2017 Mercedes-Benz Metris Passenger Brings On the Commercial People Hauling

2017 Mercedes-Benz Metris Passenger (Aaron)

The Mercedes-Benz Metris van was first introduced two years ago as a replacement for the Sprinter commercial van. In this people-hauling Metris Passenger variant, we found a lot to like in this commercial Mercedes that fits in a handy niche between common options on today’s North American market.

The manufacturer says

Metris Worker matches the capability you need to the price you want. With a maximum payload of 2,502 lbs., 5,000 lbs. of towing capacity and 186 cubic feet of cargo space, you get the performance and maneuverability you expect from a Metris van. It’s built to get the job done, while maintaining a low cost of ownership.

Specs:

  • Manufacturer: Mercedes-Benz
  • Year, Model: 2017 Metris Passenger
  • Class, Type: Commercial Van
  • Propulsion system: Gasoline
  • Availability: Now

Overview

The Metris is sold as the Vito in parts of Europe and is a decidedly European take on work-a-day vans. The Passenger variant of the Metris is the people-hauling setup for the van. Most of the commercial vans on the American market today are either compact city-style vans (Ford Transit Connect, Ram ProMaster City, Nissan NV200) or are large full-sized vans with tall roof options and a bulky, cargo-ready design (Transit, ProMaster, NV2500). The Mercedes-Benz Metris is, instead, somewhere in between those sizes as a midsize offering and thus has few rivals.

The 2017 Metris Passenger is set up for people-hauling as a limousine shuttle. Seating for five or six passengers in the second and third rows is available in benches with a lot of rooms left over for bags and gear. Those second and third row seats are surprisingly comfortable for a commercial offering and are self-contained, so they can be quickly pushed forward or removed to leave a fully flat cargo floor when required.

The 2017 Mercedes-Benz Metris is offered in four variants, the base-level Worker models (Cargo, Passenger) and the next-up standard variants of Cargo and Passenger. The difference is mainly in the stripping away of most options in the Worker options and the availability of extras like upgraded infotainment and driver safety aids.

Standard on all Metris models are an innovative high-wind stability system added to the stability control electronics to combat high cross-winds while driving. Also standard is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that outputs 208 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. This is the only engine option offered in the United States for the Metris, as is its seven-speed automatic transmission in rear-wheel drive.

Fuel economy in the 2017 Metris Passenger is surprisingly good. The EPA rates it at 21 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway. We achieved as much as 29 mpg on the highway, but averaged closer to 25 mpg and averaged 21 in the city as expected. Our overall average was 23 mpg with a good mix of passenger loads and city/highway on the whole.

What we like

Great driving van despite its bulk and boxy build.

Good interior design with great ergonomics for daily commercial use.

What we don't

Engine underpowered with heavier loads.

Infotainment less than stellar, no matter the upgrade.

Conclusions

When it comes down to it, the 2017 Mercedes-Benz Metris Passenger is an excellent passenger limousine-style shuttle with a lot of ergonomics for both the driver and passengers. The electric-assist sliding doors, wide-opening rear doors, great visibility, and excellent maneuverability of the Metris are all very high points. Its relatively quiet interior and good drive dynamic are also big bonuses. The Metris might cost more than most competitors, but it’s in a league all its own as a commercial people hauler.

Test Period Length and Limitations
The Metris Passenger was a manufacturer’s press loan for about a week. During that time, various passenger and cargo loads were driven for over 300 miles on varied conditions.

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