The Best Versions of Mercedes-Benz’s New Van Aren’t Available in the U.S.

Sold as the Vito in other parts of the world, the 2021 Mercedes-Benz Metris is expected in the U.S. later this year. While not flashy like Mercedes-Benz’s luxury vehicles, this midsize cargo and passenger van is used by fleets as well as individuals. Kelley Blue Book took a look at the Mercedes-Benz van to see what’s new for this model year and peek at the versions that aren’t available in the U.S.

2021 Mercedes-Benz Metris features

Car and Driver says the Mercedes-Benz Metris “drives better than its competitors” while providing the “capabilities needed from a work van.” It is more expensive than some competitors, though. The cargo van has either a short- or a long-wheelbase, and the passenger van version can seat up to eight people. It has a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 engine, generating 208 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. It’s able to tow up to 5,000 pounds and haul up to 2,425 pounds.

Safety features already include crosswind assist, load-adaptive electronic stability program, attention assist, rescue assist, lane-keeping assist, collision prevention assist, blind-spot assist, and a rearview camera. The van also offers electric sliding doors and active park assist.

What’s new for 2021

Mercedes-Benz Metris/Vito panel van light commercial vehicle on display at Brussels Expo on January 13, 2017 in Brussels, Belgium
The Mercedes-Benz Metris | Sjoerd van der Wal/Getty Images

There are several changes for the new 2021 Mercedes-Benz Metris model, and some of the biggest are technology and safety upgrades. The gross vehicle weight increased from 6,724 to 6,834 pounds; however, a lighter 6,393-pound option is available too.

A new nine-speed transmission replaces the current seven-speed transmission, which should give the Metris better fuel economy. The safety options have been improved with the addition of active brake assist and adaptive cruise control. Active brake assist is able to help prevent rear-end crashes.

The interior cabin has been redesigned as well. It now features a larger 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system, replacing the previous 5.8-inch version. It also has smartphone integration for both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for the first time.

The Mercedes-Benz round vents appear along with a sturdier black Caluma seat fabric and new plastic floor coverings. The digital interior mirror displays either the standard view or the display view with info from an upgraded rearview camera. The display view is able to show about twice the width of the standard view.

The center console now sports high-gloss black trim. On the exterior, the nose and grille have been slightly redesigned. There’s also a new headlight design, color options, and more alloy wheel options.

Diesel and electric versions of the Mercedes-Benz Metris

Kelley Blue Book points out that the biggest updates to the Mercedes-Benz Metris are in the electric and diesel versions, which are not available in the United States. In a statement to MotorTrend, Mercedes-Benz said, “At this time we cannot communicate any decision here regarding whether we’ll sell an electric version in the U.S., or when.”

The electric version, the Mercedes-Benz e-Vito, has been sold in Germany since 2018. The front-wheel-drive powertrain in the electric van has 201 hp and is able to travel for 262 miles. Charging from 10 percent to 80 percent takes 45 minutes with a 110-kilowatt fast charger or about 10 hours with a wall box or 11-kilowatt public charging station.

While gas engines are not available, there are four diesel engine options available in Europe. Most of these have a nine-speed automatic transmission, but some have a six-speed manual transmission. European models also offer air suspension for the first time, which provides automatic individual wheel damping as needed. And, the European Vito vans have additional choices, including front-wheel, rear-wheel, and all-wheel drive, body lengths, and wheelbases.

Prices for the new 2021 Mercedes-Benz Metris aren’t yet available, but it’s likely they’ll be similar to the 2020 model, which has a starting price of $27,180. Car and Driver estimates the prices will be about $34,000 for the cargo van and $37,000 for the passenger van. Either way, don’t look for electric or diesel models in the U.S.