Used 2016 Mercedes-Benz Metris Review

Edmunds expert review

The 2016 Mercedes-Benz Metris, thanks to its midsize configuration and appealing feature content, is an intriguing alternative to the existing selection of commercial cargo and passenger vans.




What's new for 2016

The 2016 Mercedes-Benz Metris is an all-new model.

Vehicle overview

It wasn't long ago when our reviews of commercial vans were filled with references to long-past presidential administrations and bygone cultural icons to drive home the point that they hadn't been re-engineered in a very long time. Today, with rare exception, cargo and passenger vans are thoroughly modern and blessed with superior space efficiency, dramatically improved fuel economy and less ponderous driving experiences. Now another excellent example has come to market in the form of the 2016 Mercedes-Benz Metris.

The Metris is particularly interesting because of its size. It's smaller than full-size vans like the Ford Transit and Mercedes-Benz Sprinter but bigger than small city vans like the Ford Transit Connect and Nissan NV200. This extra size compared to the city vans results in more cargo capacity (45 percent more than the Transit Connect), as well as passenger space, where seating is less minivan-like and more indicative of larger vans. It's definitely easier to move around either of the rear compartments.

The Metris also boasts a far more powerful engine than the smaller city vans: a turbocharged gasoline four-cylinder shared with the Mercedes CLA sport sedan. It's punchy, reasonably fuel-efficient and not exactly what you'd expect from a commercial van. On the downside, the Metris doesn't offer anywhere near the amount of capability or seating capacity provided by full-size models. In exchange, though, the Metris is easier to maneuver at slow speeds (its turning circle is especially tight) and far sharper to drive at higher ones.

Now, you might think that as it's a Mercedes, the Metris is expensive. It isn't. Its base as-new price is actually a bit lower than the starting points for the Chevrolet Express, Ford Transit and Ram ProMaster. Only the Nissan NV Cargo starts lower. The Transit Connect, Nissan NV200 and Ram ProMaster City are all priced considerably lower, but you're getting more van with the Metris. Considering its unique size, rightly renowned Mercedes engineering, generous feature content (especially in terms of safety), strong powertrain and fair price, we think the 2016 Metris Cargo and Passenger Vans represent a compelling, just-right choice for many commercial van shoppers.




Trim levels & features

The 2016 Mercedes-Benz Metris is a midsize van available in Cargo and Passenger variations. The latter comes with two rear rows that provide total seating for seven or eight.

Standard equipment on the Metris Cargo includes 17-inch steel wheels, a passenger-side sliding door, 270-degree opening rear barn doors, automatic headlights, power front windows, power locks, keyless entry, air-conditioning, a tilt-only steering wheel, fabric upholstery, Bluetooth phone connectivity and a five-speaker sound system with a color display, USB port and media player interface.

Stand-alone options specific to the Cargo van include rear compartment air ducts, different partition designs, cargo area LED lighting, rear window defrost and wipers, remote opening/closing windows and a variety of cargo-securing solutions.

The Metris Passenger takes the basic Cargo equipment and adds/supplants it with rear seats and trim, rear air-conditioning, a driver-side side door, 180-degree opening rear doors with window defrost and wipers, rear privacy glass, remote window operation and four rear speakers.

The Driver Comfort package adds upgraded front seats that include lumbar adjustment. The Driver Efficiency package adds a rearview camera, foglights, cruise control and a Becker navigation system. The Active Safety Plus package adds heated power mirrors, advanced accident-avoidance technologies (see Safety section), automatic wipers, a leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel, a trip computer and enhanced gauges. An automatic parallel parking system and parking sensors can be added to this package. The Cold Weather package adds heated front seats, a heated windshield washer system and an upgraded heater.

The Passenger van can be upgraded with the Interior Appearance package that adds more comfortable suspension tuning, an overhead control panel, front footwell lighting and interior carpeting. The Rear Passenger Comfort package adds automatic climate control and a more powerful air-conditioning system. Power-opening sliding doors are available separately (passenger-only can be specified, but getting the driver-side power door requires the passenger-side one).

Stand-alone options available on both Passenger and Cargo vans include roof rails, a single flip-up liftgate, cruise control, the automatic parallel parking system and parking sensors, automatic climate control, leatherette vinyl upholstery and the Becker navigation system.



Performance & mpg

Every Metris is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that produces 208 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. A seven-speed automatic and rear-wheel drive are standard. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 22 mpg combined (21/24) for the Cargo and 22 (20/23) for the heavier Passenger. An optional automatic stop-start system should, in theory, improve fuel economy.

The Metris has a maximum towing capacity of 4,960 pounds and a maximum payload of 2,502 pounds (Cargo) and 1,874 pounds (Passenger).

Safety

The 2016 Metris comes standard with antilock brakes, stability control, crosswind assist, front side airbags, side curtain airbags (full-length on Passenger) and a driver inattention warning system.

The Active Safety Plus package includes blind-spot, lane-departure and collision prevention systems that both warn the driver and take action if needed. A rearview camera, parking sensors and reverse beeping warning system are optional.

Driving

Besides its greater size, the greatest differentiators between the 2016 Mercedes-Benz Metris and smaller cargo vans are power and torque. It has far more of both, yet its fuel economy is similar. Paired to a standard seven-speed automatic transmission, we found this powertrain to be strong, smooth and not especially vanlike.

Driving the Metris also doesn't evoke images of UPS trucks or plumber vans. Its turning circle is sharp -- you'll easily be able to bring her about across two lanes of opposing traffic -- and its handling is confidence-inspiring, with reassuring body control and precise steering. If there's one problem area, it's the harrowing lane changes caused by the small passenger-side mirror. This is especially troublesome in the cargo van because it lacks rear side windows. Even the optional blind-spot warning system can only do so much to help.

Interior

There's no confusing the Mercedes-Benz Metris' interior design for anything other than pure van. Unlike what you'd find in a Ford Transit Connect or any minivan, the dash and front passenger compartment are broad, upright and finished with materials that are substantially harder and more industrial than what you'll find in a Mercedes car. At the same time, it actually utilizes much of the same switchgear found in Mercedes cars -- the optional steering wheel is what you'd find in a CLA-Class and the window switches are shared with the new C-Class. The infotainment system is not a modern Mercedes COMAND unit, though, and its antiquated joystick controller is frustrating to use.

The front seats, whether covered in fabric or premium "leatherette" vinyl, are comfortable, supportive and adjust manually in eight ways to increase the chances of achieving an ideal driving position. Keep in mind, however, that the optional fixed cargo partition significantly reduces legroom to the point that drivers of above-average height will not be comfortable. The Passenger van's rear seats are not as plush as those you'd find in a minivan, nor are there the sort of available creature comforts or entertainment choices. This is a commercial van best suited for airport runs rather than taking kids to school. There is abundant room, though, with a chairlike seating position and lots of headroom that makes moving about the cabin easy.

There is plenty of cargo space behind the Passenger van's third row, plus the option of either standard barn doors or an optional liftgate. The cargo van boasts 186 cubic feet of maximum space in a 4.5-foot-tall cargo area. For comparison's sake, the long-wheelbase Transit Connect tops out at 128.6 cubic feet of space and the minivan-based Ram CV Tradesman has 144.4. The Metris is dwarfed, however, by even the smallest variations of the Ford Transit (ranging from 246.7-487.3) and Mercedes-Benz Sprinter (319-586). Those also offer tall-roof options.

Edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.