Mercedes Metris For Vanlife: 16 Reasons Why It’s the Best

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Considering the Mercedes Metris for Vanlife?

With a powerful engine, large cargo area, and stealthy exterior, the Mercedes Metris van is a good option.

But how does it stack up against other popular modern mid-sized models like the Transit Connect, ProMaster City, NV200, VW California, & Renault Trafic?

In this post, we’ll find out.

Here’s everything you’ll learn:

13 Reasons Why Vanlifers Like the Mercedes Metris

The Metris is easy to drive, reliable, & stealthy – but is it the best option for vanlife?

Here are 13 reasons why vanlifers like the Mercedes Metris:

  • Easy to Drive: The Metris is small and nimble and has great acceleration so it’s easy to maneuver around the city or on the freeway.
  • Fits in Any Parking Space: The Metris will fit into a standard-size parking space, meaning you don’t have to worry about looking for that “RV Parking” sign.
  • “Stealth” Factor: The Mercedes Metris is commonly used as a cargo or passenger van, so stealth camping in this vehicle is easy to get away with.
  • High Horsepower: The Metris comes with a 208 horsepower engine (compared to the Mercedes Sprinter or Ford Transit Connect which both have engines around the 160 horsepower mark).
  • Mercedes Name Brand: A great benefit to some buyers is the prestige of the Mercedes-Benz name brand. As far as compact vans go, it doesn’t get more luxurious than a Mercedes Metris.
  • Nice Interior: Metris vans have a sleek, stylish, and well-designed interior.
  • Large Rear Windows: The Mercedes Metris passenger has large rear windows, so you don’t have to worry about installing aftermarket windows if you want windows in your van.
  • Mercedes Sells a Camper Option: The Mercedes Metris Getaway can be purchased from Mercedes-Benz and comes with rear fold-down seats, a pop-top sleeper, and a large awning.
  • Wide Cargo Area: The Metris offers about 66 inches of cargo width. That’s enough room that most builders install a bed and a kitchen area.
  • Sleek Exterior Look: The exterior of the Metris is very visually appealing, especially when compared to the clunkier Ford Transit Connect, or Ram ProMaster City.
  • Great for Simple DIY Builds: The Metris doesn’t have a ton of room in the back, but that’s great for first-time DIYers, or if you’re just looking to build out a simple weekend getaway van.
  • Higher Payload Than Other Small Vans: The Mercedes Metris has a payload capacity of around 2,000 pounds. Compared to the Ford Transit Connect (which has a payload capacity of around 1,400 pounds), it can handle much heavier builds.
  • More Room for Builds Than Other Small Vans: The Mercedes Metris offers more cargo length and width than most other compact vans. That means there’s room for extra amenities like an indoor kitchen, or more storage space.

9 Reasons Why Vanlifers Dislike the Mercedes Metris

As with every vehicle, there are downsides to the Metris.

Here are 9 reasons why vanlifers dislike the Mercedes Metris:

  • Requires Premium Fuel: A huge downside of Metris is its requirement of premium fuel, which can cost between 20 and 60 cents more per gallon than regular fuel.
  • Expensive New and Used: The Mercedes Metris will cost around $5,000 more new or used compared to comparable compact vans like the Ram ProMaster City, or Ford Transit Connect.
  • Poor Visibility: The front windows are small and owners say visibility isn’t great from the driver’s seat.
  • RWD Only: Mercedes only offers the Metris in a rear-wheel drive option. This can lead to traction issues in the snow, or going up dirt or gravel hills.
  • Low Headroom: The Metris offers 55 inches of interior cargo height. If you want to stand up inside, you’ll need to install a pop-top roof.
  • Major Issues With the 2016 Model: The 2016 Mercedes Metris has some major issues requiring costly repairs, mostly revolving fuel leakage.
  • Not Enough Room for All-Inclusive Builds: The Metris is a compact van, meaning there’s just not enough room to add amenities like a shower or a dining area.
  • Pricey Parts and Maintenance: Mercedes vehicles have expensive parts, and a mechanic who works on Mercedes will generally charge you more because they are luxury vehicles.
  • Not Great Fuel Economy for its Size: The Metris gets just 21 MPG combined, which is notably less compared to the Ram ProMaster City, and the Ford Transit Connect, which both run around 25 MPG.

 

16 Amazing Mercedes Metris Van Builds

With a wide cargo area, high payload capacity, & nice interior, the Metris provides a good platform for designing a layout… but which is the best?

Here are 16 of the coolest Mercedes Metris conversions ever:

Build #16: Metris with Two Sleeping Areas and Huge Awning

  • Highlights: This Metris build has tons of sleeping space for a small van. There’s room for two on the tri-fold convertible bed, and for two more above in the pop-top. This camper also has a swivel table with a stove for indoor or outdoor cooking.
  • Van: Mercedes Metris
  • Owner: @rv_there_yet_rental

 

Build #15: Metris with Double Bench Seats and Surfboard Storage

  • Highlights: This Metris build has two rear bench seats with tons of storage underneath. The owner uses the space between the benches as storage for her surfboard.
  • Van: Mercedes Metris
  • Owner: @aubreylao

 

Build #14: Metris with Stove in a Drawer and Swivel Table that Seats Five

  • Highlights: This Metris build has three rear seats and seats a total of five people. The rear seats collapse into a bed, but during the day, they face a swivel table that can be used as a workspace or dining area.
  • Van: 2021 Mercedes Metris
  • Owner: @vanlifetrader

 

Build #13: Simple Pop-Top Metris that Sleeps Four

  • Highlights: This Metris conversion can sleep two on the convertible bed “downstairs” and another two people up in the pop-top. It also comes with a wide countertop with a two-burner stove and sink, plus a small wardrobe.
  • Van: 2021 Mercedes Metris
  • Owner: @gtrvvans

 

Build #12: Pop-Top Professional Conversion Metris

  • Highlights: This gorgeous Metris conversion from Texino has a simple slide-down bed that serves as two extra seats during the day. The van has a large wood countertop and sink, and plenty of drawer storage underneath.
  • Van: 2021 Mercedes Metris
  • Owner: @texino

 

Build #11: Sleek Metris Build with L-Shaped Couch and Lots of Storage

  • Highlights: This unique professional Metris build has an L-shaped couch that extends into a bed at night. The side of the van is packed with storage drawers and shelves. Plus, a pop-top roof means you can stand up inside.
  • Van: Mercedes Metris
  • Owner: @howweadventure

 

Build #10: Metris with Outdoor Kitchen and Bike Rack that Sleeps Four

  • Highlights: This Mercedes Metris with a pop top has room for four to sleep. The rear is an outdoor kitchen area with a stove, and the owners installed a swiveling bike rack for their two mountain bikes.
  • Van: Mercedes Metris
  • Owner: @melrakkithemetris

 

Build #9: Metris Conversion with Sliding Drawer Fridge that Sleeps One

  • Highlights: This Contravans conversion has a small fixed bed and a swinging table for a workspace. At the head of the bed are storage shelves and a drawer fridge. 
  • Van: Mercedes Metris
  • Owner: @contravans

 

Build #8: Metris with Electric Convertible Bed and Outdoor Shower

  • Highlights: This beautiful Metris conversion has a bed that turns into a couch at the push of a button. There’s a large countertop area with a sink and stove for cooking inside. At the rear of the vehicle is an installed outdoor shower that hooks onto the trunk door.
  • Van: 2016 Mercedes Metris
  • Owner: @innovativespaces (more photos at innovsb.com)

 

Build #7: Metris with Fixed Bed and Full Slide-Out Kitchen

  • Highlights: This professional conversion from ADF has a high fixed bed and pop top roof. The rear of the vehicle has a large slide out with a sink, fridge, stove, oven, and lots of storage space.
  • Van: 2022 Mercedes Metris
  • Owner: @adfsprinters (more photos at automotivedesignsandfab.com)

 

Build #6: Metris with Pop-Top Sleeper that Seats Four

  • Highlights: These DIYers purchased a Metris with a pop-top sleeping area, two rear seats, and two front swivel seats. In the back, they installed a simple “kitchen” with a prep area, and room for a cooler and jerry can.
  • Van: 2016 Mercedes Metris
  • Owner: @thefuncookervan

 

Build #5: Professional Mercedes Metris Conversion with Pop-Top

  • Highlights: This Metris seats four during the day, and the two rear seats slide down into a small bed. The side of the vehicle has tons of storage, a fridge, and a large sink. The pop-top ensures it’s comfortable to stand up and walk around inside the van.
  • Van: Mercedes Metris
  • Owner: @travoisvans

 

Build #4: Metris with Convertible Bed and Slide-Out Storage

  • Highlights: This unique conversion from Contravans has a large bed that folds up into a bench seat. There’s a swivel table hidden under the bed so the space can be used for cooking or as a workspace. Under the bed is a huge slide-out storage compartment.
  • Van: Mercedes Metris
  • Owner: @contravans

 

Build #3: Metris with Fixed Bed and Rotating Front Seats

  • Highlights: This smart Metris build has a fixed bed at the back with large countertop space and a sink next to the bed. The two front seats swivel all the way around so there’s still room to sit up and lounge inside.
  • Van: Mercedes Metris
  • Owner: @prettypimpinvan

 

Build #2: Pop-Top Mercedes Metris That Seats Four

  • Highlights: The Camper 2.0 from Peace Vans comes with four seat-belted seats and a convertible bed, an indoor sink, and room for a stove. The pop-top roof allows you to stand up inside the vehicle. 
  • Van: 2022 Mercedes Metris
  • Owner: @peacevans (more photos at peacevans.com)

 

Build #1: Metris with Slide-Out Bed, Surfboard Storage, and an Awning

  • Highlights: This DIY Metris build has a simple convertible bed in the back across from a cooler and some countertop space. The roof rack stores a couple surfboards, and the owners installed a large awning for a great outdoor hangout spot.
  • Van: 2018 Mercedes Metris
  • Owner: @tetris_the_metris

 

Cost, Dimensions, & Fuel Economy

Now that you know a little more about the Mercedes Metris, let’s see how it stacks up against Nissan NV200, Ford Transit Connect, Ram ProMaster City, Renault Trafic, & VW California.

 

Mercedes Metris Cost

Cost: Mercedes Metris vs Nissan NV200 vs Ford Transit Connect vs Ram ProMaster City vs Renault Trafic vs VW California

ModelNewUsedPrice
Mercedes Metris$34,900$27,954Check Price
Nissan NV200$23,500$13,985Check Price
Ford Transit Connect$29,365$17,995Check Price
Ram ProMaster City$30,475$27,950Check Price
Renault Trafic$51,952$28,594Check Price
VW California$73,385N/ACheck Price

 

Mercedes Metris Dimensions

Dimensions: Mercedes Metris vs Nissan NV200 vs Ford Transit Connect vs Ram ProMaster City vs Renault Trafic vs VW California

ModelInterior HeightInterior Length (cargo)Interior WidthExt Length
Mercedes Metris55 inches105.4 inches66.3 inches202.4 inches
Nissan NV20053.5 inches80.3 inches59.1 inches173.2 inches
Ford Transit Connect49.5 inches117.5 inches48.7 inches190 inches
Ram ProMaster City51.8 inches87.2 inches60.4 inches187.5 inches
Renault Trafic54.6 inches99.9 inches65.4 inches196.8 inches
VW California55.5 inches101.3 inches66.9 inches193.1 inches

 

Mercedes Metris Fuel Economy

Fuel Economy: Mercedes Metris vs Nissan NV200 vs Ford Transit Connect vs Ram ProMaster City vs Renault Trafic vs VW California

ModelCityHighwayCombined
Mercedes Metris19 MPG23 MPG21 MPG
Nissan NV20024 MPG26 MPG25 MPG
Ford Transit Connect24 MPG27 MPG25.5 MPG
Ram ProMaster City21 MPG28 MPG24.5 MPG
Renault Trafic24 MPG34 MPG29 MPG
VW California36.2 MPG42.2 MPG39.2 MPG

 

Conclusion: Is the Mercedes Metris Right for you?

There are a lot of reasons to like the Mercedes Metris: It’s got the Mercedes brand, power, & nice interior  – but it may not be for you.

Biggest factors:

  • Mercedes Brand
  • Nice Interior
  • Wide Cargo Area
  • Expensive
  • Poor Relative Fuel Economy

So should you get one?

Maybe! We’d recommend the Mercedes Metris for vanlife over the Transit Connect or ProMaster City for vanlifers who have a higher budget and value the Mercedes brand. Alternatively, the Transit Connect or ProMaster City offer almost the same utility (if not the same) for a lower upfront cost.

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