Mercedes-Benz enters the family-hauling market with the mid-size Metris van

Mercedes-Benz is known in the U.S. as a luxury carmaker, but the fleet of Sprinter vans that have logged untold miles over the past decade or so prove it can build a decent work vehicle as well.

Just as it’s doing with its luxury cars, Mercedes is also downsizing its vans. Debuting at the 2015 NTEA Work Truck Show in Indianapolis, the Metris is a second offering for those who wear work boots instead of wingtips.

Previewed by a series of customized concepts at the 2014 SEMA show, the Metris is the North American version of the Vito midsize van Mercedes already sells in other markets.

In terms of size, the Metris is in a class of one. It’s smaller than Mercedes’ own Sprinter and other full-size vans, but larger than a Ford Transit Connect, Nissan NV200, or Ram Promaster City.

The van is offered with multiple powertrains in other markets, but the sole U.S. option will be a four-cylinder with 208 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission.

The interior may not be as upscale as those of most models wearing the three-pointed star, but Mercedes promises an equal level of fit and finish. The Metris will be available in both passenger and cargo van configurations.

Notable tech includes standard Crosswind Assist, plus an available park-assist system, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keep assist, and rearview camera.

The Metris goes on sale in the U.S. in October, with prices starting at $28,950.

The company says this is the “most attractive price of any U.S. Mercedes-Benz,” although it’s doubtful anyone will cross shop this against, say, a C-Class just to save money.

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