Do you have people-moving requirements but don’t need a large, expensive full-size van? Enter the Mercedes-Benz Metris Passenger Van. It slots perfectly between small and full-size vans, becoming the only passenger van of its kind on the market. It’s fairly sparse on features and it doesn’t come with the typical Mercedes-Benz price tag. It does come, however, with a direct-injected turbo engine which delivers good fuel mileage for its size.
What’s New For 2017
Mercedes-Benz now offers a new Worker model available for both Cargo and Passenger configurations. They come with the same standard features as the regular models, but the limited number of configurations allows for a lower base price.
Features & Options
The 2017 Mercedes-Benz Metris Passenger Van ($32,900) comes standard with 17-inch steel wheels, automatic headlights, remote locking and unlocking, air-conditioning, adjustable steering wheel with mounted shift paddles, 2nd and 3rd row removable seats, Bluetooth connectivity, and a USB port.
Passenger models also get rear air-conditioning, heated rear window with washers and wipers, rear window tinting, and a nine-speaker audio system. All Metris vans have right and left side sliding rear doors. Further back, you’ll find 180-degree rear cargo doors. This Metris tester came with the optional power sliding doors on the right and left side ($760 each). Total MSRP, including destination: $35,415.
Inside the Mercedes-Benz Metris, it’s all about function and not so much about luxury. This van is for hauling customers around town in an efficient manner. When we first got in the van to drive it for Christmas weekend, we couldn’t find the outside mirror remote adjustment. Well, it didn’t have one.
There’s lots of room for the driver and passenger up front with plenty of head and elbow room for comfort. A long dash, tall windshield, and short hood give the driver a sense of spaciousness, plus excellent visibility for trips around the city. The driver’s seat is surprisingly comfortable for those frequent journeys that involve transporting people and their cargo. This van would be ideal for picking up and delivering passengers and their luggage as they arrive and depart from the airport.
This Metris tester came with the optional power sliding rear doors, which the driver can control from the cockpit. This makes it easy to load and unload, and step-in height is just 18.5 inches, allowing easy in-and-out. The seat height is just right so passengers can slide in and out easily. The vinyl flooring, which covers the front and passenger areas, makes it easy to clean up spills.
There’s two rows behind the driver and seating for seven total including the driver. The second row has two seats pushed to the left making it easy to enter the third row. The third row will seat adults comfortably, and there’s ample room behind for bags, suitcases, and other items. Second and third rows are removable so the van can be used to haul even more cargo when needed.
Engine & Fuel Mileage Specs
Powering the 2017 Mercedes-Benz Metris is a turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine producing 208 horsepower and 258 lb-ft. of torque. It’s paired with a seven-speed automatic transmission, transferring power to the rear wheels. EPA fuel mileage estimates come in at 20/23 city/highway and 22 combined mpg.
The Mercedes-Benz Metris passenger hauler had more power than we expected, although we never had a van full of people to pull around. It could be called energetic compared to what you’ll find in other small passenger/cargo vans. The turbo 2.0-liter engine powered us up I-70 at altitude with minimal effort.
In terms of handling, we didn’t have high expectations for the Metris, however, the van is far from sloppy and even somewhat fun to drive around town, making those people-hauling commutes less of a chore. The 7-speed automatic transmission upshifts and downshifts quickly, especially through the steep grades we pushed the Metris on over the holiday weekend. Crosswinds were quite noticeable near the I-70 and Morrison portions of the highway, despite the load-adaptive stability control feature with Crosswind Assist.
The large, dark tinted side windows offer customers a comfortable place to view the outside world, without the outside world’s prying eyes seeing inside. Our only complaint with the Metris is how it isn’t offered with all-wheel drive. We experienced a snowfall in the mountains and the rear-drive passenger van struggled as we hit snowy and icy spots on our drive.
If you have a business that requires you to move people or cargo but don’t need a large, expensive full-size van, the 2017 Mercedes-Benz Metris is worth a serious look. For around $35,000, you get a capable people mover that won’t cost a fortune at the pump and can navigate city streets easily.
Denis Flierl has invested over 25 years in the automotive industry in a variety of roles. Follow his work on Twitter: @CarReviewGuy