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This Upmarket Mercedes Camper Van Comes With State-of-the-art technology and everything for you to enjoy a luxury life; off the grid!
In the world of camper vans, the Mercedes-Benz Marco Polo offers a complete premium package. Elegance, comfort, and technology underscore this luxury camper from its counterparts. The Marco Polo is a ‘glampers’ dream, providing everything you need for a weekend getaway.
Unlike Volkswagen’s ubiquitous California, the Mercedes--Benz Marco Polo is at the forefront of technology. What’s more, Mercedes describes its ultra-chic camper as a ‘smart home on wheels.’ The Mercedes V Class conversion, carried out by the renowned Stuttgart-based company Westfalia, has offered camper conversions for over 50 years.
Interestingly, they were best known for their VW camper conversions until Mercedes-Benz acquired the whole company in 2001. In 2021, Mercedes added a few updates to the Marco Polo as part of a facelift for the entire V-class range. Chief among them is a more potent engine and an intuitive infotainment system.
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Measuring just over five meters in length, the Marco Polo is longer than most of its rivals. Moreover, compared to other utilitarian conversions, the Mercedes camper is less conspicuous. Entry via the electric sliding door adds a touch of class to the Mercedes camper. Although the layout inside is similar to the VW California, the beautifully crafted interior of the Marco Polo bears all the hallmarks of Mercedes-Benz.
In comparison to the interior of the VW California, it’s as though you’ve upgraded your cabin to first-class. From the yacht-style wood flooring to the piano black kitchenette, provide an element of luxury only Mercedes-Benz can provide. The kitchenette area seems broader than the VW’s and comes with a two-burner stove, water supply, and a 40-liter cool box.
Furthermore, Marco Polo benefits from lots of small cupboard space. There’s also a foldable table cleverly hidden when not in use. Smaller details such as the soft closing cupboard doors and colored ambient lighting provide a modern, upmarket living space.
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The Marco Polo comes with two double beds, one on the extended roof, and the other using the rear bench seating. The comfortable three-seater leather bench can slide forward and provides adjustment, just like the VW California. The Mercedes seat, however, is electrically operated and becomes a double bed at a touch of a button. Once fully flat, you can even adjust the firmness to suit your requirements.
Just like the VW, the Mercedes has an elevating roof, providing extra sleeping space for two people. Moreover, the roof can be fully raised in just 30 seconds, from either the buttons on the driver’s console or via smartphone, using the clever MBAC mobile app. The MBAC (Mercedes-Benz Advanced Control) interface, is specifically developed for motor homes.
Operated via the 10.25-inch multimedia display on the dashboard or via your smartphone, the system can control the three-zone climate control system, monitor secondary battery charge status, monitor clean and dirty water, and control the interior lighting, to name a few. When the van is stationary, the two front seats in the Mercedes can rotate to face the rear passengers.
Up front, the Marco Polo exudes quality with the familiar Mercedes high-quality dashboard, choice of wood, and piano black trim, not forgetting those signature turbine vents. It’s true to say, the sumptuous Mercedes camper simply outclasses the VW California on tech and comfort.
One major update for 2022, however, is the addition of the brilliant MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) infotainment system, which comes with voice control and a host of intuitive features. In addition to parking sensors and rear camera, the Marco Polo also benefits from hill start assist, cruise control, Crosswind Assist, and Active Brake Assist. As with the Mercedes V Class people carrier, the Marco Polo features six airbags as standard.
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Under the hood of the entire Marco Polo range is a 2.0 liter, four-cylinder turbo diesel engine, as in the V-class. It does, however, come with two options, the entry-level V220D and the V300D providing 165 hp and 242 hp respectively. Both deliver enough power to the rear wheels to move the 2.4-tonne camper and come with a nine-speed automatic transmission as standard.
Unlike Volkswagen's California, the Mercedes does not offer the option of four-wheel drive. Furthermore, the VW California is somewhat quicker off the line than the base V220D Marco Polo. However, if speed is your preference, the powerful 300D Mercedes power plant provides 369 lb-ft of torque and boasts a 0 to 60 mph time of 8 seconds.
The Mercedes camper manages to incorporate luxury without forsaking efficiency, as both engines will return an average of 40 to 45 MPG. What's also apparent, is that the Mercedes manages to offer a more car-like driving position than the VW camper. Indeed, for many, the VW California is still regarded as the default campervan. However, the Mercedes offers a plush alternative that’s well-built and well-engineered.
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The Mercedes Marco Polo comes in two exterior trims, the Sport model and the AMG line. The Sport includes bumpers with chrome inserts and the five-spoke, 18’’ alloy wheels, LED intelligent headlights, and sports suspension. While the AMG Line enhances the look by adding AMG goodies such as 19’’ alloy wheels, AMG spoiler lip, sports suspension, and brakes.
In addition, the interior comes with AMG trim and a carbon fiber look. The price of this posh camper starts from a hefty equivalent of $82,750 for the V220D to well over $92,000 for the V300D AMG Line. For a sensible, luxury camper van, the V220D ticks most boxes and, therefore, is the one to go for.
Waheed is an automotive writer and enthusiast with a vast knowledge of the motor industry. Having acquired a passion for cars at a very young age, he knows pretty much all there is to know about classic German sports cars.