INDIANAPOLIS. An anticipatory countdown on a large screen and the sounds of a distance thunderstorm kept the audience’s attention, building to the unveiling of the new Mercedes-Benz Vans USA Metris.
Bernhard Glaser, vice president and managing director of Mercedes-Benz Vans USA, teased the crowd assembled in the Mercedes-Benz booth at the NTEA’s Work Truck Show in Indianapolis a bit further, detailing some of the OEM’s Sprinter success. Sales were up 18% in 2014 and the Sprinter, which sold 25,745 units, held a 30% market share in metropolitan areas, he said.
Glaser then noted the Sprinter’s 51% residual value after three years, the best in the segment, he said. And then it was time for the big reveal.
“What we’ve done with the Sprinter in the fullsize segment we will do in another segment,” he said, before the wraps were pulled off the “right-sized” van.
First announced at the 2014 SEMA Show, the Metris is described by the OEM as smaller than a fullsize van, but larger than a small van, in other words, just the “right size.”
“Just like the Sprinter, it will not have any similar competitors,” said Mathias Geisen, general manager and product manager.
Globally, the van is known as the Vito. it will be available in October in passenger or cargo configuration with a base price of just over $28,000. It is 202.4 in. long, 75.9 in. wide and 74.8 in. high.
The Metris will be powered by a 4-cyl. gasoline engine producing 208 hp. and 258 lbs.-ft. of torque. Optional Eco stop/start is mated to a 7G-tronic 7-speed automatic transmission.
Like the Sprinter, the Metris is filled with the latest safety advancements, including 6 airbags for the cargo van and 8 for the passenger van variant. All models will feature standard attention assist, crosswind assist, and standard load-adaptive ESP. Optional features include active parking assist, lane keeping assist, Parktronic, collision prevention assist, blind spot assist, and a rearview camera.
Large cupholders have been added to the center console on the dashboard for convenience.
Back to the Sprinter, Glaser noted some of the new features for the van in 2015, including service intervals up to 20,000 mi., super single rear wheel, on-demand 4x4 option and standard crosswind assist.