Utilitarian awesomeness unlike anything else
June 11, 2017
I purchased a fully loaded passenger version as a work vehicle for my real estate business. It is nimble and fuel efficient enough that staff (or I) don't mind driving it around for errands that don't require a van. Its boxy proportions make it a perfect canvas for custom wraps, and mine looks amazing! I load it up with passengers at least once per week for work. With seats removed, it offers a whole other level of cargo space than any minivan. And since my loaded passenger van is fully carpeted, it is still quiet and nice looking, even when turned into a cargo hauler.
Other upsides: 2nd and 3rd row seats hold actual adults. The 3rd row is vastly better than any 3rd row in a minivan or SUV. Seating position is identical in 2nd and 3rd row. Nothing inside is luxurious, but it's all functional, durable, and attractive. My van has the optional high output alternator and additional battery, and I had mine up-fitted with a 3,000 watt pure sine wave power inverter, so I can power professional audio gear that I use at community events. Steering and handling is exceptional. Braking is a bit spongy, but actual performance is solid. That actually makes this function better for smooth shuttle duty. I use it for occasional trailer towing, and it performs spectacularly (with the exception of side mirrors that are too small).
Downsides: the 2nd and 3rd row seats don't fold or adjust. No Stow-N-Go here. But remember that collapsing seats still require space in the floor, as compared to the Metris with seats removed for hauling. I just compared my Metris with seats removed side-by-side with a current generation Dodge Caravan with seats folded flat. The low and completely flat load floor and vastly greater interior volume favor the Metris by a wide margin. Mirrors are small. Infotainment system is pure utility vehicle: functional, but nothing to look at, not easy to use, and an okay audio system, but not in the league of a premium audio system on a minivan or SUV. Given that I paid $45,000 for a fully optioned model, I would have gladly paid another $1k or $2k more for better infotainment, navigation, audio, and a few more luxurious soft-touch surfaces.
The bottom line is that nothing else offers the combination of driving and handling this well, being this nimble, fitting into garages, solid towing capabilities, offering adult friendly accommodations in all seats, and looking this good on the outside. It's not perfect, but my son has made fun of me for the number of times I've said, "I LOVE this van!"