Mercedes-Benz Metris Weekender: First Look
The Mercedes-Benz Metris van has plenty of commercial applications, but now the German automaker has injected some fun into this utility van with the creation of the Weekender Package. While many camper vans are built on larger models, the Weekender is as easy to drive as an everyday vehicle, with the option to head off grid for a night or two — or twenty-two.
“Pop up campers are iconic and highly functional vehicles,” said Robert Veit, VP and managing director of Mercedes-Benz USA Vans. “We have known for a long time that this market need was unmet as evidenced by the high demand for aging existing camper vans still on the road. With the help of our partners, Peace Vans and Driverge, we have utilized the Metris to create a product suited to those who seek adventure, but also need a versatile and comfortable vehicle for their day-to-day lives,” Veit observed.
Comfortable Living Space
The Weekender offers seating for five or sleeping for four. The interior easily transforms into a comfortable living space with plenty of flexibility. A rear bench seat that seats three slides forward or back, providing more cargo space or living space. A stowable table can be attached in a variety of locations, and it can even swivel for use outside the sliding side door.
In the Metris Weekender, both the driver’s and front passenger’s bucket seats swivel 180 degrees to face rearward, creating a comfortable seating arrangement around the table.
Conversion to Camper
To properly convert the Weekender into a camper, the roof and its integrated spring system easily pops up on gas struts. Initially this provides plenty of headroom for even the tallest campers to stand upright; however, when it comes time to sleep, a bed can be pulled down to create cozy sleeping quarters in the pop-up.
The bed in the top level sleeps two on a memory-foam mattress, and with the raised roof and large windows it feels quite spacious.
The Weekender has several USB ports in the upper bunk space that can be used for lights or charging mobile devices.
More Sleeping Space
For additional sleeping space, the rear bench seat of the Mercedes-Benz Metris Weekender can be easily folded into a large bed, providing sleeping arrangements for two more occupants.
The Mercedes-Benz Metris Weekender comes with an extra battery to provide power for lights or whatever else folks might need while overnighting. For additional power, Mercedes offers the Weekender with integrated solar panels.
The Metris Weekender provides plenty of space behind the rear bench for additional cargo or supplies.
The Mercedes-Benz Metris Weekender makes a great vehicle for a quick overnight getaway; for those who want to spend more time camping, Mercedes-Benz offers additional features to improve the experience. Weekender can be fitted with an integrated 8-foot exterior awning, screens for the rear hatch and sliding doors to keep bugs at bay, a pullout rear kitchen, and a tent that can be attached to the rear liftgate for added space and privacy. The Metris can tow up to 5,000 pounds — enough capability to trailer along some power toys or even a small camper for additional sleeping accommodations.
Mercedes can equip the Weekender with racks on the roof as well as at the rear, letting folks bring along extra gear such as surfboards, skis or bikes.
“From adventure seeking millennials to hip retirees, everyone is craving authentic and connected experiences to nature,” noted Harley Sitner, president of Peace Vans, a Seattle-based van restoration shop that also rents camper vans. “Small camper vans, like this exciting new Metris Weekender from Mercedes, hits a very large sweet spot in the market. The demand we see for these products is exceptional and the feedback from renters and early adopters is fantastic. Being experts in pop up campers, we are confident Mercedes has a fantastic product that is going to delight an entire new generation of road trippers,” Sitner enthused.
Easy to Drive
With the top folded down, drivers pilot the Metris Weekender like a regular van, with none of the added stress of driving and maneuvering a larger RV.
Authorized Mercedes-Benz dealers will start accepting orders for the Weekender this spring, with deliveries expected during summer 2020. Final pricing hasn’t been announced; expect the Weekender to cost around $70,000. As an added bonus, the first 100 customers will get a free National Parks Pass to facilitate their adventures. The Weekender gets built by Driverge Vehicle Innovations in partnership with Seattle-Based Peace Vans. Weekenders will be produced at the Driverge location in South Carolina, which happens to be adjacent to the Mercedes-Benz factory.