Mercedes-Benz Introducing U.S. to the Metris

German maker jumps into the compact cargo van segment.

by on Mar.04, 2015

Mercedes-Benz plans to jump into the growing cargo van segment in the U.S. with its new Metris model.

Mercedes is set to become the latest maker to enter the fast-growing U.S. compact cargo van segment – and like rivals such as Ford and Fiat Chrysler, the German maker will turn to a European design.

The Mercedes-Benz Metris is the new U.S. name for the Vito van sold in other parts of the world – and the downsized sibling of the big Mercedes Sprinter van that has been available to commercial buyers for a few years now.

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It targets a niche that a growing number of manufacturers have been successfully exploiting with products such as the Nissan NV200 and the latest-generation Ford Transit Connect.

For those on a budget still looking to park a vehicle with the vaunted Mercedes tri-star hood ornament in their driveway, the Metris might be the way to go. At $29,945, including $995 in delivery charges, it’s the German maker’s lowest-priced model in the U.S. market. And you’ll wind up with a heck of a lot more cargo space than with the Mercedes CLA and GLA models, both starting at a bit over $31,000.

When it hits U.S. shores, the Metris will be the least expensive Mercedes in the line-up starting at just under $30k.

We got a first look at the Vito-cum-Metris at the SEMA Show last October, Mercedes teasing the market – and hoping to get aftermarket suppliers working on possible accessories.

The fact is that this is a serious work truck, even if some buyers might use them to haul passengers around. Both cargo and passenger models will be offered, the latter starting at $34,995 after delivery fees.

At 202.4 inches, Metris is about 2.5 feet shorter than the big Sprinter, but it has a foot over Nissan’s and Ford’s segment entries, only the Ram Tradesman coming close. It’s also the segment’s tallest model, and second only to the Tradesman in width.

(Mercedes reveals track-ready AMG GT3. For more, Click Here.)

The Mercedes Metris will be powered by a 208-horsepower four-cylinder engine making 258 pound-feet of torque. It will push power out through a seven-speed automatic.

And while you won’t find all the wood and leather and other luxury touches of an S-Class, or even a Mercedes-Benz CLA, the maker claims the new Metris will be one of the segment’s best-equipped offerings.

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It will feature a number of electronic and high-tech safety systems, including six airbags for the cargo model, eight for the passenger version, as well as load-adaptive electronic stability program and Crosswind Assist, meant to keep the van stable in strong winds.

(To see more about Porsche’s new track-ready 911 GT3 RS, Click Here.)

And lest you think Mercedes is just dumping a European product on the American market, the maker proudly notes that, “Many of the interior features are taken from other recent automotive entrants into the Mercedes-Benz lineup, such as premium touches and overall fit-and-finish. Large cupholders have also been added to the center console on the dashboard to meet North American customer needs of long-haul or local driving.”

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