Previewed in various concept forms last November at the SEMA Show, the 2016 Mercedes-Benz Metris mid-size commercial vans in Cargo and Passenger guise were unveiled this week at the NTEA Work Truck Show. A U.S.-spec version of M-B's highly successful Vito van sold in other markets, the new Metris is smaller than the full-size Sprinter but larger than its closest rivals, the Ford Transit Connect, Nissan NV200 SV and Ram Tradesman and also offers significantly higher payload and cargo capacity.

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Headed to showrooms in October, all Metris models share a common powertrain at launch, one that was specifically developed for the North America market. It pairs a 2.0-liter/208-horsepower turbocharged 4-cylinder gasoline engine that makes 258 lb-ft of torque with a 7-speed automatic transmission driving the rear wheels. The engine also will offer an optional ECO start/stop system to help improve its still unreleased EPA fuel economy numbers and a service interval of up to 15,000 miles. In addition to 186-cu ft of cargo space in the Cargo Van - or 38-cu ft in the Passenger Van - the Metris has a 4,960 pound towing capacity and offers numerous custom options meet specialized work requirements. Mercedes has yet to provide any insight into future Metris options, but the Vito can be fitted with a number of different gasoline and diesel engines as well as all-wheel drive,;the logical assumption that other drivetrains may be in the pipeline.

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Standard comfort/convenience touches in the new Metris include an Audio 15 sound system with a 5.8-inch color screen, dual sliding side doors and a versatile center console that M-B also points out features U.S.-size jumbo cupholders. Being a Mercedes-Benz, it also boasts an impressive roster of safety systems, highlighted by Attention Assist, Crosswind Assist and load-adaptive ESP stability as well as six airbags in the Cargo Van and eight in the Passenger Van. Other premium safety enhancements including Active Parking Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, Collision Prevention Assist, Blind Spot Assist, Parktronic and a rearview camera will be available as options. Pricing for the 2016 Mercedes-Benz Metris Cargo Van starts at $29,945 with the 3-row Metris Passenger Van - with seating for seven or eight-- opens at $33,495. 

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