Article three of the mid-size Mercedes van deep-dive!
We’ve looked at this model range with awe — Mercedes has three dozen cars on this general platform, a dozen engines and three drive configurations. Bonkers!
The USA is getting a customized and simplified choice of commercial vans from this large pool.
We are not getting the lux V-Class, as the Metris is considered a commercial vehicle and will be sold alongside the Sprinter.
The USA models will all be rear-drive with a standard turbo four mated to a seven-speed automatic. The engine makes 208 ponies and 258 pound-feet of torque for an impressive payload and tow rating. The Metris splits the difference in size between the Ford Transit Connect and the new Transit lineup.
As previously seen on the Sprinter, the MB van option will be pricey with options, but generally hold the best resale value of any vans. Mercedes just claimed the ALG van value award for the Sprinter, and the Metris is likely to continue the trend.
Pricing is from $29,000 for the cargo Metris, and from about $33,000 for the passenger, or Tourer, model. Seating for eight comes from two back rows with three seats each, plus a choice of a top-hinged tailgate or split/dutch doors in the tail.
The Metris cargo is significantly more down-market in appearance thanks to its plastic bumpers versus the painted units on the Metris Tourer — but both are pretty heavily de-contented versus the LED and xenon-equipped V-Class luxury models in Europe.
Even so, we would not bet against the Metris line expanding in the USA over the next few years. Mercedes is quadrupling the size of its current Sprinter assembly facility in South Carolina, with an investment of $500-million also tipped to build certain Metris models.
So what is in the hopper for future MB vans? A limo-bus variant is very likely on a Metris eventually, plus a possible turbodiesel or PHEV powertrain choice. 4×4 may even become an option like it is on the 2015 Sprinter, depending on adoption rates.
Midsize Commercial Van Makes its Debut at NTEA Work Truck Show
March 04, 2015 – Montvale/Indianapolis
“Mercedes-Benz Metris”: The next big thing is mid-sized.
Introduction of the “Mercedes-Benz Metris” nameplate for the U.S. and Canadian markets
New Mid-Size Commercial Van debuts at NTEA Work Truck Show on March 4, 2015
Metris goes on sale in October 2015, offering both Passenger Van and Cargo Van versions without any competitors in the same size or cargo category
The Mercedes-Benz Metris Mid-Size Commercial Van is positioned as “right-sized” with corresponding maximum cargo capacity and payload on a small footprint and matching price positioning
The Mercedes-Benz Metris will be the benchmark in terms of safety with a high level of standard safety features as well as class-leading safety options
A starting price of $28,950 gives the Metris the most attractive price of any U.S. Mercedes-Benz
A powerful, highly fuel efficient 4-cylinder gasoline engine (208 hp/258 lb-ft) with optional ECO Start/Stop is mated to a 7G-tronic 7-speed automatic transmission
Top service at dealers, safety/ergonomics, and exemplary Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) are key pillars for all Mercedes-Benz Vans
Sprinter full-size commercial van business continues to flourish with new variants
The V-Class luxury passenger variant is not planned for the U.S. or Canada
Mercedes-Benz Vans USA is introducing the “Mercedes-Benz Metris” at the NTEA Work Truck Show in Indianapolis on Wednesday, March 4, 2015 at 10:00 am. This follows the “Mission: Metris” teaser campaign at SEMA in Las Vegas in November 2014, which featured four custom upfitted Metris concept vans. The Metris, which launches at U.S. dealers in October 2015, is the U.S. and Canadian sibling to the “Vito,” which remains the midsize commercial van nameplate for all other global markets.
“We are pleased to debut the Mercedes-Benz Metris at NTEA, which is a major step in launching our midsize commercial van in the U.S. market in October 2015,” said Bernie Glaser, Vice President and Managing Director of Daimler Vans USA, LLC. “It is only logical that we adopt the global approach and also expand our successful vans business in the USA. Our SEMA ‘Mission: Metris’ presence with four distinctive van concepts was an effective way for us to hit the ground running to announce the nameplate ‘Mercedes-Benz Metris’ and to show off its unmatched versatility, size, and safety. And now, we can’t wait to offer our customers and upfitters both the Sprinter and Metris Vans as a full-line vans brand: Mercedes-Benz Vans.”
The Metris is a right-sized vehicle: It is larger than the small vans and smaller than the large vans. Its value proposition includes superior craftsmanship, high cargo/towing capacity, and an attractive price. It is designed to thrive in large metropolitan areas with an agile yet spacious presence. The Cargo Van starts at $28,950, and the Passenger Van starts at $32,500 (excluding $995 destination/delivery charge for both vans). Because all Mercedes-Benz Vans feature the advantages of top service at dealerships, top levels of safety and ergonomics, and exemplary Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), the Metris shines in all areas. It can easily fit into a parking garage in a large metropolitan area, and can also meet the needs of those who work out of their homes. In addition, it carries many of the rugged characteristics of the Sprinter.
Ford Transit Connect
Metris: 880+ lbs (+54%) more payload and 45% more cargo volume
Nissan NV200 SV
Metris: 1000+ lbs (+73%) more payload and over 50% more cargo volume
RAM C/V Tradesman
Metris: 700+ lbs (+39%) more payload and 29% more cargo volume
Source of competitive data: manufacturer websites, January 2015
Upon launching in October 2015 at the 200+ Mercedes-Benz U.S. dealers authorized to sell Vans, the Metris will be available with a powerful and highly efficient 4-cylinder gasoline engine that has 208 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque, mated to a refined, efficient, and robust 7-speed automatic transmission with rear-wheel drive. This powertrain application, with optional ECO start/stop, was developed specifically for the U.S. and Canadian markets to meet the needs of the Mid-Size Commercial Van Segment, and also comes with a service interval of up to 15,000 miles.
Advanced safety features are a hallmark for any Mercedes-Benz vehicle, and the Metris will feature 6 airbags for the Cargo Van variant and 8 airbags for the Passenger Van variant. All models will feature standard ATTENTION ASSIST, standard Crosswind Assist, and standard load-adaptive ESP. Optional safety features will include Active Parking Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, PARKTRONIC, Collision Prevention Assist, Blind Spot Assist, and a rearview camera. 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.
In the U.S. full-size commercial van segment, sales of the Sprinter continue to be brisk, up 17.4% YTD. Model year 2014 brought new major enhancements such as a fresh and confident new front end exterior design, 4-cylinder BlueTEC clean diesel powertrain that already plays a similar role as its big brother, the V6, and upgrades of safety and infotainment.
Model year 2015 saw many additional enhancements for the Sprinter including:
Addition of standard Crosswind Assist on all 2500 models.
Increased service intervals of up to 20,000 miles (MY 2014 service intervals were up to 15,000 miles).
Optional Sprinter 4×4 version of both Cargo Van and Passenger Van versions will also be added in Q1/2015, which will be the only ex-factory four-wheel drive system on the market for a commercial van in the USA.
Addition of a third roof option. The new super high roof underlines the benchmark position concerning interior heights by offering an interior roof height of up to 7 feet.
SULEV option for our standard 4-cylinder BlueTEC engine is the first SULEV diesel engine worldwide and underlines our ‘Green Leadership.’
A Super Single heavy duty package variant is being introduced in early 2015, which is an alternative to the 3500 dually rear wheel setup that allows for a 48.3 in. loading width between wheels.
All of these features highlight the position of the Sprinter as the most innovative large van in the segment. Independent from the model year, over 75% of all Sprinters have upfitter treatment on them, regardless of extra shelving or extensive Recreational Vehicle modifications.
To coincide with the launch of the new Metris midsize commercial van, this year the Daimler Vans USA team is pleased to announce that they will be rolling out a new and improved Upfitter Program in the coming months. Upfitters play a crucial role in meeting the vast array of customer requirements, and the planned enhancements to this already highly successful initiative will help maximize the full potential in the U.S. market.
About Mercedes-Benz USA
Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA), headquartered in Montvale, New Jersey, is responsible for the distribution, marketing and customer service for all Mercedes-Benz products in the United States. MBUSA offers drivers the most diverse line-up in the luxury segment with 14 model lines ranging from the sporty CLA-Class four-door coupe to the flagship S-Class.
MBUSA is also responsible for the distribution, marketing and customer service of Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Vans, and smart products in the U.S. More information on MBUSA and its products can be found at www.mbusa.com, www.mbsprinterusa.com and www.smartusa.com.
Tom Burkart is the founder and managing editor of Car-Revs-Daily.com, an innovative and rapidly-expanding automotive news magazine.
He holds a Journalism JBA degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Tom currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his two amazing dogs, Drake and Tank.
Mr. Burkart is available for all questions and concerns by email Tom(at)car-revs-daily.com.