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2017 Mercedes-Benz Metris Overview
If your business is schlepping folks to the airport or cruise terminal, you’ll want to check out the 2017 Mercedes-Benz Metris midsize passenger van. Introduced in 2016, the Metris offers seating for up to 8 passengers, bountiful cabin room, a turbocharged powerplant, and plenty of safety equipment for a commercial workhorse. An overall length of 16 feet, 10.4 inches (202.4 inches) and a wheelbase of 10 feet, 6 inches (126 inches) slot it between full-size van offerings like Benz’s Sprinter and Ram’s ProMaster and compact vans like Nissan’s NV200 and Ford’s Transit Connect. And the Metris sells for a comparatively reasonable base price of $32,500, and a new, even less expensive Metris Worker edition ($25,995 suggested MSRP) that’s lighter and carries fewer standard features is slated to debut for 2017.
The Metris passenger van, along with the Worker edition, gains two new master’s level programs: MasterSolutions and MasterUpfitters, both originally offered late in the 2016 model year. The former allows you to drive into any van dealership and drive out with customized upfits like refrigerators, workbenches, racks, or storage bins. The latter, in partnership with such firms as Airstream and AEV, lets Metris owners retrofit their van into a fully functional vacation home on wheels or into a well-equipped ambulance.
Don’t expect the creature comforts of the typical Mercedes-Benz sedan or coupe in the commercially oriented Metris. The interior has a lot of hard surfaces, and although the front seats are comparatively plush, the rear seats are not designed for extended trips. And because trip durations are limited, the Metris is not offered with M-B’s Comand infotainment system, even as an option.
Standard equipment does include rear air conditioning, power door locks and windows, a 5-speaker audio system, and dual sliding side passenger doors. The 2017 Metris is also eligible for several options packages. The Driver Efficiency package offers a rear-view camera, front fog/driving lights, cruise control, and a Becker Map Pilot navigation system, while a Cold Weather package features a heated driver’s seat, a heated windshield washer fluid reservoir, and added cabin insulation. There’s also a Driver Comfort package offering two additional ignition keys, a driver’s seat back pocket, luxury front seats, and passenger seat lumbar support. The Premium Appearance package includes body-color bumpers, black roof rails, and 17-inch alloy wheels. Standalone options include electrically operated dual side passenger doors, roof rails, various seating configurations, and a trailer hitch.
Powering the 2017 Metris and Metris Worker is a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline 4-cylinder (I4) engine that mates with a 7-speed shiftable automatic transmission to put out 208 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. Fuel-efficiency numbers are estimated at 20 mpg city/23 highway/22 combined, which isn’t bad, and they get even better with optional engine stop/start technology that shuts down the powerplant at a stop and automatically re-starts when the accelerator is pressed. Be advised that premium 91-octane gas is recommended for this force-fed I4. Look for 4,960 pounds of towing capability and 1,874 pounds of payload capacity on the standard Metris van, but expect those numbers to drop a little on the Metris Worker.
The drivetrain is responsive yet quiet, while a tight turning radius and some nifty handling characteristics (for a van) will help the 2017 Metris and Metris Worker fit right into the urban environments for which they're designed. Unusually small outside mirrors might make it a little challenging to change lanes, though.
Standard safety equipment aboard the 2017 Metris and Metris Worker includes antilock brakes, traction and stability control (with crosswind assistance), front side-mounted airbags, full-length head curtain airbags, and Mercedes’ Attention Assist driver alertness monitor that senses when the driver is getting drowsy. There are also two optional safety packages, available to the Metris and Metris Worker. The Active Safety Plus package sports heated power mirrors, collision-avoidance systems, rain-sensing wipers, a multi-function steering wheel, a trip computer, and upgraded gauges, while the automatic parallel-parking system (Active Parking Assist) adds a blind-spot monitor and lane-keeping assistance and uses radar sensors to pick out a parking space and automatically steer the van into the spot; all you have to do is brake and accelerate. Active Parking Assist is only available as an add-on to the Active Safety Plus package.
Have Laptop. Will Travel. I'm retired and travelling the country in a 34' motor home. I'm really digging meeting people . . and sometimes their cars . . . getting a sense of what makes this nation tick. The plan is to visit all the national parks in the continental US, then cruise to Alaska to visit Denali, and to Hawaii to check out Haleakala and the Hawaii Volcano's national parks. Anyhow, when I'm not horsing the motor home around the roadways, I'm tooting around in the 2012 Ford Focus that we tow behind, or making runs to Home Depot and various malls with the 2004 F-150 that just won't die.
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