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Anyone know if MB has landed a contract with USPS? I saw this Metris at my dealer this a.m. when dropping mine off for service. It is a RHD with the interior fully outfitted for duty and in the USPS livery. I noted the total absence of MB badging. Particularly the grill! What, like the government doesn't want anyone to think they spent tall money on them? Ha! When I purchased mine in 2016 Metris was the lowest base priced vehicle in this class. I still really like mine! It's been a great vehicle.
 

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That's actually a very carefully executed stealth live aboard! And is that a crew window behind the passenger (Left) B-pillar? Looks like 180 barn doors in back. Does it have a left side slider?

It does have the usually ubiquitous MB badge on the wheel caps. LOL Lunar, I'm always explaining, "It was cheaper than a Ford Transit" (and it fit in my garage).

Seeing the Metris go fleet is consistent with what I thought was MB's post-2016 politi-business strategy of getting the much-touted $500,000,000 Sprinter factory open in South Carolina, THEN sneaking in the middleweight Spaniard Vito (non-derogatory, boxing reference) for the big bite of the under served (read "not served") urban mid-sized van market, livery included. But did they have to ugly up the Sprinter so bad to make Vito look good? TKO man, definitely a TKO by the middleweight. I mean, a high top Transit looks better than the new Sprinter, even with Transit having a somehow simultaneously bulbous and chiseled nose tacked on to a very awkward high top. MB has managed to likewise wreck the integrity of the Sprinter design that made it the first vehicle of its kind, i.e., high profile, short-ish wheelbase vans, not to look like it had a fiberglass top clamped onto the roof eaves of a '74 Chevy Van nicknamed "Love Machine." So, I'll be fine with the USPS getting the Metris, even though that likely devalues my personal mail truck.

Awesome find and pics BTW, thank you very much for sharing!
 
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Wow! Very cool. Maybe they are getting tired of endlessly servicing their pile of Fiat vans and Dodge caravans? Can't imagine those hold up well in nonstop delivery usage. Amazon uses a mix of all of them, I've seen Sprinters, transits, and Fiats....
 

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I've been delivering a rural route with mine for 2 years. The Metris is great- not too high for mailboxes, tight turning radius, good space up front and can easily drive from the right seat as mine is LHD. Push button tranny for the million times we cycle the tranny. Even my supervisor approached me to say these were coming for the USPS.
Unfortunately it is a giant fail for the P.O. and just more procrastinating and refusing to decide on a new purpose built delivery vehicle. Do they know that a starter motor costs $600 uninstalled? Or an AC compressor at $2k? New steer tires every 6 months? $300 oil change? These things are not cheap to repair and our maintenance crews are not trained to fix these vans, you can be sure of that. So in my opinion it's just another example of frivilous spending by the Post Office, and it's getting worse everyday! However, WHERE DO I GET THAT EMBLEM!?
 

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Somehow I doubt the postal service will be paying $600 for Starters or $2k for ac compressors especially once there's a lot of them on the road. Once many are out there a rebuild-able core market forms. MB starters RARELY fail. I've replaced two in my life (out of 10+ MB's owned) and both cars had hundreds of thousands of miles on them/were 20+ years old.

You can buy rebuilt Bosch starters for some of the most expensive MB's ever made (V12's....AMGs...etc) for less than $250. I think the last one I swapped was a 420SEL and it was about $210 at the time.

A Metris oil change with a factory filter and some of the best synthetic oil you can buy costs about $75 to do.

 

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Was in Charleston last week and saw a flatbed with 3 USPS metris on it. Then later in the day saw several near the airport..in use it appeared. I'm not sure these things will hold up well to that type of demand. I wouldn't want a turbo for one thing...it's never going to get enough cooling air flow.
 

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MB is using the M274 turbo in the Sprinter.....I'd assume they know what they're doing. Also a ton of these are in shuttle/fleet use in very hot regions of the country and seem to be doing just fine idling and roaring around all day full of people etc. The turbo is cooled by the engine oil, it will be fine.

Considering they get a LOT more power out of this engine in other applications, the very conservative 208hp tune in the Metris is well within its limits.

Its also quite possible that Postal Metris vans are further tuned and optimized for fuel economy over performance vs regular vans. I'd bet on it.
 

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Not to mention that:

1) all FedEx and UPS delivery trucks are turbocharged; they are turbo diesels, but turbo nonetheless.

2) All Vito vans, many used in this kind of service, are also turbo- again diesels but still turbos.

3) to my knowledge the USPS LLV that has done postal delivery for service life’s that are into their fourth decade, runs on a standard 2.5 GM/Pontiac Iron Duke gasoline four cylinder whose only cooling mechanism is a crank-driven mechanical fan- I have never heard of an electric auxiliary fan on an Iron Duke, nor have I ever heard the whine of one off an LLV. The Metris has a mechanical crank driven fan, an auxiliary electric engine cooling fan, a charge cooler, and a transmission cooler. I think it will be fine.
 

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Metris has just one (massive powerful) electric cooling fan. It is not crank driven. As far as I am aware the last MB engine configuration to use a crank driven fan (other than on Sprinters) is the M113 V8 used in early 2000's SL's and E-class/G-wagen. Along with the Actros Trucks etc, but that doesn't count. :D
 

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Not to mention that:

1) all FedEx and UPS delivery trucks are turbocharged; they are turbo diesels, but turbo nonetheless.

2) All Vito vans, many used in this kind of service, are also turbo- again diesels but still turbos.

3) to my knowledge the USPS LLV that has done postal delivery for service life’s that are into their fourth decade, runs on a standard 2.5 GM/Pontiac Iron Duke gasoline four cylinder whose only cooling mechanism is a crank-driven mechanical fan- I have never heard of an electric auxiliary fan on an Iron Duke, nor have I ever heard the whine of one off an LLV. The Metris has a mechanical crank driven fan, an auxiliary electric engine cooling fan, a charge cooler, and a transmission cooler. I think it will be fine.
I had forgotten about the Iron Duke. Poor GM.
 

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Ok...I hope it works out. It's the worst duty a high tech engine can endure. Stop and go every 50 feet. Green, actually ups has gone to gas DI in their delivery trucks....which says a lot about this new generation of gas burners. I love the van, I really do but not happy about some of the problems im seeing,
Primarily crankcase vent system. But totally agree the w274 is one of the most amazing engines ever built...I think it won an award for most powerful 4cyc. engine...it was AMG'ed, but still incredible, in that form it's sport bike HP out of this 2 liter engine. This van rocks!
 

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AFAIK the postal service is not proposing the Metris for that type of duty. Frankly using any kind of IC engine for that duty is moronic.
 

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Rural routes and walk-around routes from what I understand. Rural routes benefit from right hand drive but they aren’t quite the same hellish duty cycle as suburban delivery.

That being said, just going to what I think you are referring to, I don’t think suburban mail delivery would put particular strain on the PCV valve. But it is myunderstanding this is to provide relief for the most dead of the LLVs to free up the more alive ones for suburban routes:
 
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