Green Car Journal has announced finalists for the magazine’s high-profile 2017 Green Truck of the Year™ and Commercial Green Car of the Year™ awards that will be presented at the San Antonio Auto & Truck Show in San Antonio, Texas. These important awards honor pickups and light commercial vehicles that raise the bar in environmental performance in a variety of areas including efficiency, emissions reduction, and overall environmental improvement.
Both light- and heavy-duty models made the cut this year to become finalists for 2017 Green Truck of the Year™ including the Chevrolet Colorado, Ford F-250 Super Duty, GMC Canyon, Honda Ridgeline, and RAM 1500.
The 2017 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon mid-size pickups feature a new and efficient V-6 for 2017 to round out powertrain choices including an inline-four and high-mpg turbodiesel. The RAM 1500 continues to impress with its functionality and myriad options including an EcoDiesel motor achieving the highest mpg in its class. Honda’s all-new Ridgeline exemplifies Honda’s approach to efficiency and technology with a handsome and driver-friendly new pickup design and plenty of tech. Ford sets itself apart from the crowd yet again by continuing its integration of lightweight aluminum construction for the body and cab of its F-250 Super Duty pickup.
Finalists for 2017 Commercial Green Car of the Year™ include both smaller and more efficient vans including the Ford Transit Connect, Mercedes-Benz Metris, and RAM ProMaster City, plus heavy-duty pickups including the Ford F-250 Super Duty and Nissan Titan XD. The Ford Transit Connect, RAM ProMaster City, and Mercedes-Benz Metris deliver an efficient and highly-functional answer to the needs of businesses with higher fuel economy and easy urban maneuverability. Ford’s F-250 Super Duty brings greater efficiency to the heavy-duty pickup market with lighter weight achieved with an aluminum body and pickup box, while Nissan’s Titan XD delivers efficiency with its turbodiesel powerplant and design that aims to provide a light-duty pickup driving experience in a heavy-duty truck.
These Green Car Awards recognize pickups and light commercial vehicles that do the heavy lifting in everyday life while leading the way toward greater environmental compatibility. Importantly, award finalists achieve this without sacrificing the core capabilities expected from these highly-functional vehicles. It’s notable that after years of environmental focus on passenger vehicles, pickups and light commercial vehicles are now enjoying a similar focus on environmental improvement.
The San Antonio Auto & Truck Show, recognized as South Texas' premier automotive event that highlights the auto industry's newest innovations, will host Green Car Journal’s announcement of 2017 Green Truck of the Year and 2017 Commercial Green Car of the Year winners on November 10.
The new-for-the-U.S. midsize Mercedes-Benz Metris aims at filling business needs requiring something a bit smaller than the automaker’s popular Sprinter yet larger than a compact van. It's based on the Mercedes-Benz Vito model that’s been available in Europe and now mildly revised for American buyers. The Metris is definitely not a luxury vehicle, at least by Mercedes-Benz standards. Think of it as downsized version of the popular Sprinter van with the same rugged characteristics, but with a quieter and more compliant ride.
Mercedes-Benz is aiming at the very same need increasingly being fulfilled by an array of compact vans now on American highways – a more manageable physical footprint for business use in crowded urban areas, with the capability of meeting diverse cargo and people moving requirements. Plus, of course, there’s the imperative of accomplishing these goals in the most fuel-efficient way possible.
The Metris is fitted with two sliding side cargo doors and two traditional rear cargo doors. A passenger version with seating for up to eight is also offered. The cargo version can carry 186 cubic feet of cargo, has a 2,502 pound payload capacity, and can tow up to 4,960 pounds. It has a reasonable 38.7 foot turning diameter for in-town maneuverability and it can fit in a standard garage.
Power is supplied by a 2.0-liter turbocharged and direct-injected four-cylinder engine offering 208 horsepower and 258 lb-ft torque. It’s coupled to a seven-speed automatic transmission with standard shift paddles. An ECO Start/Stop is optional. The Metris cargo van delivers an EPA estimated 21 city and 24 highway mpg with the passenger version offering a slight drop to 20/23 mpg. The passenger version does offer enhanced functionality since its seats are removable to make way for cargo-hauling duties as needed.
Crosswind Assist, Attention Assist, and a load-adaptive Electronic Stability Program are standard on both cargo and passenger versions. The cargo version features six airbags while the passenger van features eight. A long list of advanced options is also available. These include convenience and safety features like Active Parking Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, Collision Prevention Assist, and Blind Spot Assist, plus parking sensors and a rearview camera.
At 29,945 the Metris cargo van is about $2,500 less than its base Sprinter counterpart, with the $33,495 Metris passenger version coming in about $7,000 fewer greenbacks than its larger sibling. All in all, the Metris presents a pretty compelling case for businesses that like the Sprinter but have wished for something a bit more compact.