2019 Mercedes Metris Cargo vs. 2019 GMC Savana Cargo

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Metris Cargo offers optional Parktronic™ to help warn the driver about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or in front of their vehicle. The Savana Cargo doesn’t offer a front parking aid.

The Metris Cargo’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Savana Cargo doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Metris Cargo and the Savana Cargo have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available collision warning systems, lane departure warning systems and blind spot warning systems.

Reliability

A hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs, drives the camshafts in the Metris Cargo’s engine. A rubber cam drive belt that needs periodic replacement drives the Savana Cargo’s camshafts. If the Savana Cargo’s belt breaks, the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

For smoother operation, better efficiency and fewer moving parts, the Metris Cargo has an overhead cam design, rather than the old pushrod design of some of the engines in the Savana Cargo.

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Metris Cargo has larger alternators than the Savana Cargo:

 

Metris Cargo

Savana Cargo

Standard Alternator

175 amps

105 amps

Optional Alternator

190 amps

150 amps

The battery on the Metris Cargo is under the seat, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the Metris Cargo’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The Savana Cargo’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Mercedes vehicles are better in initial quality than GMC vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 14th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 7 more problems per 100 vehicles, GMC is ranked 20th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Mercedes vehicles are more reliable than GMC vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 15th in reliability. With 9 more problems per 100 vehicles, GMC is ranked 18th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Mercedes vehicles are more reliable than GMC vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Mercedes 8 places higher in reliability than GMC.

Fuel Economy and Range

Regenerative brakes improve the Metris Cargo’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Savana Cargo doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Metris Cargo offers an optional system to automatically turn off the engine when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Savana Cargo doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Brakes and Stopping

In an emergency stopping situation, many drivers don’t press the brakes with enough force to stop the vehicle in the shortest distance. The Metris Cargo has a standard brake assist system to detect emergency braking situations (by how hard and how quickly the brake pedal is pressed) and then automatically apply maximum braking immediately in order to help prevent a collision. The Savana Cargo doesn’t offer a brake assist feature.

Tires and Wheels

The Metris Cargo’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Savana Cargo’s standard 75 series tires.

For better load carrying, ride, handling and brake cooling the Metris Cargo has standard 17-inch wheels. Only 16-inch wheels are available on the Savana Cargo.

Suspension and Handling

For superior ride and handling, the Mercedes Metris Cargo has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The GMC Savana Cargo has a solid rear axle, with a non-independent rear suspension.

The front and rear suspension of the Metris Cargo uses coil springs for better ride, handling and control than the Savana Cargo, which uses leaf springs in the rear. Coil springs compress more progressively and offer more suspension travel for a smoother ride with less bottoming out.

For much better steering response and tighter handling the Metris Cargo has rack and pinion steering, like Formula race cars, instead of the recirculating-ball type steering of the Savana Cargo.

The Metris Cargo’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The Savana Cargo doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For better maneuverability, the Metris Cargo Long WB’s turning circle is 10.5 feet tighter than the Savana Cargo 2500 135” WB’s (38.7 feet vs. 49.2 feet).

Chassis

The Mercedes Metris Cargo may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 1000 to 1750 pounds less than the GMC Savana Cargo.

The Metris Cargo Long WB is 1 foot shorter than the Savana Cargo 2500 135” WB, making the Metris Cargo easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The Metris Cargo is 8.9 inches shorter in height than the Savana Cargo, making the Metris Cargo much easier to wash and garage and drive (lower center of gravity).

Cargo Capacity

A standard locking glovebox keeps your small valuables safer in the Metris Cargo. The Savana Cargo doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

The Metris Cargo’s available liftgate lifts up in one piece, completely out of the way of loading and unloading, while sheltering the cargo loading area. The Savana Cargo’s two swing out doors impair rear visibility, need a lot of clearance, and can block loading in tight quarters.

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Mercedes service is better than GMC. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 6th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 25% lower rating, GMC is ranked 13th.

Ergonomics

The Metris Cargo’s front power windows open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Savana Cargo’s power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully. Only its driver’s window opens automatically.

If the front windows are left open on the Metris Cargo the driver can close them from a distance using the remote (remote must be aimed at door sensor). On a hot day the driver can also lower the windows the same way. The driver of the Savana Cargo can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Metris Cargo’s standard sliding doors can be opened with less than three inches side clearance. The Savana Cargo’s standard rear double doors are clumsy and make loading in tight spots difficult.

The Metris Cargo has a standard locking fuel door. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The Savana Cargo doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

The Metris Cargo’s optional wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Savana Cargo’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are optional on the Metris Cargo to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Savana Cargo doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Metris Cargo offers an optional rear wiper. The Savana Cargo doesn’t offer a rear wiper.

The Metris Cargo offers optional heated front seats, which keep the driver and front passenger extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated seats aren’t available in the Savana Cargo.

The Metris Cargo’s optional dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The Savana Cargo doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

The Metris Cargo’s standard automatic temperature control maintains the temperature you set to maintain a consistent, comfortable environment. The Savana Cargo doesn’t offer automatic air conditioning.

A built-in pollen filter removes pollen, exhaust fumes and other pollutants from the Metris Cargo’s passenger compartment. This helps prevent lung and/or sinus irritation, which can trigger allergies or asthma. The Savana Cargo doesn’t offer a filtration system.

The Metris Cargo’s optional Active Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Savana Cargo doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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