2016 Mercedes Metris: Can a Cargo Van Be Fun to Drive?

2016 Mercedes Metris Cargo Van 126 | MSRP: $28,950 | Price as tested: $39,280

Engine: 2.0L; 208 h.p.; 258 lb.-ft. | MPG: 21 city / 24 hwy

Features: Eco Start/Stop Technology, Heated seats and Windshield, 270-degree Folding Doors, Attention Assist, Collision Prevention Assist, etc.

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There’s a video on our website that might be of me doing a burnout in a cargo van. You’ll notice I’m smiling in this video. It’s because, yes, cargo vans can be fun to drive! This 2016 Mercedes Metris is a compact utility van, meant for use in tight quarters – say a contractor who works mainly in the city. What you end up with, however, is a sporty driving experience, a Mercedes Luxury and great looks to go along with all that utility.

Mercedes pioneered the efficient flexible van market here in the U.S. by bringing over the Sprinter in 2001. It was the first time a company offered an alternative to the big-boxy vans of the big-three. With efficiency and flexibility in configuration, you now were able to get a vehicle that just fits your needs, and with nearly triple the fuel economy of a typical American-made cargo van. This prompted other manufacturers to bring in their European van offerings – such as the Ford Transit and the Nissan NV200.

But Mercedes is still the leader in this category, and it shows with this 2016 Metris. A 2.0L Turbocharged 4-Cylinder cranks out 208hp while still sipping fuel. With a completely empty van, and using the steering wheel mounted paddle shifters (yes, paddle shifters on a van), it’s actually a blast to drive. The cabin is also a really comfortable place to be – given the wonderful seats, steering wheel and switchgear – all borrowed from Mercedes luxury sedans.

The Metris doesn’t disappoint when it comes to technology either, with available blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning and a system that lights up a coffee-cup shaped light on the dash when it thinks you might be fatigued. Somehow it was on the entire time I was driving… read more:

2016 Mercedes Metris: Can a Cargo Van Be Fun to Drive?