We got our first brief test drive in the all-new 2016 Mercedes-Benz Metris midsize commercial van at the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) Truck Rodeo, where it won “Best Commercial Vehicle”.

During our brief drive in both the cargo van and passenger van versions at the event held at the historic Knibbe Ranch outside San Antonio,Texas, we were much impressed.

And in fact we were one of the parties who voted the Metris to its top honor earned here.

Some eighty-eight vehicles competed in over 20 categories during the eventm with 69 Texas Auto Writer’s Association journalists testing vehicles on and off-road.

In our test drive we were impressed with the Metris for its level of refinement for this class which tends to lean more agricultural than quiet and comfortable.

Performance was also a stand out with its 208 horsepower 2.0 liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine which delivers power through a smooth shifting 7-speed automatic transmission.

Add in handling from its fully independent suspension and you have a standout in the market. On our brief drive in Texas Hill Country, it handled curves tightly and with very little body roll.

The structure felt solid and tight, offering up the same quality of ride and dynamics we tend to expect from one of the brand’s sedans.

The 2016 Metris is available in both passenger and cargo configurations. The Passenger Van seats seven, with flexible seating options.

It’s larger than small vans and smaller than large vans, so it’s really in a class of its own in terms of size.

It costs a bit more than compact vans with the Cargo Van starting at $28,950, and the Passenger Van starts at $32,500.

When you consider the engineering, quality, and craftsmanship you get from Mercedes-Benz though, it seems to make it look like a bargain.

Mercedes-Benz says its size and garage-ability allow this mid-size van to fit easily in parking garages and navigate the streets in busy metropolitan areas.

We were impressed yes. We voted for it for best of the commercial class. And we weren’t alone.

The new 2016 Mercedes-Benz Metris is arriving at dealerships now.