If you're a parent, hippie, travel junky, or simply road-trip aficionado looking for a spacious-yet-versatile vacation vehicle that isn't an RV, rejoice, because Mercedes-Benz is bringing back the camper van. Based on the mid-size Metris passenger van, the Weekender seats five but more importantly, sleeps four.
It's powered by the Metris' turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder making 208 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Power goes to the rear axle through a seven-speed automatic transmission, giving the Weekender a max towing capacity of up to 5,000 pounds. That's all well and good but like most camper vans, the real party tricks come out when it's parked.
See that elevated roof section? That houses an integrated spring system and two-inch memory foam mattress that makes for a homey sleeping area up to two of your friends/offspring. Below, the Weekender's rear bench seats can open to become a, you guessed it, bed for yourself and the missus. Its front seats can swivel 180 degrees for a living room vibe and a second battery helps keep the devices charged up for when the Fortnite withdrawal starts to settle in. Provided everybody's cool with perpetually using public washrooms, the Weekender could be just what a family of four needs for an awesome cross-country vacation. Or...for when the housing crisis really catches up to them. Or for when that beer-named virus turns into a full-on zombie apocalypse.
Mercedes says the Weekender's options sheet offers integrated solar panels, a 3M wrap job with 200 different color choices, roof racks, and something called a "pullout rear kitchen." Although, as any good camper knows, out in the wild, a strong campfire is all the kitchen anyone needs. Keen campers can also equip their Mercedes mini-mobile home with an eight-foot awning, bug screens for the rear hatch, sliding doors, and a detachable tent.
As if this thing didn't have enough road-cred already, Mercedes says it will gift the first 100 Weekender buyers a free U.S. National Parks Pass, encouraging folks to explore more of this country's beautiful natural destinations and saving 'em, like, $80 bucks. We wouldn't be surprised if this thing came with a complimentary pair of hiking boots and had a navigation system that exclusively called us "sport" or "champ."
The Mercedes-Benz Weekender will be available to order this spring and while official pricing hasn't been announced, a company spokesperson told The Drive it's safe to bet on the low-$70,000 range.
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