The new, cheapest Mercedes-Benz isn't a plush car or glitzy SUV. It's a work van.
The Metris, being introduced Wednesday at a work-truck show in Indianapolis, is smaller than a Sprinter but larger than a Ford Transit Connect. It will come in both passenger and cargo versions when it comes to dealers in October.
Compared to those powerful turbocharged Mercedes engines, the Metris' engine may seem a little timid. It as a 208-horsepower 4-cylinder gasoline engine with optional start-stop features that shuts off the motor at stop lights. It comes with seven-speed automatic transmission.
The van is designed for delivery duties in urban areas, but with that Mercedes star on the grille, it may be picked up quickly by the van conversion or mini-motorhome industries.
The cargo van starts at $29,945, including $995 shipping. The passenger version starts at $33,495, also including shipping. By contrast, the present cheapest Mercedes is the popular small CLA at $32,425, also including shipping.
Mercedes has had a hit in the large Sprinter work van. The European-style van is now been emulated by several makers.