Mercedes-Benz shook up the U.S. passenger- and cargo-van markets this February when it introduced the new-for-2016 Metris and an all-new Sprinter trim, the Sprinter Worker. Here’s what you need to know about these Mercedes-Benz work vans.
The Mercedes-Benz Metris is based on the Mercedes-Benz Vito, which is made in Spain and sold mostly in Europe, according to Car and Driver. The big difference between the Vito and the Metris is the engine. Whereas the Vito has a diesel, the Metris will have a gas-powered 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder engine that makes 208 horsepower. A seven-speed transmission is standard.
Automobile Magazine points out that the Metris is positioned as a midsize van. The Metris is larger than the Ford Transit Connect and the Nissan NV200 and smaller than the Ford Transit and Nissan NV2500. It is also smaller than Mercedes’ own Sprinter van.
There are two models being produced for North America – passenger (starting at $32,500) and cargo (starting at $28,950). The passenger model has the size and seating capacity of a minivan, writes Car and Driver, but the target markets for the Metris are limousine and taxi companies, not families.
The Metris passenger model seats seven. It has two captain’s chairs up front and two rows of bench seats behind. The second row seats two people. You can choose a three-person bench, which raises passenger capacity to eight. The two bench seats can be removed, but they do not lay flat or fold into the floor. Behind the third row, however, is a full 38 cubic feet of storage space.
The Cargo version has the same length (202.4 inches) and width (75.9 inches) as the passenger model, but it is nearly an inch taller. It has a cargo capacity of 186 cubic feet. Its maximum cargo length is 111 inches and the width is 50 inches. Maximum payload is 1,874 pounds. Both the passenger and cargo models can tow a trailer weighing up to 4,960 pounds, according to Car and Driver.
Crosswind Assist, which stabilizes the van in windy conditions, is standard, as is an electronic stability feature that adjusts handling based on the weight and distribution of cargo. Mercedes has designed the Metris so that it can be outfitted in a number of ways. Buyers work with MasterUpfitters to add shelving, partitioning, or whatever else they may need done to the interior.
The Sprinter Worker is what it says it is: a van for the working person. Larger than the Metris, the Sprinter Worker is aimed at contractors and workers who have to haul their tools and components around with them. The cargo bed is 137.4 inches long and 70.1 inches wide. The Sprinter Worker starts about $4,000 less than the Sprinter.
The Sprinter Worker is powered by a 161-horsepower, 2.1L four-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine that produces 161 horsepower. It is also rated for towing up to 5,000 pounds. Its maximum payload is 2,502 pounds.
The base model is sparse, but not Spartan. Bluetooth, a tilt and telescoping steering wheel, and air conditioning are all standard. Crosswind Assist, which keeps this 94.5-inch-high van stable going down the road, is standard as well. Upgrade packages bring a better stereo system and more safety features, as well as a wooden floor in back.
The Worker offers an impressive 319.1 cubic-feet of cargo space, a total that is greater than that of rivals like the Ford Transit and the Ram ProMaster.
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