Marine & RVs

The 2021 Mercedes-Benz Metris Weekender Camper Van Makes No Sense

Glamping just got easier with the 2021 Mercedes-Benz Metris Weekender. Available for the first time in the U.S., this camper van accommodates up to five passengers, taking the ultimate road trip to a new level.

Travelers looking to get behind the wheel of this luxury camping vehicle will need deep pockets. The hefty price tag will undoubtedly deter the average consumer from considering this high-end camper van. 

But some of the Metris Weekender’s features are questionable. And a few are downright nonsensical.

The 2021 Mercedes-Benz Metris Weekender camper van

The new Mercedes-Benz camper van is the harmonious union of a utility van and a small recreational vehicle. Perfect for light adventures, the turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four engine, paired with a seven-speed automatic transmission, puts out a lackluster 208 hp. It’s not the fastest vehicle on the road, but it’s sufficient for long road trips and comfy Sunday drives.

The Metris Weekender is the first pop-up camper van from Mercedes-Benz available stateside. Backed by the iconic nameplate, the van is readily customizable with a vast array of optional high-end amenities.

Standard features include an elevated rooftop sleeping area that comfortably accommodates two adults. The space offers three windows, conveniently located USB ports, and a two-inch memory foam mattress.

The bench seat in the Metris Weekender’s rear easily folds into a bed for two adult-sized passengers. The front seats come standard with a 180-degree swivel. A second battery is also included for additional charging purposes.

The optional packages run the gamut, from integrated solar panels to a rear pullout kitchen. The cost rises considerably for each customizable add-on. An eight-foot awning, insect nets to protect open doors, utility roof racks, and a rear liftgate extension tent are a few of the innovative options available for complete camping comfort.

This high-end camper van doesn’t make a lot of sense

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Despite the 2021 Mercedes-Benz Metris Weekender’s many advantages, you shouldn’t overlook some glaring disadvantages. For starters, though this camper van seats five, it sleeps only four. That means, with a full carload, somebody must put up a tent outside.

Though intimidating at first, the pop-up roof bed actually sets up fairly easily in about five minutes. But it goes astray in the material used in the rooftop compartment. A Car and Driver review notes that on its new Metris Weekender, “The fabric that formed the sides of the sleeping area had a few tiny holes where it had degraded while it was stowed away.” It was a shocking discovery considering the exorbitant price tag.

Also, the lack of a ladder to access the rooftop sleeping space doesn’t make much sense. The only way to access that area is to climb on the front seats and pull yourself up into the bed. That could be a deal-breaker for consumers looking for ease-of-use in a high-end camper van.

Glamping doesn’t come cheap 

Mercedes-Benz builds Metris vans at its assembly plant in South Carolina. Then they’re outfitted for camping through a joint effort by Driverge Vehicle Innovations and Peace Vans, the only Mercedes-approved conversion van companies in the United States.

The base-model 2021 Metris Weekender starts at $38,335, Car and Driver reports. But according to Peace Vans, the more realistic price is closer to $43,000. A Getaway option adds an extra $25,719. Once completed with selected features and add-ons, the MSRP comes closer to $70,000.

To top it all off, expect to pay upward of $90,000 when adding items such as a kitchen, auxiliary heater, and exterior awning.