Minivans are deeply unsexy, but even the most hardened car guy must admit that a high-zoot Toyota Sienna, Honda Odyssey, or Chrysler Town & Country—with reclining leather thrones, more video screens than a Buffalo Wild Wings, and heaps of other sybaritic delights—is far from uncomfortable. Now comes a Mercedes-Benz entry, the new Metris. Toyota, Honda, and Chrysler: Prepare to be out-pimped!
Actually, y’all are good. The Metris is not a luxury minivan. Yes, it’s a Mercedes, but if you were expecting the Metris to be the proverbial Mercedes-Benz of minivans, it’s not. At least not the way most of America understands the brand. Think of it as a shrunken Sprinter, not an S-class for soccer moms.
The rear-drive Metris is essentially a rechristened version of the Spanish-built Mercedes-Benz Vito that is commonly used in Europe and elsewhere for hotel-shuttle, vanpool, and cargo-hauling duties, and it’s expected to be used in much the same way on these shores. Mercedes does sell a fancy version of the Vito called the V-class, but knowing how few customers exist for such a high-dollar thing here (given the brand’s experience with the R-class), there are no plans to bring that version here.
Only two significant changes were made to make the Vito—er, Metris—palatable to North American buyers: The center console, which can house a manual shifter in the Vito, was ditched in favor of two Big Gulp–sized cup holders, and the Vito’s diesel engines will stay on the other side of the pond while the Metris instead gets a gas-powered 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder and a seven-speed automatic. Complete review on www.caranddriver.com, by Manufacturer
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