Amid the excitement surrounding new cars revealed at the Geneva auto show and anticipation over what’s in store for next month’s New York show comes news of a new Mercedes-Benz mid-size commercial van for North America. Called the Metris, the van was unveiled today at the NTEA Work Truck Show in Indianapolis, Indiana.
A re-badged version of the Vito that’s been available in other markets since 1996, Benz calls the Metris a “right-sized” van that slots in between little trucks like the Nissan NV, Ram Promaster City and Ford Transit Connect, and full-sizers like the Ford Transit and Benz’s own Sprinter. It will be powered by a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder engine borrowed from the CLA- and GLA-Class models, routing the same 208 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels via a seven-speed automatic transmission.
Mercedes says Metris’ payload and cargo space will be 67 and 40 percent greater, respectively, than other mid-size commercial vans; reading between the lines, we figure they’re referencing the Dodge Grand Caravan-based Ram Cargo Van. Despite the extra capacity, Benz tells us the Metris was designed to fit in underground parking lots and household garages, boosting the van’s appeal to people who primarily work out of their homes.
By the way, when the Metris goes on sale in October, it will be the second-least expensive model in the Mercedes lineup, after the B-Class, with a starting price of $33,900 for the cargo van and $37,900 for a passenger model.
Metris will be sold and serviced at all Canadian Mercedes-Benz dealerships.