A wonderful vehicle like the new Mercedes-Benz Metris makes both more enjoyable.
Small communities are often identified with some special, unique, or historical event. This might be a long-ago military battle or such, but more likely- than-not, communities are identified with products or crops produced over the distant past. This might include watermelons, tomatoes, peanuts, cows, or even specialty furniture. If these don’t work, small towns can come up with an event to simply band the community’s citizens together in support of the town other than Friday night football.
These ‘festival’ events can be fun and interesting for both adults and children. Usually, there are children’s activities and carnival-styled rides. There are homemade crafts, scholarship fund- raisers, music, food, and items for sale by vendors, churches, or local clubs. Many times, there is a small parade, complete with the local school band, politicians, and of course, cars. Cars are part-and- parcel of most of our daily existence. Getting to a community festival can be a terrific opportunity to take a short road-trip and getting there is half of the fun.
“Recently, my wife & I had a brand-new 2019 Mercedes-Benz Metris van for a week-long test-drive. The Metris is a special van that is offered in either a cargo style or a passenger style. Our test- drive model was an attractive Juniper Red colored cargo van.”
It only offered two seats, so it was perfect for a two-person road-trip. The Mercedes-Benz Metris van is almost below-the-radar in consumer knowledge. It is mid-size and can easily navigate city streets or tight parking spots. Competitors are either larger or smaller and most shoppers would find the Metris to be like the Papa Bear – Mama Bear – Baby Bear story. It is just the right size.
Often, day-trippers visit a festival or simply go ‘antique-ing.’ We have had those occasional finds that were much too large for our small vehicle, so the opportunity to take a larger cargo van was appealing, in anticipation we just might obtain that ‘find.’ If you don’t know what is happening around your area for the weekend, it doesn’t take much effort to do an internet web search. Just days before the weekend, our search showed the small town of Lovelady having a Love Festival on the Saturday before Valentine’s, which they have done for 34 years. Checking further, we found the schedule for the parade, festival queen’s coronation, evening dancing, and even a baking contest. My wife made a batch of cookies the night before and entered the Saturday contest. Second place with a small prize of kitchen towels was a wonderful surprise. Numerous politicians threw sacks & sacks of candy along the short route. The weather cooperated and it was a fun time.
The Mercedes-Benz Metris was obviously designed as a useful, small commercial van to be used for deliveries or repairs. It would work great for an overnight camping trip. This is not a Mini-Van or an SUV, but does offer those features that appeal to both a daily driver or a business. It drives almost as easy as a crossover, but does have those commercial-type features. It is barely insulated for noise, so the sound was almost like being inside a large bass drum at times. The handling is easy and the turning circle is really tight which helps maneuvering in tight spaces. The seats are very comfortable and arm rests are standard.
The Metris was powered by a 4-cylinder turbo- charged gasoline engine. There is no option for a diesel version or even All-Wheel-Drive. The 7-speed automatic transmission is augmented by convenient paddle shifters mounted just behind the steering wheel. The Metris cargo van test-model had a slightly longer wheelbase of 135 inches, but could still fit easily into a standard garage or parking space.
There were several ‘packages’ added to the base Metris that included a rear-view camera, heated side mirrors, a very bright LED lighting system in the cargo area, rain-sensing wipers, cruise control, slightly plusher seats with lumbar support, heated seats, and an overall stronger heating system. The base prices range from about $26K to $34K. The test-drive model had a base price of $31,200, but with the additional packages and destination charges, the bottom sticker price was $39,001. The Metris is EPA rated for 24 mpg highway and 22 mpg overall. For the week, my own overall average stayed at the 23 mpg point.