The Metris's front end falls in line with members of Mercedes' passenger car lineup thanks in part to more dynamic headlights, LED daytime running lamps, a three-slat grille embellished by a large three-pointed star emblem and a more streamlined lower bumper.
Base Cargo models feature black plastic cladding in the front and body-colored window blanking panels on the sides. They're also offered with standard steel wheels.
Passenger models come standard with body-color-painted front bumpers, alloy wheels and rear side windows, making them more appealing as people-movers.
Cargo model buyers who want a more upscale look can option the same exterior upgrades found on Passenger models.
The Metris comes standard with a 5.8-inch touch screen that groups the truck's connectivity, navigation (if equipped) and entertainment functions into a single unit. The system includes Bluetooth connectivity, a telephone keypad, an auxiliary input and a SD card slot.
Unlike the larger Sprinter, the Metris is simply offered in two variants: Cargo and Passenger. Their configurations are fairly self-explanatory.
Cargo models are built for utility first. They have a maximum payload of 2,502 pounds (more than most pickups) and a GVWR of 6,724 pounds. Where they come short of some larger trucks (and vans, for that matter) is in the towing capacity department. The maximum towing capacity is only 4,960 pounds.
They may not be stellar tow vehicles, but Cargo models are best suited to hauling loads inside rather than behind, and the endlessly-configurable Metris is no exception. The factory configuration allows for 186 cubic feet of cargo volume behind the front row with a 111.5-inch-long and 66.3-inch-wide load floor (that'll fit 4'x8' boards flat, if you want the short version).
Passenger models are geared more for those who need to move folks in volume, such as taxi or shuttle services. They seat seven (like a typical minivan) and for that reason they give up a lot of cargo utility. Total cargo volume for passenger models is only 38 cubic feet and the addition of second- and third-row seating brings the maximum payload rating down by nearly 700 pounds (for a total of 1,874).
Under the Hood
The Metris deviates from its bigger brother here as well. While the Sprinter is available with both gasoline and diesel engines (four and six-cylinder units, at that), the Metris has only one available powerplant. It's the now-universal Mercedes-Benz turbocharged-four, good for 208 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque.
Power goes to the Metris's rear wheels (a departure from its front-wheel-drive competitors) via a standard seven-speed automatic transmission. This combination is good for 21 mpg in the city and 24 on the highway.
Standard and Optional Equipment
All Metris models come standard with a height- and reach-adjustable multifunction steering wheel, an exterior temperature gauge, power front windows, tinted glass, a basic sound system, cargo area lighting and tie-downs (even in passenger models), halogen headlamps, a right-side sliding door and a spare tire.
In addition to this basic equipment, Passenger models get a second sliding door (on the left side), a rear HVAC system and, of course, seating for seven.
Optional equipment includes heated front seats, automatic climate control, rear HVAC for Cargo models, a partition package for the left-side sliding door (Cargo only, when equipped), navigation, and heated exterior mirrors.
The Metris can also be optioned with one of three rear door configurations: 180-degree "barn doors," 270-degree "barn doors" (these open flush to the sides of the van to allow better side access to the rear) and a SUV-style liftgate.
Standard safety equipment includes ABS, electronic stability control, brake assist and driver/passenger airbags.
The Metris is far from the only small cargo van currently available. Its key competitors are the Ram ProMaster City, the Nissan NV200 and the Ford Transit Connect.