Refreshed Mercedes-Benz V-Class Gets New Look, Engine, Electric Siblings

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
refreshed mercedes benz v class gets new look engine electric siblings

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]

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6 of 38 comments
  • Speedlaw Speedlaw on Feb 02, 2019

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

  • NN NN on Feb 04, 2019

    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.

  • 3SpeedAutomatic And this too shall pass.....Ford went thru this when the model T was introduced. It took the moving assembly line to make real money. As time progressed, it got refined, eventually moving to the Model A. Same kind of hiccups with fuel injection, 4 speed automatic, Firestone tires, dashboards with no radio knobs, etc, etc, etc. Same thing with EVs. Yep, a fire or two in the parking lot, espresso time at the charging stations, other issues yet to be encountered, just give it time. 🚗🚗🚗
  • Art Vandelay 2025 Camaro and Challenger
  • Mike Beranek Any car whose engine makes less than 300 ft-lbs of torque.
  • Malcolm Mini temporarily halted manual transmission production but brought it back as it was a surprisingly good seller. The downside is that they should have made awd standard with the manual instead of nixing it. Ford said recently that 4dr were 7% manual take rate and I think the two door was 15%.
  • Master Baiter It’s hard to make predictions, especially about the future. It will be interesting to see if demand for Ford’s EVs will match the production capacity they are putting on line.