Hot News

The Mercedes Metris Drives Like The World’s Biggest C-Class

On Monday, September 25th, 2017

The term “parts sharing” has a bad connotation in the automotive world. Typically, it’s used to describe cost-cutting measures where expensive cars receive parts from stuff that’s much cheaper. An extreme example is the Aston Martin DB7 borrowing its interior door handles from the first-gen Mazda Miata.

The Mercedes Metris

But flip the equation around, and parts sharing can make a cheaper car feel more expensive than it is in reality. The Mercedes-Benz Metris is a perfect example of this. It might be a worker’s cargo van, but it feels and drives more like a giant C-Class.

The engine is the same 2.0-liter four-cylinder used in the CLA 250, but unlike the CLA, the Metris gets a seven-speed automatic that sends power to the rear wheels. This gas-powered motor only makes 208 hp, but with 258 lb-ft of turbocharged torque on tap, it’s actually fairly quick. You even get paddle shifters on the back of the steering wheel, just like Lewis Hamilton’s F1 car!

You might not expect it, but these paddle shifters are actually really useful in a cargo van. Imagine you’ve got a full load, and you’re struggling to get up a hill—instead of waiting for the van to figure out it needs to downshift, you can do it quickly yourself.

In fact, the whole steering wheel comes straight out of the C-Class, even including the dainty column-mounted gear selector that Mercedes uses in nearly everything it makes. The door handles, and side air vents, also come from the Mercedes road-car parts bin, but they’re made from black plastic.

I’m also convinced that the steering rack used in the Metris is the same one found in many of Mercedes’ passenger cars. As with virtually every other Mercedes road car, the steering is very light, but with nice on-center feel, especially at highway speeds. This lack of steering weight also makes the Metris feel nice and maneuverable in town, which is useful, considering that’s where it’ll be used the most.

Also aiding in maneuverability is a rear-view camera that came as part of the $1600 Driver Efficiency Package on our tester, but is available for $700 a la carte. Since this van doesn’t have a rear window, the camera is a huge help.

The Metris is a reflection of Mercedes’ remarkable feeling of cohesiveness across lineup. No, the Metris doesn’t accelerate or handle like an AMG GT, but it does offer a sense of stability and quality that’s so indicative to Mercedes-Benz.

So perhaps parts-sharing isn’t so bad, as far as today’s cargo van drivers are concerned.

comment closed