A new version of the Mercedes-Benz Metris small cargo van will launch in the U.S. during the first half of 2018 with an extended wheelbase, the automaker said on Monday at the North American Commercial Vehicle Show in Atlanta.
“Starting next year the Metris will have even more functionality,” said Robert Veit, vice president and managing director of Mercedes-Benz Vans.
The extended Metris will feature an additional nine inches of wheelbase for a total of 135 inches, which will increase cargo holding capacity, Veit said. The new size applies to the cargo van only.
Other dimensions will change, as well. The extended Metris will grow nine inches longer, reaching up to 211.4 inches. Volume capacity will expand 16 cubic feet, making space for up to 199 cubic feet of cargo. Its maximum payload capacity will shrink from 2,502 pounds to 2,447, and the turning diameter will grow from 36.4 inches to 38.7. Maximum towing capacity remains the same at 5,000 pounds.
The current Mercedes-Benz Metris van already has the longest wheelbase in its class, which includes the Ford Transit Connect, Nissan NV200 and Ram ProMaster City. The Metris also has the largest length, width, height and cargo space.
The Metris, however, trails the competition in sales.
Mercedes sold 4,371 of the vans through the first eight months of 2017, according to industry research firm Autodata Corp. During that same period, Ram sold nearly 11,000 ProMaster Citys, Nissan sold nearly 13,000 NV200s and Ford sold more than 23,000 Transit Connects.
Still, the Metris is the only small van that has seen sales increase compared with the first eight months of 2016. Sales are up by 21.7 percent.