Mercedes hits the long road with new Marco Polo camper van
By C.C. Weiss
July 10, 2014
At last year's Düsseldorf Caravan Salon, Mercedes showed several camper vans, including the Viano-based Marco Polo. Since that time, it's introduced the all-new V-Class, and it's applied the Marco Polo camper conversion to its latest MPV for this year's Düsseldorf show.
Built in cooperation with camper conversion specialist Westfalia, the Marco Polo is a compact live-in van designed to blend practicality with a Mercedes-level of comfort and elegance. The two-seat rear bench slides into position via a floor rail system and converts into single- and double-bed sleeping configurations. The bench has individually adjustable backrests for both passengers and electropneumatically inflatable side bolsters that provide support in sitting mode and automatically deflate in sleeping mode.
The Marco Polo sleeps an additional two persons in its pop-top roof. Here, a double bed with foam mattress provides quarters for the driver and front passenger. The bed is supported by a spring frame that can be folded out of the way to open up standing room in the cabin.
On the left side of the cabin, the Marco Polo has a kitchen unit with dual-burner stovetop, sink and 10.6-gal (40-L) top-loading refrigerator, all with impact-resistant glass tops. The kitchen also includes several storage drawers and compartments and extendable work space.
When dinner is ready, a folding table attached to the kitchenette slides out from its folded position next to the bench seat, providing eating (or work) space for up to four people. The driver and front passenger seats spin around to face the rear seat across the table.
Other camping amenities include a 10-gal (38-L) fresh water tank, 10.6-gal (40-L) waste water tank, LED cabin lighting, electric rear ventilation window, and a rear cabin wardrobe closet with swing-out illuminated mirror. A camping table and two-chair set slides out from under the rear of the bed platform for use outside.
Buyers can choose to offset dark or light yacht deck-style flooring with satin beige Santiago fabric, black Santiago fabric or satin beige Lugano leather upholstery. The headlining and side panels are colored in porcelain, and black piano-lacquer trim and available LED ambient edge lighting tie it all together.
The Marco Polo is available in three four-cylinder turbo diesel engine levels: 136 hp/243 lb-ft of torque, 163 hp/280 lb-ft and 190 hp/325 lb-ft. Mercedes estimates fuel economy of around 39 mpg (6 L/100 km). The camper van comes standard with electromechanical power steering, comfort suspension, Crosswind-Assist and Attention Assist. Additional driver assistance hardware, including a 360-degree camera, Blind Spot and Lane Keeping Assist, and Active Parking Assist are available as options.
The Marco Polo will be available for order in Germany starting July 29 and will make an appearance at the Düsseldorf Caravan Salon 2014 in August/September.
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