Take a look at the photo above, and you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s the same old Metris we’ve had in America for years. There are important changes afoot for the 2021 Mercedes-Benz Metris though — known as the “Vito” in Europe — and most of them are going on inside the van. While TFLtruck was supposed to cover the updated Vito in Germany this week, Mercedes canceled the event due to the novel coronavirus outbreak. As such, we have details from the online reveal to share with you instead.
Most important among the changes to the Vito include an all-electric “eVito” variant. Fuel costs are critical to any fleet manager’s bottom line, and this model offers up to 201 horsepower and 267 lb-ft of torque to the front wheels and a projected range of 262 miles (421 kilometers) on a charge. The eVito packs a 100 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack, with a usable capacity of 90 kWh. Mercedes says that you can charge it up on a 110-kW fast charger from 10 to 80 percent in 45 minutes, but charging it fully at home on a level 2 charger takes about 10 hours. At this point, the company hasn’t confirmed an electric Metris for the U.S. market yet, but the other updates will most likely make their way over to American variants soon.
The AirMatic air suspension system also makes its way to the Metris for the first time as well. That allows for greater comfort on the road, as Mercedes tuned the system to adjust damping for each wheel with two valves for compression and rebound in each shock absorber. The air suspension system is available on all passenger versions of the European Vito.
Europe’s getting a slew of diesel engine choices for the Vito. However, it’s also not clear whether any of those powertrains will make their way into the 2021 Mercedes-Benz Metris in America. Knowing how diesels have gone done here in the States lately, it’s an unlikely proposition. Currently, the only engine choice we have in the Metris is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine putting out 208 horsepower. That mates up to a 7-speed automatic transmission, though all rear-wheel drive variants of the new van are getting an upgrade to Mercedes’ 9-speed unit instead.
Some thoughtful interior updates
The 2021 Mercedes-Benz Metris will remain a work van for most, but there are more important updates going on here. The older Metris models are woefully under-equipped even compared to their work counterparts. As such, the company offers up more technology for the new Vito and eVito than before. Apart from the electric drivetrain in the eVito, standard models now get a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system. As part of that upgrade, buyers also get a new rear-view camera and even a digital rear-view mirror. Especially in the cargo van variants, that addition is hugely useful.
Automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control are welcome additions to the lineup. Like some of Mercedes’ other models, the 2021 Mercedes-Benz Metris should also get things like crosswind assist to help keep things stable and a driver attention alert system. Despite the infotainment update, though, the MBUX system will not make its way to the Metris, even in this updated model.
As before, there will still be passenger and cargo variants for customers to choose from. In the Vito, Mercedes offers the “Tourer” as a passenger-minded van, to go with the more basic panel van configuration. They even have a “Mixto” version that sort of bridges the gap between the two.
No word on pricing and availability here in the U.S. yet, but you should get the option of three body lengths and two wheelbases. The standard wheelbase stretches out 202 inches. As for the longer wheelbase model, you get 211 inches from wheel to wheel, with the highest payload configuration topping out at 3,000 pounds.