The Mercedes-Benz Metris will be competing with rivals like the Ford Transit Connect, the Nissan NV200 and the Ram ProMaster City. The Metris has a feature that none of its competitors do though -- Crosswind Assist.
Daimler claims that its Crosswind Assist system "virtually fully compensates for the effects of gusts of wind on the vehicle." That'll make driving the Metris a lot easier on the highway on a windy day. Here's how it works.
The Crosswind Assist system uses precision sensors of the Electronic Stability Program (ESP) to detect sudden, strong gusts of wind that can apply force to the side of the vehicle. Gusts of wind are recorded and the system will apply course corrective braking to stop the Metris from being pushed out of its lane. Brakes are applied on the side of the vehicle facing the wind. This course corrective braking results in a "yaw motion" -- a rotational movement of the vehicle counter to the flow of the wind.
The Crosswind Assist system is activated at speeds higher than 80 km/h. It will radically reduce the amount of counter steering that the driver has to do, which reduces the strain on the driver.
Obviously there is more to a van than a crosswind detection system, but given that this is something that sets the Metris apart from its competitors, I think that it is a substantial asset for the brand.