By on February 1, 2019


Mercedes-Benz has already announced its electric EQ range will see an EQC SUV as the first inductee to its automotive stable — followed by the EQS sedan, EQA hatchback, and the compact EQB crossover. It also plans to introduce its EQV Concept in Geneva later this year, a model which draws much of its inspiration from the Mercedes V-Class (known in North America as the Metris).

However, the standard V-Class is going through some changes of its own. Thanks to a mid-cycle refresh in Europe, the model will gain more standard safety tech, new hardware, and added luxury options for 2020. It also goes under the knife for some tasteful plastic surgery, bringing it in line with the rest of the automaker’s lineup. 

Visual alterations include a handful of gently softened features and a new front fascia. There are also new color options and multiple trim lines available that can further change the model’s look, including one from AMG that incorporates the “diamond grille” and chucks on a unique set of 19-inch wheels.

Meanwhile, the interior (which you can have with wood, carbon fiber, or aluminum trim) is similarly tweaked to more closely resemble the rest of Mercedes’ passenger vehicles. The most notable items are “turbine” style air vents and upgraded instrumentation, which can now convey more simultaneous information to the driver.

Less has been done behind the driver’s seat. Save for some new upholstery choices and the option to order fully reclining captain’s chairs with a massage function and ventilation, nothing has changed.

On the mechanical front, there’s a new 2.0-liter diesel that outputs 239 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque (which we’re unlikely to see stateside) and a nine-speed automatic transmission that replaces the model’s aging seven-speed gearbox. Rear-wheel drive remains standard, but you can option the van with 4Matic all-wheel drive if desired.

The biggest changes come via a new safety suite deployed by Daimler. A new adaptive high-beam setup basically leaves them on 24/7 until the V-Class feels the need to redirect them to avoid blinding oncoming traffic. There’s also an improved emergency braking system, which Mercedes claims can detect pedestrians and actively primes the pedal for your foot — or takes over braking entirely if it thinks you’ve waited too long to intervene.

As of now, Daimler has only confirmed these inclusions in markets outside of North America. Mercedes-Benz has not made announcements about the Metris in the United States; it would be doubtful to see all the changes make their way here. That said, we’re expecting the model to undergo some minor alterations within the next year, with the new electrified Concept EQV stealing all the press.

[Images: Daimler AG]

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

Recommended

38 Comments on “Refreshed Mercedes-Benz V-Class Gets New Look, Engine, Electric Siblings...”


  • avatar
    Lie2me

    Now THAT’s a minivan with snob appeal and 4WD which speaks to me

  • avatar
    VW4motion

    This van with awd in North America could have some great sales. If we want awd in a mini van are stuck with the Sienna and those odd rear captains chairs.

    • 0 avatar
      whynot

      The current Metris is so far behind everything else that even with AWD it’s sales would be terrible. It is a laughably terrible private passenger van. Even the Mercedes badge doesn’t save it in the upper crust’s eyes.

      • 0 avatar
        ThomasSchiffer

        There is a huge difference between the Metris and the V-Klasse.

        In Europe Mercedes sells a cheapened, commercialized version of the V-Klasse known as the ‘Vito’. The Vito lacks any luxury features and options and is purely a commercial work van popular with owners of smaller businesses (plumbers, IT services and so forth). The Vito has a cheaper interior than the V-Klasse. Your Metris is our Vito.

        The V-Klasse on the other hand is a proper luxury van available with luxury features, better interior materials and so forth.

        Why Mercedes sells the Vito (Metris) in the United States market instead of the proper luxurious V-Klasse is what we should be asking ourselves.

        That being said, they are solid vehicles. My brother runs a taxi business in Munich, Germany, and aside from the standard taxi (E-Klasse) he has a handful of Vitos. Practical, durable and surprisingly easy to maintain.

    • 0 avatar

      But Sienna is much more reliable and will go million miles without oil change.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        I’ve owned a Sienna, and I’ve wanted a Metris in the worst way for a while (minivan dad).

        The Metris is really something different than the Sienna. It’s bigger (8 seats), more rugged, and has higher towing capacity.

        The Metris more like an Astro Van. The Sienna is a conventional minivan.

        If your family and your towing/hauling fit in the Sienna, it really is a better choice. But, if you want a compact commercial van with creature comforts, the Metris is for you.

        That said, I really like the Metris. The only way I was able to talk myself out of the Metris was because it was RWD and not-electric. I also don’t like the idea of being associated with the three pointed star logo on it. But, with AWD and/or EV, I might buy one anyway! A slightly more refined commercial truck which can be outfitted for big-family+RV duty really does get me excited!

      • 0 avatar
        VW4motion

        @inside,
        You just about summed it up for most Toyota fan boys. Millions miles without an oil change.

  • avatar
    Null Set

    First, let me get the inevitable out of the way and be the first to post this:

    “Yeah, well, I’ll just wait three years and buy one of these for $4000.”

    Now that that’s out of the way: What’s its Nurburgring lap time?

  • avatar

    Weren’t those sold as Rams until FIAT took over and replaced them with funky rebadged FIATs?

  • avatar

    Oh boy, these terrible names – my ears hurt. EQC to me sounds like luxury Huydai flagship or even worse – new model from Infiniti.

  • avatar
    jatz

    Horribly rusting Sprinters are all I can think of here.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      The rusting Sprinters is what happens when you take a luxury car out of luxury context and evaluate them by the same standards as a Toyota. They really don’t fare too well (Mini Cooper, Sprinter, 1st-gen Chrysler Pacifica CUV-wagon-thingy).

      German Engineering just doesn’t stand up to the American duty cycle very well.

      But, the Metris is a unicorn for my purposes — it’s a right-sized do-everything vehicle for my family, and the closest vehicle in existence is the Chevy Astro Van from the 1990s (which my wife would veto due to lack of modern safety engineering). The Metris is so perfectly sized in terms of seating, footprint, and all of capacities I care about that I’ve given serious thought to putting up with all of the problems that come with “German Engineering” in order to own one.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        “German Engineering just doesn’t stand up to the American duty cycle very well.”

        An excellent way to explain the difference between American and German cars

        • 0 avatar

          But how German Engineering is so popular in Russia? I am talking about rough Russian roads (would rather say no-roads or pretending-being-roads) and Wehrmacht-busting Russian winter here. Russian conditions should be detrimental to anything German. But yet Russia is Germany’s best friend (and America is the worst enemy of both if you wonder).

      • 0 avatar
        gtem

        Luke I’m not sure the analogy holds up, since most of the time (outside of a few odd ducks, the general rule of thumb is that German/Swedish cars have absolutely fantastic rust protection, from the sheet metal to things like brake lines and fasteners, they beat the pants off of domestics/Japanese/korean/etc. It’s all the other stuff that you need to keep an eye on.

  • avatar
    Garrett

    I’d like an AMG 4matic van, please.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      The ultimate mommy-car, you’d just blow them all away in the school carpool line

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        Having driven the Metris, it’s not going to win any races unless the other mom is driving a full-sized van.

        I actually know that mom — she’s a PTA mom who has at least four kids under 8 and she drives a Nissan NV3500. And she might just be crazy enough to race me, if I brought a Metris.

    • 0 avatar
      ThomasSchiffer

      Start looking for a used R63 AMG! They are out there. ;)

    • 0 avatar
      Garrett

      Mommy car? No way. The performance minivan is the next step in evolution after the performance wagon.

      I mean, just imagine the engine from the GLA45 AMG in that thing, or better still, get an AMG 6 or 8 cylinder in there.

      As for the R-class, it needs sliding doors. Hell, we need to have SUVs with sliding doors while we’re at it.

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    One if the YouTube reviewers (DeMuro, maybe?) did a video on the current Metris. He chided the 2007-era tech, the poor performance AND fuel economy, and felt the passenger seating was a clumsy afterthought on the cargo van platform.

    Loaded up to match a Sienna or Odyssey, it costs thousands more.

    • 0 avatar
      ThomasSchiffer

      DeMuro didn’t comprehend that the Metris is a stripped version of the V-Klasse. The standard V-Klasse is a luxury minivan with the features to cement its claim as a premium van. The Metris is a commercial, stripped-of-luxury-features version of the V-Klasse, and it’s sold in Europe as the Vito.

      I question the decision of Mercedes-Benz to send over the cheap, commercialized version of the V-Klasse instead of the real thing.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        My guess is that Mercedes observed that there is a Chevy Astro sized hole in the American commercial van market, and they decided to fill it.

        As for luxury vans in the US, they’re not really a thing, unless you count the Explorer-type conversion vans. There’s every reason a Metris could be upfitted this way, and when I was shopping for a Metris, several of the used ones I was looking at did appear to have been upfitted by 3rd party van shops. But, conversion vans are low volume boutique market here in the US. My guess is that Mercedes wanted to play by the rules of the host market, rather than trying to create a new market segment out of thin air.

        That’s my 20/20 hindsight as a a Monday Morning quarterback. Take it with many grains of salt.

        • 0 avatar
          ThomasSchiffer

          Luke42,

          That is actually some great insight. Thank you.

          Here in Europe there exists a market for premium vans. The V-Klasse is one such van, and even Sprinters can be modified to feature opulent luxury interiors with leather seats, fine wood trim and other materials which provide a reassuring flair and ambience.

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      The US Metris sure is an odd duck and leaves me scratching my head. The utilitarian and crude nature of the passenger compartment is strange. I could see if a resort would want to buy some for the badge and just leave the seats in place for airport runs and stuff like that, but from what I saw in the DeMuro video, even just accessing the back row of seats is a clumsy and inconvenient experience. I’m certain Mercedes wasn’t going after the US family minivan market with this thing, they’re not that stupid. I just struggle to understand what sort of niche WERE they pursuing with the passenger variant?

  • avatar

    Yup, 19 inch wheels on a minivan. Let me be the first to ask “Is this a real AMG ?”

  • avatar
    NN

    The comparisons to the Chevy Astro are very apt. I once owned an Astro. Now I own two minivans–a luxury-family van latest generation Nissan Quest LE, and a quasi-commercial quasi family minivan Transit Connect Wagon. Both of those drive like cars, the Astro was very much a truck.

    I rented a Metris from Sixt in Phoenix for the better part of a week and was excited at first but ultimately underwhelmed. Both my Quest and Transit Connect drive and handle much better. The Metris was very stiffly sprung and rough around the edges like my old Astro.

    That said, I’m sure they can glam it up, and I think it would sell well here in the States as an honest luxury van, and I would highly consider it for the Quest replacement in the future if that were the case.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • Secret Hi5: Premium >91 octane is required, correct? i.e. Not just a recommendation, but a requirement.
  • MoparRocker74: McDonalds and Taco Bell seated in white leather on a 1000 mile roadtrip…we have ourselves a...
  • redgolf: so it’s also a “smart” car too!
  • Corey Lewis: This is a GOOD idea. The PMC Signature Program, for select vehicles only. Have them fill out an...
  • Menar Fromarz: I personally don’t see a problem with the expansion of non ICE tech as there are distinct...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributors

  • Timothy Cain, Canada
  • Matthew Guy, Canada
  • Ronnie Schreiber, United States
  • Bozi Tatarevic, United States
  • Chris Tonn, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States
  • Mark Baruth, United States
  • Moderators

  • Adam Tonge, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States