- Based on Metris van
- Pop-top van seats five sleeps four
- Can be ordered at any MB dealership
- Built in conjunction with conversion partners
- Conversions add about $70,000 to $31,500 Metris
Mercedes-Benz launched its 2020 Metris “Weekender” conversion van as it looks to capitalize on a not-recently tapped segment of those looking to have short getaways that don’t involve hotel rooms. With a resurgence of mobile living, it’s nothing if not logical timing for a carmaker to offer a modern interpretation of the Volkswagen camper van.
What is the Weekender concept?
At the time of writing, there are hundreds—if not thousands—of ways to convert your van for a weekend in the rough. A search on Craigslist or even Expedition Portal will tell you that there’s nevertheless an unmet demand. Options get a heck of a lot slimmer if you’re not up for voiding a factory warranty. Robert Veit, VP and Managing Director, Mercedes-Benz USA Vans, says it himself: “We have known for a long time that this market need was unmet as evidenced by the high demand for aging existing camper vans still on the road.”
Mercedes-Benz did the logical thing by partnering with two companies from its “MASTERSOLUTIONS” upfitter category to make a very usable starting point for your weekend-camper build-out. Based on the Metris van and designed with Peace Vans in Seattle, the conversions are completed by Driverge Vehicle Innovations in North Charleston, S.C.
How much does a 2020 Mercedes-Benz Metris Weekender cost?
Even before talking conversion vans, the base Metris passenger van is priced at $31,500, more than its two closest rivals, the Ford Transit Connect and the Nissan NV200. Stock for stock, you’re getting what you pay for, though. The Metris’ 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder is good for 208 horsepower and 258 ft-lb of torque, and it’s mated to an excellent 7-speed automatic transmission. The suspension is much better sorted for passenger use, too; competitors are tuned for work use.
Pricing on the Weekender is yet to be announced, but Mercedes Benz says it will be in the low $70k range – so you’ll have to want to go camping. Though you could probably build a competitor for less money, you’d lose the excellent ride quality and engine/transmission combo. You’d take a hit in materials quality inside, too. What’s more, the Metris has a 5,000-lb tow rating, and a higher payload compared to the competition. This is important if you’re going to be installing a weekend’s worth of kitchen, living room, and bedroom essentials. You also get advanced safety stuff like Crosswind Assist, which uses the brakes as needed to counteract heavy winds.
Get in and go, or build it further
The Weekender can sleep four, with the rear bench converting into a bed for two. The pop-top supports another two by offering a 2-inch memory foam mattress. There’s an integrated table for mealtime. The rear seat slides fore and aft, offering additional cargo volume as needed. The front seats swivel to face rearward, making logical use of limited space when parked. Railed privacy curtains line all of the windows, including the windshield. Additional USB ports and lighting are scattered throughout the conversion van and supported by an additional battery.
If you’re looking to build a serious weekend getaway vehicle, you can option your Metris out further right from the factory, too. The hard-top roof can support options like solar panels and roof racks, and an 8-foot awning can be added alongside for rainy days. You can have bug screens for the sliding doors as well as the rear cargo doors. A tent can be added to the rear liftgate to offer more space. A pull-out rear kitchen makes camping a breeze. And again, the biggest plus? That factory warranty.
Ready to buy a Mercedes-Benz Metris? Shop now for one at a dealership near you.