Chrysler Pacifica Vs. Mercedes-Benz Metris: Moving Van Challenge
At Cars.com, we love the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica minivan. After naming it the Best of 2017, we bought one. Our Pacifica has a bunch of useful safety features, a surprisingly powerful drivetrain and Stow 'n Go seats that make it especially easy to load it up with just about anything … kind of like a cargo van.
We also have a 2017 Mercedes-Benz Metris cargo van in our test fleet. How do they compare in terms of utility?
The two vehicles compare favorably in some respects. The Metris has a slightly longer wheelbase, but the Pacifica is just over an inch longer overall. The Pacifica's curb weight — even with a full complement of seats — is only 108 pounds heavier than the Metris.
They also differ wildly. The Pacifica is capable of seating up to eight people in relative comfort; the Metris can only seat two – safely. The Pacifica has Chrysler's excellent Uconnect multimedia system, displayed via an 8.4-inch screen; The Metris was able to pick up AM and FM radio, though it did thankfully have Bluetooth audio connectivity. The acoustics in the Metris were … subpar, if we're being generous, as the uninsulated cargo area created unusual echoes and let in what audio engineers would refer to as "a lot" of road noise even at low speeds. It also didn't have a rear window, so we relied heavily on small side mirrors and a backup camera for reverse maneuvering.
Any comparison of the interiors is going to end with the Pacifica winning. The same can be said of safety tech and ride and handling. But when Evan Sears, our assistant managing editor, photo, needed a vehicle to help a family member move, he requested the Metris.
Rightly so. The Metris has a cavernous cargo area, and ours came equipped with cargo rails on both the floor and walls. It also had paneling on the floor and walls that were especially helpful during the move. "What I liked most was the completely flat and hard-rubber cargo floor with matching material on the interior walls," said Sears. "I wasn't worried that our stuff would scuff up the inside, and our stuff didn't slide around. Also, since the walls had the same panels of rubber, you couldn't damage them, and the walls couldn't damage your stuff, either."
Sears also pointed out that the sheer amount of available space made the move a one-trip affair, adding, "Had I tried this same move with the Pacifica, we would've surely had to do two trips, which would've added another 90 miles round-trip." With Stow 'n Go, the seats in the Pacifica fold flat for a ton of cargo room, but it lacks any type of protective surface covering for moving mishaps.
It wasn't all roses with the Metris, however: Sears noted that the Metris felt top-heavy when fully loaded, especially in corners. Additionally, the sliding side door is capable of touching the rear doors when they are opened a full 180 degrees, and protective padding was necessary to prevent the van from denting or scratching itself.
In the end, the Metris is a great choice if you're helping people move all the time. If that is the case, then either congratulations on your moving company or please, learn to say no. If you want any sort of creature comforts or to haul more than one passenger while still carrying a lot of stuff, you're better off sticking with the Pacifica.
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