While the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van is best known as the Amazon delivery van, Mercedes-Benz does manufacture another, slightly smaller, van. The Mercedes-Benz Metris van has been sold in the U.S. since 2016, and it will be getting a light refresh for the 2021 model year. The Metris is sold as the Vito in other parts of the world, where electric and diesel versions are also available. Those versions won’t be available for 2021, but the updates to the Mercedes-Benz Metris for the new model year will rectify one glaring flaw.
The 2020 Mercedes-Benz Metris
The 2020 Mercedes-Benz Metris comes in two versions and two trims. It can be selected as either a cargo van or a passenger van, and both are available in the basic Metris Worker trim or the slightly fancier Metris trim. The passenger version can be built with seats for five, seven, or eight. Cargo versions have seats for just two. It isn’t possible to have a second row of seats with an empty cargo area behind. Buyers who are looking for that arrangement should consider the Sprinter van.
There is an option for either swing-out rear doors or a liftgate at the rear. The side doors can be either one sliding rear door on the passenger side or sliding doors on both sides. Glass windows can be added to the sliding doors if desired. Mercedes-Benz offers an optional blind-spot monitoring system to make up for the Cargo version’s limited rear visibility. With a high driver’s seat and a narrow body, the Metris is comfortable to see out of and maneuver. With a smaller turning radius, it isn’t too tough to drive in a city.
The current 2020 Metris has a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, producing 208 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. MotorTrend said the van moves “with ease,” even though the engine technically isn’t that powerful. It’s currently paired with a seven-speed automatic transmission, which shifts quickly. While the engine is pretty quiet, the cargo area when empty does tend to have sound bouncing around. It’s much quieter when loaded.
The Metris has a better “sense of refinement” than its competitors, according to MotorTrend. The suspension provides a good ride, and the steering is sharp. The 2020 Metris starts at $28,375. Adding options bumps that price up to the mid-$40,000s. While it may be refined to drive, the 2020 Metris does have a flaw that is being fixed for 2021.
The infotainment system issue
The 2020 Mercedes-Benz Metris doesn’t have a terrible infotainment system, but it isn’t the most up to date. It currently includes a previous-generation screen without touch technology. The screen is just 5.8 inches diagonally. Without touchscreen capabilities, the infotainment system is controlled by using little buttons to navigate menus and submenus. Setting the system up isn’t great, but MotorTrend found that subsequent uses after pairing a phone and making radio presets were fine.
The 2021 Mercedes-Benz Metris
The issue of the missing touchscreen and difficult-to-use infotainment system will be fixed as part of the 2021 Mercedes-Benz Metris updates. The new model year will include a 7.0-inch touchscreen and a higher-resolution backup camera. Another tech addition is adaptive cruise control, which is also being added for 2021.
The 2021 model year will have a few other updates as well, with a slightly different grille design, new seat upholstery, and updated dashboard trim. It will also have a nine-speed automatic transmission instead of the current seven-speed one. The rest of the van’s features remain unchanged.
The Mercedes-Benz Metris van is great for work or for the basis of a camper van. It will be even better with the technology improvements coming in the 2021 model.