Meet the unsung hero of Roadshow's long-term fleet.
See, we make a lot of videos, and that means schlepping equipment and producers all over the country. Plus, we often need to get moving, car-to-car shots, which means we need something tall-ish, with flat surfaces on which to mount cameras. That's why we're using a 2018 Mercedes-Benz Metris as our video production vehicle in San Francisco for a full year. We've even
inexplicably lovingly named it, uh, Wu-Tang Van.
Mercedes will sell you a Metris in passenger van spec, but with hauling as our primary goal, we've opted for the cargo van. That means 186 cubic feet of space behind the front seats and a 2,500-pound payload rating. Plus, lots of helpful floor rails so we can strap down and secure all of our gear.
You can get the Metris cargo van with a traditional hatchback, but our van has a pair of doors that open to the side. We like the versatility of these side-hinged doors, especially with their 270-degree opening capability, but might prefer the hatch to get a little shade on sunny days, or have a covered awning when we're shooting video in the rain.
The Metris is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged I4 engine, with 208 horsepower, 258 pound-feet of torque and a seven-speed automatic transmission. It's decently peppy and super easy to drive, but because this thing doesn't have any side or rear windows, we're relying pretty heavily on our van's blind-spot assist and rear-view camera tech.
In fact, our van has the full $2,340 Active Safety Plus package, which gets us active parking assist, collision prevention assist, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping assist, heated mirrors and a first aid kit. We've also added the $750 Cold Weather package for its heated windshield washer system and heated leatherette seats. Add in the $1,175 Premium Appearance package (body-color bumpers, 17-inch alloy wheels, roof rails) and a few other goodies, and our 2018 Metris cargo van is fully loaded at $38,417, including $995 for destination.
So far, we love the Metris. Not only is it stellar for hauling our goods and assisting with tricky video shoots, its easy-to-drive dynamics and compact size make it enjoyable while commuting, especially near Roadshow HQ in downtown San Francisco. Beyond its weekly use as our video production rig, the Metris is also great to have around for all our hauling needs.
We've got a full year of production work planned for the Wu-Tang Van, and we'll have a number of videos and updates to share during our test. In the meantime, we've got a full docket of other cars to shoot, which means it's time for our Metris to get back to work.
Meet Roadshow's other long-term test vehicles: