not easily allow sliding of passenger on the seat vinyl.

1. Travelling heavy: van "trunk"/rear storage completely filled with about I would guess 300 pounds of luggage; in the passenger compartment, distribution of weight is as follows: 250 pounds worth of passengers/bags in rear seats, 220 pounds of passengers and full cooler in the middle and 300 pounds of passengers in the front seats.

For a vehicle with the towing/load capacity, it was really compressing the suspension in the rear by a couple of inches and the front seemed unchanged. Driving: Steering is effortless, acceleration is only slightly impacted but braking requires more conscious planning and effort. Driving in heavy rain and deep standing water in an unexpected Virginia flash flood, the Metris was very sure footed even with outer edge worn stock tires.

Disappointment: When heavily laden, the suspension seems to be properly sprung for the weight and is comfortable, but the dampers are not properly matched. When taking a sweeping curve at high velocity (within speed limit) while encountering a depression in the road on the inside wheel, the whole rear is in less controlled, almost like a delayed trampoline effect with the rear inside wheel shoving the van rear towards the opposite side.

2. Travelling with all adult passengers: ride height difference of rear and front was closer to normal (jacked up rear rake) but again, with sweeping curves in the road and encountering a divot/pothole or depression in asphalt at 45mph, rear gets squirrely.

3. Travelling light: 1-3 passengers, the vehicle exhibits behavior of a heavily sprung, underloaded vehicle and there is no wallowing side to side as the above scenarios.

I compare this to our old Eurovan which, granted is front wheel drive, significantly benefited from lowering front and rear less than 1 inch by means of torsion bar adjustment/replacing rear spring pads with thin type and all shocks replaced with Bilstein Heavy Duty shocks.

My impression is that the vehicle would benefit from increased damper control in the rebound. Control may also be improved with lower/stiffer springs, and I would like to go the Eibach route since the lowering rate and height is not aggressive compared to H&R assuming their philosophies are consistent with their products on other vehicles.

I plan on changing wheels and with increased unsprung weight, it might further disturb the poorly controlled damping. I hope that an Eibach Pro-kit and matching Bilstein B8 combo will be available within the year.
 
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